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Practical Wisdom -The Spiritual Discernment of War and Compassion

Pracitcal Wisdom with Rev. Dr. Ahriana Platten

Like many of you, recent headlines leave me feeling overwhelmed by the cruelty and violence of war.


Throughout history, spiritual masters and prophets have conveyed a universal truth:

Love, compassion, healing, and forgiveness are the cornerstones of our collective existence.


As we travel the currents of global conflicts, this timeless wisdom encourages us to deeply connect with the pain of others and to foster understanding. We're called upon to live out these teachings.


Regrettably, in this age of information abundance, it's all too easy to distance ourselves from such spiritual insights, forming hasty and often ill-informed views on faraway conflicts. A tweet can circle the globe before our morning coffee cools – urging us to pick a side, to declare who is wrong or right. Yet, the enlightened souls of history beckon us towards a profound realization. They underscore that beneath every conflict are individual human stories, laden with pain, hope, and aspirations.


These spiritual luminaries, be they wanderers of deserts, climbers of peaks, or city dwellers, all echoed a consistent message: Every life is precious. Every heart knows sorrow. Every soul seeks love and is intrinsically linked to others. Beyond each headline and statistic detailing loss are individuals with dreams, fears, and aspirations, akin to our own.


Buddha insightfully remarked, "Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule." Amidst conflict and turmoil, his teachings guide us towards replacing hostility with compassion.

 


Rumi, the Sufi mystic, poignantly observed, "The wound is the place where the Light enters you." Facing pain and tragedy, Rumi's insights inspire us to seek strength, personal growth, and enlightenment, urging a deeper connection with global suffering.


From Jesus' teachings, we are gently reminded, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." In an age marked by division, this summons us to be ambassadors of peace.


Each skirmish sends shockwaves through our shared human spirit. A father's tears over the loss of his child reverberate in the souls of fathers worldwide. The fear of a grandmother, with family living (and perishing) in conflict zones, resonates within the collective consciousness of all beings—perhaps even beyond our earthly realm.


Regardless of our geographical proximity to conflict, we all bear its impact. In the dance of existence, we can't fully fathom the internal battles of those around us—their quiet anxieties, hidden heartbreaks, or whispered prayers for those ensnared in war. For this reason, especially in wartime, we hold a spiritual duty to tread gently, recognizing that each word, gesture, or deed can either mend or wound another's heart.


A cherished quote from the Dalai Lama resonates deeply: "Compassion is the radicalism of our time."


Let us be radicals.


Instead of taking sides or reacting impulsively, perhaps it's time we commit to ensuring our actions, however small, emanate compassion and unity. In doing so, we set a trajectory towards a future anchored in love and mutual respect.


As people of faith—irrespective of our chosen path—we're guided to love more freely, forgive more wholly, and harbor the possibility of miracles in our hearts.


The world is in dire need of more miracles—right now. It's time to let go of judgment and to embrace the lessons imparted by the Masters and Prophets.

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