Sunday, September 10, 2006

Replies to Comments On Yesterday's Post

I discovered several new and interesting comments this morning to yesterday's post Be Peace. I've decided to address them here in a new post.

Counter Mag asks: "Is it possible to love someone and still put a bullet in their head?"

My reply: Outstanding question! I don't know if I could do it, especially if it wasn't to defend myself or someone else from actual, deadly aggression. But then I think I would be very hard-pressed to shoot my cat in the head either if he were terminally ill and suffering terribly, although I know other people who probably love their pets as much as I love mine (and that's a lot!) who have euthanized their own pet to spare it further pointless suffering. So, I think one CAN love someone and still take his life if it seems necessary. Or, if possible, imprison him for life rather than kill him, the same way we would, if possible, quarantine someone for life whom we loved or cared about who had an incurable, deadly, and virulently contagious disease rather than kill him. It would be more expedient to simply kill him. But when we love or care about someone or simply revere life, expedience is not our overriding consideration.

Counter Mag (I don't know if it's the same Counter Mag as above or a different one) echoes Colmar from Colmar3000 in saying: "If we choose to follow this teaching of pacifism, we too can be overrun by an aggressive military power that will then outlaw the teaching of all pacifistic religions."

My reply: I'm not advocating "pacifism," if by that term you mean an absolute rejection of any and all violent force. Neither, for that matter, is the Dalai Lama, who has said that the use of violent force has probably done more good than harm in some circumstances and could be justifiable in some circumstances. I'm advocating that we try to feel as much love and compassion for everyone as we can and allow that to temper our efforts to defend ourselves and enforce justice as much as is appropriate and practicable.

Counter Mag asks: " My friend.... what EXACTLY do you mean when you call someone that!"

My reply: I mean just what I say. I mean that I see (or am trying to see) you as a friend and not an enemy or as an unimportant somebody or nobody.

Shirley said: Would you please stop with all the insincere "my friend" b.s.? It's wearing a bit thin."

My reply: As I explain above, I'm not being insincere when I call someone that.

Thank you all for your comments.


counter mag said...

If you've ever wondered why you're so passive-aggressive, this is the reason. Like a child, you are trying to deny your hostility and aggression, when what you need to do--and what proper religion teaches you to do--is to channel it in a healthy and moral way.

You cannot deny who and what you are by superficially denying it with the smarmy "my friend" business. Spiritual work is much, much more complicated than simply engaging in denial. It is much more than listening to con artists such as Tony Robbins who specialize in telling suckers that it is possible to paper over their problems by simply superimposing shallow thoughts on their unconscious. Those thoughts will have no effect whatsoever on the unconscious mind.

Nagarjuna said...

You eloquently raise substantive and interesting points.

I agree that it's not wholesome to blind oneself to one's true feelings. But I would also suggest that it's equally unwholesome to wallow in negative feelings toward others that they themselves did not cause, but which you caused yourself in reaction to their conduct. Do I like it when people come here and post spiteful or nonsensical comments? Of course not. But that doesn't stop me from genuinely seeing or trying to see the people who do it as precious human beings whose essence is divine and whom I would prefer to have as friends than enemies or antagonists. There need be nothing "smarmy" about that or about calling such people "my friend."

I couldn't agree more that spiritual work is a very comprehensive undertaking that doesn't involve denial. But it seems to me that part of that comprehensive package is to be aware of one's feelings while at the same time endeavoring to bring them and one's conduct into fuller harmony with one's insight and principles. It seems to me that real "spiritual work" also does not consist of simply venting one's feelings in ways that benefit no one.

As for Tony Robbins, you may be right, you may be wrong. I'll get back to you on that when I'm in a better position to judge.

Thank you sincerely for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Reply to: Counter Mag asks: "Is it possible to love someone and still put a bullet in their head?"

My husband discovered his parents on the kitchen floor after his mother shot his father and then herself. His adoptive father (an uncle) once stated that this woman was one of the bravest people he knew. As a survivor of suicide myself, I've been pondering the statement as well: Is it possible to still love someone and hang yourself in their basement so they discover you?

Was there insanity at work?
Is insanity maybe the closest thing to truth and spirituality?

Counter Mag said...

I was speaking of something more constructive or for a riteous cause like shooting a murderer in the act or Bin Laden or such. Not something selfish and destructive like suicide or the inability to work things out within a family. There are other options in the latter case.
Insanity is not good and is the furthest thing from spirituality.

Counter Mag said...

True spirituality is actually quite sober