"Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war." ~ Robert Marley
i know a lot of people don't like religion. neither did i.
this man Don Miguel Ruiz has some very valuable lessons, and a brilliant philosophy which has helped me through many dark periods. it is more than a way of thinking, it is an easy to remember formula that has literally saved my life on several occasions.
he teaches a very simple, memorable, four step method. there are no "rules" i "must" obey. there are only agreements i can voluntarily choose to accept on my own terms. commitments that i can try to live up to. if I give it my best effort, i might just achieve some validation, and experience improvement in the quality of life.
here is the summary. -------------------------------- the four agreements - don miguel ruiz's code for life
I agree to be impeccable with my word - Speak with integrity. Say only what i mean. Avoid using the word to speak against myself or to gossip about others. Use the power of my word in the direction of truth and love.
I agree to never take anything personally - Nothing others do is because of me. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When i am immune to the opinions and actions of others, i won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
I agree never to make assumptions - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what i really want. Communicate with others as clearly as i can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, i can completely transform my life.
I agree to always do my best - My best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when i am healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do my best, and i will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret. ----------------------------------------------
the beauty is, these are not commandments. they are commitments. it is all about freedom of choice. i know that i automatically rebel against any rule or restriction, because of power/control issues, but it was easy for me to "agree" with these obviously good ideas.
all of his books are just expansion of these four concepts. you will find more about him here...
his writings have changed my life. in fact, he is the source of my signature motto below. "a warrior must learn the art of healing"
( i believe it is an improvement on my previous motto which i received from nietzsche... "what does not destroy me, makes me stronger." this phrase had been my battle cry since my early twenties. it taught me endurance, survival, tenacity, optimism... but not healing. )
i was always aware that a warrior needs to know how to fight.
i focused on improving my offensive and defensive skills. constantly collecting new and better weapons for my arsenal. i sought and envisioned only victory. who wants to be a "loser"? i was a "winner", not a "wiener", not a "whiner".
it had never occured to me that healing is just as important as fighting. if you do not heal, you cannot fight again.
a warrior who cannot recover from his wounds is like a disposable razor. useful, but not for long. once it becomes dull and blunted, it no longer functions as it should.
you do not need to win every battle to win the war.
this man's books taught me that there is still dignity in defeat.
Carlos Castaneda was an anthropologist seeking to do field work on the use of medicinal plants when he met don Juan Matus. Castaneda’s guide became his guru, who introduced him into a new way of thought and being, based on the knowledge of the seers of his lineage. Dr. Castaneda wrote twelve books on his apprenticeship. Carlos Castaneda Interview
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
"Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting."
“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
“There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.”
“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.”
“One may know how to conquer without being able to do it.”
“One mark of a great warrior is that he fights on his own terms or fights not at all.”
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
the original way of the warrior's guide. a life strategy, mental discipline from over 2500 years ago.
Go Rin No Sho : The Book of Five Rings One of Japan's great samurai sword masters penned in decisive, unfaltering terms this certain path to victory, and like Sun Tzu's The Art of War it is applicable not only on the battlefield but also in all forms of competition. Always observant, creating confusion, striking at vulnerabilities--these are some of the basic principles. Going deeper, we find the interval of vulnerability, of indecisiveness, of rest, the briefest but most vital moment to strike. In succinct detail, Miyamoto records ideal postures, blows, and psychological tactics to put the enemy off guard and open the way for attack. Most important of all is Miyamoto's concept of rhythm, how all things are in harmony, and that by working with the rhythm of a situation we can turn it to our advantage with little effort.
Miyamoto Musashi, also known as Shinmen Takezoo, Miyamoto Bennosuke, or by his Buddhist name Niten Dooraku, was a Japanese swordsman famed for his duels and distinctive style. Musashi, as he is often simply known, became legendary through his outstanding swordsmanship in numerous duels, even from a very young age. He is the founder of the Hyoohoo Niten Ichi-ryuu or Niten-ryuu style of swordsmanship and the author of The Book of Five Rings (Go Rin No Sho), a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied today.
Loc: Western Europe
The Tao Te Ching
Daodejing, or Dao De Jing (dào "way"; dé "virtue"; jing "classic" or "text"), also simply referred to as the Laozi, is a Chinese classic text. According to tradition, it was written around 6th century BC by the sage Laozi (or Lao Tzu, "Old Master"), a record-keeper at the Zhou dynasty court, by whose name the text is known in China. The text's true authorship and date of composition or compilation are still debated, although the oldest excavated text dates back to the late 4th century BC.
The text is fundamental to both philosophical and religious Taoism and strongly influenced other schools, such as Legalism, Confucianism and Chinese Buddhism, which when first introduced into China was largely interpreted through the use of Daoist words and concepts. Many Chinese artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers, and even gardeners have used the Daodejing as a source of inspiration. Its influence has also spread widely outside East Asia, and is amongst the most translated works in world literature.
The Wade–Giles romanization "Tao Te Ching" dates back to early English transliterations in the late 19th century; its influence can be seen in words and phrases that have become well-established in English. "Daodejing" is the pinyin romanization.
The 5 Love Languages The secret is learning the right love language! . #1: Words of Affirmation Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
#2: Quality Time For those whose love language is spoken with Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
#3: Receiving Gifts Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
#4: Acts of Service Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
#5: Physical Touch This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
"The sea is dangerous and its storms terrible, but these obstacles have never been sufficient reason to remain ashore." ~ Ferdinand Magellan
"Playing it safe is now the most dangerous game on the planet." ~ Frank Ogden
"Security is a false god; begin making sacrifices to it and you are lost." ~ Paul Bowles
"There is no security on this earth, there is only opportunity." ~ General Douglas MacArthur
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few." ~ Shunryu Suzuki
"Ideas are our only truly renewable resource." ~ Joel Hodgson
"If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied." ~ Alfred Nobel
"Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right." ~ Henry Ford
"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice." ~ Neil Ellwood Peart
"What one has decided upon becomes, in the end, fate." ~ Harold Courlander
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” ~ Carl Jung
"Man is condemned to be free." ~ Jean~Paul Sartre
"When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other." ~ Eric Hoffer
"If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity." ~ Bill Vaughan
"Individuals or organizations can, to a large extent, be relied upon to impose the kind of censorship which was once enforced by the state." ~ Richard Webster
"Automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency." ~ Bill Gates
"I chased down the error and fixed it. Now I had improved the program to the point where it would not run at all." ~ George Greenstein
"I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won't work." ~ Thomas Edison
"Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war." ~ Nesta Robert Marley
"Until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, the dreams of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained." ~ Haile Selassie Ras Tafari
"War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today." ~ John F. Kennedy
"The first casualty when war comes is truth." ~ Hiram Johnson
"Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne." ~ J.R. Lowell
"You can build a throne out of bayonets, but you can't sit on it for very long." ~ Boris Yeltsin
"It is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions." ~ Thomas Huxley
"Truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.". ~ Max Planck
"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." ~ George Orwell
"The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it." ~ Abbie Hoffman
"Revolutions can come from thrones as well as from conspirators' cellars." ~ King Faisal ibn Abdul Aziz al Saud
"Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way." ~ General George Patton
"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things." ~ Niccolo Machiavelli
"Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought." ~ Albert Szent~Gyorgi
"Genius sees the answer before the question." ~ Julius Robert Oppenheimer
"A good composer does not imitate; he steals." ~ Igor Stravinsky
"If you steal ideas from one source, that's plagiarism, but if you steal ideas from more than one source, that's research." ~ Laurendo Almeida
"Self-plagiarism is style." ~ Alfred Hitchcock
"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." ~ Howard Aiken
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." ~ Arthur C. Clarke
"Major advances in civilization are processes that all but wreck the societies in which they occur." ~ A.N. Whitehead
"It is more moral for an idea to kill a society than it is for a society to kill an idea." ~ Robert Pirsig
"The civilization of one epoch becomes the manure of the next." ~ Cyril Connolly
"There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world; and that is an idea whose time has come." ~ Victor Hugo
"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices, but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence and fulfills the duty to express the results of his thought in clear form." ~ Albert Einstein
"There is no OFF position for the genius switch." ~ David Letterman
"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." ~ Jonathan Swift
"Vor Allem der Krieg. Der Krieg war immer die grosse Klugheit aller zu innerlich, zu tief gewordnen Geister; selbst in der Verwundung liegt noch Heilkraft. Aus der Kriegsschule des Lebens. - Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker."
Click to reveal.. ( ENGLISH TRANSLATION )
Above all the war. The war has always been the great wisdom of all spirits who have become too inward, too profound; within the wound itself lies healing power. From life's school of war; What does not kill me makes me stronger.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
"A warrior needs to know healing." ~ Richard Wagamese
"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." ~ Sheng Ts'an
"In light of heaven, the worst suffering on earth, a life full of the most atrocious tortures on earth, will be seen to be no more serious than one night in an inconvenient hotel." ~ Mother Teresa.
