Re: The Real World: How to Reconcile?
Dear Anon - you ask good questions. The fact that you can even ARRIVE at this predicament bodes well for you. There are some great quotes from folks far more articulate than I; I can't, however, remember them as I have been having a conversation with Stole's. Yes it CAN be hard to reconcile what you are becoming with the world at it is. It may well seem hopeless; useless. But, at one time, it was thought hopeless that there would civil rights in the US for people of color, that women would have the right to vote, that ANYONE could advocate for those less fortunate. Yet, these things occur because people keep fighting for it. All is not yet well; in fact all are NOT equal in this country. But changes have been made by those who hope for a better world. You, too, can be a catalyst for change. I've done the military thing, and I've even worked in a prison. It sounds trite to say something about "walking in another man's (or woman's) moccasins", but it is true. There is more to that person who assaulted you, and more to the person who assaulted your friend. they existed before that moment, and one might presume that existence may well have been full of horrors that neither of us can imagine. I think that the sense of "centering" Aikido, of not engaging violence with violence but a redirecting of energy, are still useful philosophies. Not easy ones, but useful. I guess what I am saying is, that I've seen the wreckage of human lives. I have the luxury of compassion - usually. Don't get me wrong, I am hell on wheels, and can be quite the b****h, but I hope and strive for that sense of peace. There is a great story told in Ram Dass' "How Do I Serve?" as well as a book by an Air Force guy about being a warrior. It's on this website, too, somewhere. I won't waste more space but it involves an angry, violent drunken man on a train in Japan. And to take up more space with my boring drivel - there is another story that I've read from Ram Dass - ( and I am paraphrasing)a great fighter went to a Shinto priest and said "Priest, show me heaven and hell!" The priest said, "Why should I? You are a worthless sack of scum, you have no right to speak to someone of my station" The samurai grew VERY angry and drew his sword, ready to kill and said, "Priest, you will die for your insults!" As the samurai held his sword above his head, ready to strike, the priest said, "That is hell." Touched, the samurai lowered his sword gently, tears in his eyes. "And that", said the priest, "is heaven."
Hope that helps somewhat.