We are living in what feels like a full-action reality show, jumping from conflict to conflict. News coverage is 24/7, with crises from Iraq to Ukraine and now Israel and Palestine. Some media are already working on the next conflict with China, Taiwan, and the Philippines. All the media, both mainstream and the so-called independent, are focusing on the never-ending conflicts facing our planet. People on the streets are demanding an illusory ceasefire, not recognizing that it’s not just about war vs peace but about violence and nonviolence.
The system is using violence in all its splendor, from physical to economic to religious to psychological. Every political faction is playing the violence game with endless justifications, sometimes relying on historical explanations and other times religious rights.
Violence is now an accepted state of mind. We have reached the point where we don’t even recognize the violence in our daily lives. For most of us in the U.S., it’s “normal” that we might lose our job and end up homeless overnight. It’s normal for millions of people to have no access to health coverage. Fear has seeped into every aspect of our personal and social interactions, making true connection between people very complicated. People are more and more isolated, with psychological issues producing growing levels of suicide, given only alcohol and drugs to resolve their issues but not much else. The tragedy is that these fears and insecurities are not recognized as social violence but rather as personal defects or failures.
In our current “democracy,” people are voting for more security, accepting armed police patrolling the subway platforms without understanding the link to the growing militarization of our society. In schools, we are asking our young children to send letters of support to our troops without questioning how this shapes the mental direction of future generations. People are repulsed by stories of violence, but then led to believe that the only possible response is more violence (after all, killing “people” is clearly not the same as killing “terrorists”).
We are facing a dictatorship of violence run by monsters, social and political leaders using media to impose their repugnant and calculated solutions. These people are forming a black hole, sucking all our energy, leaving us empty and speechless.
This process is well described in this short quote from Silo’s public talk given 50 years ago on May 4, 1969, and still valid today. The talk is called “The Healing of Suffering”:
Only inner faith and inner meditation can end the violence in you, in others, and in the world around you. All the other doors are false and do not lead away from this violence. This world is on the verge of exploding with no way to end the violence! Do not choose false doors. There are no politics that can solve this mad urge for violence. There is no political party or movement on the planet that can end the violence. Do not choose false doors that promise to lead away from the violence in the world…
We choose to invest most of our mental energy, economic resources, and technological advances in these false doors that lead us in the wrong direction.
Most wars could have been avoided, at the same time that poverty and insecurity can also be avoided. It is a question of where we put our energy and resources. The world has experienced some very serious peace processes that have produced long-lasting, transformational development. Nonviolence requires as much investment, work, and strategy as violence, does but it produces a very different long-term result.
Much more needs to be done than marching on the streets. We need to change our governments and budgets, and we need to abolish nuclear weapons. More importantly, we need to realize that we are 8 billion human beings who are being manipulated by a very small minority of cowards. These cowards rely on violence instead of having the courage and dignity to sit down and resolve their differences face to face. We must stop believing their lies, their justifications for violence, and instead have faith that humanity can chose a nonviolent way out of this craziness. Where does that faith come from?