Tag Archives: Thich Nhat Hanh

Can we End all Wars?

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I’ve often wondered about the necessity of war. True, if we hadn’t intervened in WWII the Nazi’s could have taken over. At the same time I have to acknowledge that the US government is guilty of committing and supporting its own atrocities before and after the war. And so I wonder what it means that one abusive superpower had defeated another. For example, we stopped Imperial Japan by committing one of the greatest atrocities in human history, the dropping of two Atomic bombs on large civilian cities which killed close to a million people in totality.

Perhaps it is human nature that there will always be war. This is especially true when we are taught to dehumanize at will, economic policies encourage the exploitation of weaker people, history is edited to produce a living myth, and people celebrate war rather than condemn it.

I do agree that abuses happen because good people do nothing. But I also think that our education system has greatly failed in teaching us the tools for becoming critical, independent thinkers and humane people. Thus we have a responsibility to educate ourselves. Especially in the US where information is for the most part free compared to the rest of the world. Pick up some Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Thich Nhat Hanh, and as Bill Hicks puts it, “squeegee your third eye.”

Maybe we’ll never be able to END ALL WARS, but we can at least end all unnecessary ones committed on our part.

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Creating True Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh

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Creating True Peace is more than a book about spiritual enlightenment and peace. It’s a map that helps guide you through the wilderness in ourselves and the hectic world we live in. The destination is inner peace for all living things. Creating True Peace is written by world renowned Zen Buddhist, Thich Nhat Hanh, who has lived through two major wars in his homeland of Vietnam while practicing the philosophy of none-violence and peace. In Creating True Peace, Hanh expresses his solutions for actively engaging the epidemic of violence invading every level of our lives, from person conflict to war, in concrete ways. This book avoids vague metaphysics that often feel irrelevant when put in the context of modern life. Nhat presents Buddhist philosophy infused with a clear understanding of the global situation today.

 ‎”Alcohol production requires large amounts of grain that could be used to feed the starving people of the world. Alcohol is directly related to the suffering of children. For instance, to make one glass of rice wine takes a whole basket of rice. Every day 40,000 children die in the world for lack of food. We who overeat in the West, who are feeding grains to animals to make meat, are eating the flesh of these children.”

This book embraces all religions and levels of spirituality. It reveals an option; it doesn’t try to strong-arm a way of existing. His stories of living through the horrors of the Vietnam War are saddening and courageous. It exemplifies how even in total madness, peace is powerful enough to sustain us. Nhat introduces the idea of “engaged Buddhism,” which is similar to Martin Luther King’s idea of direct none-violence and civil disobedience with the aim of transforming the hatred and violence in our society into harmonious brotherhood. I highly recommend this book for anyone seeking inner peace in themselves, within their social circle, society, or the world. If you’re interested in learning what Buddhism is about, this is a great way to start. Peace and love to you all.

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