Wednesday, April 30, 2008

War & Peace - A Perspective

War against you, Peace for me!

We all agree that War is bullshit. It is something that can only cause more harm, more pain, and more destruction. We have spent aeons writing about peace. Yet, the world as it stands today is on the verge of many battles, many conflicts. The road to peace has been littered with the wastage of wars.
So, what can one do to put a final full stop to this phenomenon?
By writing such blogs and reading / appreciating poems of peace, are we even denting the prospects of another battle?
Is a Mother Teresa or Gandhi or Martin Luther an answer to all wars?
How many of those noble souls do we expect to walk by, to sacrifice all they’ve got to stop us from living the life of misery? After all, isn’t it my life, our life? Isn’t this too important to grant control to some ‘greater’ soul, however great he/she may be? What do I lack to become someone so noble, so peaceful?
Why can’t the world consist of more Gandhi’s than terrorists?
Do I write one more article here, vent out my frustration and thoughts on an electronic piece of paper, and then switch tabs to address the latest production issue? Is that all it consists of – this meek effort, this literal drop of an argument for peace in the ocean of tension and conflict all around us?
With such questions and many more lurking in the corner of my mind, I was reading a book. Buddha.
They say, when you have a query – open the page of a good book, any random page, and start reading. You shall find your answer there.
Maybe it’s the theory of being positive, the theory that what you are looking out for will be brought forth to you – if you strive with earnestness.
Chapter 19, the last chapter gave me a lot of answers. At least, openings to those answers, which I sought to decipher above.
The first and foremost – and probably the most powerful thought is – We all are ‘Buddha’. The Enlightened One.
But before I go there, let me elucidate why I think we need to believe in the above, and how ‘war’ and ‘Buddha’ are connected.
Consider this – Is War the only malady prevailing upon us? No – if one looks deeply, every war has a supposed ‘cause’. Someone stole my land – I shall wage a war over him. Someone insulted me – I shall wage a war over him. And so on and so forth. Anger results in war. And this anger is again an after-effect of something bigger.
Analyze any statement for which humans have waged a war – and one will find that something precious has been stolen from someone. The old saying cites wine, women and wealth symbolically. So, war is actually an after-effect. It is a symptom of a bigger disease, which in turn has a deep-rooted cause.
Buddha calls this disease ‘Suffering’, and he cites the root cause as ‘Attachment’.
Our ‘attachment’ to things/to people causes misery or dukka when that thing/person is no longer with us. However, if we analyze closely, and understand the roots of our philosophy – it clearly states that we are living in a state of illusion. Various cultures have given this illusion a different name, but probably the Hindu texts came the closest when they defined ‘Maya’.
Do we blindly believe in this philosophy? No! Test it out for yourself.
Ask questions. Seek answers.
Some really tough ones I’ve come across are – Are our parents not someone who we should be attached to? Do I not mourn the departure of a close friend? Shouldn’t one supposed to cry if he/she has lost his/her love?
The answer to all of the above – going by the philosophy of ‘Maya’ is No. The world is an illusion. All these supposed ‘attachments’ are the root cause of our misery. We lose one thing – and we grieve. So, the key is not to be attached to ‘anything’ – including ‘ourselves’. This includes our body, our materialistic identity. And one can do this, only if one starts identifying oneself apart from his/her ‘thoughts’. The mind, they say is a brilliant slave, but a cruel master. For a moment, your thoughts do not desert you. And this relationship is so close, that we become alter egos – we start identifying ourselves with our thoughts. And in the due course of time, we lose ourselves, and start believing our thoughts define us! I know this can be strange to read or comprehend at first, but a closer examination will reveal the purity of the argument.
So, in essence, to end all wars – the first step is to wage a war against your own thoughts – to question what you’ve been ‘taught’, to look beyond and find the truth; which in reality is just within you!
You are Buddha. The moment you shed your inhibitions, attain a clear vision – of peace, of joy; you shall be enlightened.
And a day shall dawn, when a thousand Buddha’s shall walk the face of earth, sowing the seeds of a spiritual revolution. That day, my friends – We shall write about peace, not war.


[Read Buddha (Deepak Chopra) and A New Earth (Eckhart Tolle) for deeper insights]


Sowmya said...

You have said that attachment is the root cause of all war... when something we r attached to is taken away from us, we fight for it... and the solution is be detached...

This sounds too idealistic... a goal not attainable by us ordianry mortals...instead I think we should refrain from desiring what belongs to others, be it property, be it credit for doing some work... thats seems more attainable to me...

what say?

A NoMAD said...

@ sowmya -

Yeah, u r rite..this is 'too idealistic'. After all, when we take the level of thought to Buddha - cant be anything else, rite!? ;) :)

But i like ur line of thought too.. a v good beginning for mere mortals!

Kar bhala, to ho bhala... :)

Aditi..............:) said...

I agree with both view points...i would put it as,
Choose any one view and implement in your life.....whichever is accept and more importantly implement....:)

A NoMAD said...

@ aditi..

Wow - wat a simple solution.. but effective! :)
Do wat pleases u.. and be happy! :)