"Pain is information we need. It signals that something important is going on and we need to pay attention and take action." ~ Ralph Schillace
"God is a verb, not a noun." ~ R. Buckminster Fuller
"Spirits increase, vigour grows through a wound." ~ Aulus Furius Antias
"The world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it." ~ Helen Keller
"In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer." ~ Albert Camus
"Broken and sick, again I live. By death's taste, I know life's worth." ~ Zahir~ad~Din (Babur the Tiger)
"Don't be attracted to easy paths, because the paths that make your feet bleed are the only way to get ahead in life." ~ Saddam Hussein
"Suffering! We owe to it all that is good in us, all that gives value to life; we owe to it pity, we owe to it courage, we owe to it all the virtues." ~ Anatole Franc
"It is the spectators, the people who are outside, looking at the tragedy, from whose ranks the skeptics come; it is not those who are actually in the arena and who know suffering from the inside. Indeed, the fact is that it is the world's greatest sufferers who have produced the most shining examples of unconquerable faith." ~ James Stewart
"Iron is full of impurities that weaken it; through the forging fire, it becomes steel and is transformed into a razor-sharp sword." ~ Morihei Ueshiba
“The strongest steel is forged by the fires of hell.” ~ Sherrilyn Kenyon
"No tree can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell." ~ Carl Jung
"I've been to Hell. You've only read about it." ~ Donatien Alphonse Francois
"One moment on the battlefield is worth a thousand years of peace." ~ Benito Mussolini
"There is a hideous pleasure which is produced by intense and forbidden impressions and fatal sights." ~ Gilles de Rais
"Give them pleasure - the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare." ~ Alfred Hitchcock
"The charm of horror tempts only the strong." ~ Charles Baudelaire
"At the root of every taboo, there must be desire." ~ Sigmund Freud
"The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact." ~ Malcolm Muggeridge
"The proof of spiritual maturity is not how 'pure' you are but awareness of your impurity." ~ Philip Yancey
"We always resist prohibitions, and yearn for what is denied us." ~ Baruch Spinoza
"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it." ~ Mae West
"Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures." ~ Thomas Aquinas
"Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac." ~ Henry Kissinger
"Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't." ~ Margaret Thatcher
"It is not enough to conquer, one must learn to seduce." ~ Francois~Marie Arouet (Voltaire)
"Absolute power doesn't corrupt absolutely, it merely attracts the absolutely corrupt." ~ Frank Herbert
"It is well that war is so terrible - we would grow too fond of it." ~ General Robert E. Lee
“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.” ~ Viktor Frankl
"What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?" ~ Ursula K. Leguin
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." ~ Hunter S. Thompson
"Those who win every battle are not really skillful. Those who render others' armies helpless without fighting are the best of all." ~ Sun Tzu
"The way of a warrior, the art of politics, is to stop trouble before it starts. It consists in defeating your adversaries spiritually by making them realize the folly of their actions." ~ Morihei Ueshiba
"If you can't convince them, confuse them." ~ Harry Truman
"If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull." ~ William Claude Dukenfield (W.C.Fields)
"It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument." ~ William G. McAdoo
"In the fight between you and the world, back the world." ~ Franz Kafka
"You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it." ~ Margaret Thatcher
"You may break, you may shatter the vase if you will, but the scent of the roses will hang round it still." ~ Thomas Moore
"I honestly think it's better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate." ~ Nathan Birnbaum (George Burns)
"The road to success is always under construction." ~ Jim Miller
"We must not despair of success in war until the last moment." ~ Carl von Clausewitz
"You will only really know you are dead when you cross over. Till then you will always be a half-step away from the end, drawing back in the nick of time from the abyss, perhaps even given to revisiting it again and again in your life." ~ Oliver Stone
“Make haste to live, and consider each day a life.” ~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca
“But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.” ~ Albert Camus
"It is so much better to be killed in fighting than to take one's own life." ~ Mao Tse~tung
"Of all living creatures it is yourself that is most difficult to kill." ~ Arthur Koestler
"Death avoids a man who desires it, to snatch at him whose heart holds fast to life." ~ Mika Waltari
"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything." ~ Alex Hamilton
“Give me but a firm spot on which to stand, and I shall move the earth.” ~ Archimedes of Syracuse
"The universe is in equilibrium; therefore he that is without it, though his force be but a feather, can overturn the universe." ~ Aleister Crowley
"Hate comes from the past, fear from the future. Pain and pleasure are 'now'... You have to bring the feelings together, blend them, and step away from time." ~ Steven Barnes
"If you cry 'forward', you must without fail make plain in what direction to go." ~ Anton Chekhov
"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there." ~ Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)
"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." ~ Will Rogers
"Power is not enough. One must have goals toward which to exercise one's power." ~ Theodore Kaczynski
"The only obligation which I have the right to assume is to do at anytime what I think right." ~ Henry David Thoreau
"To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it." ~ G. K. Chesterton
"I am never to act without willing that the maxim by which I act should become universal law." ~ Immanuel Kant
“Any man without principles that he is ready and willing to die for at any given moment is already dead and of no use or consequence whatsoever.” ~ William Cooper
"The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it." ~ William James
"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something." ~ Winston Churchill
"The problem of defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without." ~ Dwight Eisenhower
"You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake." ~ Jeannette Rankin
"Periods of happiness are the empty pages of history, because they are the periods of agreement, without conflict." ~ Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
"Nobody wins when there's peace." ~ Thomas Reuthven
"Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent." ~ Marilyn vos Savant
"Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom." ~ General George Patton
"We will either find a way or make one." ~ Hannibal Barca
"We plan to persist until we prevail." ~ William Clinton
"I will be conquered, I will not capitulate." ~ Samuel Johnson
"Thou must be like a promontory of the sea, against which though the waves beat continually, yet it both itself stands, and about it are those swelling waves stilled and quieted". ~ Marcus Aurelius
"Diamonds are only lumps of coal that stuck to their jobs". ~ Bertie Charles Forbes
"History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives." ~ Abba Eban
"It is not untypical of the weak and endangered to chew each other up a little on the way down." ~ Norman Mailer
"It became necessary to destroy the village in order to defend it." ~ General George Patton
"For history, to build and destroy are one and the same thing." ~ Hiraoka Kimitake (Yukio Mishima)
"Destruction, hence, like creation, is one of Nature's mandates." ~ Donatien Alphonse Francois
"We act as we do for reasons of our evolutionary past, not our cultural present." ~ Robert Ardrey
"Regret, remorse, repentance - they are all former joys, reversed." ~ Andre Gide
"Nothing changes more constantly than the past; for the past that influences our lives does not consist of what actually happened, but of what men believe happened." ~ Gerald White Johnson
"There is no greater sorrow than to recall, in misery, the time when we were happy." ~ Dante Alighieri
"History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake." ~ James Joyce
"What experience and history teach is this; that nations and governments have never learned anything from history." ~ Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
"You live and learn. Or you don't live long." ~ Robert Heinlein
"The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on." ~ Joseph Heller
"We have met the enemy and he is us." ~ Walt Kelly
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly." ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
"Fear not, too much, an open enemy; He is consistent--always at his post; But watchful be of him who holds the key Of your own heart, and flatters you the most." ~ Andrew Downing
"The only enemy to fear is the enemy within, the demon that speaks in your own voice, the assassin in the mirror." ~ Robert Lonsberry
"Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be." ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." ~ Alfred Adler
"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art." ~ Leonardo da Vinci
"Industry without art is brutality." ~ Ananda Coomaraswamy
"Science without conscience is but death of the soul." ~ Michel de Montaigne
"They'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul." ~ Norma Jean Mortensen (Marilyn Monroe)
"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this is true." ~ James Cabell
"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." ~ William Shakespeare
"For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." ~ Apostle Paul
"Words that do not match deeds are unimportant." ~ Ernesto Che Guevara Serna
"Lies written in ink cannot disguise facts written in blood." ~ Lu Xun
"The truth is more important than the facts." ~ Frank Lloyd Wright
"Truth is stranger than fiction; fiction has to make sense." ~ Leo Rosten
"Let him who desires peace, prepare for war." ~ Flavius Renatus
"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." ~ Jack London
"Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits." ~ Thomas Alva Edison"
"Life is what happens to us while we're making other plans." ~ John Lennon
"Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment." ~ Oprah Winfrey
"Luck, that is when preparation and opportunity meet." ~ Pierre Trudeau
"Anticipation generally is worth several tonnes of reaction." ~ L.E. Modesitt Jr.
