The Real Cause of War: Ignorance

"Hope is like a road in the country: there was never a road,

but when many people walk on it,

the road comes into existence."

Lin Yutang

Maybe peace and love is also such a road?

In order to take responsibility for peace and for freedom, it is valuable to know that war just like slavery, just doesn't occur out the blue, out of chaos, as a curse, as punishment for original sin, or the like; rather it has causes. The root cause is a spiritual disconnection/estrangement as will be revealed below. On one hand, spiritual connectedness and integrity manifests as love, peace, and happiness; while on the other hand spiritual self alienation manifests in hatred, fear, war, and suffering. The latter further manifests as war through failed diplomatic policies -- either sabotaged or defeated even before any honest attempt, by the undue influence and intrigues of warmongers, demagogues, megalomaniacs, rapacious, envious, arrogant, prideful, greedy, fearful, and hateful people. Although many people are not interested in "reasons" for things that are undesirable, distasteful, horrific, or else wise trigger an internalized pain, such who do so, merely confuse "reason" with justification and thus relegate themselves to re-experiencing the pain. To negate the causes of war is to negate its lasting solution. Thus here in this page we will first concentrate on intimately understanding the psychological and spiritual ingredients which support and promulgate war (ignorance) -- without such preconditions war would not exist. Then when this is fully understood, real solutions can be refined.

At the foundational cause of war thus we always find a pre-existing spiritual disconnection/alienation which in turn creates the secondary causes such as longing, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, hatred, fear, and all the other spiritual afflictions. This spiritual self alienation creates a habituated feeling of loss and separation which in turn then creates a habituated feeling of lack, of self hatred, and inferiority which then becomes capable of becoming captive to pride, conceit, hubris, and other such compensatory cravings within the habituated milieu of institutionalized unrest. When the smoke screen/veil is lifted, the mind sees clearly, a deep sense of self confidence returns, we are empowered to act from the depths of our heart, and because the veil has been lifted, then confusion and ignorance has ended. Liars have no power over us and a democracy is possible. Without a populace who are awake, then democracy is a travesty or at best a mockery.

Thus the causes of war are simple. First there is always a spiritual self estrangement/disconnection which is the basic depravity. Then there is active deprivation which attempts fulfillment through neurotic compensatory mechanisms. There arises lust, greed, rapaciousness, yearnings for control, power, status, privilege, etc. This arises as a poor substitute for authentic love and a sense of spirit filled connectedness/wholeness. Then there arises individuals and institutions which attempt to manipulate these neurotic afflictions. Thus a warlord or feudal king would reward a fierce warrior or loyal and productive farmer as long as they were productive. In those days most people believed that one’s survival depended upon their usefulness to the conspiracies of church and state, while the disappearance of such a symbiotic structure called into question one’s own well being or survival – physical as well as spiritual.

In the past as in the present there were many wars (almost constant in Europe). Sometimes there could be pointed out a clear cut nation/tribe who was afflicted/motivated as "the aggressor/transgressor. On the other hand there existed some innocent tribes/nations who were simply protecting themselves. However in Europe feudal lordships banded together for reasons of mutual benefit (read lust, greed, control, power, etc) so that most wars were between two greedy, prideful, rapacious, envious, and aggressor nations -- each one fighting aggressively for victory while never finding a "final victory" because final victory really comes about when we re-connect spiritually.

Thus in the past the "reasons" for war were more obvious and generally better understood as some greedy and lusty tribe(s) or kingdom(s) desiring some one else’s land and riches. They were either greedy, jealous, lusty, and rapacious or simply power drunk for glory, but after the Christian era in Europe the real reasons became covered up and were made to appear complicated, because it was wrong to kill or steal, then war had to be justified. It had to be sanctioned as righteous, just, noble, or even holy. One’s tribe or nation had to be “right” or “good”, while "the other" (the enemy) was “wrong” or “bad”. One easy way the leaders chose to accomplish this was to demonize, marginalize, and dehumanize the enemy. “They” were evil and bad and thus it was one’s duty to destroy evil for the king. Or even better, if we didn't destroy them, they would destroy us, thus the more afraid the populace was the more their fears could be manipulated to fight the menacing evil. Thus it was the Church’s job to institutionalize “evil” while habituating people to paranoia, strife, and suffering.

