The Deepest Thing
Sitting under the bodhi tree, 7 days of pure introspection.
What is inside me?
What am I doing here?
Why continue living?
What’s the Way?
How do I help relieve the suffering of others?
Who is with me?
What is the very next step?
With a pleasant sigh,
A growing smile,
And a laugh,
The ego and the self are bid farewell, and they are finally happy to go.
This will be regarded as heresy:
It never required the ingestion of any particular food, drink or drug,
it doesn’t require your solemn vow.
It happened to Him the same way it can happen to You.
He’s just a place-holder. Buddha or [∞] or Science.
A simple reference point, a direction to go towards.
It may happen when you are asleep!
It’s the simple moment when you realize:
It’s all connected.
I’m directly connected.
I’m thankfully and blissfully the same
We’re all in this together,
Suffering alongside each other.
And the Way is to act selfishly and selflessly to remove that suffering.
It’s almost too abstract, it’s almost too easy. In fact, it’s ridiculously easy and that’s when people put their feet down and demand a refund. They think they need to hurt themselves to prove their loyalty or determination. This is not so, but all the money and energy in the world is currently being funneled from people and the earth into war machinery and blind violent faith.
They want to PAY to play. They want to SACRIFICE. The trouble is, there has already been plenty of sacrifice. The truth is that further sacrifice is a huge dishonor to those who’ve gone before you, to your ancestors. There is no need for further sacrifice.
This is the essence of the absolute tyranny of war: That the dead before are desecrated by the continued need to fight war irrespective of the circumstances.
If you are not defending yourself, you are attacking.
The war in Iraq is a war not a war of defense but one of aggression.
If we are to understand peace in any way, then we must by our nature lend a hand in protecting the innocent from suffering. By that, I mean all people deserve freedom from suffering. We are all innocent, even the guilty. We are all worthy of life and love, and none (not one) of us “deserves” punishment or death, irrespective of even our worst actions.
This is the ultimate insistence from all of our [∞]. Science, laws, religion, philosophy, cultures over time, all insist that we end War. Our collective body has learned its lesson from war. War is actual hell and we should plan out a way for All of Us to reduce our collective time in hell.
Hell, (blasphemy again?) is found right here on earth, if we tacitly allow or encourage the suffering of others. Even if you have suffered, especially if you have suffered, the way to end suffering is obvious: do not spread that suffering from yourself to others.
This is the crux of it. When you violently act outwardly, it threatens to kill others or damage the world. No matter the expression, no matter the intent, violence is simply allowing or encouraging suffering.
This is what we mean by saying no to torture. It doesn’t matter what a person has done, we need a universal human pact against the practice of torture. This is the sole purpose of the UN and any unified national group established to promote peace among nations and peoples. This is why there are people in the USA (and elsewhere) who want the UN to be abolished. There are people that are financially invested in the continuation of war. There is no other reason for this.
People who believe in their hearts that it’s a good idea to torture one or more other people in order to reduce the suffering of their own people are ensuring that the torture cycle continues. This is an unwinnable strategy. If you torture any one person of a group, the entire group is being tortured. They usually therefore reserve the right to torture the first group in order to stop their own from being tortured. There is no end to this cycle.
Ask any truly honorable military person and they will all tell you that allowing any kind of torture will always guarantee a longer war, a bloodier war, a huge history to overcome. Torture (even clandestine torture as we have seen in Abu Ghraib and in secret CIA prisons around the globe) leads to torture. It is the perfect way to guarantee the entire population will rise against you. Not just those who have had family who have been tortured, but the entire population.
Torture must end, and it must end for all people, forever. This is not a fire drill, this is a not a prediction. Continuing to encourage physical and mental abuse of prisoners (no matter intended the outcome) makes every bit of war more deadly, less likely to bring about real change, and usually ensures that your soldiers (or civilians) that are captured by the group that has been tortured, will surely be tortured.
This is how war works.
This is how the world will die before our eyes, at our very hands, and we will all be guilty of guaranteeing our own miserable suffering suicides.
That is why we vow to resist all torture.
If you are a fellow peace-worker (either in practice or in philosophy), then you are called by your heart to end all suffering. If you don’t wish the termination of all suffering, then you are not peace-working. It is as beautiful and simple as that.
To that end, If you love peace at all, regardless of religion, creed, color, gender, geographical location, etc. etc, you are called upon now and every minute of your life to end the suffering that comes from war. It sounds odd, but it’s a simple piece of logic: Peace-lovers are driven to end War.
