10 Life Lessons by Eckhart Tolle

1) When you don’t cover up the world with words and labels, a sense of the miraculous returns to your life that was lost a long time ago when humanity, instead of using thought, became possessed by thought.

2) The past has no power over the present moment.
3) Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.
4) The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.
5) Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? what could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.
6) As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love – even the most simple action.
7) The moment that judgement stops through acceptance of what it is, you are free of the mind. You have made room for love, for joy, for peace
8) Being spiritual has nothing to do with what you believe and everything to do with your state of consciousness.
9) Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.
10) You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge. But it can only emerge if something fundamental changes in your state of consciousness

Alan Watts Reveals the Most Crucial Factor in Achieving Your Goals and Living the Life You Want

We all have big goals that we want achieve, however many of us are unsure about how to actually achieve them.
It’s not easy. Competition is always tough and sometimes it can feel like the world’s against you.
But if you want to make big strides in life then you need to somehow overcome these feelings of self-doubt and take action.
So to inspire you to take action now and give it your all, we’ve shared some words of wisdom from Alan Watts.
We’ve also provided 9 practical steps to achieving your goals, whatever they may be. Enjoy!

Alan Watts on why you need to stop aspiring and start doing

“Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.” – Alan Watts
1) Be specific with what you want to achieve
When people have “big goals” they tend to have something generic like “I want to open a Cafe and sell delicious cakes and coffee.” The problem? It’s not specific enough. Really hone down what you want actually want to achieve. What type of Cafe is it? What location? How big do you want it? How much is it? It’s time to really think about it and write down exactly what you want.
2) Draw up an action plan
Write down absolutely everything you need to achieve your goals, even small things. Take time with this because it’s important for the next step.
3) Make a list of steps
List every single step you need to take. Make sure each step is doable (don’t make one step that will take you 100 days to complete. You have to make it achievable within a day or two). This could be over 100 steps, but that’s okay. Once you have them down, you’ll be able to take action.
4) Act, do not be passive
Now you have steps in place, you need to take action. No excuses.

5) Alternative plans

If something doesn’t work, be flexible and change your steps. Some of the most succesful people achieve failures all the time. The difference? They learn from their mistakes and pivot.
6) Examine your goals periodically.
Your goals may change as you grow through life. That’s okay, just make sure you adjust your end goal so it really is what you want to achieve and it aligns with your values.
7) Repeat affirmations.
You need to believe in yourself. Self-doubt will only thwart you. Practice mindfulness and take a step back from self-limiting beliefs. Focus on your actions.
8) Visualize your goal.
Stay motivated and focused on what you want to achieve.
9) Take action
Don’t just affirm and visualize and do nothing. Take any action required to bring your goal into fruition. Follow your intuition, new ideas and opportunities that present themselves, and accept help from other people.

25 Alan Watts Quotes That Will Blow Your Mind Wide Open

Alan Watts was a British philosopher who spoke about Asian philosophies for a Western audience. He wrote over 25 books and was an excellent orator on topics such as the meaning of life, higher consciousness, the true nature of reality and the pursuit of happiness.
Below we look at some of his most potent quotes on various topics. At the bottom, I’ve also included one of my favorite YouTube videos of Alan Watts discussing “the real you”. Enjoy!

On Suffering

Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.
Your body does not eliminate poisons by knowing their names. To try to control fear or depression or boredom by calling them names is to resort to superstition of trust in curses and invocations. It is so easy to see why this does not work. Obviously, we try to know, name, and define fear in order to make it “objective,” that is, separate from “I.”

On the Mind

Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone. 

On the Present Moment

This is the real secret of life – to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.
The art of living… is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.
We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infintesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.
No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.
I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.
“…tomorrow and plans for tomorrow can have no significance at all unless you are in full contact with the reality of the present, since it is in the present and only in the present that you live.”

On the Meaning of Life

The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.

On Faith

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. 

Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Artists

Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.

On Change

The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.
The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.
“No one is more dangerously insane than one who is sane all the time: he is like a steel bridge without flexibility, and the order of his life is rigid and brittle.”
“Without birth and death, and without the perpetual transmutation of all the forms of life, the world would be static, rhythm-less, undancing, mummified.”

On Love

Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command.

On You

What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.
Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.
But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.

On Technology

Technology is destructive only in the hands of people who do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe.

