Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesday Post for Peace



The 16th Century Kabbalist, Rabbi Isaac Luria, used the term "Tikkun Olam" to describe the role of humanity in the ongoing evolution of the world. "Tikkun Olam" is a Hebrew phrase that means "repair the world." This is both an inner, and outer journey, that requires acts of service to society and service to the spiritual life. For my atheist friends, you can indeed have a spiritual path that doesn't include a god. This is not a religious post.

What are we doing, as US Citizens, to repair the world? What? I live in the South Bay region of Los Angeles, and each day we read about local young men and women killed in Iraq. Is this repairing the world? Is our presence in Iraq repairing the world?

We pollute our atmosphere, we pollute our waters, we pollute our bodies, we pollute our minds. Daily. Is this bringing peace to our world? Hatred fills our rhetoric. Fear is the order of the day. One day last week, driving home from work, windows open - the car next to me has a talk radio station blaring - the guy on the radio is attacking Michael Moore for being a socialist and not understanding health care. I look at the driver - he's a black man, listening to a hate-spewing white guy. It made no sense to me.

Where have we gone so wrong? And how do we change? For me, it means I have to be willing to listen to other points of view, and treat others with the same level of respect I want for myself. It means dialogue. I need to be the example I wish to see. How can I "Fight" for "Peace"? It seems to be an oxymoron. Rather, shouldn't I live a peaceful life? If I disagree with you, will I be able to change your mind if I call you a pinhead? Probably not. And so, and so, it goes. More questions than answers, once again. Question everything. Question everything.

18 comments:

proudprogressive said...

Random Acts of Kindness are always refreshing for the spirit of peace. Its mind boggling the garbage people let flow into their minds i.e. the driver you witnessed. And its hard when we are passionate not to degenerate into anger at those who just do not see things as we do,no matter how much we explain or believe in our ideas. I guess we just have to STAND UP where we are, with who we are with, and do all we can - its Patriotic to dissent. Some "sheeple" do not understand this - but if WE do, than there are always ways to "fight" for Peace,if we continue to pay attention and seek the truth. Lance the wound,then the world can heal correctly. The earth however may do this for us, if we humans keep this up. We ought to have evolved differently by now - less weapons, more good common sense.

mirth said...

I am rapidly losing my ability to cope with those who cannot see a difference between spirituality and adherence to religious dogma. That you for stating that both are not only possible, but equal.

"Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me." "Be the change you want to see in the world."
I fall short, but these two sayings are my life guide.
Lately I've been questioning a committment to using peaceful means to achieve peace.

DivaJood said...

PP, I'm trying to stay calm in the midst of chaos and it gets more and more difficult. A lot of what I post, I post for ME. The driver I mentioned, listening to "hate" radio? I wanted to scream at him, "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU LISTENING TO, YOU IDIOT?" - those are the kinds of things my brain does. So much for random acts of kindness. Thank goodness people can't see what goes on in my brain.

Mirth, I am so non-religious that it sort of surprises my family. But my spiritual path is quite important to me. And I repeat - on most days, my thinking falls far short of the principles I want to follow. In AA, we talk a lot about the need to "act our way into right thinking" which involves exactly that: be the change you wish to see in the world. But my thinking is askew - I wake up each day as a rage-filled crazy alcoholic who doesn't drink, and I do the spiritual work I need to do to become house-broken for the day. Sigh.

Coffee Messiah said...

I've had these same arguments with my first "catholic" cousins, then "born again" cousins and now, I don't know what they are, except they have not changed. And, as I remember saying way back when "who are you to tell me or anyone else, not only what to believe, but what busy-ness is it of yours whether I believe anything or not?

and so it goes......

JollyRoger said...

The love the Jesusistanis have for war kind of destroys any respect I have for their particular brand of religion. If they are the "righteous," give me paganism any day of the week. Even Sunday.

mirth said...

Ohhhh yeah, I completely get that daily talking-me-down-from-heinous-acts thing. There are days when rage collects in my throat and nearly strangles me. I stay within the approved boundaries of a peaceful person and i believe in the principles even when my brain and my heart overload with the evidence of torture and murder of civilians and and and...
I'm questioning my committment to peace, that we can get to that with peaceful means. Doesn't a boil have to be lanced before it can heal? I'm thinking we should be sharpening our swords before beating them into plows.

DivaJood said...

Ah, but Coffee, here's the thing: religion is so "sure" of itself. Spirituality is not. It's the same thing with insanity - insane people tend to speak in absolutes, with an authority that sane people just don't have. Sane people ask questions, and re-evaluate.

Jollyroger, I don't understand holy wars - at some deep level, I don't understand them at all.

Mirth - oh, clearly you are like me. I don't know about the lancing of boils - isn't that what Impeachment is supposed to do? Oh, wait. Congress forgot to do that.

mirth said...

Diva - it's entirely possible that we are actually the same person in some sort of quirky alternate existence that shares the same Internet.
:>

Impeachment...bah! Even Feingold just stated that there's too much other more important things for Congress to do...or some such shit. He made his calls for impeachment when it was safe to pander to us without any consequences, like voting the way we want on a bill that he knows is doomed to failure. It's good PR, but now with the calls for impeachment growing louder, he must be getting nervous.

DivaJood said...

Mirth, is that sort of like when people thought Bob Dylan and John Lennon were really the same person? Because you never saw them in a room together?

Yes, Feingold just took the politician's easy route which disgusts me. I will never, ever, forget the power of the Watergate hearings - the recommendation of the House Judicial Committee to Impeach was so important. Here we are again, and nobody seems to be accountable.

Larry said...

We all fall short in our beliefs everyday, I know I do. I think people like Falwell and Robertson, hooked up with the Reaganites and forever changed the way religious people are viewed, changed it for the worse.

I can have my beliefs, be spiritual and still abhor war and those who pursue it.

I do not believe as the Falwell's do. My spiritual beliefs are of peace, helping the poor, protecting the downtrodden, and treating people with kindness.

That is not the beliefs of the neocon "religious right."

Peacechick Mary said...

For sure, these are contentious times and I think part of the reason is that we are in the process of major changes to the larger group consciousness. I believe that something better than we have known will happen. I may not live to see it, but it will happen.

mirth said...

peacechick mary,
Even when I'm fuming about this past 6 years, I'm also feeling hopeful for exactly what you write. The depth and breadth of the loss and depravity we have experienced has unloosed something and I feel as much as I believe that we are on the brink of a leap forward.

DivaJood said...

But Larry, how do they get to be so filled with hate and fear? I baffles me.

Peacechick, I hope you're right, that better times are coming. And no, I might not be around to see it, either, but this is the point of Tikkun Olam - repair the world.

Mirth, I hope you are right too. A great leap forward.

beachblogger said...

dear divaJ,

I'd like to see pictures of your vigils. I think it helps when others see us holding signs.

peace, peter

Suzie-Q (S-Q) said...

The warmongers make high profits from making war in this world. There isn't any profit in peace. That's sad because money has become more valuable than human life to those warmongers. :(

DivaJood said...

Peter, I will try to remember to bring my camera - I forget to bring my camera. Look, I'm old.

Suzie-q - what a sad, sorry state we live in if there is no profit in peace. But you're right. Still, as Peacechick and Mirth have said, perhaps we are going to find something better than we currently have.

Lulu Maude said...

I love your peace posts... they are so microcosmic and cosmic all at the same time.

You are a knockout, Jood.

DivaJood said...

Lulu, thank you! For a second, I thought you wrote microcomic and comic...