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In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the holiday we celebrate today, I am reposting my two cents, first published June 13, 2008.

 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Matt: 5:43-44

  What would the world be like if Christianity as a whole really took this seriously? 

     While these words certainly sound nice, and few disagree in Sunday School, it seems to me that very few actually live these words.  Our nation was touched and somewhat perplexed at the compassion of the Amish a couple of years ago after a gunman killed 5 small Amish girls before killing himself.  The entire community forgave him, turned up in droves to his funeral, offered his widow condolences and the Nation generally approved.   I wonder if there was any controversy within the Amish community themselves.  Five years earlier, a cowardly civilian attack performed by hijacking airplanes and flying them into skyscrapers launched a cry of retribution leading to two wars with millions of casualties, the relaxing of civil rights and Geneva convention protocols, and lifting the torture ban regarding prisoners. 

   When other countries asked not to jump into war, to slow down, we derided them.  When Singers spoke out against the idea of war they quickly became Pariahs and were decried as unpatriotic, complete with burning of albums and death threats.  In short, most of America acted the way the natural man does, we returned violence and intolerance for violence and intolerance, loving our neighbor and hating our enemy.  At my own peril, I am going to take a journey down into politics and war, a subject fraught with contentious traps, and explore the possibilities of nonviolence and loving our enemies.

 

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First Published on March 10, 2008

He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears. ~Montaigne, Essays, 1512

Fear is a very primitive emotion, setting off a chain reaction of events that pumps our blood full of adrenaline, raises our heartbeat, tenses our muscles, expends our energy, and quickens our thoughts. This is the essence of the so called “fight or flight mode.” It is very necessary for our physical survival that we recognize danger and react to it. Its result is a complete shutting off of higher centers in the brain, in order to focus all our faculties on a threat.

While fear is good for survival, the behavior that results has lead to some of the ugliest, most savage, animalistic atrocities that our race is capable of. Read the rest of this entry »

Well, well, well, welcome to Mind, Soul and Body’s 100th post.  I guess that makes my collection of gems found surfing the internet just over a quarter of my posts.  Most blogs have about a three month lifespan and I am happy to have surpassed that.  I wonder if that means I am in this for the long haul, at least for the rest of residency, which is coming up on the end of one long, long road.  This week was a very strong one on the medicine, brain, and soul internet and I had to leave out an unusual number of posts.  Without futher delay I present only the best of the blogosphere (IMHO)- 

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  As noted and documented in a previous link, the summer Blockbuster Batman: The Dark Knight presents a terrifying picture of a the Joker as psychopathic villain holding an entire city hostage to terror in a manner that feels more like a documentary than a movie making it truly chilling.  His view of people is twisted in that he feels sure he can manipulate them into monsters through a series of very twisted, cynical ploys.  (Warning: spoilers ahead) 

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    I thought that for this time in particular, in a era where war against western society has been declared by another group of psychopaths who fly passenger planes into skyscrapers, the movie very timely and relevant.  Read the rest of this entry »

My own recent deficiencies notwithstanding, this has been an especially powerful and abundant week for the mind, soul and body on the Internet.  There is more to share than I had room for.  It sometimes seems I spend more time bringing everyone else’s work than I do in my own writing, but know this- I do it especially for you, the reader.  What good is wisdom and knowledge if not shared among people.  So partake and enjoy the best of the Internet- Read the rest of this entry »

  43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Matt: 5:43-44

  What would the world be like if Christianity as a whole really took this seriously? 

     While these words certainly sound nice, and few disagree in Sunday School, it seems to me that very few actually live these words.  Our nation was touched and somewhat perplexed at the compassion of the Amish a couple of years ago after a gunman killed 5 small Amish girls before killing himself.  The entire community forgave him, turned up in droves to his funeral, offered his widow condolences and the Nation generally approved.   I wonder if there was any controversy within the Amish community themselves.  Five years earlier, a cowardly civilian attack performed by hijacking airplanes and flying them into skyscrapers launched a cry of retribution leading to two wars with millions of casualties, the relaxing of civil rights and Geneva convention protocols, and lifting the torture ban regarding prisoners. 

   When other countries asked not to jump into war, to slow down, we derided them.  When Singers spoke out against the idea of war they quickly became Pariahs and were decried as unpatriotic, complete with burning of albums and death threats.  In short, most of America acted the way the natural man does, we returned violence and intolerance for violence and intolerance, loving our neighbor and hating our enemy.  At my own peril, I am going to take a journey down into politics and war, a subject fraught with contentious traps, and explore the possibilities of nonviolence and loving our enemies.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears. ~Montaigne, Essays, 1512     

  Fear is a very primitive emotion, setting off a chain reaction of events that pumps our blood full of adrenaline, raises our heartbeat, tenses our muscles, expends our energy, and quickens our thoughts. This is the essence of the so called “fight or flight mode.” It is very necessary for our physical survival that we recognize danger and react to it. Its result is a complete shutting off of higher centers in the brain, in order to focus all our faculties on a threat.

     While fear is good for survival, the behavior that results has lead to some of the ugliest, most savage, animalistic atrocities that our race is capable of.

Read the rest of this entry »

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