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." ~ Anais Nin
"Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself." ~ Chief Seattle
"To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the way of unifying with life energy." ~ Morihei Ueshiba
"The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations." ~ David Friedman
"You can't hold a man down without staying down with him." ~ Booker T. Washington
"Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them." ~ Brooke Foss Westcott
"Be grateful even for hardship, setbacks, and bad people. Dealing with such obstacles is an essential part of training in the way of the harmonious spirit." ~ Morihei Ueshiba
"The warrior who stumbles on a petty tyrant is a lucky one. Nothing can temper the spirit of a warrior as much as the challenge of dealing with impossible people in positions of power. Only under those conditions can warriors acquire the sobriety and serenity to stand the pressure of the unknowable." ~ Carlos Castaneda
"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood." ~ Marie Curie
"It's not enough to hate your enemy. You have to understand how the two of you bring each other to deep completion." ~ Don DeLillo
"Many have had their greatness made for them by their enemies." ~ Baltasar Gracian
"In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher." ~ Dalai Lama
"Remember that it hurts no one to be treated as an enemy entitled to respect until he shall prove himself a friend worthy of affection." ~ Ambrose Bierce
"You can have anything you want in this life, as long as you help enough other people get what they want." ~ Zig Ziglar
"If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner." ~ Nelson Mandela
"You don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate." ~ Dr.Chester Karrass
"When a person, by reprehensible behavior, practically cries out to be destroyed, it is truly your moral obligation to indulge them in their wish." ~ Anton Szandor LaVey
"Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" ~ Abraham Lincoln
"Victory does not signify right, nor defeat wrong. The duel answers only honour and courage." ~ Donald McQuinn
"Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared." ~ Eddie Rickenbacker
"Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” ~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca
"Don't count the days, make the days count." ~ Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali)
"Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." ~ Hector Berlioz
"The things we fear the most have already happened to us." ~ Deepak Chopra
"There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it." ~ Alfred Hitchcock
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us." ~ Marianne Williamson
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” ~ Plato
"There is nothing in the dark that isn't there when the lights are on." ~ Rod Serling
"War is fear cloaked in courage." ~ General William Westmoreland
"Anger is nothing but fear with a mask." ~ Don Miguel Ruiz
"Total paranoia is total awareness." ~ Charles Manson
"Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination." ~ Ernest Hemingway
"Few men have imagination enough for the truth of reality." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"I accept no man's authority in that realm where we are all equally ignorant. The beginning and the end of creation are not our concern." ~ Gore Vidal
"There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception." ~ Aldous Huxley
"Imagination tends to be the biggest filter of any perception." ~ Vanesa Littlecrow Colon~Ortiz
"A man may imagine things that are false, but he can only understand things that are true, for if the things be false, the apprehension of them is not understanding." ~ Isaac Newton
"We suffer more from imagination than from reality." ~ Lucius Seneca
"For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe." ~ Larry Eisenberg
"I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief." ~ Wendell Berry
"To live in the midst of endless violence one must have sacred principles with which to endorse the violence." ~ John Barnes
"In der ewig gleichmäßigen Anwendung der Gewalt allein liegt die allererste Voraussetzung zum Erfolge. Diese Beharrlichkeit jedoch ist immer nur das Ergebnis einer bestimmten geistigen Überzeugung. Jede Gewalt, die nicht einer festen geistigen Grundlage entsprießt, wird schwankend und unsicher sein. ... Man stirbt nicht für Geschäfte, sondern nur für Ideale."
Click to reveal.. ( ENGLISH TRANSLATION )
"Only in the steady and constant application of force lies the very first prerequisite for success. This persistence, however, can always and only arise from a definite spiritual conviction. Any violence which does not spring from a firm, spiritual base, will be wavering and uncertain. ...One does not die for business, but only for ideals."
~ Adolf Hüttler
"Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power." ~ Aldous Huxley
"There is nothing more religious than obeying a divinely grounded moral imperative.” ~ Rabbi Samuel Karff
"Hate needs no logic. It is a sickness of the soul.” ~ Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
"Man is violent by nature and he doesn't need inspiration for what he's going to do." ~ Brian Warner (Marilyn Manson)
"The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man." ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
"A belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary. Men alone are quite capable of every wickedness." ~ Joseph Conrad
"If wishes were horses, they would pull the hearses of our dearest friends and nearest relatives. All men are murderers at heart." ~ Theodore Reik
"All life depends on carefully balanced murders." ~ Robert Sheckley
“When hedonism and materialism fail to bring man satisfaction, other philosophies based on evil arise. They are accepted because of man’s capacity to hate.” ~ William P. Wilson
"Hatred is by far the longest pleasure. Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure." ~ George Gordon Byron
"Love, friendship, respect, do not unite people as much as a common hatred." ~ Anton Chekhov
"To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he's doing is good." ~ Alexander Solzhenitsyn
"Hell is full of good intentions or desires." ~ Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
"There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." ~ Socrates
"Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil." ~ Plato
"Education is a system of imposed ignorance." ~ Noam Chomsky
"Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten." ~ B.F. Skinner
"Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." ~ Joseph Dzhugashvili (Stalin)
"The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steve Biko
"A conviction that one is writing or speaking on the side of virtue can license an indulgence in fantasies that virtue itself would ordinarily compel one to forswear." ~ Dan Jacobson
"Man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal." ~ Robert Heinlein
"Different realities, more correctly designated as different aspects of 'the reality', are not mutually exclusive but are complementary, and form together a portion of the all-encompassing, timeless, transcendental reality." ~ Albert Hofmann
"When you do not understand something, to recognize that you do not understand it, that is understanding." ~ Kung Fu Tzu (Confucius)
"Only when we know little do we know everything; doubt grows with knowledge." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens." ~ Jimi Hendrix
"All types of knowledge ultimately mean self-knowledge." ~ Lee Jun Fan (Bruce Lee)
“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” ~ Carl Jung
"People think they are thinking, when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." ~ William James
"Flung out at the front door, the old instincts are allowed in at the back after assuming an alias and a slight disguise." ~ Cyril Burt
"I shall apply myself seriously and freely to the general destruction of all my former opinions." ~ Rene Descartes
"It is in the smallness of the debris that they can see the enormity of the disaster." ~ Tony Walters
"Go out of your mind and come to your senses." ~ Timothy Leary
"Only the madman is absolutely sure." ~ Robert Anton Wilson
"No skill in swordsmanship, however just, can be secure against a madman's thrust." ~ William Cowper
"Whatever the legal situation may be, the moral responsibility for violence is divided between those who perpetrate it and those who provoke it. It is extremely dangerous to strike the matches of empirical fact too close to the petroleum of prejudice." ~ Richard Webster
"The door of a bigoted mind opens outwards so that the only result of the pressure of facts upon it is to close it more snugly." ~ Ogden Nash
"They scream into my ears, but what they say will only make me deaf." ~ Claus Larsen
"The more shocking the message, the more information contained therein!" ~ Frank Ogden
"Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty." ~ Frank Zappa
"It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness." ~ Leo Tolstoy
"A truth that's told with bad intent, beats all the lies you can invent." ~ William Blake
"The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth." ~ Niels Bohr
"Just because it didn't happen doesn't mean it isn't true." ~ Ken Kesey
"History as she is harped; Rite words in rote order." ~ Marshall McLuhan
"Truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies." ~ Winston Churchill
"History is a set of lies agreed upon." ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
"Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind." ~ Rudyard Kipling
"Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves." ~ Eric Hoffer
"Liars are the persons most ready to believe lies." ~ Gary Jennings
"Lies can sound so true when people are starving for truth. Even whole societies will feast on their promises." ~ Alice Fryling
"People say they love truth, but in reality they want to believe that which they love is true." ~ Robert J. Ringer
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." ~ Carl Sagan
"Chaos is present everywhere in countless ways and forms, while Order remains an unattainable ideal." ~ M.C. Escher
"Ignorance became more interesting, especially big fascinating ignorance about huge and important things like matter and creation. People stopped patiently building their little houses of rational sticks in the chaos of the universe and started getting interested in the chaos itself." ~ Terry Pratchett
"The real trick to life is not to be in the know - be in the mystery." ~ Fred Alan Wolf Ph.D.
"Existence is no longer a riddle to be solved but a mystery to behold." ~ Martin Lee
"Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting." ~ Alan Dean Foster
"Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds." ~ George Santayana
"A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention." ~ Herbert Simon
"The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory." ~ Paul Fix
"Artificial intelligence stands no chance against natural stupidity." ~ John Henders
"Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day." ~ Samuel Goldwyn
"Stupidity had saved many a man from madness." ~ James Axler
"Everything was quickly dismissed as unsuitable for reasons even less well formed than the ideas being rejected." ~ Ra McGuire
"It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value." ~ Stephen Hawking
"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change." ~ Charles Darwin
"The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn." ~ Alvin Toffler
"In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists." ~ Eric Hoffer
"Instead of having the rug pulled from under your feet, learn to dance on a shifting carpet." ~ Thomas Crum
"Survival first, then happiness as we can manage it." ~ Orson Scott Card
"Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes." ~ Walt Whitman
"This is not the end of the world, this is the swing of the pendulum." ~ Gwynne Dyer
“The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.” ~ Carl Jung
"A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men." ~ Roald Dahl
"Logic will never replace love." ~ Leonard Nimoy
"Wisdom is oft-times nearer when we stoop, than when we soar." ~ William Wordsworth
"Nature did not make human brains first, and then construct things according to their capacity to understand." ~ Galileo Galilei
"The resilience of the brain is never so apparent as in its ability to produce, from unanswered questions, answers to larger ones." ~ Lawrence Shainberg
"The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe." ~ Joanna Macy
"Thought must be divided against itself before it can come to any knowledge of itself." ~ Aldous Huxley
"A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them." ~ Carl Jung
“My passions, concentrated on a single point, resemble the rays of a sun assembled by a magnifying glass: they immediately set fire to whatever object they find in their way.” ~ Donatien Alphonse Francois
"Every isolated passion is, in isolation, insane: sanity may be defined as a synthesis of insanities." ~ Bertrand Russell
"From an internal point of view insanity isn't the problem. Insanity is the solution." ~ Robert Pirsig
"Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical." ~ Carl Jung
"Sanity is a madness put to good use." ~ George Santayana
"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." ~ Walt Disney
"You're only young once, but you can be immature forever." ~ Germaine Greer
"Sooner barbarity than boredom." ~ Theophile Gautier
"I'll go animal before I'll go machine." ~ Mark Smith
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence. I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent. I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life." ~ Mohandas Gandhi
words of wisdom and warning i wish to share with my fellow warriors.
