Poison’s antidote – the elixir of love

Rex Murphy’s November 13, 2023 opinion piece in the National Post, The undying hatred of Jews poisons the West continues the theme of moral outrage espoused by two recent articles, Hamas is pure evil and our minds can’t comprehend their horror, by rabbi Moshe Taragin in the Jerusalem Post (rebutted in my article Pure Love Comprehends All) and Footage of Hamas barbarism shows why ceasefire is not an option, by Jesse Kline, (rebutted in my article Ceasefire the only option) also published by the National Post.

Murphy attempts, like Taragin’s and Kline, to distinguish between Hamas and Jews, between good and evil, and between normal and abnormal minds, when he writes, “Any normal mind and any decent human heart would think that after Hitler and the Nazis, after their remoreless [sic] torture and murder of six million Jews — six million! — that the hate for Jews, a hate that even has its own discrete category, antisemitism — so strong and perdurable has it been  — would have been exhausted, or satisfied.”

Murphy goes on at great length perpetuating the equally perdurable belief that blind rage is a justifiable response to anger, hatred and attack. Any “normal mind” would be able to reason that, even if such rage was justifiable (which I maintain it isn’t), it surely doesn’t produce the desired result, peace. Isn’t it strange that a “normal mind”, like Murphy’s, can’t see instantly how the anger that leads to war is the opposite of peace.

I believe the rational, normal, peaceful mind is capable of finding compassion, forgiveness and connection regardless of the circumstance, while the irrational, insane, angry mind believes forgiveness and dialogue may be possible in some circumstances, it’s impossible for the event it believes has triggered its righteous rage. The dividing line between the unforgiveable and forgivable cannot be established because it doesn’t exist. Thus we see people killed for driving in a way that offends or a young child severely beaten for spilling water on a floor while completing his chores.

In my articles Pure Love Comprehends All and Ceasefire the only option, I go on at some length to outline a spiritual approach to the solving of the world’s many conflicts. For those of you that think a spiritual approach to solving the world’s problems is “airy fairy”, I argue that the use of AK-47s and loitering drones hasn’t solved the problem and it’s unlikely that the use of even more of them will.

In my rebuttals, I rely heavily on the Bible and the spiritual teachings found in the masterwork, A Course in Miracles (ACIM), and two companion texts, Journey Beyond Words (JBW) and The Other Voice (TOV). These works and many spiritual teachings, point to a fundamental shift needed in our collective thinking; a shift away from the mistaken belief that we are somehow separated individuals and yet live in a collective existence that allows us to judge the behaviors of others.

The fundamental spiritual lesson is this: We are not separate from our Creator or from each other, nor have we ever been, nor can we ever be. Sri Ramana Maharshi, the revered Indian saint, put it this way. “To know the Truth of one’s Self as the sole reality, and to merge and become one with it, is the only true Realization.”

The presumed ability to be separate and to judge is at the heart of our discontent in life and all its conflicts. Can Murphy realize that the same blind rage he directs towards Hamas is the same blind rage Hamas directs towards Israel? I hope so, but then they call it blind rage because it doesn’t see and has no vision at all. It’s no wonder that one of Shakespeare’s most beloved lines is, “A plague on both your houses!”

Murphy goes on and on about the prejudice leveled against the Jews but fails to see, as many others do, that the same kind of brutal dehumanization of an identifiable group by Nazi Germany, and most of the rest of Europe at the time, that was applied to the Jews is exactly what Israel has been practicing against Palestinians. To those that disagree, and many do vehemently, this position is dismissed as antisemitism.

On a more personal level, can Taragin, Kline and Murphy entertain for even  a moment that the righteous anger they feel is exactly the same righteous anger that allowed Hamas to be so brutal in its attack? 

Jesus warned about the temptation to believe your judgement is superior to another’s in Matthew 7.

[1] Judge not, that ye be not judged.
[2] For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
[3] And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
[4] Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
[5] Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Murphy concludes, “Israel is the Job of nations. With this horrible difference. Job, after his immiseration, was restored. Those who hate Israel have a violently different end in mind.”

I believe there is another option, another voice to be heeded to, the voice of love, and the realization that peace is not found in changes to the external world but rather through a change in the internal dialogue of the mind.

ACIM has two primary sections, a theoretical Text and a series of daily lessons in a Workbook. Workbook Lesson 71, speaks of salvation (the realization that we are One Mind) and also addresses judgement in the lesson entitled “Only God’s plan for salvation will work.”

  1. You may not realize that the ego has set up a plan for salvation in opposition to God’s. ²It is this plan in which you believe. ³Since it is the opposite of God’s, you also believe that to accept God’s plan in place of the ego’s is to be damned. ⁴This sounds preposterous, of course. ⁵Yet after we have considered just what the ego’s plan is, perhaps you will realize that, however preposterous it may be, you do believe in it.
  2. The ego’s plan for salvation centers around holding grievances. ²It maintains that, if someone else spoke or acted differently, if some external circumstance or event were changed, you would be saved. ³Thus, the source of salvation is constantly perceived as outside yourself. ⁴Each grievance you hold is a declaration, and an assertion in which you believe, that says, “If this were different, I would be saved.” ⁵The change of mind necessary for salvation is thus demanded of everyone and everything except yourself.
  3. The role assigned to your own mind in this plan, then, is simply to determine what, other than itself, must change if you are to be saved. ²According to this insane plan, any perceived source of salvation is acceptable provided that it will not work. ³This ensures that the fruitless search will continue, for the illusion persists that, although this hope has always failed, there is still grounds for hope in other places and in other things. ⁴Another person will yet serve better; another situation will yet offer success.
  4. Such is the ego’s plan for your salvation. ²Surely you can see how it is in strict accord with the ego’s basic doctrine, “Seek but do not find.” ³For what could more surely guarantee that you will not find salvation than to channelize all your efforts in searching for it where it is not?
  5. God’s plan for salvation works simply because, by following His direction, you seek for salvation where it is. ²But if you are to succeed, as God promises you will, you must be willing to seek there only. ³Otherwise, your purpose is divided and you will attempt to follow two plans for salvation that are diametrically opposed in all ways. ⁴The result can only bring confusion, misery and a deep sense of failure and despair.
  6. How can you escape all this? ²Very simply. ³The idea for today is the answer. ⁴Only God’s plan for salvation will work. ⁵There can be no real conflict about this, because there is no possible alternative to God’s plan that will save you. ⁶His is the only plan that is certain in its outcome. ⁷His is the only plan that must succeed.
  7. Let us practice recognizing this certainty today. ²And let us rejoice that there is an answer to what seems to be a conflict with no resolution possible. ³All things are possible to God. ⁴Salvation must be yours because of His plan, which cannot fail.

(ACIM, W-71.1:1–7:4)

In conclusion, I would hope that Taragin, Kline and Murphy would like to see peace restored to Israel and Gaza and, for that matter, the world entire. If that is so, I would suggest that this is what they should be calling for instead of justifying a continuing slaughter on both sides. The solution to the world’s conflicts cannot and does not rest in our killing each other.