This cowboy title of this law was made famous in the Trevon Martin case in 2012. It has since become a symbol of what can be called defensive aggression. Agressively defending MY gound, MY country, MY people. And the more we defend our ground and the more we cling to things that are MINE, the less space we have for others. The less room for altenatives. We begin to live in MY very lonely world.
But, where is MY country, exactly? And who are MY people? A cursory survey of genetic development shows that compared with other strains of flora and fauna humans are unnaturally homogeneous. And, over time, the racial strains within that tight genetic structure are pretty well mixed. Its hard to say who is who, except that all of us are pretty much the same. This makes the theory of master races pretty thin. Its as though we have to invent system that dont exist to simply not believe them.
All cultures have developed spiritual systems and the majority of which recognize a superior deity or deities. And if you assembled a room full of congregants of one church would any two of them be praying to the same god? The entire council might go to war or be put to death defending this church, but would any two of the combatants actually know the same god. In fact, do you? Is there a consistant picture in your mind about the source of spiritual understanding? Yet, how stridently we will define ourselves by these beliefs.
I’ll kick your butt over my right to not know what I believe. Damn yo’.
I recently saw a homeless fellow collecting change on a New York City street. I was going to drop in a dollar when I saw a swastika tattoo quite prominently exposed on his calf. I stiffened, kept my cash and stepped around him, down the street. But, my head went into a tirade. Go back to your country, I thought. This is New York. MY city. You’re not welcome here. Go back to YOUR wretched world with its wretched people spouting its wretched doctrines. We are free here in MY city.
MY city, where no two of us like the same bagel. Not if you get down to the actual schmear.
And for a few minutes I fought myself not to circle around and tell him off. I had a head of wuips, stories and arguments. But, one thing kept coming back to block me. The kid looked sick. He looked hurt. And, truth is, no matter how mean someone looks, we’re all broken. We share the same fesrs and fall back on the same strategies to avoid pain. No one flowers gracefully into hate. Toxic philosophies are hard wrought. They are forged in violence and cruelty passed down from parent to children. That swastika was not a badge of strength, as much as a scab covered bruise. It hurt to receive it, as much as it must have hurt to have worn it.
Eventually, I calmed down enough to ask myself what I was defending. Evidencce: I was riled. I was angry. Therefore, I had to have been defending something. Was I really lashing out against cruelty, or acting out against my own wounds? Is my self-identified non-violent activism ultimately a misdirect of a deep rooted aggression? Is the Bodhisattva vow reducable to a shield protecting the ugly sores of upbringing? Am I dedicating my life to bringing meditation to the world simply as a way of condeming the the part of the world I see as against me?
Are sny if us using love as a weapon? Or, do we live because we truly believe humankind DESERVES to be loved?
The truth is, wounded animals are dangerous when threatened. This is true no matrer how sweet the animal is otheewise. The fact that it wants to give and receive love doesn’t make it any less dangerous. So, as we”re wounded, how to procede? Keep silent? Hide? Absolutely not. The wounded are the most dangerous and best placed to talk to afflicted others who are at tge vanguard of hate. So we can ignite the dangerous flame of hstred, or use the light of compassion to touch those who refuse to listen. The fact is, love is a more affective way to communicate.
The more we cling to a ground made up of conceptual identity, the less grounded – and more inherently insecure – we become. Rather than focusing on what we might become, or even who we are in the present time and space, we select instances from the path that help solodify a picture that is not real, but a distracted reaction to our fear. We so want to be, that we create a ME. And more often as otherwise, that ME finds its strength in what its not.
So, yeah, lets go to war to prove we’re not gay, or Jewish or German or Muslim. Only, we are all of these things. And the only battle we ultimately fight is against ourselves.