Thursday, March 4, 2010
War or Peace?
In the 1700's, the classification sapiens was established to distinguish "wise" or "knowing" hominids from others in the Genus Homo. Recently, it began to become apparent that intelligence was not an adequate or complete characterization of the species. The prospect of changing the classification or creating a new one altogether began to be discussed. It was suggested that the new species be designated H. aggressus. This is an animal who cannot control his thoughts, feelings or reactions and whose aggressive, destructive acts toward other beings and things are detrimental to the species' ability to survive. If the Genus is indeed split in two, to which group will you belong?
I visit several Internet lists and forums where hominids aggress against each other in frequent wars over a variety of topics. How to educate a dog is a major one with battles and skirmishes that never really settle anything. Fighting will last for days or weeks and eventually die a death of exhaustion. A short while later, it will begin again and all the old arguments will fly forth with renewed vigor. Cesar Milan, shock collars and reinforcement- vs. correction-based education techniques are subjects that call out a host of mighty soldiers. Some employ battle tactics that are so brutal and appalling that one is injured just by seeing their standards waving in the wind.
I often wonder what the beloved dogs are doing as their warriors-for-a-point-of-view slash their enemies with poisoned keystrokes? Most likely they are laying about waiting for interaction and stimulation. And they may as well be laying right in the thick of the battles themselves because they are very directly effected by the emotional amplification, combative, antagonistic intent and the energy of the words their soldier-humans hurl as weapons. The enmity and upset we feel over what we think someone should believe or do and over how we characterize them for what we believe they are thinking or doing is a form of insanity. And this particular type of insanity can inspire aggressive acts that are detrimental to our ability to survive as a species.
The thing that makes the world so wonderfully rich and variable is that everyone thinks, believes, rationalizes and behaves differently. What we consider to be an outrageous act another considers to be an acceptable one. We can fight with them – throwing our arguments out with blood boiling only to feel greater ire when we receive the ones that they throw back (H. aggressus). Or, we can accept, allow, honor and forgive them (H. sapiens). After all, it's really very silly to think that we can force someone to become just like us.
All of our experiences in life are senseless and useless unless they help us to achieve harmony with ourselves, the world and with other beings. If you want your kind, loving and peaceful ideals to spread around the planet, cultivate the ability to control your thoughts and responses to life so that you radiate kindness, love and peace. Detach from your opinions, standards, expectations and points of view – no matter how virtuous or noble. The warriors and their arguments go away when no enemy shows up on the battlefield.
(To learn more about the instantaneous effects that our thoughts and feelings have on the objects and beings in our immediate vicinity, read Curious Reality.)