Is Peace Possible? Between nations, between tribes, between ourselves in our relationships and peace within our own selves, peace of heart, mind and soul? Can the warring that goes on within and without ever be calmed and the lion lie down with the lamb?
Moshe Dyan (1915-1981) past Israeli Military leader and crusader for peace:
“If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies”.
Talk: don’t dismiss out of hand. Engage and take it from there. Listen. Who knows, one may find that there are more similarities between the two ‘negotiaters’ than one realised. The demons may become daemons.
We all have our inner demons. They rage within us. But unless they are engaged with, they remain hidden, festering in the dark shadows. And there they stay, scratching, like any problem or conflict that is swept under the carpet. Yet, those demons are enacted ‘out there’ in ways that are inappropriate and harmful, not only to ourselves but to others too.
But if we brought those demons out into the clear light of day, ‘do battle’ with them, and do the hard work demanded of us, then we may find the middle ground, acceptance of our shadow, allowing it it’s rightful place. The ego does not have to be discarded by any means, though our shadow will ‘do battle’ with it. The ego wants supremacy. The shadow needs acknowledgement that it is very much a part of us, and does not want to be ignored. It wants to be met by us, engaged with, listened to, not to be swept under the carpet. It is a kind of violence to ignore what is within us –
What is the reality of war and fighting in the name of peace? Who gains most? The propagandists of war who drum up patriotic fervour, are usually not those in the front line. They are not the ones who have their limbs blown off by bombs, shrapnel and guns; they are not the casualties of war who are gang-raped by blood thirsty war mongers; they are not the ones whose children are dead; they are not the ones whose sons and daughters return home, shattered by the horrors of the reality on the ground, air, or the seas.
At what price peace? Are there ‘just wars’? I believe there are, but now is not the place to go into this. Every nation has a right and duty to defend itself against unjust aggression.
‘We have a terrible Love of War’ as James Hillman says. There is no more intense an experience than being in the middle of the archetypal forces of LIfe and Death, fully in the middle. Can this tension be held?
Are our inner demons played out on the world stage? Can we start with ourselves and wrestle with our own inner demons and transform them into helpful daemons, thereby playing our part in promoting peace?
Gandhi: Everyone who wills can hear the inner voice. It is within everyone.