Thursday September 27th 2001 10-45 CET
I enjoy the luxury of thinking myself to be - or preferring to think
myself to be - a 'pacifist'. That is to say I am someone who prefers to
use peaceful, non-violent methodologies.
I enjoy this 'luxury' because others are not pacifists! They are
willing to dedicate themselves to a life of service...as police or
in the armed services and similar vocations/occupations. As a
result I exist in a society/societies where I have never been
compelled to make the 'absolute decision': namely, at what point
does a violent response become necessary?
There are those who would respond "It is never necessary!".
In my heart, in my spirituality, I would like to accept such
a concept. However, should I stand idly by and let others be harmed
by an 'evil intent' - or would not the state of lovingness require from
me that I intervene in someway? Is it better that the life of one be
taken than the life of many be destroyed? Is the lovingness any
the less, or greater, depending upon numbers?
What if my intervention were verbal and loving? Could it be that
the expression of lovingness were itself enough to combat the
'indoctrinated hatred' of the oppressor?
The fact of the matter is that sometimes we are confronted in life
by circumstances that refuse to respond to 'the lovingness' and in
such circumstances the duty of a pacifist is to continue to
express 'lovingness' - but to do so with an appreciation that we
enjoy this 'luxury' because others make total sacrifice.
In the face of great 'evil', the sacrifice of a 'principle' for the greater
good can also be an act of lovingness.
Pacifists have plenty of 'humanitarian work' to do in such
times as these. We may not support war, but unless and until we
are prepared to 'sacrifice totally - even principles' we have no
right to oppose what others - fairly and justly in their perception
- deem to be the only available response to an evil, destructive and
Our 'lovingness' accepts the duality of this life experience
and should accept the necessity of a 'measured response'
by those who have the responsibility to defend the way
of life that permits us the 'luxury' of non-violent existence.
Extant,it is a sad reality that sometimes the language of violence
must be used in order that the opponents of lovingness
The difference between the two opposing forces is that one side
recognises the 'sadness' of the actions - whilst the other
simply glorifies in the destruction and claims 'extreme principles of
justification' for it.
When we are willing to surrender our 'comfortable existing'
and march, unarmed except with our lovingness, into the
'war zones of the world' proclaiming our message of peace -
then, and only then, do we actually give reality to our 'pacifist
concept'. Until that time, we enjoy our 'concepts' at the cost
of someone else's dedication and have no integrity in our
lovingness if we undermine their perceived 'service to society'.
When we are willing to stand in line, as ordinary Hindu and Moslem
followers of Gandhi did outside a salt works, and be beaten or even killed
without offering violence in return...when we are willing to do that
we transform the concept of pacifism into the reality .
Until we are willing to 'risk our lives', our 'comfortable existence',
in the cause of the lovingness - we have no right nor honesty
to condemn those who risk their lives to 'defend freedom and society
against those who would destroy it'.
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