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View Diary: The War Prayer (59 comments)

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  •  An cause of war much in evidence on dkos (5+ / 0-)

    is the frightening ability of the human to demonize the other.  Sam Keen has written about this at length.  This understanding was fundamental to Gandhi's views of non-violence.  Once we see the other as less fully human than ourselves, we find ourselves able to be abusive without triggering the conscience which has us convinced we are good people.

    Whole categories of folks are regularly demonized on this site:  Republicans, Tea Baggers, Obama apologists, Obama critics, centrists, extreme leftists, etc.  Making an entire category of people somehow less is a fundamental error of human thinking.  This is true no matter what the category is.  Believe it or not, even slave holders were people just like you or me.  Gandhi used a deep understanding of this truth to effect enormous change.

    The powerful documentary "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" follows the brave movement of women in Liberia to put an end to the horrendous violence there.  These women had been through unspeakable horror--seen evil acts committed against their villages, their families, even their children.  After they had achieved a remarkable success at the bargaining table, they faced the details of how to convert the society from one of guns to a more civilized one.  They realized that success depended on welcoming the young men who had been brutal murderers and torturers back into a world of acceptance.  Some just could not do it.  Most of them found a way.  To me, that is bravery.

    My favorite sign among the many those women held said:

    We love you.  Put down your guns.

    Non-violence is not simply refraining from violence.  It's not just ideas, thoughts, or rationality.  It is a sophisticated understanding of the causes of violence in the human psyche, as well as the causes that can lead people to be peaceful.  Violence does not spring up because some people are naturally more violent than others; rather, it grows out of specific circumstances.

    There is nothing reasonable being discussed as solutions to any of our problems. - pgm 01

    by geomoo on Sun Nov 14, 2010 at 09:53:04 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

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