FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE
Earth’s problem, and ours, comes down to this: Are human beings too stupid to have become as potent as we are? We are plenty smart and savvy in many sophisticated ways, which is a credit to the potentials of our innate intelligence; but are we so profoundly and pervasively foolish and unwise—or at least a critical mass of us—that we will wreak irrevocable havoc on each other and our biosphere, destroying our prospects for advancement or even survival? That gloomy scenario seems imminent.
Or can we fix our subversively insane psyches, treacherous to the well-being of life on Earth? What can heal us of our aberrations and what can wise us up from our follies? How do we grow sane and sage and stay that way?
A traditional reflexive answer is religious: obey God. Live lovingly, reverently and peacefully, as we are instructed by holy ones—our prophets, seers and saints. Practice the virtues, tread the noble pathways, revile and renounce those sinful urges that tempt and seduce us. Seek counsel, support and solace in prayer, contemplation and meditation. But yet, perversely, many who do so then wage holy wars (the ultimate oxymoron) against Infidels and Unbelivers who are reviled as subhuman, inherently evil, and therefore expendable.
Is a vow of nonviolence and a practice of peacemaking the only escape from our perversity? If so, how do such meek and kindly souls defend themselves and their antagonists from exploitation and harm? How can they not be embroiled in the violence turned upon them by those who resent them or disrespect them or seek to dominate them?
Perhaps we can oppose one oxymoron with another and become Peaceful Warriors of the sort who love their benighted adversaries and yet are expert aikido artists teaching those opponents the futility of attack by always turning aggression against itself in a manifestation of instant karma, reaping what it sows.
Just that, I suspect, is our answer and our goal. But now, for goodness’ sake, how?
“There is no way to peace,” said Gandhi; “peace is the way.”