"You can only begin where you find yourself." ~ Stuart Wilde
"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." ~ Mark Twain
"If you know your history. Then you would know where you're coming from." ~ Nesta Robert Marley
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Henry Stanley Haskins
"Not all those who wander are lost." ~ J.R.R. Tolkien
"There is no other place I want to be. Right here, right now. Watching the world wake up from history." ~ Mike Edwards
"What you need to strive for is excellence, not perfection." ~ Phillip McGraw
"If you see someone winning all the time, he isn't gambling, he's cheating." ~ Malcolm X Little
"Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win is." ~ Arnold Palmer
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." ~ Wayne Gretsky
"Smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you, in proportion to your fear of being hurt. The one who does most to avoid suffering is, in the end, the one who suffers most." ~ Thomas Merton
"Shrink from this, shrink from that, you wind up shrunk!" ~ Ray Bradbury
"If you read with your eyes shut, you're likely to find that the place where you're going is far, far behind." ~ Theodore Geisel (Dr.Seuss)
"Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not?" ~ Mark the Evangelist
"One cannot shut one´s eyes to things not seen with the eyes." ~ Charles Morgan
"Reality is whatever refuses to go away when I stop believing in it." ~ Philip K. Dick
"There are two things to aim at in life: first to get what you want and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second." ~ Logan Pearsall Smith
"Blind unrelenting drive for growth is to the biosphere what a cancerous tumor is to an organism." ~ Howard Hawkins
"We may pass violets looking for roses. We may pass contentment looking for victory." ~ Bern Williams
"Don't waste too much effort in searching for conspiracies. Most of the harm done in the world is out of stupidity, not by design." ~ Gerard K. O'Neill
"A conspiracy of silence is just as bad as a conspiracy of action." ~ Joseph Soloveitchik
“The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people.” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." ~ H.G. Wells
"In a cruel and evil world, being cynical can allow you to get some entertainment out of it." ~ Daniel Waterse
"The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think." ~ Horace Walpole
"Humour is one of the best ingredients of survival." ~ Aung San Suu Kyi
"If you can laugh, you gotta laugh at yourself first." ~ Michael Jordan
"Rejoice! Rejoice! We have no choice, but to carry on." ~ Stephen Stills
“I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It's so fuckin' heroic.” ~ George Carlin
"If anything can survive the probe of humour it is clearly of value." ~ Eric Idle
"Comedy is tragedy plus time." ~ Carol Burnett
"A face just covers a skull awhile. Stretch that skull-cover and smile." ~ Jack Kerouac
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” ~ Albert Einstein
“Knowledge is like a sphere; the greater its volume, the larger its contact with the unknown.” ~ Blaise Pascal
"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today." ~ James Dean
"To execute great things, one should live as though one would never die." ~ Marquis de Vauvenargues
"He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was." ~ Douglas Adams
"The first step toward enlightenment is disillusionment." ~ Mike Twohy
"Enlightenment leads to benightedness. Science entails nescience." ~ Philippe Verdoux
"One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams." ~ Salvador Dalí
"They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar A. Poe
"The dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their dream with open eyes, to make it possible." ~ T.E. Lawrence
"The dream of yesterday is the hope of today and reality of tomorrow." ~ Robert Goddard
"The future ain't what it used to be." ~ Yogi Berra
"Some people think the world will end. I’ve often wondered when it might get started." ~ Stuart Wilde
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." ~ Alan Kay
"I wrote my own future. I had to. It was the only way out." ~ John Lydon
“I was just trying to open the doors... but walls fell down.” ~ Saket Assertive
"For the most part, men live within the framework of institutions whose architecture is not of their own choosing. That they are generally content to do so springs more from passive acceptance than from considered approval." ~ Louis Wasserman
"Even paradise could become a prison if one had enough time to take notice of the walls." ~ Morgan Rhodes
"The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." ~ Anais Nin
"What you inherit may not be as valuable as what you earn." ~ Jamie Johnson
"I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's." ~ William Blake
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." ~ George Bernard Shaw
"I passionately hate the idea of being 'with it', I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time." ~ Orson Welles
"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." ~ Henry David Thoreau
"Comparison is the enemy to creativity." ~ E'yen A. Gardner
"Art is a revolt against destiny." ~ Andre Malraux
"Art is either a plagiarist or a revolutionist." ~ Paul Gaugin
"When I need to identify rebels, I look for men with principles." ~ Frank Herbert
"Art is anything you can get away with." ~ Andrew Warhola
"Interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art." ~ Susan Sontag
"Artists are the engineers of the soul." ~ Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin)
"The artist only has to create one masterpiece, himself, constantly." ~ Yves Klein
"I do not seek, I find." ~ Pablo Picasso
"In art, the best is good enough." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others." ~ Salvador Dalí
"What you do is of little significance, but it is very important that you do it." ~ Mohandas Gandhi
"The natural path from nonentity to greatness is to forget that you are a gram and feel yourself instead a millionth of a ton." ~ Yevgeny Zamyatin
"Permanence is perceived only through the snapshot of a human life." ~ Brad Cran
"And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love." ~ John the Evangelist
“Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." ~ Frank Herbert
"Obedience is the path to command." ~ Idries Shah
“Love is metaphysical gravity." ~ R. Buckminster Fuller
“Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.” ~ Carl Jung
"The opposite of faith is not doubt or even unbelief, but rather, fear.” ~ Rich Vincent
"I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” ~ Frank Herbert
"Faith activates God - Fear activates the Enemy.” ~ Joel Osteen
“If you have a bad thought about yourself, tell it to go to hell, because that is exactly where it came from.” ~ Brigham Young
"It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.” ~ Aung San Suu Kyi
"Better to be occasionally cheated than perpetually suspicious." ~ Bertie Charles Forbes
"There is an art of conducting one's self in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up." ~ Rene Daumal
"A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience." ~ Doug Larson
"Every man's memory is his private literature." ~ Aldous Huxley
"Memory atrophies unless it is communicated." ~ Barbara Clow
"Often we have no time for our friends but all the time in the world for our enemies." ~ Leon Uris
"Whatever the arena, our hearts experience the failure to be heard as an absence of concern. Conflict doesn’t necessarily disappear when we acknowledge each other’s point of view, but it’s almost certain to get worse if we don’t." ~ Michael P. Nichols
"Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so such.” ~ Oscar Wilde
"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” ~ Carl Jung
"The man who has done you great injury or injustice makes himself a guest in your house forever. Perhaps only forgiveness can dislodge him.” ~ Cormac McCarthy
"Remember, there is no rejection, only feedback." ~ James Murdock
"It's much better to be criticized than ignored." ~ Stuart Hameroff M.D.
