The focus of the month in July is called "Why We Like War". Well, do we like war?
As a concept, we would say we do not like war. But in practice, do we not like war? Do we not feel satisfaction in revenge? Do we not hold grudges? Do we not take things personally? Do we not want to control others? Do we not want to get what we want? Do we not think of ourselves as separate from others? Do we not want our interests to be more important than the interests of others? If you made an honest assessment and realized you do want those things, then you at least like the foundation of what builds a war even if you claim not to like wars per se.
How is it that there is a disconnection between our perceived values and our actual inclinations? Or more importantly, more than asking why it is so, what can we do to practice satya or truth, so that we can say what we mean and mean what we say?
The key lies in observing ourselves. What are the building blocks of war that we are holding on to? What is the "reward" to keep holding on to them? To feel safe and comfortable and familiar and avoid doing the work of looking at ourselves? What is the price of holding on to them? To continuously have that internal conflict and to keep ourselves trapped and to continue to suffer.
If we want to practice satya, and we say we do not like war, then we have to start to break down those building blocks of war that we ourselves possess. We learn to forgive. We practice letting go. We root in our compassion. As Gandhi said "An eye for an eye makes the world go blind." So our anger and resentment and vengeance will only cause war. Any feeling of self-satisfaction and justification are short-lived and do not contribute to any meaningful sense of peace.
War or Peace? Everyday, we get to choose with every thought, word, and action. Every moment, we get to observe which case we are building up for. Every breath, we get to practice taking one path or the other.