Krishna drives Arjuna into battle
“Think thou also of thy duty and do not waver. There is no
greater good for a warrior than to fight a righteous war.
There is a war that opens the doors of heaven, Arjuna!
Happy the warriors whose fate is to fight such war.”
Krishna to Arjuna, Bhagavad-Gita 2:31-32
As I pointed out in Republicans and Reincarnation, New Agers would always prefer to deal with people through reasonable means—discussion, diplomacy, compromise. However, we’re not crazy (ok, there are lot of people who say they’re New Agers who are out of their minds…but this is not a problem that only New Agers seems to have, it seems to affect every religion…some in fact seem to be nearly entirely made up of genocidal lunatics) we realize that not all of the world is open to being rational and humane. There are people out there who will always resort to force and never use reason. And these people are not just sitting quietly and being miserable bastards in the back of their trailers. No, sadly far too many of them have acquired a disturbing amount of power and control over the lives of others (Kim Jung Il, Ayatollah Khameni, Ahmadinejad, Hu Jintao, Bashar al-Assad, Putin, a couple million Islamofacists, and a hoard of more petty criminals who are just out to torture one or two people in their immediate sphere of influence). There are people who will use violence to hurt other people as their first course of action—these people (I use the term loosely) cannot be reasoned with because they are beyond reason, they cannot be negotiated with because they are beyond being capable of being trusted, they cannot even be appeased because appeasement only means delaying a confrontation at the cost of someone else. And for these people the only way to deal with them is violence.
And New Agers recognize this. As New Agers we look to all the enlightened souls through the entire world’s history for guidance…
Oh look, here’s the cover to a New Age book…looks like a sword in his hand.
and when you do that you can see quite a bit of embracing violence when no other option is available. Christ didn’t exactly first engage the money changers in a polite conversation. Krishna didn’t advise Arjuna to sit down with his enemies and sing Kumbaya, no, he told him to go out and slaughter them to a man. Lao Tzu didn’t say peace was always the way, in fact he said that one must use weapons when no other option is available (Tao Te Ching 31) and to wage war in a rapid and surprise manner (57). Saint Joan of Arc killed quite a few people with the help of God. Even the Dalai Lama ordered the Tibetan Army to defend against the invading Chinese butchers. Granted peace is always preferable, but peace is an end to be achieved, not a means to be acted upon.
Pacifism is not the way of a New Ager as it says that the life that we have been given is worthless and that we will simply give in when confronted with violence, that we will cower to force rather than live our lives, and that we will sit quietly as others suffer.
Not on your life.
To be a New Ager is to want peace in both your soul and the world, but that means you must confront evil whenever and wherever you find it with all force appropriate. Violence is seldom appropriate, but when it is a question of your safety or the safety of another, then violence against someone who has initiated force is always preferable to letting the suffering continue.
As a modern example…the correct action for a New Ager if you had found Sandusky in the shower molesting a child: beat him to a state of unconsciousness with the nearest blunt instrument (if you want to go all the way to killing him I’ve got no issue with that, child molesters are possibly the sickest perversion of human life imaginable) and get the child away, then call the cops…clearly no one at Penn State is a good New Ager.
Now some very ignorant (and cowardly) people have tried to throw in my face that I have also used the mantra “I am love, I give love, I receive love” as being in contradiction to my strong defense of national security and harsh punishment of violent criminals. They see that this New Age sentiment is somehow in contradiction to the willingness to defend those who are suffering. This shows that some people don’t understand what love is. Love is an expression of our souls that recognizes the worth and value of the soul in people around us. Violence initiated against the innocent is pretty much in direct opposition to that emotion—and while I don’t believe in some kind of personified version of evil (like the devil), those actions are evil, and they must be stopped because they desecrate the value and sanctity of the soul, they are so opposed to the idea of love that someone who is dedicated to loving others must be dedicated to doing everything in their power to stopping those actions. Yes, maybe we can talk and reason and rehabilitate the person who initiated the violence once they have been stopped, but the violence has to stop first. And in any conflict that would require violence (i.e. one where violence of some kind has already been initiated and where you are in a position to do something about it) everyone has the choice to either do nothing or to use violence to stop the person at fault…to do nothing is choice that sides with the that which is opposed to love, it put all action on a completely morally relevant scale and says there is no good or evil, no right or wrong to justify the fact that such a choice is wrong and is evil. To not help when you can is always evil and about as opposed to love as it gets.
For individuals this means first and foremost you have to incarcerate them if possible (or kill them if that is not a viable option). For governments like the tyrannies of Iran, China, Cuba, Syria, Libya (this list could go on) these governments must be removed first because negotiating with nations whose stated policy is evil is only giving sanction to their evil…and it’s about as opposed to the concept of love as you can get. To embrace the cowardly pacifism as the person who chided me over the seeming contradiction of love and acting against terrorists seemed to imply, would be to say that I do not value the lives of those who are suffering, it would be to say that those who have given into their worst inclinations should not be stopped, that their violence was acceptable—it would be to give into indifference which is something even worse than violence or hate.
A good way I would suggest to deal with all violence is the advice, “Never start a fight, but always finish them.”