Reflections on fear and unity and discovering the way to eternal peace.

Author:Zwillick, David
 
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If we are to find a way to peace, within our selves and amongst each other, we must find our way to a connection to and understanding of the reality within which we exist and of which we consist. While many might argue that humans already live "connected" to reality and that our understanding of it is already sufficient, it can be seen firsthand or deduced from the ample evidences of greed and brutality that for the vast majority of people now and throughout history, this is simply untrue. Whether we wish to place our attention on government, religion, corporations, and small business or the family life, one can readily find the existence of greed, cruelty, and mental illness in all cultures through all epochs. This expression of so-called human nature points to a disconnect between ourselves and the harmony that exists in nature where even predators take no particular glee from killing that which cannot be eaten or torturing that which they must be killed to be eaten.

If humans are mistaken that the world they perceive is true and real, than they may also be mistaken regarding the materialistic ways in which we think about it. Certainly, religions and cultural mores have arisen, seemingly organically to.

From whence do these impulses arise if not from an error in our reasoning faculties that suggests to us that looking out for our own self-interests is so important as to warrant any behaviors that help us to attain our goals of power, comfort and security?

From the material perspective, all of our thoughts and actions are warranted if they bring us and those we love an increase in pleasure and a decrease in pain. Hence are all wars justified, all corporate decisions pragmatic, all religious dogma necessary for the guarantee of the purity of thought and action sanctioned by any particular sect.

Most people that we will meet in our lives will tell you that murderers must be killed, enemies must be vanquished, insults and injuries must be repaid, and property must be protected. It only stands to reason, they will argue. We cannot rely on pacifism or divine justice to bring us riches and ensure they remain in our possession. We must analyze our surroundings and do whatever is necessary to ensure that the good people remain wealthy, powerful and free while those we deem bad or dangerous are killed or locked away so that they can pose no threat. In the meanwhile, any collateral damage that results from the acquisition and protection of our assets is unfortunate, but in most cases unavoidable. Consumers generally do not wish to know the origins of their products and citizens will allow their governments (and children) to fight wars that are.

Of course, this kind of thinking amounts to a belief that either the material world is more important than the essential non-material world which is concealed from us, or that such a nonmaterial world does not exist at all...

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