Friday, January 14, 2005

Choosing That Which We Seek

A close friend emailed last night with news that his younger brother is being deployed to Iraq soon. In March of 02, before the Iraqi war started my friend and me took part in the peace marches held in Atlanta. I was a vocal critic against the war even advocating civil disobedience in an attempt to stop the rush to war. Now, I struggle with the reality of US policy and my conviction that all things are in Divine Order. I haven’t spoken out against the war for some time. Part of the reason is my 10 year old son’s best friend.

His father is a Lt. Col. in the Marines and is an engineer of the Marine’s recruitment efforts throughout much of the country. I consider this person a friend and our two families interact most everyday through school drop- offs and activities, karate practice, Cub scouts, sleep- overs, and cookouts. We never talk about the war although he knows I stand against it and why. While watching Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 911” and the two Marine’s efforts to enlist recruits I realized that no matter how much I detest such methods- my friend makes his living, pays his bills, takes care of his family and saves for his retirement by how well staffed the Marines are.

I still hold to the notion the war is wrong, that we rushed to war ill prepared and that young men and women, brave soldiers whom I hold the up most respect for and support 100 percent, are dying needlessly… and innocent Iraqi civilians are dying needlessly. All of this could have all been avoided….but, it wasn’t.

Where does this leave me now? How do I reconcile my detest for this and all war and violence; my desire to speak out against such atrocities, and my belief that there is a reason for everything and that Divine Order ultimately will be made clear?

For now I let the questions-be. I hold Peace, reconciliation, and non- judgment as best I can in my thoughts. Perhaps one day there will be answers for us all. I know there is the possibility that there may never be one equally acceptable answer suitable for all. I know that I must be the Peace that I seek- and that should we all choose Peace in our hearts, there will be no more wars.

Right now, I choose to be that which I seek. I hope my dear friend and his brother choose Peace in their hearts as well.

5 Comments:

Blogger Meredith said...

Tommy,
I so admire your post here. You deal with a difficult dilemma. Once, when I shared a similar question with a spiritual friend, he advised this: “allow things to be as they are, don’t resist, don’t hold on to your concept of good/bad, right/wrong. Trust existence. Who is it that thinks she can improve upon existence? This is the thinker, the ego. Much arrogant mischief arises from this thinking. Existence is pure and perfect as it is.”

Needless to say, this isn't easy advice to absorb when you come from pacifist tradition, and from "social action is the right thing to do" value system. I share your views on the military, yet, I "choose to be that which I seek" rather than promote any further negativity or hostility. I also struggle with accepting what is, backing away from judging so much. I, along with you, will try to "let the questions-be, and hold Peace, reconciliation, and non- judgment as best I can in my thoughts."

With each post, each comment to one another, I am realizing a wonderful synchronicity with you. We are kindred spirits. It is wonderful to share with you at this depth. Thank you for your friendship.
M

1:19 AM  
Blogger Trev Diesel said...

Know this story?

"Once a master and his disciples were gathered in the jungles of India. The Master had been teaching his disciples: "Everyone is God, everything is God and we should bow down to God in everyone and everything". Now, the next day, when the disciples were out in the jungle gathering fruit for their meals, off in the distance was heard the bellowing, trumpeting and crashing of a great bull Elephant, wild with rage; And, all of a sudden, he was crashing through the jungle precisely in the direction of the assembled group of disciples. The Mahout,(the man who rides the elephant) was shouting to all in front of him, "Get out of the way! Get out of the way! The elephant is mad!" Seeing the approaching terror, all of the disciples began to run, except for one; He remembered the Master's words, "God is in everyone and everything and we should bow down to God in everyone and everything." The elephant was thundering towards him and the Mahout was shouting for him to get out of the way, but, remembering his Masters words, he bowed down to the approaching elephant. The elephant, plunged towards him, picked him up with his trunk, smashed him to the side and thundered on through the jungle. The disciples came back after the elephant had gone and finding him unconscious they brought him to the Master. When he came to his senses, he was given tea and then the Master asked him :"Why did you not run away?" The devotee replied,"Master, you yourself had said that God was in everyone and everything and to bow down to God in everyone and everything. I have simply followed your words". The Master replied: "It is true, God is in everyone and everything. There is God in the Elephant, but there is God in the Mahout too, and the Mahout said; 'Get out of the way'."

There is a Divine Order but we are also a part of it. Divine Order doesn't mean we don't act or that we allow everything to just "be" (in my opinion). It means resting in knowing that all things eventually end up heading the right direction or bringing about the right outcomes. But God also works through US to bring about change and so we are also part of Divine Order. This is where the whole nonattachment thing sets in. Act, do what you believe is right, but in the end know that whether your actions helped or not, the Universe has already worked the situation out.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Jon said...

Isaiah, I really feel you here. I know the pain of wondering what to do or do not, the challenge of being active or passive, and how to support peace and a world mad with conflict.

I used to try to be a pacifist, and my teacher was able to see that I wanted to impose an arbitrary restriction on my worldview, to hold on to something, when there's nothing to hold on to. And all I can say now, is I'm pretty damn close to being a pacifist! But no one can outdo me in my desire for peace than a soldier who's in a war.

The war is horrid, there's no denying that, it was initiated through a deliberate campaign of deceit and misdirection—there's no denying that as well. But I can recognize more of the game that's going on. God is hiding from himself, playing among himself, forgetting and finding the Self. It's lila. The soldiers, the rulers, the ordinary citizens, even the terrorists are all caught up in their roles, doing what they think they should do. And so, the screen shows us a picture of a shattered country with thousands dead.

It's our goal to wake up, and realize that we don't need to just float along on our scripts. We seek to awaken, that we may help others awaken.

I'm thinking the movie metaphor here again. As we awaken, we shed the karma and darkness that clouds us from seeing the light that we are, and that all are. Our spots on the screen turn brighter, and the shadows that are necessary for projecting the story of war fade. It requires awareness in our spirit, and action in the Matrix.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Tyler Torti said...

Hi, You left a comment on my blog a while back about the play I am about to be in and your friend in Louisville. I just wanted to thank you for what you said, I really appreciate it. Nice Blog!!

2:19 AM  
Blogger isaiah said...

M-

Your spiritual friend's advice is wise ("Existence is pure and perfect as it is.”) It takes a great deal of Stillness to witness this unfolding.

"With each post, each comment to one another, I am realizing a wonderful synchronicity with you. We are kindred spirits. It is wonderful to share with you at this depth. Thank you for your friendship."

Thank you for your words- I, too, feel a synchronicity between us. Thank you for your "Graceful Presence" as well.

Trev-

Thank you for your response and for the story. I agree that God is working through us all and that our actions are those of Spirit...bringing about change. I appreciate your words and thank you for your insight. You are gifted in your clarity, personal faith and the ability to share this with others in such meaningful ways. I'm glad our paths crossed.

Jon-

"It's our goal to wake up, and realize that we don't need to just float along on our scripts. We seek to awaken, that we may help others awaken."

Thanks for your words. I feel that right now, my role is to hold the action of 'letting it be' in my mind. How long I will hold this- I cannot say, so- I hold what is mine to hold. Tomorrow, I may be doing differently.

Does one progress from action to non-action (and acceptance of Order) with awareness and growth-or, does one, through awareness and growth, move and act as an agent of Order? Yes, one does these things.

Yes. It makes such a compelling story (this theater in our minds.)

Tyler-

Stay inspired (In-Sprit) always! Break a leg!

12:17 PM  

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