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Si vis pacem, para bellum (If you desire peace, prepare for war)

The first step in having any successful war
is getting people to fight it.
- Fran Lebowitz

Warfare on the Foundational Level
06/30/2021

The "human condition" demands warfare! One way or another, we are in a battle for our lives, one that we didn't ask for, but nevertheless one we are obliged to fight. But what is the real nature of that war?

Tangible warfare

Is it to fight directly against the forces of nature? Unfortunately, we live in a physically hostile--at least non-benevolent--environment. On our side we have a mobile form, marvelous manual dexterity with our two arms, and especially with our two hands that have fingers and an opposable thumb.

Best of all we have both intelligence and the ability to communicate readily. Also we have many people in the past that have contributed to survival lore and techniques, and especially the myriad industries and technologies that together impinge on all aspects of life.

Spiritual Warfare

Below is what an acquaintance wrote about his personal spiritual journey:

At the age of 15, I discovered the controversial teachings of A Course In Miracles. I'm aware that many have reacted strongly against ACIM, and I don't endorse its lessons as "the word of God." But as a product of 20th century Western culture, I can say that it has provided the perfect teachings for me, given my unique troubles.

I am not an "expert" on A Course In Miracles, and it is difficult to succinctly summarize its teachings, but there are a few key tenets that can be neatly encapsulated. The Course is predicated on the idea that man was created as a perfect spiritual entity, completely Whole and at One with Everything. In this original state of Perfection, he felt no desire to obtain anything outside of himself, as everything was already provided. His mind was timeless, boundless, and all encompassing. But this all "changed" the moment he entertained the notion that he might be a separate and limited being. He "fell" from this Perfect union into an illusory state of "form" - space, time, physical birth and death, and separateness from everyone, including God.

[Commentary]: In the above paragraph, the concept of a fundamental "illusion" is introduced. This issue has been dealt with in the article title "The Argument of Evil Against God"

The Course asserts that the physical world is actually a "dream," and the separation from Oneness never really occurred. Our desire to be "special," i.e. better than everyone else, is a childish impulse born of the illusion that we must acquire happiness and love outside of ourselves. I remember feeling quite startled when I read the Course's comment, that: "By choosing to finish second, I will finish first."

[Commentary]: Can you even imagine wanting to be in a state of physical formlessness, not having a body, and therefore with no experiences in a physical world. Is not this a profound absurdity? Just because we now suffer in the physical realm, doesn't mean that physicality in and of itself is evil.

While mainstream Christianity preaches that mankind was born into Original Sin, and must be "washed" of the Sin before Heaven can be "granted," the Course teaches that Heaven was never really lost, and is an entitlement to everyone. I think this is one reason some people dislike the Course, because they mistakenly interpret it as "condoning" bad or harmful behavior. Quite to the contrary, the Course uncompromisingly teaches that we are obligated to offer one another nothing but kindness and respect, that our brother's interests are not separate from our own, and that we achieve real peace by forgiving every imagined wrong that we think has been done to us.

[Commentary]: How to untangle the confusion built into the paragraph above? Let's start by mentioning that the true definition of "sin" is a wrong, negative or destructive concept of God. There should be no question that sin must be eradicated before all is well in the universe. The wrong concept of God is how the whole mess of evil and suffering got started in the first place.
     What does it mean to say that "Heaven was never really lost"? Maybe not forever, but regardless of how you define it, we are certainly not in it currently, but rather in a version of hell right now under the human condition. Is it not God's way for us to return to "heaven" through inspiration that comes from understanding and believing what the J-person said and did, and then following the instructions?
     Also, there is no distinction being made between a "brother" and a "neighbor". There is all the positive motivation in the world to keep in good stead our relationships with our brothers, and they with us. Legitimate self-interest works as it should here, and obligation just does not enter into it. However, a "neighbor" can be something else, potentially troublesome all the way to a lethal enemy.

Political Warfare

Is it to fight with the political evils in the world? With political organizations that can wield power and influence? Good luck with that! That kind of warfare has been waged for thousands of years, with no lasting victory but with only sporadic, temporary, partial changes that often {always?) become corrupted and disappear over time.

Military Warfare

Are we called to take up weapons of physical violence to solve the world's ills?

Economic Warfare

Except for a close-knit family or tribe, one way or another we are in competition for our economic welfare. Economic competition exists under ALL political systems.

Social Warfare

 

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