Monday, April 23, 2007

WAR AND PEACE: A THIRD WAY BETWEEN LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES

"As a connecting link, or traditionally third position, between all opposites, the soul differs from the terms which it connects...It is not life that matters, but soul and how life is used to care for soul." James Hillman, Re-Visioning Psyhcology, pp. 174-175


WAR AND PEACE ARE NECESSARY FOR SOUL-MAKING

I see war or conflict as a necessary and normal part of the Cosmos – whether these conflicts show up as comets smashing into planets, stars in perpetual nuclear fusion, rain eroding rocks or time wrinkling and withering once smooth skin. The cosmos is a place of war, and peace.

At some level, I disagree with the dogmatic ideologies of both Liberals and Conservatives ultimately. Conservatives see war as a solution and Liberals see war as something that must be ended. I see both as naïve and ignoring the evidence of nature and psyche. It is not a choice of being either in the red states or blue states. I refuse to be labeled either. When I see bumper stickers advocating War or advocating Peace, as though one could exist on this planet without the other, I find myself in disagreement with both.

I see a third way, not a synthesis or blending of the two extremes, but a way that sees both war and peace as normal and necessary for this game called the Soul-making Cosmos. The third way is that of soul-making. We are here to make souls, not to evolve into a peaceful planet or to conquer our enemies.

Some in the New Age Movement suggest that we are evolving as a species into a planet of peace. I see no paradigm shift toward eternal peace. That idea is New Age faith based dogma with no evidence behind it in my opinion, which is little different than the faith based dogma of the second coming of Jesus I used to hear as a Fundamentalist Christian. Both groups blame someone, sinful Adam or selfish Ego, and both groups see a future external solution, Jesus coming, or evolving into peaceful spiritual beings. I think both are missing the point of existence – we are here to make souls, and all of the opposites have been built into the curriculum for that process.

The Cosmos is a little like a football game which works well because it has rules for goal-making. Imagine being at a football game and hearing one group of bleeding heart liberals argue that the players ought to stop blocking and tackling each other, while the red neck conservatives argue that the players ought to be able to kick and punch each other. The game has rules to be followed for the purpose of goal-making. Similarly, the Cosmos is a game of soul making which operates by the laws of opposites, and neither the conservatives nor liberals will change the rules of the Cosmic game.

There is a Swahili Warrior Song—“Life has meaning only in the struggle. Triumph or defeat is in the hands of the gods….so let us celebrate the struggle.”

Just as Jesus said ‘the poor you shall have with you always’, so I believe that war and peace shall be with us always. These opposites are a necessary and normal part of reality. Both exist because Reality is composed of both. Darkness and light, pleasure and pain, good and evil and all contraries exist to make soul. Some people will always line up on the war side and others on the peace side. This is how it ought to be. There have always been fighters and peace makers. If it is ALL God, how could it be any other way?

You see this necessary set of contraries in Hinduism, where Lord Krishna gives life and devours life, generates little babies and swallows men on the battle field. These opposites are necessary because each person is here to experience duality in order to make soul. Each human has a soul, an invisible character, an invisible ‘spiritual’ essence beyond but not separate from the physical body. Everyone is spiritual because everyone is making a soul each moment, whether an atheist or agnostic, Jew or Taoist, church-goer or lounge lizard.

The mystical poet, William Blake wrote, "Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence.” Blake understood that it is in the clash of opposites that soul's are grown. He capitalized the different words because he experienced them as Living, ea ch One just as personal and intelligent as the "I" or "God" that many moderns typically and exclusively capitalize. Blakes Universe was comprised of many Teachers, including War and Peace. Some think Jesus was alluding to many classrooms when he said, "In my Father's house are many mansions (dwelling places or classrooms). Greek authors sometimes used the word 'mansions' as stages or phases.

Jesus understood this when he made shocking statement, "pray for your enemies and bless those who persecute you." Jesus was saying that our enemies are just as necessary for soul-making as our friends. We don't bless them because we are spiritual, but because they are necessary for our souls. No wonder they crucified him, he saw the Roman oppressors as soul-making educators.

Spirituality is not a little slice of life where you chant, pray and get high on Jesus or Energy Crystals. Spirituality is in the Contraries, in war and peace, cancer and health, loss and gain, eating gourmet food or taking a dump. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer peace, health and prosperity – but I also preferred to skip algebra and watch TV rather than memorize my spelling words when I was in school. That which is easier and which we prefer is not always the most beneficial.

I refuse to pick a side - Conservatives argue that we live by the sword while Liberals argue that we live by the olive branch. Both points of view are true, but as dogmatic ideologies they seem to ignore the very nature of an evolving cosmos which develops by perpetual discord that becomes order, and then dissolves like a cloud, only to reassemble again. The world of Nature is our teacher: Sharks kill seals while ants organize colonies, lions kill gazelles while birds sing songs in the Spring, frost kills leaves while the sun rises over a blue lagoon, people divorce while lovers share a first kiss, and on and on –

It is time for a Third Way, a way that honors the Contraries and sees the Intelligent Universe using all facets to make Soul, individually, socially and universally.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now that I've read the whole article it's beginning to make a little sense. I'll have to think on that one a little. Val