Manipulation then of people’s pride, lust, greed, jealousy, hatreds, and fears became the decorum of kings and princes (read Machiavelli). Thus Europe had endless feuds (during the feudal days), the crusades, the genocide of the American Indians, the invasions of all indigenous groups in the Americas, Australia, and Africa, etc. For some one so inured, all this made a lot of sense -- it was a way of "life", but really war is a way of death and suffering.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower
April 16, 1953

However two new phenomena occurred. First because of the renaissance, the justification of war had to become more sophisticated and two because of Christian values, a widespread self hatred and greed arose which was assuaged only through the manipulation of nationalistic pride, chauvinism, racial pride, religious pride, xenophobia, or rather broadly the demonization of the “other”.

The self hatred and guilt arose because of the subconscious awareness within Western man of his shadow self – of the lie that he was living with, which reared its ugly demonic head during rare moments of sobriety – rare moments out of the captivity of the church or the media – being an awareness of living a corrupt, meaningless, contradictory, and symbolic way of life. However victory in war seemed to put the demon to rest (at least temporarily). Violence to “self’ tends to act out violence to others in a desperate attempt to annihilate it; while the self righteous promise of “victory” was even more attractive manufacturing a false sense of purpose, meaning, and self worth – a contrived “pride” by virtue only because of their pre-existing guilt and low lack of self esteem which needy people clung onto.

Man thus acquired a dependence upon pre-existing external authority which provided a contrived and artificial (read false) structure for man to evaluate himself externally (in terms of a manufactured “good or bad” that served the authority system – valuable or worthless - right or wrong). Threats to the false structure or even questioning its authority were identified as threats to self identity and survival. Thus they were repelled; while an objectified demonology of scapegoats, enemies, and despicable “bad” people was magnified.

Thus a new tactic was developed to habitually keep the people out of touch with their innate Self – keep them disempowered and externally dependent -- keep them wanting and addicted to the authority, status, and privilege that authoritarian states bequeath to those who are loyal. Today TV and the media fulfill that purpose.

Thus to reiterate, the causes of war is spiritual self alienation/disconnection which forms a rift, split, scarcity, and absence which causes a compensatory neuroses and its ancillary motifs of self deception, conceit, delusion, arrogance, pride, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, hatred, dear, and the like. It further causes increased scarcity and suffering. Only people who are so afflicted are capable of waging or cooperating as serving war. Thus simply said, the end of spiritual self alienation/disconnection also would end war. Short of this, then the extinction/cessation of situations of scarcity such as self deception, conceit, delusion, pride, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, hatred, fear, and the like may help, but are not causative. In other words how do these human afflictions really end without a spiritual self re-connection?

So to reiterate, the real cause of war as a spiritual disconnect/alienation, and thus a causal lasting peace will not manifest without mankind waking up en mass. Thus the linkage between peace and awakening of inner wisdom is intimately connected within itself. This unity demonstrates an authentic wisdom. Without lasting peace being reflected in mankind's heart so that it can be expressed from within outwardly, how will such manifest?

If the perfect/true son/daughter were to merge heaven and earth, so that heaven and earth were brought into harmony and balance, what would that look like? How would that be embodied? Lasting peace will not arise out of brutality, abuse, force, or harm, but it will come when peace and goodwill dwells in our hearts and is expressed in all mankind toward all. Happiness is brought forth by the happy, joy by the joyful, love by the loving, and peace by the peaceful. To that end peace is not passive. That end has already happened in the Great Integrity of All Our Relations - now and forever!

Modern Warfare

Here we will use the US/Iraq war as an example. This wasn't really a war in the classic sense, but rather a slaughter being likened to the world champion boxer stepping into the ring with a six year old child, one has to give that child a credit for courage.

