An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind.
Many years ago I read a book by Alexander Solzhenitsyn called The Gulag Archipelago about his years of imprisonment under Stalin’s repressive regime. There was one line of Solzhenitsyn that struck a chord of truth in me at the time. ‘There’s a fine line between the good and evil in all of us.’ This stands as a great reminder for me any time I find myself falling into the trap of judging others. There’s no enemy out there. The only enemy is inside, hiding in our thoughts and feelings.
I recently met an elderly man who lived in Maastricht in The Netherlands during the Second World War. He learned a simple lesson from his challenging experiences at the time. When the going gets tough don’t expect the government to help. It’s the ordinary man who more often than not turns out to be the hero. He also noted war brought out the best and worst in people.
You may wonder how you can change the world. Remember that lesson from high school science, ‘Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. It simply changes form.’ In order to change the world you need only change yourself. You’ve simply got to unlock the potential (energy) within yourself to put into motion the unique and personal dreams and visions you have to heal the world. In unlocking that potential you provide an opportunity for those dreams to explode into action. It’s much like the splitting of the atom, don’t you think? At rest, the atom does little. Split, it has enormous, almost unbelievable energy.
Since the numbing experiences of September 11, 2001 humanity has succumbed to a relentless government campaign, aided and abetted by a docile media, of a need for a War on Terror. Once again we’ve fallen for the illusion of Earthly existence—that the enemy is on the outside. I suggest we look closer to home and remember that which we resist persists. Fighting a war against terrorism only feeds energy to it.
In order to avenge the deaths of innocent Americans in the Twin Towers how many other innocent men, women and children have died? How many lives in Iraq and Afghanistan have been disrupted and severely damaged? And how many British and American soldiers, coming mostly from the underclass of ghettos, have died, young men whose home turf and plight is routinely ignored by the very governments prepared to spend obscene amounts of taxpayer’s cash on weapons and campaigns of destruction in far off lands. This campaign of a War on Terror is destined to fail and to only continue to create pain because it’s based on the premise that the enemy is out there.
The enemy is inside. He’s not out there.
One of the reasons I love living in New Zealand’s lightly populated Far North is because I can pass a stranger on the beach or in the street and exchange a few pleasant words with them. We don’t distrust each other. I believe this attitude of trust is closer to the way things are in the spirit world from whence we come where all beings are greeted with acceptance and openness without suspicion. Where the old adage holds, ‘Strangers are friends I haven’t yet met.’
I suggest we turn our attention away from the negative messages of the media and reflect meditatively on the reality that exists behind this illusory world.
Face it. The fears and the distrust of this world are our creation. Love is the real glue that holds this world together. Perhaps its greatest expression is kindness to a stranger and it’s simplest expression is a smile. Smile at the next stranger you meet.
John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.