As I traveled this weekend I listened again to Wayne Dyer’s, “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your LIfe.” The chapter of the Tao Te Ching which Dr. Dyer spoke of that really caught my attention was the 30th.
Of all things, soldiers are instruments of evil, Hated by men.
Therefore the religious man (possessed of Tao) avoids them.
The gentleman favors the left in civilian life,
But on military occasions favors the right.
Soldiers are weapons of evil.
They are not the weapons of the gentleman.
When the use of soldiers cannot be helped,
The best policy is calm restraint.
Even in victory, there is no beauty,
And who calls it beautiful
Is one who delights in slaughter.
He who delights in slaughter
Will not succeed in his ambition to rule the world.
Contrast this ancient wisdom with our war on terror. This weekend at our Franciscan meeting I spoke with a friend I made last year and we spoke of the culture of death that pervades our country and how in ancient times knights returning from the crusades were required to spend time on retreat to atone for the sin of killing other men. Maybe post-traumatic stress is a natural reaction to this ungodly act. There is no way that killing a brother can be made right. We are all created by the same force, by the same creator and no one has the right much less the duty to kill another. It is unnatural and unholy.