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Dark Side of the Moon
by David Sparenberg
2014-05-11 12:35:05
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Hey, let’s stop talking about peace.  All of my life I have searched for peace.  But peace is no more than a public cliché, a political abstraction.  Jesus, Gandhi, Dr. King are marginalized.  The only place where peace is welcomed is the dark side of the moon.
If we wish to see even a bit of peace taking root here among us, holding its ground, over time flourishing, we should be focusing on preventing conflict.  To prevent conflict we need to practice nonviolence and practical enlightenment.  Nonviolence secures trust and meeting places, and cultivates occasions for the possibilities of dialogue.  Practical enlightenment sustains, nurtures and fills in the everyday details of compassion. Practical enlightenment elevates the ordinary to the authenticity of plenum, meaning and of greatness.  Yet practical enlightenment is as easily overwhelmed by violence as is ignorance without the empowering truth-force of nonviolence.
Everyone is anxious for recognition and acceptance.  That is the feeling condition of conscious mortality.  Only some people mask their insecurity and suffering with impatience; their fears thicken bitterly into resentment and hatred.  These puff themselves up because of unresolved conflicts and unacknowledged nightmares.   Then aggression breaks out and thick night falls into the lives of others.
Look at Pope Francis,  a person of extraordinary humility.  But some think Francis is a radical and a fool.  Or look at Vladimir Putin, a person of extraordinary courage; a person willing to live dangerously.  Yet some think of him as a brute, a thug, a criminal..
Now let me tell you something and this is something I have learned about being human, about the urge to do good, yezer ha-tov, and the urge to do evil, yezer ha-ra*, at the core, in the depths, of the human paradox.
If ever the two extraordinary men named here—the types of humanity they embody; seemingly so unalike while sharing the same world stage; if they, or their like, should come together in dialogue and with singular dedication; shall we say to end war, or end hunger, to liberate the wretched of the Earth, the world’s poor from ghettos and gulags of poverty, or to oversee the planet’s unraveling eco-systems to restorative balance; the rest of us might awaken and find ourselves together and inspired in a field of miracles.  Therein we may see paths to a future for humanity and the work of urgency waiting to be done.  Therein, collectively, we might divide our time between introspections of integrity and the outward maintenance of justice.
David Sparenberg
3 May 2014
*Terms from Kabbalah for the two basic urges of good and evil.

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