To gain some perspective, Buddha said that delusion, hatred, fear, greed, pride, envy, and anger were the major afflictions (kleshas) to avoid; but the national leader of the US today (suffering from an excessive case of hubris, megalomania, conceit, self deceit, and personal ambition) says that they are virtues. Well to be more accurate, the president of the US is simply the alter ego of the US population, it is their need for mass illusion/delusion which the president is catering to, fulfilling, and manifesting. In other words, through the colossal arrogance, conceit, self deceit of the false identification of the American people with American nationalism and militarism, Mr. Bush then represents its logical consequences.

Prior to 911 (which became the equivalent to the burning of the Reichstag in Nazis Germany), the US president was confounded by a faltering economy, rising unemployment, increased national debt, an increasing size of uninsured health care recipients, a crisis in American education, increased green house emissions and ozone layers, an increasing national debt, increasing crime, deteriorating international image, widespread corporate corruption and fraud and collusion between the corporate sector and the government as well as other brass tacks problems. Like his father, prior to the war, his popularity rating was far less than 50%. Then came 911 and just like his father his ratings went up and all was forgotten and forgiven by the American people. A no brainer really considering past American psycho-history.

Next came Iraq and like good demagogues always do, Mr. Hussein served as a perfect scapegoat to blame all our problems upon, while the president was granted an unprecedented war chest, unprecedented executive powers, and anonymity in which to build one's own personal empire (read fortified ivory tower and castle beyond the wildest dreams of his predecessors). In this arrogant act of administrating the growing American Empire where America now has the right to decide who is president of any country (based on who may pose a threat and who may not), the president has become very successful.

An honest man must ask, how did this mind manipulation of the American people succeed despite failing to prove any linkage between 911 and Hussein (except of course that they are both Arabs and Muslim)? This occurred because the then president appealed to the above mentioned spiritual afflictions -- to people's fear, hatred, anger, and frustration, rather than to their wisdom. He appealed to American's inflated conceit and pride (due to their complicit guilt); i.e., that they are the greatest nation on earth, that their capitalist system is best for every one, and they being right and good are thus not wrong or bad. This simplistic appeal to the American hubris, conceit, and nationalist pride was most persuasive, because of the above mentioned pre-exiting American guilt. The president became the purveyor of a preferred lie -- a justification, defense, and counter-attack all in one. After all he was president, it had to be "right'? So in one fell swoop, the guilt over all the invasions, assassinations, and crusades became absolved. Palestine, the genocide of the American Indians, the slavery of the Negroes, Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, the assassination of Chilean president Allende, Grenada, Panama, Libya, Dominican Republic, etc., denying all lessons all at once as if America could do no wrong because .... because we are America! We are good, superior, and right, and because our enemy is "bad", inferior, and wrong. How simplistic.

Although nothing new to demagogues, the American president also appealed to America's fear, that they would be safe if Mr. Hussein was finally killed. He appealed to America's hatred of the other (non-American) such as Arabs and Muslims (see comments by Jerry Falwall and Billy Graham jr.) stirred up by 911. He appealed to America's greed (oil prices are promised to go back down to pre-911. He appealed to their ambition to rule the world (which underlies the unilateral and hegemonic actions with or without the world's opinion). In fact he manipulated all the afflictive emotions due to the more primary spiritual self alienation and disconnection. Mostly however he appealed to American denial and ignorance, the infantile desire to believe in a flattering egoic delusion, rather than the truth. In fact all demagogues thrive because of that.

Here is what Norman Mailer said at the Commonwealth Club lecture on February 27, 2003, a few weeks before the invasion of Iraq.

"At some point, we may be the only ones left," Bush told his closest advisers, according to an administration member who leaked the story to Bob Woodward. "That's OK with me. We are America."

It must by now be obvious that if the combined pressures of Security Council vetoes and the growing sense of world outrage, plus a partial collaboration of Saddam with the inspectors, result in long-term containment rather than war, if Bush has to turn away from an active invasion of Iraq, he will do so with great frustration. For he will have to live again with all the old insolubles! Deep down, he may fear that he will not have any answer then for restoring America's morale. Can it be that the prospect of bringing these troops home again will prove so unpalatable that he will have to go to war?

