Tuesday, September 09, 2008


“Man [woman] [the human] has accepted conflict as an innate part of daily existence because he [she] has accepted competition, jealousy, greed, acquisitiveness, and aggression as a natural way of life. When we accept such a way of life, we accept the structure of society as it is and live within that pattern of respectability. And that is what most of us are caught in because most of us want to be terribly respectable. When we examine our own minds and hearts – the way we think, the way we feel, and how we act in our daily lives – we observe that as long as we conform to the pattern of society, life must be a battlefield.”

“Anger is to be studied tolerantly and understood; it is not to be overcome through violent means. Anger may be the result of many causes, and without comprehending them there is no escape from anger.”

“We have to understand the cause of enmity and cease to feed it by our thought, feeling, and action. This is an arduous task demanding constant self-awareness and intelligent pliability, for what we are the society is, the state is. The enemy and the friend are the outcome of our thought and action. We are responsible for creating enmity, and so it is more important to be aware of our own thought and action than to be concerned with the foe and the friend, for right thinking puts an end to division. Love transcends the friend and the enemy.”

“Now, if you want to stop violence, if you want to stop wars, how much vitality, how much of yourself do you give to it? Isn’t it important to you that your children are killed, that your sons go into the army where they are bullied and butchered? Don’t you care? My God, if that doesn’t interest you, what does? Guarding your money? Having a good time? Taking drugs? Don’t you see that this violence in yourself is destroying your children? Or do you see it only as some abstraction?”

“All of us are discontented when we are young, but unfortunately our discontent soon fades away, smothered by our imitative tendencies and our worship of authority. As we grow older, we begin to crystallize, to be satisfied and apprehensive. We become executives, priests, bank clerks, factory managers, technicians, and slow decay sets in. Because we desire to maintain our positions, we support the destructive society, which has placed us there and given us some measure of security.”

“War is the spectacular and bloody projection of our everyday living. We precipitate war out of our daily lives; and without a transformation in ourselves, there are bound to be national and racial antagonisms, the childish quarrelling over ideologies, the multiplication of soldiers, the saluting of flags, and all the many brutalities that go to create organized murder.

“Education throughout the world has failed, it has produced mounting destruction and misery. Governments are training the young to be the efficient soldiers and the technicians they need; regimentation and prejudice are being cultivated and enforced.”

”The greater our love, the deeper will be its influence on society. But we are all brains and no heart; we cultivate the intellect and despise humility. If we really loved our children, we would want to save and protect them, we would not let them be sacrificed in wars.

“I think we really want arms; we like the show of military power, the uniforms, the rituals, the drinks, the noise, the violence. Our everyday life is a reflection in miniature of this same brutal superficiality, and we are destroying one another through envy and thoughtlessness.

“We want to be rich, and the richer we get, the more ruthless we become, even though we may contribute large sums to charity and education. Having robbed the victim, we return to him a little of the spoils, and this we call philanthropy. I do not think we realize what catastrophes we are preparing. Most of us live each day as rapidly and thoughtlessly as possible and leave to the governments, to the cunning politicians, the direction of our lives.”

“The sovereign state does not want its citizens to be free, to think for themselves, and it controls them through propaganda, through distorted historical interpretations, and so on. That is why education is becoming more and more a means of teaching what to think and not how to think. If we were to think independently of the prevailing political system, we would be dangerous; free institutions might turn out pacifists or people who think contrary to the existing regime.”

“We want a little reform here and there, but most of us are afraid to tear down the present society and build a completely new structure, for this would require a radical transformation of ourselves.

“On the other hand, there are those who seek to bring about a violent revolution. Having helped to build the existing social order with all its conflicts, confusion, and misery, they now desire to organize a perfect society. But can any of us organize a perfect society when it is we who have brought into being the present one? To believe that peace can be achieved through violence is to sacrifice the present for a future ideal; and this seeking of a right end through wrong means is one of the causes of the present disaster.”

“Outward security for all can come only when there is love and intelligence….The true educator is concerned only with right living, right education, and right means of livelihood.

“The more irresponsible we are in these matters, the more the state takes over all responsibility. We are confronted, not with a political or economic crisis, but with a crisis of human deterioration which no political party or economic system can avert.”

“We want to do patchwork reform, which only leads to problems of still further reform. But the building is crumbling, the walls are giving way, and fire is destroying it. We must leave the building and start on new ground, with different foundations, different values.”

“Only by intelligently freeing ourselves from the spirit of nationalism, from envy and the thirst for power, can a new social order be established.”

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