Monday, May 2, 2011

Not Celebrating

‎"I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." ~ Martin Luther King Jr

I for one am not celebrating in the death of Bin Laden. I am not really sure I am glad he is dead, not glad about the way he died. Yes he was a murderous evil man and caused the deaths of thousand, non-Muslims and Muslims, he was the one who is responsible for the horror of 9/11, a tragic day burned into my memory. I have a spiritual belief which deep down inside says killing is wrong even the killing of ones enemies.

Are we justified in our blood lust dance? Does our blood lust differ from his and his followers? Do we have the right to think we are superior or our cause is superior? I personally don't think so. For one thing all living organisms are intertwined, we all require the same air, water and earth for survival. I am the same as you, as the flower, the fish, the bird etc. For another, who I am I to play God or Divine what ever? Do I have the right to say and know who has the right to live and the right to die. There are people in the world who would say I should die or be imprisoned for my beliefs, hell there are people in this country who would imprison or censor me for my beliefs. I can't justify the being happy about the killing of another just because I perceive them to be spiritually or socially inferior to myself or my country.

Bin Laden's death will not stop the killings, it will not end the war on terrorist. No many more innocent people will die. Many more American service men and women will die. As a veteran, who served 20 years, my heart goes out to my brothers and sisters in arms. I never wanted to see them experience the horrors of war to begin with and still want them safe at home ASAP. Some how some way, the world needs to address the underlying cause for all the hatred, hatred which has lead to the senseless killings. The world has been at war since the dawn of time, war is the one thing our heightened intelligence has failed to eradicate.

As I have grown in my spiritual practices, I am more aware of how my own ignorance and prejudices shaped the big ME of self. Bit by bit I chisel away at the views which keep me from showing true compassion and loving kindness. I do my best not to sit in judgement of others, I am not God. I am a simple being among other beings, other living organisms. People laugh at me because I don't kill insects for no reason, granted the mosquito sucking my blood is a goner and an over abundance of flies in the house fall to a swatter but I do my best to leave them alone, we have repellents for such pest. I have a fondness for spiders because they are natures own controllers of obnoxious pest. When I look deeply at the interdependence of all living things, I try and see how we can coexist with each other. When I pull a weed from my garden, the weed decomposes and returns as food for the grass where I throw it. What I am fumbling to say is; I am learning to cherish all life. Yes I still eat meat so I have not given up my selfishness on this, nor have I stopped smoking another act of selfishness.

From the recovery side of justifying the celebration of the death of an enemy I reflect on what the Big Book says about resentments. " It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.
If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison."

I can't pick and choose who deserves my anger and who doesn't. A resentment is a resentment, whether it is against a murder, my sister or my neighbor. If my spirit is darkened by resentments then I am blocking out the sunlight of the spirit, sunlight which can be used to benefit others. Could my anger at a world figure cause me not to smile at the sad cashier or the person I encounter who is having a rough day and really could use a friend smile and greeting from a stranger? I believe it can. If my eyes are the window to my soul, shouldn't I do my best to make my soul shine from them, to use spiritual tools to wipe away the grime and smugs of anger and resentment.

I am saddened by all the hoopla and celebration of Bin Laden's death. I read post on Facebook by friends in recovery and people who regularly post pro-religious messages and wonder what part of the message of spiritual living are they missing. I know this is judgmental of me. I am saddened by most of the news articles also. A few of the 9/11 families have written post saying they are not happy about the hoopla either, that an eye for an eye will not bring back their loved ones and are sadden the death of their loved ones has brought only more death and destruction. I am saddened by the message we are sending out to our youth. How can we create a future of peace with more violence? We can't teach love and hatred at the same time, it has to be one or the other. What would Jesus, Buddha, Saint Francis think about all of this? I think I know what Gandhi and John Lennon would be saying, Dr. King is quoted above so there is no speculation about him.

I wish I had some answers for the troubles of the world but I don't. I am not perfect either. I do what I can to humbly voice my simple opinion on issues which trouble my heart and I don't expect agreement. This celebration will pass, like everything else it is impermanent. We will all find another issue to obsess about soon, maybe Lindsey Lohan, Donald Trump or Charlie Sheen will do some more stupid shit to divert our attention away from the reality of world suffering.

Thanks for allowing me to express myself. I wrote this because writing this stuff out brings me a bit more peace.

My prayers to out to all who are suffering tonight. To a special blogger friend who has found it necessary to end her blog, she will be missed but knows she is loved my many.



Shannon said...

amen. i too have been surprised at what i have heard from so many i thought to have heart and beliefs that were aligned with mine. there has been a bunch of news this morning that the MLK quote can not be attributed to him. i personally don't think it matters. the sentiment is the same and true...for me

Pete Hoge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paula said...

Reading this is calming my soul as I found it so strange that people were dancing and celebrating. It has me shivering ever since.
Thanks for expression what I feel but couldnt put in words.
Love and hugs
Paula xxx

Anonymous said...

Thank you for expressing what I have been wanting to say. I am and American who has lived in England for the past 19 years and keep in touch with friends through facebook. I have been shocked and saddened by the ferocity of the cheering. I am still grieving for the thousand who lost their lives through this man I ask myself when will we have a generation where no one kills in God's name? And whose lust for power drives them to convince others to do this? And why we should cheer when murdering a murderer? How do we keep the moral high ground? (I'm with you also on the mosquitos and spiders!)

Lori said...

Amen! Oh Scott this is exactly how I felt...all the cheering and chanting saddened my soul deeply...I know personally that returning hate for hate does nothing but build the hate even more so.

I hope all is well with you and your job...and your daughter and grand children too..much love and hugs going out to you. Thank you for being such a good friend through my own hard times. XX

Paula said...

Passing by to show some love. Have a good weekend. Paula xxx

Tammy said...

I loved this post and agree with you whole heartedly. My heart sank when I heard that he had been killed, not for any other reason that another human life had been taken.
It isn't just taking human life that bothers me...let me tell you a secret...I fish and we eat the fish we catch or sometimes we release them. When I keep a fish, not only do I say a prayer and thank my Creator for the food they are providing me and my family, I apologize to the fish and even the worm I used to catch him. Ya I know, I am a little neurotic and my boyfriend thinks I am crazy but hey, that is me.