Speaking to the Senate, Robert Byrd said,

'Many of the pronouncements made by this administration are outrageous. There is no other word. Yet this chamber is hauntingly silent. On what is possibly the eve of horrific infliction of death and destruction on the population of the nation of Iraq—a population, I might add, of which over 50 percent is under age fifteen—this chamber is silent. On what is possibly only days before we send thousands of our own citizens to face unimagined horrors of chemical and biological warfare—this chamber is silent. On the eve of what could possibly be a vicious terrorist attack in retaliation for our attack on Iraq, it is business as usual in the United States Senate.
We are truly "sleepwalking through history." In my heart of hearts I pray that this great nation and its good and trusting citizens are not in for a rudest of awakenings.

...I truly must question the judgment of any President who can say that a massive unprovoked military attack on a nation which is over 50 percent children is "in the highest moral traditions of our country." This war is not necessary at this time. Pressure appears to be having a good result in Iraq.... Our challenge is to now find a graceful way out of a box of our own making. Perhaps there is still a way if we allow more time.'

If I were George W. Bush's karmic defense attorney, I would argue that his best chance to avoid conviction as a purveyor of false morality would be to pray for a hung jury in the afterworld.

For those of the rest of us who are not going to depend on the power of prayer, we will do well to find the rampart we can defend over what may be dire years to come. Democracy, I would repeat, is the noblest form of government we have yet evolved, and we may as well begin to ask ourselves whether we are ready to suffer, even perish for it, rather than readying ourselves to live in the lower existence of a monumental banana republic with a government always eager to cater to mega-corporations as they do their best to appropriate our thwarted dreams with their elephantiastical conceits.

For Norman Mailer's complete February 27th speech to the Commonwealth Club text go to:

Parallels can be made to other nationalistic, religious, and patriotic wars as well. Without the populace's increased access to information is combined by an increased amount and highly refined marketing campaign of disinformation, deceit, and parasitic manipulation of the masses which uphold the mass illusion, which in turn becomes the "conventional" wisdom or "common knowledge". It is accomplished by the new breed of professional and well paid sophisticated magicians, mind manipulators, masters of illusion, and marketing experts who are sold to the highest bidder.

So for starters (for those who are a bit awake), one would do well to resist such so called "progress" as the consolidation of the media in the hands of a few, the centralization of power and information, secret government, over ride and rescinding of the freedom of information act, the increased government censorship and spying on the internet and by telephone, nationally standardized and conformist educational curriculum, and other similar attempts to control access to information and thought in the US. Fortunately Europe is not yet so afflicted (except Great Britain) and offers some hope of resistance, while South America has broken free at last.

So these are generalities on how war is caused. Many rightly observe that much of our psychological willingness to go along with tyranny occurs in infancy -- in the tyranny and trauma of the authoritarian family and/or in the dysfunctional, abusive, and neglectful family. We have a natural instinct for freedom and creativity, but it is ignored and repressed early on. Many books and studies have been done on child-rearing, the authoritarian family, and the authoritarian state in Nazis Germany for example. Not unexpectedly, the opposite extreme -- that of a family which is chaotic and unordered can produce abuse as well, for they both can neglect the child's desire for acceptance, spontaneous love, well being, emotional comfort, nurture, and peace. Without an inner peace baseline, it is thus very difficult for the mature adult to manifest or imagine such in daily life or politics. Rather an imbedded inner strife most often creates an outer acting out.

Yes, everyday life; i.e., parental, religious, social, and environmental conditions, food, -- scarcity or abundance -- love or fear and the like, all shape our psychology (as our psychology shapes our actions) and hence our willingness to go along with war or actively bring forth peace on the other hand is such a inter-related dance.

Specifically, for example in education, children are being rewarded to conform and be obedient; i.e., to get the right answers , parrot, and not challenge authority. This is the opposite of teaching children critical and creative thought; i.e., how to think on their own which is the bulwark of democracy. Being obedient on the other hand is the bulwark of totalitarianism.