On the Universe

“We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree.”
“Only words and conventions can isolate us from the entirely undefinable something which is everything.”

On Problems

“Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way.
source and courtesy: thepowerofideas.ideapod


10 Things We All Need To Know About Our Blood Type!

Hello everyone, how are you today? We all know that a healthy lifestyle and a proper nutrition, loaded with lots of raw fruits and vegetables, is extremely important for us and our health in general! But, did you know that your blood type has an important role for your health and body as well? I think that we all know that there are four blood types: A, B, AB, O and our blood type forms while we are still in the womb, which means that you can’t change it in any way later in life. You should also know that many experts around the world claim that each blood type has unique characteristics which can affect weight loss, certain diseases, and even the personality. And yes, the most important thing – knowing the characteristics of a specific blood type can aid in planning the adequate nutrition which will improve your health.
BLOOD TYPE AND NUTRITION
Here’s what you need to know – a chemical reaction happens in our bodies (during the entire day) and the blood type can be crucial when it comes to digestion or weight loss. You can take this for example – it’s highly recommended that people with blood type O consume foods high in protein, such as: meat and fish! People with blood type A does not require meal consumption at all, because vegetables are more suitable for them. And, people with blood type B should avoid chicken and consume more red meat! And finally, people with blood type AB will benefit from sea foods and lean meat.
BLOOD TYPE AND DISEASES
Here’s what you need to know – well, mostly because of the different formation of antigens on the surface of red blood cells, every blood type is different. Moreover, this is why every blood group is resistant to one type of disease, while being susceptive to some other type. So, knowing the characteristics of blood types can aid in prevention of specific diseases.
BLOOD TYPE AND PERSONALITY
Can I ask you a simple question – did you know that your blood type can affect your personality? Well, of course and you can take this for example – people with blood type O are considered as extraverts, creative, social, and confident. While, people with blood type A are peaceful, artistically-minded, and trustworthy. People who are dedicated to their goals, strong, and are independent are usually people with blood type B. And finally, people with blood type AB are reliable, shy, responsible, and like to take care of others. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
BLOOD TYPE AND PREGNANCY
The medical experts also say that women with a specific blood type group have bigger chances of getting pregnant than other types. Moreover, women with AB blood type produce less follicle stimulating hormone which helps women to conceive more easily.
BLOOD TYPE AND STRESS SUSCEPTIBILITY
Yes, you will be amazed when we tell you that stress tolerance also depends on the blood type. How this works – well, the experts say that blood type A produces more Cortisol-stress hormone. If you have met someone who easily gets furious, it is probably a person with blood type O. Moreover, they have a higher level of adrenalin and need more time to recuperate from stressful situations.

BLOOD ANTIGENS
Did you know that blood antigens are not only present in the blood, but also in the digestive tract, from the mouth to the colon, and even in the nostrils and lungs?
BLOOD TYPE AND ABDOMEN
Yes, you got that right! Some people do not have to worry about their belly fat! Why – because their blood type will help them and this won’t be a problem for them. People with blood type A digest carbohydrates easily, so these people rarely have belly fat. On the other hand, due to more difficult digestion of carbohydrates, people with blood type O are more prone to belly fat.
BLOOD TYPE AND MARRIAGE
Here’s what you need to do – well, before you get married, make sure you check your partner’s blood type group! Why – because, when it comes to having children, some blood types should not get mixed. For example, people with A and B blood type should not mix. According to the RH factor, RH+ and RH- should not be mixed. Due to this reason, a lot of states require couples, who intend to get married, to do a blood test first.
BLOOD TYPE AND EXERCISE
As we said, people with blood type A are more prone to stress, which means that they have to do some relaxing and calming exercises! Yoga and meditation are highly recommended for these people. And, people with blood type B like challenges for their body and spirit, so they tend to perform activities for balance of these two such as tennis, mountain climbing, and martial arts.
BLOOD TYPE AND EMERGENCIES
Many experts around the world say that you should always carry some kind of information on you, such as: your name, surname, address, phone number, and blood type with you. In case of an accident, and you are in a hospital, most probably, you will need a blood transfusion. Considering the fact that blood can only be accepted from those blood types that are compatible with yours, information about your blood type can be crucial in such moments. We really hope you enjoyed this article and don’t forget to share it with you friends and family members. Thank You and take care!
source: Healthy Life Tricks via: superhv

Stretch Your Ring Finger With Your Thumbs, And Maintain For a Few Seconds. Reasons You’ll Love!

