The Daily Dharma – October 16, 2021

Photo by Tamara Menzi

Continuing from Peace is the Way . . .

Like any habit, war has worn a groove in our minds, so that when we become very afraid or very angry, the response of war comes naturally. It has an easy track to follow. Even as the body count rises in the Sunni Triangle and the photographs of torture from Abu Ghraib prison stuns one’s consciousness, the groove is still there . . .

This book is about erasing that groove and substituting a new way to respond when we are very afraid or very angry, or even when we aren’t. The way of peace has to become a new habit. To do that, it must offer a substitute for every single thing that war now provides. You may feel immune to the appeal of war, but everyone has benefited from war’s gifts in some measure.

War provides an outlet for national vengeance.
It satisfies the demands of fear.
It brings power to the victor.
It provides security to the homeland.
It opens an avenue for getting what you want by force.

By contrast, living in peace one breathes easily. There is space to allow for connections with other people. Arguments proceed with mutual respect for either side. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa lived different aspects of peace. We learned from each that the way of peace can end suffering and oppression, not by warring against an enemy but by bearing witness to wrongs, and by allowing sympathy and common humanity to do their patient work.

Deepak Chopra
from Peace is the Way