Friday, April 09, 2010

Rocks and reeds in the river of conflict

The Buddhists I know are nonviolent. Indeed, many are nonviolent actionists.

Some who cite Buddhism as an excuse not to be activists might learn from the activist Buddhists.

The rock in the river is eroded while the gentle reed bends and survives.

This is what some say to justify inaction.

But Buddhists who artfully practice compassion find themselves eminently human in self-determination by evolving from rock to reed as the times warrant that. Native Americans called this ability to morph shape shifting or skinwalking. Darwin called it evolution. Ecologists call it adaptive management. Educators call it iterative learning.

I am a rock some days and a reed some days. Both are nonviolent if we cast ourselves into those roles with a spirit and intention of nonviolence. Neither are nonviolent if we take up these identities as either hateful oppositional or pliant compromising with evil.

Choices are the core of humankind's unique mission on Earth. Choices about methods of conflict management where few species make choices that rise above instinct. Choices about consumption and methods of gaining access to resources that we can make in the limbic grasp for more or the cerebral evolution toward enlightened self-interest and compassion for all beings.

Today I am a reed who hopes more educated ones will move me with their flow of reason and enlightened thought.

I am planning my next morph into the rock in the river of militarism; the Pentagon is starting their annual abduction of elementary school children to military bases under the recruitment program masquerading as science education and called Starbase. Perhaps I'll be pulverized by the torrent of the war culture. Then may the grains of sand be carried to an ocean of love and compassion.

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