WHEN PACIFISM BECOMES SUICIDE — How A Just War Emerges from Spirituality

To those of us who seek to live a life imbued with spiritual principles, the notion of war seems abhorent. And yet there are wars that must be fought.

 Essentially when there is an aggressor whose goal is annihilation of the enemy (namely YOU) there is a moral/spiritual imperative to resist.    To do otherewise is, in essence, to accept suicide.  There is no option.

Passivity is capitulation to evil.

There may be political issues which motivate the aggressor.  They may completely believe in their cause, their holy right to seek your annihilation.  But that just doesn’t work.  There is no room for “proportionality”.  

Powerful responses which may shorten the conflict are justified from a spiritual perspective.

 God help as all.

MEDITATE — Now More Than Ever

I will be the first to admit, I am an inconstant meditator. But I recently resumed the millenial old practice and I have to say, I appreciate it more than ever.

 In a time when time itself seems life’s most valuable commodity, meditation shows us how relative it can be.  Einstein was right on so many levels, but meditation brings it home.

 Try meditating for only 10minutes.  Set your timer.  Sit quietly.  You can choose a variety of methods but perhaps the Mindfulness approach is as useful as any.  Merely observe your breath as it enters and exits through your nose.  That is it.  When your mind wanders (and it will, many times) gently return to your breath.  Smile inwardly as you realize how difficult such an easy task really is.  Understand that our minds are conditioned to attempt to multitask.  We are products of this culture, at this time in history.  No wonder we find simply paying attention to one thing, like our breath, is so difficult.  And yet it is crucially important.

 As a culture we are obsessed with exercising our bodies.  We are often “into” brain games to hold off the ravages of an aging brain.  But meditation is even simpler.  It is more honored, studied, validated than any other mind study.  It has even been shown to change the shape of our brains.

 And just perceive how long 10 minutes seems to us.  I bet you will question your timer.  It must have shut off, you will think, how could 10 minutes SEEM so long.  

But aha.  That’s exactly the point, isn’t it?

LETTER TO THE GAZANS — Time For Change

Far be it for me, hardly an expert on the Middle East, to offer thoughts on this decades old conflict.  But am I missing something here?

 Didn’t Hamas begin this conflict by lobbing missiles on Israel? Didn’t it do so with NO possible realistic goal to destroy Israel or have it submit to Hamas’ dictates?  Didn’t Israel agree to a Egyptian-brokered cease fire while Hamas did not?

 If I have my history correct, Israel withdrew its settlements from Gaza in 2005.  Wasn’t that supposed to open the doors to a Palestinian renaissance, without those hated Zionists controlling your lives?  Settlements, settlements, settlements.  Israel must remove them or there will never be peace in Palestine.  OK.  Now what?

 Israel is the evil empire, isn’t it?  Hamas knew Israel would not tolerate missile attacks.  Hamas set you up to take the hit for their political/religious agenda.  Israel has repeatedly warned you to leave targeted locations.  Could you envision Hamas doing likewise to Israelis?

 Hamas uses you as human shields, hides weapons in mosques etc. etc.  So what is the answer?  Gazans…..isn’t it time to reject your jihadist leaders who seeks your destruction in order to gain international support?  Your life has no meaning to them.  Is that a surprise?  And finally– how’s your life been under Hamas?  Has that been “workin for ya?”

 So I apologize for offering such a simplistic, perhaps naive recommendation for your lives.  Of course having your own Palestinian state would be great for you.  Being recognized among the world of nations would be ideal.  Having economic opportunities, free from fear is every human being’s goal.  But you aren’t anywhere close to that, are you?  Hmmm.  Any other ideas? 

SENSELESS. SLAUGHTER

There is a time for war, a time for peace.  There is a time for anger, a time for confrontation. There are those human beings, however, who bring shame on our species.  Those are the murderers of the three Israeli youth.

No politics, no oath of jihad, no level of political frustration can ever justify what they perpetrated.  As long as human beings are capable of committing atrocities in the name of hatred we are a diminished species.

The mentally deranged are excused.  But the mothers  of jihadists who commend the death of Israeli children and laud their children  as suicidal murderers defy human comprehension.

This is sad on so many levels.