On January 8, Bob Koehler wrote a column entitled “Be The Peace:” War does not need to be the “inevitable” predator. I highly recommend reading his article.
He concludes by saying: “So war begins here, in our minds and hearts. There has to be another way, and it also begins here. I pray for the bombs to stop, but I know they won’t until we . . .
And here I stop, not knowing what to say next. If you can complete this sentence, please do so, and share the answer. Live the answer.”
I’ve written to Bob before, and he always responds, so I sent him this e-mail:
Dear Bob, such a difficult challenge you put forth! So I have a multi-faceted answer, first drawing on the wisdom of others that imply the answer:
I know the answer! The answer lies within the heart of all mankind! The answer is twelve. I think I’m in the wrong building.
Charlie Brown — Peanuts by Charles Schultz (twelve is a mystical number to some people)
It’s the awareness, the full experience . . . of how you are stuck, that makes you recover. — Frederick S. Perls
The loneliness each man feels is his hunger for life itself…. It is the yearning that makes fulfillment possible.
He not busy being born is busy dying.
— Bob Dylan
“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.”
– Albert Einstein
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.
Sometimes it happens, we live our lives in chains, and don’t even know we have the key.
— The Eagles, “Already Gone”
To continue, now, with my thoughts:
We are at war with ourselves, we are deathly ill with interpersonal and systemic violence inflicted on ourselves. Our vain attempts to be secure have left us exhausted, empty of resources, and questioning. The time is ripe for genuine weeping, empathy for ourselves and others, and a radical shift in our strategies for achieving security, health, and growth. Rugged individualism has lost its virtue. Compassionate community is the more believable, trustworthy focus of our efforts.
Freedom isn’t free. Real freedom comes from doing the difficult work of learning to listen to our feelings, listen to others’ feelings, and listen to nature and the Universe. When we do those things, our fear of abandonment will dissolve, and we will truly be free. The fear of abandonment underlies our rules to not talk, not trust, and not feel, which are ways of keeping ourselves numb. Those rules, in turn, create the most violent forms of self-abuse and other-abuse we know.
There is a rebirth in progress: the house of rigid, hierarchical, authoritarian, institutional, and male-dominated structures is being replaced by flexible, horizontal, nurturing, familial, and female-guided networks. We are being born. In order to be born properly, we must cooperate with our hostess that is pushing us out of our comfort zone. We must be in the right orientation, head first, and we must accept some deformation of our head, our intellect, in order to pass through this dark tunnel. Most of all, our hearts must continue to circulate.
For me, the truly important things do not occur in space and time, they occur in our hearts. When we open our hearts, we not only change the present by accepting our place in a larger universe, we also change the past through forgiveness and reconciliation, and we inevitably change the future through a vision of hope.
The evolution of humanity demands that we take a leap into a non-rational state of being, a non-analytical state of mind in which relationships define us, and we are no longer materialistic individualists. We are on the cusp of the touted “paradigm shift,” and I am excited to be alive and part of this piece of history. The revolution, the nonviolence revolution, in my opinion, has already occurred, and most people haven’t seen it coming.
He who has one foot on the dock of the past and one foot on the boat of the future shall soon be forced to swim in the waters of the present.
We are not on solid ground
We are not solid
We are entangled with every particle
We are neither “on” nor “off”
We are the energy of motion itself
…so, in brief, the bombs will stop falling when we get in touch with our emotions. As any good car salesman will tell you, people like to think they are making intelligent, rational decisions, when in fact their decisions are 95% emotional.
Oregon State Coordinator
The Peace Alliance Campaign
for a U.S. Department of Peace
Here is Bob’s reply:
Wow! This is great. Thanks for putting such heart and wisdom into the “sentence” I couldn’t complete. I like the idea of being (re)born head first. I think far too many born-again experiences are breech!