A not-to-be-missed piece on meaning-making as peace-building

Matt Talbot has written a fine piece, poetic at times, entitled ‘Some Thoughts on War for Memorial Day’ that sees war as apparently providing several forms of meaning-making. He argues, quite rightly in my world-view, that alternative ways to make meaning help those who mistakingly go to war to find peace-building alternatives

Matt builds his post around two quotations from Chris Hedges

The enduring attraction of war is this: Even with its destruction and carnage it can give us what we long for in life. It can give us purpose, meaning, a reason for living. Only when we are in the midst of conflict does the shallowness and vapidness of much of our lives become apparent. Trivia dominates our conversations and increasingly our airwaves. And war is an enticing elixir. It gives us resolve, a cause. It allows us to be noble. And those who have the least meaning in their lives, the impoverished refugees in Gaza, the disenfranchised North African immigrants in France, even the legions of young who live in the splendid indolence and safety of the industrialized world, are all susceptible to war’s appeal.

― Chris Hedges, Author of ‘War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning’

Hedges again:

‘If we really saw war, what war does to young minds and bodies, it would be impossible to embrace the myth of war. If we had to stand over the mangled corpses of schoolchildren killed in Afghanistan and listen to the wails of their parents, we would not be able to repeat clichés we use to justify war. This is why war is carefully sanitized. This is why we are given war’s perverse and dark thrill but are spared from seeing war’s consequences. The mythic visions of war keep it heroic and entertaining…

The wounded, the crippled, and the dead are, in this great charade, swiftly carted offstage. They are war’s refuse. We do not see them. We do not hear them. They are doomed, like wandering spirits, to float around the edges of our consciousness, ignored, even reviled. The message they tell is too painful for us to hear. We prefer to celebrate ourselves and our nation by imbibing the myths of glory, honor, patriotism, and heroism, words that in combat become empty and meaningless.’

Two points from me;

He underestimates the war machine that operates to bring yet more wealth to the mega-rich who run society.

Secondly if Talbot develops the post further a mention might be made of one or two of those who have evolved similar theories such as Logotherapy which was developed by psychiatrist and holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl from his time in a concentration camp in which he observed those whom meaning making helped in their survival.

Talbot’s piece is not to be missed – https://vox-nova.com/2016/05/21/some-thoughts-on-war-for-memorial-day/

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Our harmony and at-one-ment rests on realizing our true purpose in this world, which is to live in the now or presence.

Roger founded the One Garden group network.

St Francis: “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace….”

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

HESCHEL The World’s Pain – some are guilty, but all are responsible

There is immense silent agony in the world, and the task of man is to be a voice for the plundered poor, to prevent the desecration of the soul and the violation of our dream of honesty.

The more deeply immersed I became in the thinking of the prophets, the more powerfully it became clear to me what the lives of the Prophets sought to convey: that morally speaking, there is no limit to the concern one must feel for the suffering of human beings, that indifference to evil is worse than evil itself, that in a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.

“The Reasons for My Involvement in the Peace Movement” (1972); later included in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity (1996).

SOURCE – https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Abraham_Joshua_Heschel

HESCHEL: some are guilty, but all are responsible – the task of man is to be a voice for the plundered poor

There is immense silent agony in the world, and the task of man is to be a voice for the plundered poor, to prevent the desecration of the soul and the violation of our dream of honesty.

The more deeply immersed I became in the thinking of the prophets, the more powerfully it became clear to me what the lives of the Prophets sought to convey: that morally speaking, there is no limit to the concern one must feel for the suffering of human beings, that indifference to evil is worse than evil itself, that in a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.

“The Reasons for My Involvement in the Peace Movement” (1972); later included in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity (1996).

‘The Power of Now and the End of Suffering’

Tami Simon, of ‘Sounds True’, interviewed Eckhart Tolle. Tami asks some great questions that evoke interesting material concerning awakening and Tolle’s ‘restructuring of his self’ event;

‘The Power of Now and the End of Suffering’ – By Tami Simon

For two years, a small man sits quietly on a park bench. People walk by, lost in their thoughts. One day someone asks him a question. In the weeks that follow there are more people and more questions. Word spreads that the man is a “mystic,” and has discovered something that brings peace and meaning into our lives. It sounds like fiction, but today that man, Eckhart Tolle, is known worldwide for his teachings on spiritual enlightenment through the power of the present moment. His first book, The Power of Now, is an international bestseller, and has been translated into 17 languages. More than 20 years have passed since Eckhart Tolle answered his first question on that park bench. While his audience has grown, his message remains the same: that it is possible to stop struggling in your life, and find joy and fulfillment in this moment, and no other.

Sounds True: Can you describe to us your own experience of spiritual awakening (and of course, can you define spiritual awakening as well)? Was there a singular event that occurred or has it been a gradual process?………………’

To read the interview go here;
https://www.eckharttolle.com/article/The-Power-Of-Now-Spirituality-And-The-End-Of-Suffering

Shanti chant as “The Peace which passeth understanding”

The meaning of shanti

Shanti, Santhi or Shanthi (from Sanskrit शान्तिः śāntiḥ; √ शम śam: ‘be calm’) means peace, rest, calmness, tranquility, or bliss.

The poet T. S. Eliot, in his poem The Waste Land (where he spelled it Shantih) translated it as “The Peace which passeth understanding”