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Sunday, August 30, 2009


 Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on Jul 29, 2010 8:19 AM PDT

This chapter is dedicated to Siddartha, the first Buddha. He rejected the politicization of Hinduism and sought his own path to Enlightenment. In doing so, he showed us that each of us can find our own path to God and the eternal oneness that is reality.

If we are going to contemplate the end of war, we must first find our path to inner peace. It is necessary to look beyond the immediate past and future to envision a Tao of peace. Only by looking deep within ourselves will we find the strength and wisdom to reject our natural inclination to punish those who we feel have transgressed against us. Without forgiveness, there is no peace within or among us. Until Mankind has reached this level of Enlightenment and fully accepted the commandment to love the enemy as our brother, there can be no final peace.

Men and women have grown up in the shadow of war since Cain slew Abel. As a result, most of us have come to believe that war is inevitable, not realizing that this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is only in fully accepting that peace is possible that we may find a way to end war forever. It is apparent after little contemplation that the way to peace begins with forgiveness. Whatever the evil that men do, the only way to combat its effects is to adopt an attitude of unconditional love, as a mother has for her children.

One of the many sparks that may set ablaze war is the insane belief that we must kill one another to advance our particular belief in God. Just as to kill for Christ is considered normal in some minds, to respond with Jihad is considered obligatory in others. 

The only way for the people of the Mideast to receive justice to is for them to begin by forgiving their enemies for the human failing of stubborn tribalism. There is no moral equivalence between the crimes of the powerful and the crimes of the subjugated, but no act of Man will atone for the sins of either. Only God may judge the acts that we commit in our ignorance and selfishness.

In a future without war, our children will come to see that until now, we have been squandering our existence for a pocket full of mumbles. Such are the promises of future peace we have heard, all lies and jests. If peace is ever to become a part of our collective reality, we must reject the false prophets of doom and collectively work to avoid Armageddon. 

There are a million average men and women for every war profiteer. We can end war if we believe it is possible and work to make the dream a reality. All of us would trade peace for revenge if we had the choice, but few understand that we in fact do. Soldiers For Peace International was founded in the firm belief that Man is essentially good and by working together, we can win the war to end all war.

Religion is one means by which the self-interested authoritarian exerts his control over others. In a free world, men and women would be encouraged to find their own meaning of life through the sharing of individual experience with others seeking the same path. It is only when religious leaders become the blind leading the blind to false belief that religion becomes a weapon of war. The path to peace is not to be found in accepting the excuses our religious and other political leaders make for our failure to follow those prophets who tried to teach us that there is another way.

In America, individual rights have commonly come to be considered the supreme virtue. In ignorance of our proud past history of promoting liberty and justice for all Mankind, we have come to accept the assumption that men are inherently evil and that only God can save us from ourselves. In the Mideast, war is justified by the insane assumption that it is the only way to ensure justice for the children, in complete ignorance of the obvious fact that violence only begets more violence. When we allow revenge to become an end in itself, we are betraying our children by dooming them to an endless cycle of violence.

To find the God of pure love that exists beyond time and space, we must look within ourselves for its divine spark. We cannot be led there by others who would preach a theory of reality in which God is seen to be separate from us. 

Deists believe that we are all aspects of God, trapped in a four dimensional illusion of reality. Together, we can free ourselves. Individual power is nothing compared to the power of a God to which we are connected through the Holy Spirit that is pure love and what I believe to the God within, between and beyond us. If we free our minds to see the world as it is and how it must become, the end of this world will be a glorious time to be on Earth.

Consider once more the immortal words of John Lennon:

Imagine there's no Heaven.
It's easy if you try.
No hell below us,
above us only sky.
Imagine all the people
living for today.

Imagine there's no countries.
It isn't hard to do.
Nothing to kill or die for
and no religion too.
Imagine all the people
living life in peace.

You may say that I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us
and the world will be as one.

Imagine no possessions.
I wonder if you can.
No need for greed or hunger,
a brotherhood of man.
Imagine all the people
sharing all the world.

You may say that I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us
and the world will live as one.

Rick Staggenborg, MD

Roseburg, Oregon

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