In fact the sacred cows of dysfunction have to be slain on the altar of truth, first, in order to get to the creative and functional. For example, many today feel frustrated that a peaceful solution was not effected in the Iraq crises, but most would not admit that the UN has been an utter failure to stop the tragedies in Vietnam, Cambodia, Grenada, Panama, Dominican Republic, Somalia, and elsewhere for many years. In fact the day that the US started slaughtering the Iraqis they admitted that diplomacy has failed, and instead of condemning the unilateral aggressor ; i.e., the US, they decided to start preparing for medical and survival aid for the survivors. In other words they decided even before the damages, casualties and abuse was unloaded upon the Iraqis that they would pay for the aftermath/damage that the US had only just begun.

In other words, not only is the UN dysfunctional except when the super powers desires it to sanction its aggression, but it was designed as a distraction. The UN is a pretentious farce. This is mostly because it is not really an elected or representative body, but rather an appointed body by elitist status quo forces world wide. As an appointed body it is more concerned in supporting the status quo (many of its appointees represent dictatorships or financial interests which control the local media, schools, and elections). What is needed is a true international universal accountable body elected by all the people. Only such a body would be accountable, effective, truly representative, and functional. This is opposed strongly by the elitist status quo who are concerned solely for their own power. That status is dependent upon the general populace being asleep. Without awakening, the best a revolution will accomplish is a change of power from one selfish power group to the other.

An awakened people would demand the elimination of any undue influence upon local governments and economies by international, unaccountable, and non-elected trade bodies, trade treaties, and financial concerns (such as NAFTA, GATT, WTO, IMF, World Bank, CFR, WEF, and others) which are powerful self interested institutions populated and controlled by elitists who do not benefit nor represent the best interests of human beings.

Likewise international trade unions have become nothing more than greed machines in cahoots with the financial sector, large corporations, pension funds, and the insurance industry. They are international in name only, being dependent upon the very corporations and financial institutions which oppress and control them. The goal of these organizations is to create more debt, which is a fancy way of saying slavery. Such slaves provide labor, soldiers, and products for the elite and the upper class servants of the elite. What is needed is the abandonment of such charades and poor excuses, and the formation of truly international trade unions based on the recognition and respect for the values of peace, abundance, prosperity, universal health care, freedom, fairness, dignity, and life in general.

Much more can be accomplished, once man starts destroying these and other sacred cows, and applies his/her god given critical and creative thought in creating his/her own future as free men and women are designed. This requires not ignorance but attention. To be free means to take on this responsibility for one's freedom, otherwise one is remanded to slavery -- to the dictates of the greedy and powerful.

In short, mankind is frustrated only because he has not instituted effective methods in which to express and give vent to his higher nature -- his love, creative force, and peace. Without such free expression, then institutions of war, strife, thievery, abuse, suffering, oppression, exploitation, brutality, violence, fear, hatred, cruelty, jealousy, competition, lust, scarcity, and greed will continue to dominate mankind. Thus oppositional institutions must replace those which are currently not only permitting such suffering to occur, but rather promulgating and promoting mankind's continued captivity and addiction to such. This will occur when mankind wakes up. Part of the wake up process is to throw off the shackles of his dependence upon external dysfunctional institutions of authority, no longer feeding nor supporting their externalized power.

There exist many limited conditions/environments, but the causal innate one remains (mostly hidden and repressed) -- that condition of the HEARTMIND -- the inner courage and love that some have nurtured within and is still intact -- which shines forth. On the other hand many have lost touch, become broken, spiritually estranged, and habitually contracted. They need our love. In the Greater Context of Universal Reality, Infinite Love is always available -- waiting to be embraced. The Ongwhehonwhe await us in that great and glorious celebration of the Great Binding/gathering! To that Infinite Unrequited Love! The Great Integrity of All Our Relations - now and forever -- now and forever!

Cost of the War in Iraq
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