Do you know that the secret of every cure lies in your hands? Harmony and peace will soon become a part of your everyday life, and all you need to do is learn the essence of “Mudras.”


The mudras are actually the gestures you do with your hands every time you practice yoga. You actually need the mudras to bring joy in your life.
Use the mudras to move the energy in your body. It’s all about the nerves in your fingers that are somehow related to the energy channels in your body.
You can do this at any time and in any place. All you need to do is find the best place to relax.
We give you the power of mudras, and you better remember their benefits:
  1. Prana healing (The Mudra of life)
                                            
Bring the tips of your thumb, index and little finger together. Hold your fingers in this position to prevent tiredness, relieve vision problems, boost your immunity, and stimulate your energy.
  1. Gyan Mudra (The Mudra of Knowledge)
                            
Do the lotus position, and bring the tips of your index finger and thumb together. Keep your other fingers extended. The Gyan Mudra will relax your mind and improve your concentration. It relieves insomnia, stress, and depression.
  1. Prithvi Mudra (The Mudra of Earth)
                                     
Bring the tips of your thumb and ring finger together, and press. This will help you balance the element of Earth in your body, and enhance digestion.
  1. Vayu Mudra (Mudra of Air)
                               
Fold your index finger, and press it against the base of your thumb. Press your thumb over it. This will help you relieve bloating and constipation.
  1. Jal Mudra (Varuna Mudra/The Mudra of Water)
                                      
Bring the tips of your pinky and thumb together. Don’t press too hard. Do this while sitting with your legs crossed. The Jal Mudra will relieve your pain and reduce the dryness in your mouth.
  1. Agni Mudra (Mudra of Fire)
                                              
This mudra is associated with the fire element. Fold your ring finger, and press your thumb above it. Do this in the morning before you eat or drink anything. This mudra isn’t recommended to those dealing with acidity. Do the Agni mudra to boost your immune system and metabolism.
  1. Shunya Mudra (The Mudra of Emptiness)
                                 
Fold your middle finger, and press your thumb over it. This will help you treat motion sickness, vertigo, and problems with your tongue, nose, and ear issues.

3 Profound Lessons From a Modern Day Buddhist Master That Will Blow Your Mind

It can be hard to deal with stress and anxiety sometimes. Negative thoughts creep in and the harder you try to stop them, the worse they get.

Fortunately, many spiritual teachers have encountered similar problems in the past, resulting in valuable wisdom that we all can benefit from.
Modern day master Buddhist Pema Chödrön is one of those people. She’s wrote countless books on how to deal with negative emotions using mindfulness techniques such as letting go, acceptance and meditation.
Below we go over some of her most potent lessons on overcoming stress, fear and anxiety so we can live a fulfilling and worthy life.

1) Negative emotions are the perfect teachers

“feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.” – Pema Chödrön
So many of us hide from negative emotions. We feel like we have to be positive 24/7. The truth is, we don’t. As Chodron says, negative emotions are important in teaching us more about ourselves and the lives we’re living.
Science backs this up. New research shows that experiencing and accepting emotions like anger and sadness are vital to our mental health. Attempting to suppress thoughts can backfire and even diminish our sense of contentment.
So the next time a negative emotion comes up, try to see if you can acknowledge and accept it.
It also might be a vital clue that a health issue, relationship or other important matter needs attention.

2) Fear only exists in your mind

“Once there was a young warrior. Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear. She didn’t want to do that. It seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it and gave her the instructions for the battle. The day arrived. The student warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful. They both had their weapons. The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, prostrated three times, and asked, “May I have permission to go into battle with you?” Fear said, “Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission.” Then the young warrior said, “How can I defeat you?” Fear replied, “My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power.” In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear. ” – Pema Chödrön
This story makes a great point.
We all experience fear. You can’t necessarily control your emotions, but you can control how you react to your emotions.
So many of us try to avoid the feeling of fear, but that reaction means that fear is controlling your reactions.
Instead, we need to accept and acknowledge our emotions, and then bring our focus back to the present moment so we can proceed with whatever we need to do.

