Thursday, June 08, 2006

Al-Zarqawi's Death

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dead, and many in the world celebrate. But how should I feel?

I believe that we are all essentially God and that all human life is sacred. So, should I be happy that al-Zarqawi was killed yesterday? I admit that I AM happy, even though my happiness is tempered by the realization that innocent people died in that house with al-Zarqawi and that al-Zarkawi’s death will undoubtedly create a vacuum to be quickly filled by another deranged leader and by vengeful hatred. But should I feel happy at all?

What should one do when one’s emotions contradict one’s principles? What I’m doing today is trying to step back from my emotions—neither embracing nor rejecting them, neither praising nor condemning myself for feeling them—and trying to view mindfully everything that’s happening in the world outside and inside my mind “sub species aeternitas.” This was the great philosopher
Spinoza’s phrase for taking the long-term, kosmic perspective of events that is characteristic of deep and abiding wisdom. For what the world needs now is not only love, but also all the profound and genuine wisdom it can muster. And this process must begin with each and every mindful one of us.

I’m happy that al-Zarqawi’s dead, and sad that I’m happy, and happy that I’m sad. Beyond that, I try to see the world more clearly and completely and to extend my circle of unconditional love outward to encompass as many people and other living creatures as I can. “Love and do what you will.”

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