Thursday, June 07, 2007

On Violence: Whether or not to give in to the animal self

I have read with great interest many of Ian's compelling posts over various incarnations of his blog. This post on violence strikes a chord. May children be protected from exposure to the violence of a world that seems to seeth with rage. See Ian's page on non-violence. -gw

I made a comment on a newsgroup just now that interested me. I told someone that even though I'm dedicated to non-violence, I like war movies. It made me stop and think, and examine my feelings.

Uploaded on December 8, 2006 by kindersnap (away) on flickr

...we have to wrestle with our urge to hurt and our urge to help and heal. A Baha'i friend of mine told me something very profound a couple months ago. She told me that in the Baha'i writings, Baha'is are asked to live their lives "like a beautiful prayer". There's no room in prayer for violence, so the urge to hurt must come from the mind, not the soul. (I know, just follow me on this one.) We aren't born violent. You don't read reports of babies killing each other in the playpen. I saw a baby today that was absolutely still and quiet, and just looking around the Chinese restaurant we were in, taking everything into his mind, drinking his tea, and eating his bowl of noodles. Probably no more than a year or two old. (It's hard for a bachelor to tell.) ...

I think it's the game we have to play here on this Earth: whether or not to give in to our animalselves.

My ex-girlfriend ... is convinced that there is no essential difference between human and animal. She sees humans as advanced animals. I see humans as distinctly different than animals, because we have the ability to recognize God, the ability to change, the ability to create. There are so many differences, and yet she is partly right, I think. Humans are not advanced enough to have reached a state of mutual peace. It may take decades. It may take centuries. I hope to see it in my lifetime....

Ian, "Things that make you say: 'Weird,'" The Quiet Room

{Re-posted with permission}

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