"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.” ~ Elie Wiesel
"Blasphemy is, after all, among the highest tributes that can be paid to the power of a symbol. The blasphemer takes symbols as seriously as the idolater." ~ Neil Postman
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." ~ Evelyn Beatrice Hall
"If you don't like what's being said, change the conversation." ~ Matthew Weiner
"I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." ~ Alan Greenspan
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." ~ George Orwell
"A word, even the most contradictory word, preserves contact. It is silence which isolates." ~ Thomas Mann
"You have not converted a man because you have silenced him." ~ John Viscount Morley
"It is better to debate a question without settling it, than to settle a question without debating it." ~ Jeseph Joubert
"The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." ~ Hubert H. Humphrey
"You tell how you really feel, you get burned. I'm ready to go down in flames." ~ James Osterberg (Iggy Pop)
"Intercourse is always a combat, no matter how friendly a form it may take." ~ Herman Hesse
"Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre
"It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone." ~ Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam
"It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing." ~ J.R.R.Tolkien
"Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat." ~ Harry Fosdick
“Resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies.” ~ Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis
"Blame is just a lazy person's way of making sense of chaos." ~ Douglas Coupland
"To carry a grudge, is like being stung to death by one bee." ~ William H. Walton
"You cannot inject new ideas into a man’s head by chopping it off; neither will you infuse a new spirit into his heart by piercing it with a dagger." ~ Louis Fischer
"How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself." ~ Marcus Aurelius
"The crop seems always more productive in our neighbor's field." ~ Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid)
"Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself what you wish to be." ~ Thomas Louis Haines
"In an argument, you have to learn to control your emotions. The other person is the revolver, but you are the trigger." ~ Donald Trump
"A loud voice cannot compete with a clear voice, even if it's a whisper." ~ Barry Neil
"The enemies of Freedom do not argue; they shout and they shoot." ~ William Inge
"Beware the fury of a patient man." ~ John Dryden
"When one cannot affect or even genuinely touch another person, violence flares up as a daemonic necessity for contact." ~ Rollo May
"War stops time, intensifies experience to the point of a terrible ecstasy." ~ William Broyles
"Violence is truly a universal language." ~ Frank Fleming
"A man screaming is seldom subtle." ~ Vincent Price
"Riots are the language of the unheard." ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
"Proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear." ~ Caterina di Giacomo di Benincasa
“Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.” ~ Brené Brown
"Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased - thus do we refute entropy." ~ Spider Robinson
"Yearn to understand first, and to be understood, second." ~ Beca Lewis Allen
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." ~ Desmond Tutu
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
"A lie has speed, but truth has endurance." ~ Edgar Mohn
as a warrior, i have learned some valuable skills from various sources. i will take my inspiration wherever i can get it.
here are some wise words from my favourite survival handbook... also known as the bible.
Let not the one who puts on his armour boast like the one who takes it off. 1 Kings 20
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10
Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 2 Timothy 2
Put on the full armour of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the enemy. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6
Blessed be JHVH, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle; My lovingkindness and my fortress, My stronghold and my deliverer; My shield and He in whom I take refuge. Psalm 144
AFFIRMATIONS, by Stuart Wilde, is not just a collection of nice words to say to yourself, but serves as a magnificent battle-plan, where you learn to expand the power you already have in order to win back absolute control of your life.
"Some people think the world will end. I’ve often wondered when it might get started. You can only begin where you find yourself." - Stuart Wilde
I have seen too much of violent death. I have tasted too much of my own fear. I have painful memories that lie buried most of the time. It is never easy when they surface.
And yet there is a part of me that remains nostalgic for war's simplicity and high. The enduring attraction of war is this: Even with its destruction and carnage it gives us what we all long for in life. It gives us purpose, meaning, a reason for living. Only when we are in the midst of conflict does the shallowness and vapidness of our lives become apparent. Trivia dominates our conversations and increasingly our news. And war is an enticing elixir. It gives us resolve, a cause. It allows us to be noble. And those that have the least meaning in their lives are all susceptible to war's appeal.
I learned early on that war forms its own culture. The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug, one I ingested for many years. It is peddled by myth makers -historians, war correspondents, filmmakers, novelists and the state- all of whom endow it with qualities it often does possess: excitement, exoticism, power, chances to rise above our small stations in life, and a bizarre and fantastic universe that has a grotesque and dark beauty. It dominates culture, distorts memory, corrupts language and infects everything around it, even humor, which becomes preoccupied with the grim perversities of smut and death. Fundamental questions about the meaning, or meaninglessness, of our place on the planet are laid bare when we watch those around us sink to the lowest depths. War exposes the capacity for evil that lurks just below the surface within all of us.
And so it takes little in wartime to turn ordinary men into killers. Most give themselves willingly to the seduction of unlimited power to destroy, and all feel the peer pressure. Few, once in battle, can find the strength to resist.
War makes the world understandable, a black-and-white tableau of them and us. It suspends thought, especially self-critical thought. All bow before the supreme effort. We are one. Most of us willingly accept war as long as we can fold it into a belief system that paints the ensuing suffering as necessary for a higher good; for human beings seek not only happiness but also meaning. And tragically, war is sometimes the most powerful way in human society to achieve meaning.
found this article in an amnesty international magazine. i found myself in this article. scary to see it laid out like that, point blank. frightful but insightful.
i have never been to war, but this all sounds too familiar.
"In part we couldn't describe our feelings because the language failed us: the civilian-issue adjectives and nouns, verbs and adverbs, seemed made for a different universe. There were no metaphors that connected the war to everyday life. But we were also mute, I suspect, out of shame." - William Broyles
Click to reveal.. ( it may be more dangerous to suppress the reasons men love war than to admit them )
i found this in an old esquire magazine. it speaks first person from one combat veteran's perspective. read at your own risk. it is heavy. whether you agree or disagree, this is honesty and history. this story contains graphic details in explicit language for adults only.
I last saw Hiers in a rice paddy in Vietnam. He was nineteen then--my wonderfully skilled and maddeningly insubordinate radio operator. For months we were seldom more than three feet apart. Then one day he went home, and fifteen years passed before we met by accident last winter at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. A few months later I visited Hiers and his wife. Susan, in Vermont, where they run a bed-and -breakfast place. The first morning we were up at dawn trying to save five newborn rabbits. Hiers built a nest of rabbit fur and straw in his barn and positioned a lamp to provide warmth against the bitter cold.
"What people can't understand," Hiers said, gently picking up each tiny rabbit and placing it in the nest, "is how much fun Vietnam was. I loved it. I loved it, and I can't tell anybody."
Hiers loved war. And as I drove back from Vermont in a blizzard, my children asleep in the back of the car, I had to admit that for all these years I also had loved it, and more than I knew. I hated war, too. Ask me, ask any man who has been to war about his experience, and chances are we'll say we don't want to talk about it--implying that we hated it so much, it was so terrible, that we would rather leave it buried. And it is no mystery why men hate war. War is ugly, horrible, evil, and it is reasonable for men to hate all that. But I believe that most men who have been to war would have to admit, if they are honest, that somewhere inside themselves they loved it too, loved it as much as anything that has happened to them before or since. And how do you explain that to your wife, your children, your parents, or your friends?
That's why men in their sixties and seventies sit in their dens and recreation rooms around America and know that nothing in their life will equal the day they parachuted into St. Lo or charged the bunker on Okinawa. That's why veterans' reunions are invariably filled with boozy awkwardness, forced camaraderie ending in sadness and tears: you are together again, these are the men who were your brothers, but it's not the same, can never be the same. That's why when we returned from Vietnam we moped around, listless, not interested in anything or anyone. Something had gone out of our lives forever, and our behavior on returning was inexplicable except as the behavior of men who had lost a great perhaps the great-love of their lives, and had no way to tell anyone about it.
In part we couldn't describe our feelings because the language failed us: the civilian-issue adjectives and nouns, verbs and adverbs, seemed made for a different universe. There were no metaphors that connected the war to everyday life. But we were also mute, I suspect, out of shame. Nothing in the way we are raised admits the possibility of loving war. It is at best a necessary evil, a patriotic duty to be discharged and then put behind us. To love war is to mock the very values we supposedly fight for. It is to be insensitive, reactionary, a brute.
But it may be more dangerous, both for men and nations, to suppress the reasons men love war than to admit them. In Apocalypse Now, Robert Duvall, playing a brigade commander, surveys a particularly horrific combat scene and says, with great sadness, "You know, someday this war's gonna be over. " He is clearly meant to be a psychopath, decorating enemy bodies with playing cards, riding to war with Wagner blaring. We laugh at him--Hey! nobody's like that! And last year in Grenada American boys charged into battle playing Wagner, a new generation aping the movies of Vietnam the way we aped the movies of World War 11, learning nothing, remembering nothing.
Alfred Kazin wrote that war is the enduring condition of twentieth-century man. He was only partly right. War is the enduring condition of man, period. Men have gone to war over everything from Helen of Troy to Jenkins's ear. Two million Frenchmen and Englishmen died in muddy trenches in World War I because a student shot an archduke. The truth is, the reasons don't matter. There is a reason for every war and a war for every reason.
For centuries men have hoped that with history would come progress, and with progress, peace. But progress has simply given man the means to make war even more horrible; no wars in our savage past can begin to match the brutality of the wars spawned in this century, in the beautifully ordered, civilized landscape of Europe, where everyone is literate and classical music plays in every village cafe. War is not all aberration; it is part of the family. the crazy uncle we try--in vain--to keep locked in the basement.
Consider my own example. I am not a violent person. I have not been in a fight since grade school. Aside from being a fairly happy-go-lucky carnivore, I have no lust for blood, nor do I enjoy killing animals, fish, or even insects. My days are passed in reasonable contentment, filled with the details of work and everyday life. I am also a father now, and a male who has helped create life is war's natural enemy. I have seen what war does to children, makes them killers or victims, robs them of their parents, their homes, and their innocence--steals their childhood and leaves them marked in body, mind, and spirit.
