All life is sacred.
We are spiritual beings having human experiences, and I will not deprive anyone from having the experiences they are meant to have, and learning what they need to learn during their passages through the Earth, including the pain and suffering of carrying the regret and remorse of killing someone.
I may be killed, but I choose not to kill.
Physical life is temporary and transient; it will eventually end. Once we understand who we really are — that we are, at the same time, mortal and immortal, human and divine, separated and united, many and one — then we can fully understand the greatest saints and sages, and we can let ourselves be killed, without ever killing, because we have realized that “life is more.”
Once we experience a spiritual awakening, we become able to see beyond what we were able to see before, and then we see that the mystery many of us call God is in everyone and everyone is in God; God is the ground in which we exist. This realization makes violence, aggression and killing inconceivable and unacceptable.
The other realization is that since we are in God and God is in us, we are protected by God; therefore, we don’t need weapons for protection. And if we are to face abuse, suffering, and even experience physical death, we understand that this is all part of the human experiences we, spiritual beings, have to live in order to learn the lessons we are meant to learn during our passage as human beings through this physical dimension.
It may sound that I am advocating the cowardly stance of remaining passive when facing injustice, threat, and aggression, and allowing the violent ones to walk all over the defenseless. This is not the case at all. I am advocating that we should be bold, stand up, resist, defend ourselves and others, speak truth to power, and engage in the work of creating a just society, and do all this and a lot more without ever using violence, and without ever being afraid of bringing our physical life to an end.
Whenever I witness the loss of lives through war, crime, and other senseless acts of violence — that many times are motivated by lack of justice, by despair, and by the compulsion to take justice in one’s own hands as the only resort — what comes to my mind is this scene of the movie “Gandhi.” Here’s a description of that scene: a meeting is taking place in a large auditorium and some participants start to advocate the use of violence as a means to stop the abuse and discrimination they are being subjected to by the authorities and the police. The idea begins to gain adepts, and people in the room begin to raise their voices and express their desire to use force and lash out against the government that passed unjust and discriminatory laws, and the law enforcement agents. This goes on for a while until Gandhi stands up and says, “In this cause, I, too, am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill.”
I guess he had reached a higher understanding. I think he spoke as any enlightened being would. “For this cause I am prepared to die, but there is no cause I am prepared to kill for.”
Those four words form the basis of my pacifism, “I will not kill.” It is amazing to me how many people respond to that with questions/arguments presenting me with hypothetical situations where I should/would/could/must kill for some “higher” reason. I always respond, “I will not kill.” And it makes them angry. ~ Pat Carrithers
I face similar questions as the ones described by Path Carrithers. When asked about what I would do in such hypothetical situations — for instance, someone threatening the lives of my loved ones — I say that I would try to stop the attacker from killing using as much nonviolence as possible, or using the minimal amount of violence possible. In an extreme situation I would sacrifice my life if this could save another life, but I would not kill. In all honesty, it is a difficult question and I hope never facing such a situation. All I know is that these words impacted me profoundly: “For this cause I am willing to die, but there is no cause I am willing to kill for.” These, for me, are words coming from someone who has reached a higher ground, someone I admire. ~ Piero Falci
Here’s my desire and my vision:
I would prefer to live in a world without weapons, without violence, without terrorism, without aggression, without retaliation, without revenge, and without war. I would prefer to live in a world without fear, without greed, without poverty, without oppression, without racism, without slavery, without discrimination, and without exploitation.
My world, the one I am creating, is a nonviolent world, where compassion, solidarity, and cooperation reign, and where everybody can live with dignity and thrive.
I know this is possible.
Join me in creating a whole new world!
Heaven is here, if we want it to be!
Know that you are loved. ~ Piero
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– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”
– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”
– “Silent Peace Walk”