Anything and everything COULD be regarded as relevant to zen practice.  That
determination is up to you.

Do you think this posting is relevant to your zen practice, or would be
relevant or helpful to someone else's zen practice?  If so how?

I'm much more interested in what YOU have to say about things then what URI
AVNERY has to say.



From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2010 10:16 AM
To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [Zen] Should we disturb zazen practice with issues like this?



Bill, I hear you. Since zen has nothing to say about anything, it is hard to
know what to say about zen. Can this article below be regarded as relevant
in any way to zen?  --ED


September 27, 2010

Reflections of a Professional Grumbler 

Gandhi's Wisdom


SURFING THE television channels, I came across an interview with the
grandson of Mahatma Gandhi on an American network (Fox - would you believe

"My grandfather told us to love the enemy even while fighting him," he said,
"he fought against the British resolutely, but loved the British." (I quote
from memory.)

My immediate reaction was baloney, the pious wish of do-gooders! But then I
suddenly remembered that in my youth I had felt exactly the same, when I
joined the Irgun at the age of 15. I liked the English (as we called all the
British), the English language and English culture, and I was ready to put
my life on the line in order to drive the English out of our country. When I
said so to the Irgun's recruitment committee, while sitting with a bright
light shining in my eyes, I was almost rejected.

But the grandson's words set me to thinking more seriously. Can one make
peace with an opponent while hating him? Is peace possible at all without a
positive attitude towards the other side?

* * * 

ON THE face of it, the answer is "yes". Self-styled "realists" and
"pragmatists" will say that peace is a matter of political interests, that
feelings should not be involved. (Such "realists" are people who cannot
imagine another reality, and such "pragmatists" are people who cannot think
in the longer term.)

As is well-know, one makes peace with enemies. One makes peace in order to
stop a war. War is the realm of hate, it dehumanizes the foe. In every war,
the enemy is portrayed as sub-human, evil and cruel by nature.

Peace is supposed to terminate the war, but does not promise to change the
attitude towards yesterday's enemy. We stop killing him, but that does not
mean that we start loving him. When we reach the conclusion that it is in
our interest to stop the war rather than to go on with it, this does not
mean that our attitude towards the enemy has changed.

We have here an inbuilt paradox: the thought of peace arises while the war
is still going on. It follows that peace is planned by those who are still
at war, who are still in the grip of the war mentality. That can twist their

The result can be a monster, like the infamous Treaty of Versailles that
ended World War I. It trampled on the vanquished Germany, robbed her and,
worst of all, humiliated her. Many historians believe that this treaty bears
much of the blame for the outbreak of World War II, which was even more
devastating. (As a child I grew up in Germany under the dark shadow of the
Versailles treaty, so I know what I am talking about.)

* * * 

MAHATMA GANDHI understood this. He was not only a very moral person, but
also a very wise one (if there really is any difference). I did not agree
with his opposition to resisting Nazi Germany by force, but I always admired
his genius as the leader of Indian liberation.

He realized that the main task of a liberation leader is to shape the
mentality of the people he wishes to liberate. When hundreds of millions of
Indians were confronting a few tens of thousands of Britons, the main
problem was not to defeat the British, but to get the Indians themselves to
want liberation and a life in freedom and harmony. To make peace without
hatred, without a longing for revenge, with an open heart, ready to be
reconciled with yesterday's enemy.

Gandhi himself was only partially successful in this. But his wisdom
illuminated the path of many. It shaped people like Nelson Mandela, who
established peace without hatred and without revenge, and Martin Luther
King, who called for reconciliation between black and white. We, too, have
much to learn from this wisdom.


Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom. He is a
contributor to CounterPunch's book
<http://www.easycartsecure.com/CounterPunch/CounterPunch_Books.html> The
Politics of Anti-Semitism. 





--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, <billsm...@...> wrote:
> Ed,
> I personally don't think these kinds of posts are appropriate for the Zen
> Forum.
> I read the post and thought it was very informative and interesting. I'm
> better informed for reading it. But.the better we focus the posting on the
> Zen Forum to zen, I think the better the forum will be.
> If the forum gets too `general' then it runs the risk of being diluted and
> might soon become just another general bulletin board rather than a forum
> focused on zen.
> .Bill!

> September 28, 2010
> The Sin of Independence 
> Why Doesn't the US Talk to Iran? 

__________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature
database 5491 (20100930) __________

The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.


Reply via email to