Feature Story

Love, Hate and the Nuclear Solution

Mushroom cloud from a nuclear weapon

The Nuclear arms race was justified as a way to protect America and keep peace, but how can an arsenal of weapons capable of destroying all life on Earth Guarantee peace?

It is no secret that a strong bond among family and community members provides a very stable foundation from which an individual can utilize and build their life. These bonds transmit the values which define the culture and the person. The more people sharing your values, the more people can depend upon each other for assistance. An extended family is what the community becomes, and it plays a fundamental role in the development of a quality human being. It is summed up in the proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. While shared values and strong bonds are one aspect of a stable community, it is the values that determine a civilized community from a barbaric one. It is interesting, though, how a community may become more or less civilized through the bonds that connect them.

Our words and our actions affect our families, our communities. When a rock is tossed into the water it creates a set of waves rippling out in every direction. This can be seen as the physical representation of how our actions go on to affect everything around us. That which is closest to us is affected first, and so on, until things that we can’t see, think of, or things we haven’t perceived are being affected by our actions. Over the bonds shared by family or community members goes the wave of our actions, our behavior and our influence. It is on a daily basis that the improvement or degeneration of the individual, and the society, happens. That means we are either upholding or letting go of our values whenever we think, speak or act. In this way, our behavior can serve to inspire others toward improvement or degeneration.

One thing that has changed in modern times is a person’s concept, or understanding, of family and community. When we observe indigenous cultures, we realize how strong and far reaching the bonds can be among family and community members. Some families compose entire villages. The values and rigid structure of these cultures allows for the growth of the family and community without division or confusion. The civility exhibited within the family extends through the community, the environment and in every direction possible. Harmony with ones surroundings is the foundation of our traditional cultures. Such a humble attempt to fit in to the natural world in which we live has degenerated into the ‘if I can, I will’ mentality that drives some to dominate various peoples around the world.

Like many things that start small, our corruptions will continue to grow within us if we feed them. If we do not weed out these corruptions, with the help of others who may see in our behavior what we do not, they will spread to others. Our current struggle is at a point in time when the weeds of corruption have been firmly rooted throughout humanity for some time, long enough for those alive now to have been born into a corrupt culture. The child raised in a corrupt village grows into an adult seeing their corruption as normal, even as righteous. In this case, it is the reasoning capacity of the human being that serves to re-orient the individual. If one grows up with murderers, then at some point that individual may question the logics of such behavior. However, influence by the community to maintain its values, good or bad, may be enough to suppress any individual desire for change within the community.

When a community becomes larger and contains more diverse elements, the more difficult harmonization becomes. This is true within the family, the community, a society or within any ecosystem. Within a society as diverse as our human society is, harmony among cultures comes with a cost. The cost is abiding by a set of values that allow for the mutual development and survival of every culture on the planet. On a family level, each member has a role but also abides by a set of values that allows for each member to have a share of food, water, clothing, shelter, etc… Individual family members have different characteristics, just as different cultures do, and the oppression of these characteristics will also lead to disharmony. We are all expressions of the Earth.

With this basic understanding of harmony, it would not be very hard to come to some conclusions about why there is disharmony in the world today and what is causing it. This would be easy if it were not for one more aspect of the human being that prevents them from thinking clearly. This is the emotions. The emotional attachments that we have developed prohibits us from letting go of something that we know is not good for us. Unhealthy eating, being lazy, getting angry, etc… The list is long and any lack of discipline on an individual level can lead to corruption, or disharmony in one’s life. This behavior or lifestyle carries on to the family, the community, etc… In a general sense, the problems of the today’s world mirror the problems of today’s human. This is logical because today’s humans live in a created world, known as the political world, instead of simply living to fit into the natural world.

Politicians have been leading humanity away from the natural world for some time. Even though it goes against the logics of the individual, people continue to work for politicians because of the illusions people maintain about their purpose. The perceptions we have of our world have been built by the colonial culture to keep us believing that we need to stay engaged in the political system and support it with our blood, sweat and tears.  Now, we identify with it, telling ourselves “if I can satisfy my desires, I will,.” It is our reward for being a good slave, having political and spiritual leaders that tell us it is alright to live a life full of corruption. This type of individual is the sheep of the political shepherd. A society of overly emotional individuals can most easily be led to slaughter, or be slaughtered. Let us consider the recent example of nuclear annihilation: The Cold War.

The Cold War involved an arms race on the parts of the U.S. and Soviet Union to build a nuclear arsenal capable of destroying everything on the planet. What reasoning precluded this? It is that the development of these weapons are necessary to prevent an attack, in other words, to keep the peace. In this scenario, people are being emotionally manipulated. Politicians are telling people that someone is coming to bomb them, kill them or try and enslave them. Emotional people get fearful and angry. No, let us get them first! It is the same story that is recited by today’s politicians. To illustrate the type of manipulation going on, one can read the current headlines regarding the threat of a terrorist attack using nuclear weapons. In one article, the current threat is told to be considered more dangerous than the Cold War threat of nuclear annihilation. Is that reasonable? Obviously, this is an attempt to generate fearful and angry sentiments of ‘nuclear annihilation’ proportions. What values are we holding if nuclear annihilation is an option? What are our values if we create such weaponry?

The honest answer is that we are not holding any values at all. All we are holding is our emotional attachments for the things we desire. Our love for these things is so strong that we will hate anyone interfering with us getting what we want. So strong are our emotional attachments that they dominate our reason and logic. How else could a people accept the building of a nuclear arsenal that would destroy the world in order to have their way (of life)? Detachment from the things we desire is an important exercise for the individual human being. And when we are able to go without it, no one can successfully threaten to take it away from us. It is clear that the most important changes happen on an individual level and then ripple out through our families and communities. At all times we are heading in a certain direction, lets take the logical path to a more harmonious future.

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