The following story is loosely translated into my own words. I'm not sure but I believe the story originated in the far East, perhaps China or Japan.
A warrior approached a teacher and asked, “Is there heaven and hell?” Instead of answering the question, the teacher insulted the warrior. The warrior became furious and drew a sword, threatening to kill the teacher. The teacher said, “There opens the gates to hell!” The warrior became enlightened and put away his sword. The teacher said, “There opens the gates to heaven.”
When my country is at war, it puts me in a precarious position. Being a pacifist, I must find ways to fight against the war, but without fighting.
Already it is apparent that the Peace movement is working on some level. I like to think of it as the conscience of the society. Numerous large gatherings of thousands of people can be difficult to ignore.
I must aspire to the ranks of Peacemakers who came before me: Jesus of Nazareth, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, to name but a few. These great teachers taught us the power of nonviolence, and the power of Love. If only we could learn these lessons, instead of allowing history to keep repeating itself.
It would not do much good to simply list all of my personal reasons for objecting to war. Doing so would eventually present an argument, one that could be countered in any number of ways. The job I have assigned myself is no small task. After all, what could be harder than for one man to bring an end to a war, especially one that is already ongoing? It would not be enough to point to the obvious hypocrisies and violations to my core belief in the sanctity of human life. To do so would invite more argument. The only way to counter the darkness of war is to shine the light of Love.
I must allow myself to get angry. The thought alone that innocent people are being blown up should be enough to make anyone angry. Even Jesus got angry. [Insert story of the money changers at the temple here.] I must, however, channel my anger in a positive direction, lest I become a warrior who opens the gates of hell.
I must point out that Peace is the Way. I must not be afraid to speak the truth as I see it. I must not be afraid to show my love for all of humanity. I must object to war for the incarnation of fear that it is. I must be careful to stay positive and show the way of Peace instead of criticizing the way of war.
The power of Love cannot be overestimated. Only Love can counter and neutralize fear. Only with Love will the Peacemakers be able to bring and end to war. I shall refrain from bringing arguments to the table. I will state my position and let the truth (if I speak any) stand on its own accord. For the greater good I must risk it all, else I may fail my obligation to do my part to end war.
So what is my point?
The point is this: I will promote Peace. Peace is the answer. Peace is the Way, the Path. Even though a war is raging, the gates of heaven can still be opened ... if only we would put away our swords.
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