August 13th, 2006

       I have been following the recent arrests in the news. There has been much discussion on my various mailing lists as to whether the government is overreacting (yes) and whether airport security does any good (no). Lastly, why are these people bothering us?

       I have opinions, and by reading further you will read them. It is fear of the "other". The "Other"? Yes, that tribe that lives over the hills, or through the woods. The one that eats frogs or puts blue mud in their navels. The people that are not you, have different habits than you, different values than you, or believe not as you believe. The "Other" want to take your women, eat your children and force their beliefs on you. This is the cant you will hear from every tyrant from the tribal big man to the "leaders" of Iran and Venezuela, and sadly today, the President of the United States. Those persons that would seek power must find an enemy for the people to concentrate on, someone to direct anger and hate at, so the people will give the leader more power.

       We the People at our best represent the tribalists' worst fear. The Fear that their fear is unfounded and unnecessary. Here all races and all religions can live side by side and not kill each other. The Great Experiment is for the most part a success. In spite of the current politics of divisiveness, in the US racial or sectarian violence is a matter of national news. Why? It is that rare. In the lands of the tribalists it is a daily thing.

       Those who base their culture on a fear of the other fear the fact we invalidate ALL of that. If the people they keep in fear learn that the fear is unnecessary, what power do they have?

       Here is the deal. Man can make anything he can conceive of. I can conceive of a world without "us and them". I can conceive of a place were we don't need a bigger enemy to not fight each other. I am not the only person that can conceive of this. We only need the will to make it happen. We have the tool that overcomes mere history. We have the big brain. The very fact that we can have this conversation is proof that the past does not rule us if we do not let it. The past is not an excuse for any behavior in the present or the future. We are responsible for every thought we have and every action we take. We have choices. We can choose to be violent loons, or we can choose to be the brother to every man. We choose. The choice is not made for us. No history of past killings is responsible for killing now. No excuse can exist for continuing the violence. We have the responsibility of choices.

       The Tribalist claims he has no choices, that he must hate and must kill those he hates. We put lie to that.

"Hurt not others in that you yourself would find hurtful." -- Udanavarga
"As you would wish that men would do unto you, do so to them." -- Luke 6:31
"Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you." -- Analects 15:2
"Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you." -- Mahabharata 5:1517
"No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself." -- Sunan
"That which is hateful unto you, do not impose on others." -- Talmud, Shabbat 31a

-- So why is this idea so hard to understand and practice? --The Tao of Phoenix



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