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  • Writer's pictureAdrian Emery

war & peace

Once again, we are at war. It does not matter that ‘we’ are far away from the ravages of the Ukraine or the violence of the Gaza Strip in a safe country. It matters not that ‘we’ may be peace-loving and friendly. The world is at war. In times to come these current events will most probably mark the beginning of World War III, because the powers that be who control the world, are hell-bent on war.

It is a time-honoured tradition and strategy, that when an empire is in terminal decline, the incumbent world leader, embarks on a war to try and put off the inevitable collapse and assert its power. It is also the surest way to shore up the failing economy and galvanise the lagging public. The President of the US goes to Israel!

Once again, the media is filled with ‘hate speech’ looking to condemn and find a suitable ‘enemy’ to unite the people against a common foe. Now it is the Russians (again), the Chinese, the Arabs – that multipolar alliance of non-western countries who are evil and must be destroyed at all costs.

I am not condoning the behaviour of any aggressor or invader of another’s land, but one needs to probe deeply to truly ascertain who is the original protagonist. There are always rights and wrongs on both sides and there are always two sides to every story. I will leave the geopolitical analysis to others but urge you to dig a little deeper than the front page ‘news’ of the mainstream media. It is just another convenient narrative of misinformation to condone violence and justify war and killing.

What concerns us is this fundamental aspect of human nature that lends itself too easily to conflict. It seems ‘we’ are all too willing to adopt an attitude of defence and offence. An ancient wisdom is that it is just as wrong to take offence as to give it.

We need to be more sanguine, composed, relaxed and tolerant. But equanimity is not in vogue. We want to be judgemental. We want to criticise. We want to blame and find fault with another precisely because it makes us feel better about ourselves. We elevate ourselves by putting the other down. It is a classic ploy of the negative ego.

It is all a question of force and power, and a misunderstanding of where true personal power lies. Many years ago, I coined the word powah as distinct to the word power, for the word power has too many unfavourable connotations attached to it as power over another: images of domination, aggression and arrogance. I use the word powah to signify personal powah – an inner attribute of strength and self-centeredness that has nothing to do with power over another.

It is an accepted given in martial arts that one finds one’s own centre and holds to that point. It is an accepted given in positive psychology that if one is overly dependent upon another’s approval, one will be tossed to and fro between joy and sorrow.

The source of our strength must lie within ourselves, not in our relations with others. But in a world driven by mass and social media where we are all competing for acceptance, approval and ‘likes’, it is extremely hard to remain true to the self.

Populism is fast replacing the moderate centre. Polarisation is taking over the common ground leaving people divided and inherently in conflict. Woke ideology is not bringing us closer together or more accepting, tolerant and embracive but rather generating tension, distrust and conflict.

Democracy relies upon a willingness to discuss, dialogue, debate and reconcile differences of opinion to function coherently. Populism breeds civil disobedience and eventual war. ‘We’ are becoming far too intolerant of alternative points of view, whether that be the supposed ‘science’ of the pandemic or the intricacies of the Voice.

Fair and frank discussion have given way to fear mongering, abuse and downright falsehood. Anything is justified in the war to win. The end justifies the means. Journalism no longer objectively reports but seeks to influence and sway. Political propaganda is not subject to the same and necessary rigours of normal advertising where one cannot overtly lie.

These are all symptoms of a feeling of powerlessness that is overtaking humanity as we march like lemmings towards the impending cliff.

The only way to find and cultivate your own true personal powah is to be sovereign, to know what is right for you, to make your own decisions and to honour the self. This will not lead to selfishness but to an inner peace and equanimity that will manifest in true tolerance, compassion and understanding that we are all different and all equal. We all have a different point of view.

The world is at war collectively purely because ‘we’ are at war individually. Find that place of peace within yourself that is calm and serene amidst the outer turmoil for it is only going to continue until ‘we’ wake up from the sleepwalk of delusion and denial.

Personal powah leads to humility, courtesy and kindness amidst a self-surety and centredness. Once one accepts oneself unconditionally, one can accept others as they are There is no more fear or need to condemn and fight. Planetary peace can only come from an inner peace within us all.

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