3) We need to stop blaming others

“We habitually erect a barrier called blame that keeps us from communicating genuinely with others, and we fortify it with our concepts of who’s right and who’s wrong. We do that with the people who are closest to us and we do it with political systems, with all kinds of things that we don’t like about our associates or our society.
It is a very common, ancient, well-perfected device for trying to feel better. Blame others….Blaming is a way to protect your heart, trying to protect what is soft and open and tender in yourself. Rather than own that pain, we scramble to find some comfortable ground.” – Pema Chödrön
We all like to find a cause for why things aren’t turning out the way we like. By doing so, we look to outside factors to let ourselves off the hook. However, it’s far more fruitful to take responsibility for our own lives than get lost in the negativity of blaming others.
Knowing we can accept responsibility when things go wrong means we can also accept credit when things go well. We do, as individuals, have an effect on life; and that’s a good thing.
source and courtesy:hackspirit

Dalai Lama says: ACTION, not PRAYING will Help Us! THIS is The Problem of Praying!

Sometimes, when things are hard for our consciousness to deal with we turn to this medium between our consciousness and sub consciousness and pray.
We ask for help, guidance, for something which we think is out of our control. And there are many things out of our conscious control.
Praying helps, meditation too, but only with problems which come from our Inner World.
Things like terrorism are problems which come from our Outer World, the world our consciousness is responsible for not our sub consciousness.
We create these problems by following our selfish desires and immoral values. THIS is why not praying, but action will save us. We need to take conscious actions towards finding creative solutions.

Like Dalai Lama says:

“People want to lead peaceful lives. The terrorists are short-sided, and this is one of the causes of rampant suicide bombings.
We cannot solve this problem only through prayers. I’m a Buddhist and I believe in praying. But people have created this problem, and now we ask God to solve it. It is illogical.
God would say, solve it yourself because you created it in the first place.”
Imagine if you are a God and you have 100 creations you look upon and guide. The actions of one of your creations promotes a disorder in their realm. They ask for help, you help them, and after a while their actions still promote a similar disorder.
Now they ask for help again. How would you help them when their actions is what needs to change, not the result.
It is our values which need to change so our actions can promote different outcomes than distraction.
Dalai Lama says ACTION not PRAYING will help us 2
“…We need a systematic approach to foster humanistic values, of oneness and harmony. If we start doing it now, there is hope that this century will be different from the previous one. It is in everybody’s interest.”
Not praying but action will help us. And not some heroic sacrifice to destroy the darkness but everyday small deeds which make your little corner of the world a happier place.
We MUST see that the root of ALL problems in the world arises from here, from our homes, from our unawareness and our seemingly harmless actions. That’s what feeds the thing we ask God to help us with.
Fear, jealousy, grief, hate, vengeance… these are the terrorists we need to deal with everyday. The priority of money over love, success over humanity, sex over relationship… these are the core problems. That’s what we need to fix.
Dalai Lama says ACTION not PRAYING will help us 3
“..So let us work for peace within our families, society, and not expect help from God, Buddha, or the governments.”
Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but it is the small acts of kindness and love of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay
source and courtesy:lifecoachcode

Alan Watts Talks About Nothing is Everything YOU Need To Hear!


They say that the secret lies in the place you never think of looking for. They say that everything we always wanted hides behind our greatest fears, the treasures we seek are inside the cave we fear to enter. They say by becoming nothing you become everything.
They are pretty smart, don’t they… However, rare are the ones who truly understand what these pearls of wisdom really mean.
What are we most afraid of? Nothingness. But could it be, that in the midst of nothingness our greatest treasures can be found? 
source and courtesy: lifecoachcode

15 Profound Awakening Quotes From Alan Watts

In the middle of yoga class the other day, sweaty, exhausted, and holding a pose for what seemed an eternity, my teacher reminded me of the wisdom of Alan Watts with a single quote that would ultimately make me forget about the physical discomfort I was in, and allow me to fully connect to the beauty of the moment at hand.

“The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless,” she said.
The recitation reminded me in that moment that what I was feeling was not permanent, and I was choosing to be there to be enlivened, not lifeless. I wanted to feel, to sweat, to dig deeper mentally and physically. And so I let it happen, and suddenly the moment was exactly what I wanted it to be.