I spent most of my combat tour in Vietnam trudging through its jungles and rice paddies without incident, but I have seen enough of war to know that I never want to fight again, and that I would do everything in my power to keep my son from fighting. Then why, at the oddest times--when I am in a meeting or running errands, or on beautiful summer evenings, with the light fading and children playing around me--do my thoughts turn back fifteen years to a war I didn't believe in and never wanted to fight? Why do I miss it?
I miss it because I loved it, loved it in strange and troubling ways. When I talk about loving war I don't mean the romantic notion of war that once mesmerized generations raised on Walter Scott. What little was left of that was ground into the mud at Verdun and Passchendaele: honor and glory do not survive the machine gun. And it's not the mindless bliss of martyrdom that sends Iranian teenagers armed with sticks against Iraqi tanks. Nor do I mean the sort of hysteria that can grip a whole country, the way during the Falklands war the English press inflamed the lust that lurks beneath the cool exterior of Britain. That is vicarious war, the thrill of participation without risk, the lust of the audience for blood. It is easily fanned, that lust; even the invasion of a tiny island like Grenada can do it. Like all lust, for as long as it lasts it dominates everything else; a nation's other problems are seared away, a phenomenon exploited by kings, dictators, and presidents since civilization began.
And I don't mean war as an addiction, the constant rush that war junkies get, the crazies mailing ears home to their girlfriends, the zoomies who couldn't get an erection unless they were cutting in the afterburners on their F-4s. And, finally, I'm not talking about how some men my age feel today, men who didn't go to war but now have a sort of nostalgic longing for something they missed, some classic male experience, the way some women who didn't have children worry they missed something basic about being a woman, something they didn't value when they could have done it.
I'm talking about why thoughtful, loving men can love war even while knowing and hating it. Like any love, the love of war is built on a complex of often contradictory reasons. Some of them are fairly painless to discuss; others go almost too deep, stir the caldron too much. I'll give the more respectable reasons first.
Part of the love of war stems from its being an experience of great intensity; its lure is the fundamental human passion to witness, to see things, what the Bible calls the lust of the eye and the Marines in Vietnam called eye fucking. War stops time, intensifies experience to the point of a terrible ecstasy. It is the dark opposite of that moment of passion caught in "Ode on a Grecian Urn": "For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd/ For ever panting, and forever young. " War offers endless exotic experiences, enough "I couldn't fucking believe it! "'s to last a lifetime.
Most people fear freedom; war removes that fear. And like a stem father, it provides with its order and discipline both security and an irresistible urge to rebel against it, a constant yearning to fly over the cuckoo's nest. The midnight requisition is an honored example. I remember one elaborately planned and meticulously executed raid on our principal enemy--the U.S. Army, not the North Vietnamese--to get lightweight blankets and cleaning fluid for our rifles repeated later in my tour, as a mark of my changed status, to obtain a refrigerator and an air conditioner for our office. To escape the Vietnamese police we tied sheets together and let ourselves down from the top floor of whorehouses, and on one memorable occasion a friend who is now a respectable member of our diplomatic corps hid himself inside a rolled-up Oriental rug while the rest of us careered off in the truck. leaving him to make his way back stark naked to our base six miles away. War, since it steals our youth, offers a sanction to play boys' games.
War replaces the difficult gray areas daily life with an eerie, serene clarity. In war you usually know who is your enemy and who is your friend, and are given means of dealing with both. (That was, incidentally, one of the great problems with Vietnam: it was hard to tell friend from foe--it was too much like ordinary Life.)
War is an escape from the everyday into a special world where the bonds that hold us to our duties in daily life--the bonds of family, community, work, disappear. In war, all bets are off. It's the frontier beyond the last settlement, it's Las Vegas. The men who do well in peace do not necessarily do well at war, while those who were misfits and failures may find themselves touched with fire. U. S. Grant, selling firewood on the streets of St. Louis and then four years later commanding the Union armies, is the best example, although I knew many Marines who were great warriors but whose ability to adapt to civilian life was minimal.
I remember Kirby, a skinny kid with JUST YOU AND ME LORD tattooed on his shoulder. Kirby had extended his tour in Vietnam twice. He had long since ended his attachment to any known organization and lived alone out in the most dangerous areas, where he wandered about night and day, dressed only in his battered fatigue trousers with a .45 automatic tucked into the waistband, his skinny shoulders and arms as dark as a Montagnard's.
One day while out on patrol we found him on the floor of a hut, being tended by a girl in black pajamas, a bullet wound in his arm.
He asked me for a cigarette, then eyed me, deciding if I was worth telling his story to. "I stopped in for a mango, broad daylight, and there bigger'n hell were three NVA officers, real pretty tan uniforms. They got this map spread out oil a table, just eyeballin' it, makin' themselves right at home. They looked at me. I looked at them. Then they went for their nine millimeters and I went for my .45. "
"Yeah?"I answered. "So what happened
"I wasted 'em," he said, then puffed on his cigarette. Just another day at work, killing three men on the way to eat a mango.
How are you ever going to go back to the world?" I asked him. (He didn't. A few months later a ten-year-old Vietcong girl blew him up with a command-detonated booby trap.
War is a brutal, deadly game, but a game, the best there is. And men love games. You can come back from war broken in mind or body, or not come back at all. But if you come back whole you bring with you the knowledge that you have explored regions of your soul that in most men will always remain uncharted. Nothing I had ever studied was as complex or as creative as the small-unit tactics of Vietnam. No sport I had ever played brought me to such deep awareness of my physical and emotional limits.
One night not long after I had arrived in Vietnam, one of my platoon's observation on posts heard enemy movement. I immediately lost all saliva in my mouth. I could not talk; not a sound would pass my lips. My brain erased as if the plug had been pulled--I felt only a dull hum throughout my body, a low-grade current coursing through me like electricity through a power line. After a minute I could at least grunt, which I did as Hiers gave orders to the squad leaders, called in artillery and air support, and threw back the probe. I was terrified. I was ashamed, and I couldn't wait for it to happen again.
The enduring emotion of war, when everything else has faded, is comradeship. A comrade in war is a man you can trust with anything, because you trust him with your life. "It is," Philip Caputo wrote in A Rumor of War "unlike marriage, a bond I that cannot be broken by a word, by boredom or divorce, or by anything other than death." Despite its extreme right-wing image, war is the only utopian experience most of us ever have. Individual possessions and advantage count for nothing: the group is everything What you have is shared with your friends. It isn't a particularly selective process, but a love that needs no reasons, that transcends race and personality and education--all those things that would make a difference in peace. It is, simply, brotherly love.
What made this love so intense was that it had no limits, not even death. John Wheeler in Touched with Fire quotes the Congressional Medal of Honor citation of Hector Santiago-Colon: "Due to the heavy volume of enemy fire and exploding grenades around them, a North Vietnamese soldier was able to crawl, undetected, to their position. Suddenly, the enemy soldier lobbed a hand grenade into Sp4c. Santiago-Colon's foxhole. Realizing that there was no time to throw the grenade out of his position, Sp4c., Santiago-Colon retrieved the grenade, tucked it into his stomach, and turning away from his comrades, and absorbed the full impact of the blast. " This is classic heroism, the final evidence of how much comrades can depend on each other. What went through Santiago- Colon's mini for that split second when he could just a easily have dived to safety? It had to be this: my comrades are more important than my most valuable possession--my own life.
Isolation is the greatest fear in war. The military historian S.L.A. Marshall con ducted intensive studies of combat incidents during World War 11 and Korea and discovered that, at most, only 25 percent of the men who were under fire actually fired their own weapons. The rest cowered behind cover, terrified and helpless--all systems off. Invariably, those men had felt alone, and to feel alone in combat is to cease to function; it is the terrifying prelude to the final loneliness of death. The only men who kept their heads felt connected to other men, a part of something as if comradeship were some sort of collective life-force, the power to face death and stay conscious. But when those men cam home from war, that fear of isolation stayed with many of them, a tiny mustard seed fallen on fertile soil.
When I came back from Vietnam I tried to keep up with my buddies. We wrote letters, made plans to meet, but something always came up and we never seemed to get together. For a few year we exchanged Christmas cards, then nothing . The special world that had sustain our intense comradeship was gone. Everyday life--our work, family, friends--reclaimed us, and we grew up.
But there was something not right about that. In Vietnam I had been closer to Hiers, for example, than to anyone before or since. We were connected by the radio, our lives depended on it, and on eachother. We ate, slept, laughed, and we terrified together. When I first arrived in Vietnam I tried to get Hiers to salute me, but he simply wouldn't do it, mustering at most a "Howdy, Lieutenant, how's it hanging" as we passed. For every time that I didn't salute I told him he would have to fill a hundred sandbags.
We'd reached several thousand sandbags when Hiers took me aside and said "Look, Lieutenant, I'll be happy to salute you, really. But if I get in the habit back here in the rear I may salute you when we're out in the bush. And those gooks a just waiting for us to salute, tell 'em who the lieutenant is. You'd be the first one blown away." We forgot the sandbags and the salutes. Months later, when Hiers left the platoon to go home, he turned to me as I stood on our hilltop position, and gave me the smartest salute I'd ever seen. I shot him the finger, and that was the last I saw of him for fifteen years. When we met by accident at the Vietnam memorial it was like a sign; enough time had passed-we were old enough to say goodbye to who we had been and become friends as who we had become.
