Who really knows what the best choices are? We may only make the best ones we can for any given moment. When someone chooses to kill and murder innocent people, when someone makes it their mission to destroy a people, a race, a culture, then who will stand for those victims? Is peaceful resistance available to encompass violence if that means that it will end more mass violence? How does one sit down and talk peacefully with a terrorist? How does one respond to others when they have created harm? Some say that the only answer is light and love. I submit that that light and love sometimes can come in laser ways, in incisive and even with some violence. The Bhagavad Gita teaches this and yet we may misinterpret. If all our Seals dropped their weapons, would our world be better? Can those of us who are starting to create peace within really say that there is no room for killing certain thoughts, living with others, cutting some off, releasing others-as far as I have experienced, I see that a sort of violence has helped to move into a higher wisdom. When I am sick, I have taken just tea and vegetable broth and other nourishing foods. If I don’t get better, I may bring in more heavy hitting remedies. And if I am really sick, I may take antibiotics or some drug that seeks to kill the infection. Should I allow the infection to live on in my body? And if I would die? Does this serve life? Gandhi has been a hero of mine since childhood, but as I look at this extreme example, I think of his celibacy. If all of us were to stop having kids, we would have no world. If we did not stand up for those without the ability to do so, would we feel peaceful still?
My dharma, as far as I can tell, is one that involves the facing of my innermost fears, being vulnerable with my ego out in the winds and elements and allowing it to transform, sometimes slaying demons, sometimes making friends with them–or at least tolerating them and keeping them as part of navigating the inner world of mind and heart. What I know about this process is that it can appear warlike on a one level, but beneath is that deep abiding peace. Inside that is that deep rooted desire and passion, and inside that is the stillness. Peace and passion have ever been intertwined. I know what it means to be battered, to be torn and violated, tossed out in the ocean with no one on the shores of rescue anywhere in sight. I know what it means to forgive and to want and hope for healing. But what of the one who has gone so far as to kill and murder so many, and one who’s life mission is to kill, to destroy people because he doesn’t agree with someone? And sliding back onto the continuum, I think of how I feel inside when I argue, sometimes measured and hoping to serve sri, sometimes out of it’s own power. There is only resolution when I finally decide inside myself that it is time to let it go. There surges an great ocean of peace inside, sometimes with regret that I wasted all that time, that I may have caused injury. If we all stand up and walk in the streets and march and call for peace, will it be heard? Can our passion back up our call? If each of us who are yogis sit in meditation with more urgency, roll out our mat to create more beauty, lend a smile to one who we call stranger, reach out to a friend, will terrorism be banished? Can we kill sometimes and still be yogis?
When I was younger, I thought that peace was the only way. Since I was a child, since I was a teenager, since I was in college, since I began practicing yoga, I thought peace. It is so simple and one can stand behind that, but something has shifted in my fullness of understanding. One could say that that understanding is worldly and not of the highest wisdom, but my experience of feeling the suffering of the world, the suffering of victims, and their families and communities is deeper each time my awareness expands and I can’t help but want to strive to grow brighter, to practice yoga because in the world others are doing things to create more power to use for bad. I want to create more power to use for good. And I think that soldiers in this world are necessary. I think that they serve the world. And I think that they each may choose to do what they are doing to bring goodness to the world. Certainly then they are not necessarily deluded. Is there ever a time when all diplomacy has been exhausted? Could we all walk up to Bin Laden’s compound and hold hands and surround the compound with our love? How many could he shoot down till they were out of bullets? Would he walk out and suddenly realize he had been wrong all this time? If we had not gone into the compound would he just keep giving orders for more terrorism? I have no weapons. I walk unarmed, but I have love in my heart, I have passion in my heart, I will stand up. I have those celestial weapons of the goddesses, at least in my imagination. I carry them with me inside, and whenever I need them I pull them forth. I reside in love even with these. I reside in love and want only that for all. I believe that I am authentic, and that if I try I can positively influence my children, my family and others. I realize and have no doubt that each individual must come to their own knowing in their own time. Even though I have written perhaps more questions than answers, I know that I believe in the power of love. What do you believe?