Alan Wilson Watts was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known for his interpretation and popularization of Asian philosophies for the Western minds. His more than 25 books and various articles spanned sensational subjects, including personal identity, higher consciousness, the true nature of reality, the meaning of life, and the pursuit of happiness without the desire for materialism.

Perhaps the most profound part of Watts was that he had the incredible ability of expressing complex thoughts in the simplest of ways.

Here is a glimpse into some of his most awakening quotes:

1. “Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.”

2. “We do not ‘come into’ this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree.”

3. “No one is more dangerously insane than one who is sane all the time: he is like a steel bridge without flexibility, and the order of his life is rigid and brittle.”

4. “Without birth and death, and without the perpetual transmutation of all the forms of life, the world would be static, rhythm-less, undancing, mummified.”

5. “What we have forgotten is that thoughts and words are conventions, and that it is fatal to take conventions too seriously. A convention is a social convenience, as, for example, money … but it is absurd to take money too seriously, to confuse it with real wealth … In somewhat the same way, thoughts, ideas and words are ‘coins’ for real things.”

6. “The source of all light is in the eye.”

7. “Just as true humor is laughter at oneself, true humanity is knowledge of oneself.”

8. “Peace can be made only by those who are peaceful, and love can be shown only by those who love. No work of love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.”

9. “This is the real secret of life – to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”

10. “The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”

11. “What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.”

12. “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

13. “There will always be suffering. But we must not suffer over the suffering.”

14. “To put is still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet.”

15. “Faith is a state of openness or trust. To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. And the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging to belief, of holding on. In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe, becomes a person who has no faith at all. Instead they are holding tight. But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be.

source and courtesy:collective-evolution

Dalai Lama Shares Hard Hitting Words About War & Mass Brainwashing

In the wake of the brutal London terror attack that left 4 dead and 40 injured, a moment of introspection on the nature of war and violence is due.
Luckily, the Dalai Lama has written extensively on this subject, including the relationship between mass-brainwashing and war.
In one piece titled “The Reality of War,” the renown Buddhist monk elaborates on this deadly phenomenon:
Of course, war and the large military establishments are the greatest sources of violence in the world. Whether their purpose is defensive or offensive, these vast powerful organizations exist solely to kill human beings. We should think carefully about the reality of war.
Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous – an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that war is criminal or that accepting it is criminal attitude.
In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering.
Our misguided cultural perceptions of war help us justify, in our minds, the brutality of this ancient practice.
As the Dalai Lama points out, military combat is often portrayed as glamorous, helping young men justify self-sacrificial acts like terrorism.
Just as Islamic propaganda can convince a terrorist to end his life, governmental propaganda can be used to enlist tens of thousands youths to fight foreign wars on false premises.
No greater example of this exists than the war in Iraq that was started on a lie and ended with thousands of dead American soldiers and over a million Iraqi civilian fatalities.
The Dalai Lama continues:
Modern warfare waged primarily with different forms of fire, but we are so conditioned to see it as thrilling that we talk about this or that marvelous weapon as a remarkable piece of technology without remembering that, if it is actually used, it will burn living people. War also strongly resembles a fire in the way it spreads.
If one area gets weak, the commanding officer sends in reinforcements. This is throwing live people onto a fire. But because we have been brainwashed to think this way, we do not consider the suffering of individual soldiers. No soldiers want to be wounded or die.
None of his loved ones wants any harm to come to him. If one soldier is killed, or maimed for life, at least another five or ten people – his relatives and friends – suffer as well. We should all be horrified by the extent of this tragedy, but we are too confused.
He uses the term “brainwash”, which is an important distinction: it requires a fundamental misdirection of our own mental capacities to overlook the obvious brutality of war.
Indeed, it is this brainwashing that grants dictators the power to organize and use soldiers in the first place:
No matter how malevolent or evil are the many murderous dictators who can currently oppress their nations and cause international problems, it is obvious that they cannot harm others or destroy countless human lives if they don’t have a military organisation accepted and condoned by society.
Those who command armies often do so with the consent of the governed. At what point does following orders take a back seat to following one’s own moral compass?
The value of human life is often taken for granted, but as the Dalai Lama points out:
We should feel fed up with the violence and killing going on around us. If a human being is killed by an animal, it’s sad, but if a human being is killed by another human being it’s unthinkable.
We have to make a special effort to think of each other as fellow human beings, as our brothers and sisters.

Recent Stories