For us and for thousands of veterans the memorial was special ground. War is theater, and Vietnam had been fought without a third act. It was a set that hadn't been struck; its characters were lost there, with no way to get off and no more lines to say. And so when we came to the Vietnam memorial in Washington we wrote our own endings as we stared at the names on the wall, reached out and touched them, washed them with our tears, said goodbye. We are older now, some of us grandfathers, some quite successful, but the memorial touched some part of us that is still out there, under fire, alone. When we came to that wait and met the memories of our buddies and gave them their due, pulled them tip from their buried places and laid our love to rest, we were home at last.
For all these reasons, men love war. But these are the easy reasons, the first circle the ones we can talk about without risk of disapproval, without plunging too far into the truth or ourselves. But there are other, more troubling reasons why men love war. The love of war stems from the union, deep in the core of our being between sex and destruction, beauty and horror, love and death. War may be the only way in which most men touch the mythic domains in our soul. It is, for men, at some terrible level, the closest thing to what childbirth is for women: the initiation into the power of life and death. It is like lifting off the corner of the universe and looking at what's underneath. To see war is to see into the dark heart of things, that no-man's-land between life and death, or even beyond.
And that explains a central fact about the stories men tell about war. Every good war story is, in at least some of its crucial elements, false. The better the war story, the less of it is likely to be true. Robert Graves wrote that his main legacy from World War I was "a difficulty in telling tile truth. " I have never once heard a grunt tell a reporter a war story that wasn't a lie, just as some of the stories that I tell about the war are lies. Not that even the lies aren't true, on a certain level. They have a moral, even a mythic, truth, rather than a literal one. They reach out and remind the tellers and listeners of their place in the world. They are the primitive stories told around the fire in smoky teepees after the pipe has been passed. They are all, at bottom, the same.
Some of the best war stories out Of Vietnam are in Michael Heir's Dispatches One of Heir's most quoted stories goes like this: "But what a story he told me, as one pointed and resonant as any war story I ever heard. It took me a year to understand it: "'Patrol went up the mountain. One man came back. He died before he could tell its What happened.'
" I waited for the rest, but it seemed not to be that kind of story; when I asked him what had happened he just looked like he felt sorry for me, fucked if he'd waste time telling stories to anyone as dumb as I was."
It is a great story, a combat haiku, all negative space and darkness humming with portent. It seems rich, unique to Vietnam. But listen, now, to this:
"We all went up to Gettysburg, the summer of '63: and some of us came back from there: and that's all except the details. " That is the account of Gettysburg by one Praxiteles Swan, onetime captain of the Confederate States Army. The language is different, but it is the same story. And it is a story that I would imagine has been told for as long as men have gone to war. Its purpose is not to enlighten but to exclude; its message is riot its content but putting the listener in his place. I suffered, I was there. You were not. Only those facts matter. Everything else is beyond words to tell. As was said after the worst tragedies in Vietnam: "Don't mean nothin'." Which meant, "It means everything it means too much." Language overload.
War stories inhabit the realm of myth because every war story is about death. And one of the most troubling reasons men love war is the love of destruction, the thrill of killing. In his superb book on World War II, The Warriors,J. Glenn Gray wrote that "thousands of youths who never suspect the presence of such an impulse in themselves have learned in military life the mad excitement of destroying." It's what Hemingway meant when he wrote, "Admit that you have liked to kill as all who are soldiers by choice have enjoyed it it some time whether they lie about it or not."
My platoon and I went through Vietnam burning hooches (note how language liberated US--we didn't burn houses and shoot people: we burned hooches and shot gooks), killing dogs and pigs and chickens, destroying, because, as my friend Hiers put it, "We thought it was fun at the time." As anyone who has fired a bazooka or an M-60 machine gun knows, there is something to that power in your finger, the soft, seductive touch of the trigger. It's like the magic sword, a grunt's Excalibur: all you do is move that finger so imperceptibly just a wish flashing across your mind like a shadow, not even a full brain synapse, and I poof in a blast of sound and energy and light a truck or a house or even people disappear, everything flying and settling back into dust.
There is a connection between this thrill and the games we played as children, the endless games of cowboys and Indians and war, the games that ended with "Bang bang you're dead," and everyone who was "dead" got up and began another game. That's war as fantasy, and it's the same emotion that touches us in war movies and books, where death is something without consequence, and not something that ends with terrible finality as blood from our fatally fragile bodies flows out onto the mud. Boys aren't the only ones prone to this fantasy; it possesses the old men who have never been to war and who preside over our burials with the same tears they shed when soldiers die in the movies--tears of fantasy, cheap tears. The love of destruction and killing in war stems from that fantasy of war as a game, but it is the more seductive for being indulged at terrible risk. It is the game survivors play, after they have seen death up close and learned in their hearts how common, how ordinary, and how inescapable it is.
I don't know if I killed anyone in Vietnam but I tried as hard as I could. I fired at muzzle flashes in tile night, threw grenades during ambushes, ordered artillery and bombing where I thought tile enemy was. Whenever another platoon got a higher body count, I was disappointed: it was like suiting up for the football game and then not getting to play. After one ambush my men brought back the body of a North Vietnamese soldier. I later found the dead man propped against some C-ration boxes; he had on sunglasses, and a Playboy magazine lay open in his lap; a cigarette dangled jauntily from his mouth, and on his head was perched a large and perfectly formed piece of shit.
I pretended to be Outraged, since desecrating bodies was frowned on as un-American and counterproductive. But it wasn't outrage I felt. I kept my officer's face on, but inside I was... laughing. I laughed--I believe now--in part because of some subconscious appreciation of this obscene linkage of sex and excrement and 'death; and in part because of the exultant realization that he--whoever he had been--was dead and I--special, unique I me--was alive. He was my brother, but I knew him not. The line between life and death is gossamer thin; there is joy. true joy, in being alive when so many around you are not. And from the joy of being alive in death's presence to the joy of causing death is, unfortunately, not that great a step.
A lieutenant colonel I knew, a true intellectual, was put in charge of civil affairs, the work we did helping the Vietnamese grow rice and otherwise improve their lives. He was a sensitive man who kept a journal and seemed far better equipped for winning hearts and minds than for combat command. But he got one, and I remember flying out to visit his fire base the night after it had been attacked by an NVA sapper unit. Most of the combat troops I had been out on an operation, so this colonel mustered a motley crew of clerks and cooks and drove the sappers off, chasing them across tile rice paddies and killing dozens of these elite enemy troops by the light of flares. That morning, as they were surveying what they had done and loading the dead NVA--all naked and covered with grease and mud so they could penetrate the barbed wire--on mechanical mules like so much garbage, there was a look of beatific contentment on tile colonel's face that I had not seen except in charismatic churches. It was the look of a person transported into ecstasy.
And I--what did I do, confronted with this beastly scene? I smiled back. 'as filled with bliss as he was. That was another of the times I stood on the edge of my humanity, looked into the pit, and loved what I saw there. I had surrendered to an aesthetic that was divorced from that crucial quality of empathy that lets us feel the sufferings of others. And I saw a terrible beauty there. War is not simply the spirit of ugliness, although it is certainly that, the devil's work. But to give the devil his due,it is also an affair of great and seductive beauty.
Art and war were for ages as linked as art and religion. Medieval and Renaissance artists gave us cathedrals, but they also gave us armor sculptures of war, swords and muskets and cannons of great beauty, art offered to the god of war as reverently as the carved altars were offered to the god of love. War was a public ritual of the highest order, as the beautifully decorated cannons in the Invalids in Paris and the chariots with their depict ions of the gods in the Metropolitan Museum of Art so eloquently attest Men love their weapons, not simply for helping to keep them alive, but for a deeper reason. They love their rifles and their knives for the same reason that the medieval warriors loved their armor and their swords: they are instruments of beauty.
War is beautiful. There is something about a firefight at night, something about the mechanical elegance of an M -60 machine gun. They are everything they should be, perfect examples of their form. When you are firing out at night, the red racers go out into tile blackness is if you were drawing with a light pen. Then little dots of light start winking back, and green tracers from the AK-47s begin to weave ill with the red to form brilliant patterns that seem, given their great speeds, oddly timeless, as if they had been etched on the night. And then perhaps the gunships called Spooky come in and fire their incredible guns like huge hoses washing down from the sky, like something God would do when He was really ticked off. And then the flares pop, casting eerie shadows as they float down on their little parachutes, swinging in the breeze, and anyone who moves, in their light seems a ghost escaped from hell.
