Tradition

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Yesterday I was driving home from a doctor appointment and I saw four police vehicles speeding eastward, lights flashing.  It’s unusual to see this on the freeways, so I knew something serious was happening. I soon learned that just 26 miles east of my home is the place where America’s most recent mass shooting occurred.

I have an intense reverence for our Constitution, just as I have an intense reverence for the sacred book of my particular tradition.  Both of these great documents have devotees whose interpretation are exactly opposite. Both are quoted to justify great good works and great evils. Neither religion nor national heritage explain our violence or our kindness. We can only look at the tiny everyday choices each of us makes to help us understand. Therein lies the sickness, and therein lies the cure.

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18 Comments

  1. I’m waiting for the day when this is not longer news. It’s happening so often now, that it’s becoming common place and that’s the worst part of all the insane things that happen. WE GET USED TO IT! Desensitized and they we don’t see it anymore. That’s what has happened to all the bad things…we get used to war, rape, murder, etc. A single person getting murdered doesn’t even make the news. It has to be a family or a group to catch the attention of the masses. Something really wrong with that.

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    1. When we have the wisdom of our brethren animals who don’t make war and have no ego to defend – that will be heaven on earth.

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  2. It is so sad MK. I am glad you are okay. President Obama has constantly reflected on Australian gun laws and lucky for us, it is working. I am not sure how many have to die, before change is addressed in your country.

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    1. Whatever the motivation was, the fact is that guns make this kind of thing possible. As I said, I revere our constitution, which guarantees us the right to bear arms. The debate over gun control rages every time there’s an election or a mass shooting. But I am convinced that when our hearts are at peace, this debate will evaporate.

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  3. Disturbing close, I know. I just don’t get the mindset or the justification for violence. I pray for an end to duality, where everyone gets that we are all one people on one planet in an infinite, miraculous universe.

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    1. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” We are all One, as you say. Thank you Eliza.

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  4. I think you have taken the essence of the questions behind these type of events and eloquently distilled the answer in the last three sentences of your post.

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    1. What can one person do? Well, a lot.

      I’m reminded of the butterfly effect… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect
      Or, quantum entanglement … https://www.sciencenews.org/article/spooky-quantum-connection-quantified-multiple-particles

      “One meteorologist remarked that if the theory were correct, one flap of a sea gull’s wings would be enough to alter the course of the weather forever. The controversy has not yet been settled, but the most recent evidence seems to favor the sea gulls.”

      Mathematics and Love converge.

      Thank you for your comment, David.

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  5. The Roseburg shooting was just roughly 50 miles east of us. It’s starting to feel like no place is safe anymore. I simply don’t understand what this country has come to. There seems to be no rational approaches addressing the madness either,

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    1. I agree, Gunta. There’s pervasive rage and alienation throughout our country. If we created the problem, then this implies that it’s within our power to create a solution.

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  6. What a troubling realisation that must have been, so close to home.

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    1. These kinds of events occur everywhere in our country. I am distressed by the explanation so prevalent in US news media — we define “terrorism” as violence born from a political objective, but only when perpetrated by someone “not like me”. If violence is caused by someone “like me” then it must be caused by personal alienation. This disconnect is a symptom of the problem, in my opinion.

      Thank you for your generous comment.

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  7. What do you think explains both?

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    1. I think that service to our own ego is the reason we cause other people pain. We often legalize our behavior by pointing at something lofty, like religion or nationality or ethnicity. I think those have nothing to do with anything.
      Choosing the ego is the sickness. Paying attention is the cure.

      Thank you Rajiv for your question.

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  8. Deeply saddened. #SanBernardino

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    1. It is very sad indeed. The news is now saying that this was possibly ISIS-inspired.
      I saw a wonderful post by Gigi – a photo of some graffiti that asks “how many bombs will it take to make peace?”

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  9. MK–
    You write: “We can only look at the tiny everyday choices each of us makes to help us understand. Therein lies the sickness, and therein lies the cure.”
    I totally agree!
    Regardless of what country we live in, there can be no freedom or peace anywhere without morality (principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior).
    I am hoping that, in 2016, all good people will join together and an abundance of thoughtful everyday choices will start to turn things around.

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    1. I believe that ordinary people are the ONLY path to turning enmity into goodwill. Our leaders will follow when we take responsibility for leading them.

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