This is not an option, and your ancestors would (to the one of them) insist that you finally understand, once and for all, that Peace is the only answer to “how will this problem of our suffering be solved?”
And it logically follows (and simultaneously precedes) that the Way to Peace is Food.
Food is one of the best paths to peace. Suffering ends for billions of people when they have enough food to eat. There is enough food on the earth to feed all its people, regardless of race, creed, religion or color. There is enough food, and people do not own food. Food is the earth itself and you do not own it. It belongs to all of you, each to their own need. The way to end all suffering, then is simple: Establish a way to allow all people to get the food they need, everyday, to survive. IF you still want more food, you have to wait until everyone else that needs it gets it first.
All nations must work on this, all at once, all year during 2006. Right now is of course the optimal time to begin the process, and the more “right nows” we get to the more Right Now comes closer for us all.
These, then , are the things that you cannot own more than what you personally can consume:
Air for yourself and your family to breathe.
Water for you and your family to drink.
Food for you and your family to eat.
Shelter for you and your family to live beneath.
For some, even the family part is omitted. And still others, the shelter part is omitted.
But if you do the math, the sociological and biological research, you will find that there are more than enough resources on the planet for the entire planet to survive quite easily.
Once this is realized, and you are a peace-worker, you will realize that you cannot partake in activities that avoid the work of distributing the Clean Air, Clean Water, Healthy Food, to all people. The rest of it is not as crucial. For some, shelter is crucial and so is a form of heatlh care, but there must be a clear path.
Food Distribution is one direct path to Peace.
Energy distribution is also a direct path to peace. The best way to ensure both happen is to make the energy that we need to progress (usually in the form of electricity or horsepower) with seed oil crops or algae production on our own countries’ land. If we do not have land, neighboring countries would benefit by sharing their land for energy production for the region.
Biodiesel is the most current, easiest to produce, least-dangerous, least toxic, least chemically harmful, least likely to generate the need for war fuel. It will be overwhelmed in about 5-7 years by other superior solutions, but biodiesel is the fastest and most sensible use of time, money and energy investment. It’s better than military spending when it comes to national defense. It’s better than taxes or advertising.
Biodiesel doesn’t require the upgrading of the energy infrastructure, it doesn’t use hydrogen gas as its fuel. It helps farmers. It won’t require changing our basic car-driving overnight. It won’t hurt kids. It won’t kill wildlife when spilled in mass quantities. It won’t combust when you drop a lit match in it. It won’t require military protection here or abroad. It’s just a different form of diesel fuel.
It can liberate the entire world from suffering. It can be made with waste animal fat, vegetable oil, or algae. It can be produced locally and used locally. It does not require cross-continent pipelines to be protected with heavy artillery or soldiers. It does not require drilling into the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. It does not require huge research and development budgets. It can be stored in plastic containers. It can be used in home heating oil, it reduces sulfuric acid emissions and therefore acid rain. What else do you want? What more do you need? If you’ve got a better solution that can be acted on right now, I’d love to hear it.
Eventually, electric cars might work out well, but that electricity has to be created, why not create that power without nuclear waste, hydroelectric dams, or world war? Why not generate all power without petroleum? It can be done, but not overnight. The best thing to do is A) Believe it can be done eventually and B) do seomthing right now to help.
I have found biodiesel and it helps. The only group that might fight this very subtle change in behavior are the big oil companies. They have much to loose when power production moves away from petroleum oil combustion. We all know that they can get into a different business with all the money they have, but they insist on making more money and fighting anything that reduces their hold on money and power.
This is how the war in Iraq is fought: with money derived from oil, in order to protect large quantities of oil for our consumption and control. There is no other reason. Saddam Hussein is not a threat. Iraq is not a threat. Big Oil is a real threat to your security, health and happiness.
More than that, our own isolationist ignorance and fear allow entities like Big Oil to convince our government (with money or threats) to sacrifice our soldiers (mostly young people) to protect it with war.
You can do something right now about this: Sell your current car and buy a used (or new if you must) diesel car and fill it with biodiesel or if you are adventurous, heated straight vegetable oil. If you don't drive, you can simply recommend the idea to others. Tell them that Jetta TDI's get 45mpg and can run on non-petroleum vegetable diesel. Tell them to talk to me about it! Go to NBB.org and learn before you decide. Happy Biodesel!