Daytime offers nothing so spectacular, but it also has its charms. Many men loved napalm, loved its silent power, the way it could make tree lines or houses explode as if by spontaneous combustion. But I always thought napalm was greatly overrated, unless you enjoy watching tires burn. I preferred white phosphorus, which exploded with a fulsome elegance, wreathing its target in intense and billowing white smoke, throwing out glowing red comets trailing brilliant white plumes I loved it more--not less --because of its function: to destroy, to kill. The seduction of War is in its offering such intense beauty--divorced from I all civilized values, but beauty still.
Most men who have been to war, and most women who have been around it, remember that never in their lives did they have so heightened a sexuality. War is, in short. a turn-on. War cloaks men in a coat that conceals the limits and inadequacies of their separate natures. It gives them all aura, a collective power, an almost animal force. They aren't just Billy or Johnny or Bobby, they are soldiers! But there's a price for all that: the agonizing loneliness of war, the way a soldier is cut off from everything that defines him as an individual--he is the true rootless man.
The uniform did that, too, and all that heightened sexuality is not much solace late it night when the emptiness comes.
There were many men for whom this condition led to great decisions. I knew a Marine in Vietnam who was a great rarity, an Ivy League graduate. He also had an Ivy League wife, but lie managed to fall in love with a Vietnamese bar girl who could barely speak English. She was not particularly attractive, a peasant girl trying to support her family He spent all his time with her, he fell in love with her--awkwardly informally, but totally. At the end of his twelve months in Vietnam he went home, divorced his beautiful, intelligent, and socially correct wife and then went back to Vietnam and proposed to the bar girl, who accepted. It was a marriage across a vast divide of language, culture, race, and class that could only have been made in war. I am not sure that it lasted, but it would not surprise me if despite great difficulties, it did.
Of course. for every such story there are hundreds. thousands, of stories of passing contacts, a man and a woman holding each other tight for one moment, finding in sex some escape from the terrible reality of tile war. The intensity that war brings to sex, the "let us love now because there may be no tomorrow," is based on death. No matter what our weapons on the battlefield, love is finally our only weapon against death. Sex is the weapon of life, the shooting sperm sent like an army of guerrillas to penetrate the egg's defenses is the only victory that really matters. War thrusts you into the well of loneliness, death breathing in your ear. Sex is a grappling hook that pulls you out, ends your isolation, makes you one with life again.
Not that such thoughts were anywhere near conscious. I remember going off to war with a copy of War and Peace and The Charterhouse of Parma stuffed into my pack. They were soon replaced with The Story of 0. War heightens all appetites. I cannot describe the ache for candy, for taste: I wanted a Mars bar more than I wanted anything in my life And that hunger paled beside the force that pushed it, et toward women, any women: women we would not even have looked at in peace floated into our fantasies and lodged there. Too often we made our fantasies real, always to be disappointed, our hunger only greater. The ugliest prostitutes specialized in group affairs, passed among several men or even whole squads, in communion almost, a sharing more than sexual. In sex even more than in killing I could see the beast, crouched drooling on its haunches, could see it mocking me for my frailties, knowing I hated myself for them but that I could not get enough, that I would keep coming back again and again.
After I ended my tour in combat I came back to work at division headquarters and volunteered one night a week teaching English to Vietnamese adults. One of my students was a beautiful girl whose parents had been killed in Hue during the Tet Offensive of 1968. She had fallen in love with an American civilian who worked at the consulate in Da Nang. He had left for his next duty station and promised he would send for her. She never heard from him again. She had a seductive sadness about her. I found myself seeing her after class, then I was sneaking into the motor pool and commandeering a deuce-and-a-half truck and driving into Da Nang at night to visit her. She lived in a small house near the consulate with her grandparents and brothers and sisters. It had one room divided by a curtain. When I arrived, the rest of the family would retire behind the curtain. Amid their hushed voices and the smells of cooking oil and rotted fish we would talk and fumble toward each other, my need greater than hers.
I wanted her desperately. But her tenderness and vulnerability, the torn flower of her beauty, frustrated my death-obsessed lust. I didn't see her as one Vietnamese, I saw her as all Vietnamese. She was the suffering soul of war, and I was the soldier who had wounded it but would make it whole. My loneliness was pulling me into the same strong current that had swallowed my friend who married the bar girl. I could see it happening, but I seemed powerless to stop it. I wrote her long poems, made inquiries about staying on in Da Nang, built a fantasy future for the two of us. I wasn't going to betray her the way the other American had, the way all Americans had, the way all men betrayed the women who helped them through the war. I wasn't like that. But then I received orders sending me home two weeks early. I drove into Da Nang to talk to her, and to make definite plans. Halfway there, I turned back.
At the airport I threw the poems into a trash can. When the wheels of the plane lifted off the soil of Vietnam, I cheered like everyone else. And as I pressed my face against the window and watched Vietnam shrink to a distant green blur and finally disappear, I felt sad and guilty--for her, for my comrades who had been killed and wounded, for everything. But that feeling was overwhelmed by my vast sense of relief. I had survived. And I was going home. I would be myself again, or so I thought.
But some fifteen years later she and the war are still on my mind, all those memories, each with its secret passages and cutbacks, hundreds of labyrinths, all leading back to a truth not safe but essential. It is about why we can love and hate, why we can bring forth Fe and snuff it out why each of us is a battleground where good and evil are always at war for our souls.
The power of war, like the power of love, springs from man's heart. The one yields death, the other life. But life without death has no meaning; nor, at its deepest level, does love without war. Without war we could not know from what depths love rises, or what power it must have to overcome such evil and redeem us. It is no accident that men love war, as love and war are at the core of man. It is not only that we must love one another or die. We must love one another and die. War, like death, is always with us, a constant companion, a secret sharer. To deny its seduction, to overcome death, our love for peace, for life itself, must be greater than we think possible, greater even than we can imagine.
Hiers and I were skiing down a mountain in Vermont, flying effortlessly over a world cloaked in white, beautiful, innocent, peaceful. On the ski lift up we had been talking about a different world, hot, green, smelling of decay and death, where each step out of the mud took all our strength. We stopped and looked back, the air pure and cold, our breath coming in puffs of vapor. Our children were following us down the hill, bent over, little balls of life racing on the edge of danger.
Hiers turned to me with a smile and said, "It's a long way from Nam isn't it?"
by William Broyles
“I will tell you what war is. War is a psychosis caused by an inability to see relationships. Our relationship with our fellow-men. Our relationship with our economic and historical situation. And above all our relationship to nothingness. To death.” - John Fowles
Click to reveal.. ( there is a reason for every war and a war for every reason )
Theodore Roosevelt wanted a war, and almost any war would do. In 1886, when he was a 27-year-old gentleman rancher in the Dakota Territory, he proposed raising “some companies of horse riflemen out here in the event of trouble with Mexico.” He wrote his friend Congressman Henry Cabot Lodge: “Will you telegraph me at once if war becomes inevitable?” In 1889, while agitating for military “preparedness,” he wrote British diplomat Cecil Spring-Rice: “Frankly, I don’t know if I should be sorry to see a bit of a spar with Germany; the burning of New York and a few other seacoast cities would be a good object lesson on the need of an adequate system of coastal defenses.” Roosevelt loved hyperbole, but he was apparently serious. He wrote Spring-Rice, “While we would have to take some awful blows at first, I think in the end we would worry the Kaiser a little.” A few years later, in 1894, he wrote a family friend, Bob Ferguson, that he longed for “a general national buccaneering expedition to drive the Spanish out of Cuba, the English out of Canada.”
In my new book, The War Lovers, I tell this story—of Roosevelt, and of how we became involved in the Spanish-American War—as a way of understanding the ancient pull of the battlefield. I was, in part, trying to understand my own attitude on the Iraq War. As a NEWSWEEK journalist writing about that conflict (from a safe distance), I had initially been hawkish, then regretful as the costs mounted. The war may, in some muddled way, achieve some of its objectives, but it is clear that too many journalists, including me, caught at least a mild dose of war fever between 9/11 and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. I looked to the past to come to terms with those impulses.
Now we’re almost a decade into “the Long War,” as some call our engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan and the ongoing struggle with Islamic extremism. A kind of war weariness has set in. To most people the fighting seems far off and, in a way, easy to ignore. Not coincidentally, perhaps, a recent spate of books and movies has arrived seeking to make graphic and realistic the true experience of war, most notably the Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker and War, the Sebastian Junger volume of war reportage we excerpted in the previous article. These are cautionary tales that seek to make us understand and remember. They may for a time dampen the age-old atavistic lust for war, though war fever, I believe, never really goes away. It is too fundamental to the male psyche.
Roosevelt was a true war lover. Whether he was trying to compensate for his beloved father, who bought a draft substitute in the Civil War, or because, as he often wrote, he feared that the Anglo-Saxon “race” was becoming “overcivilized” and weak, Roosevelt wanted to test himself in the crucible of battle. He got his wish on July 1, 1898, charging up Kettle and San Juan hills with his Rough Riders in Cuba. (“Did I tell you that I killed a Spaniard with my own hand?” Roosevelt exclaimed in a letter to Lodge.) That seemed to satisfy his war lust, for a time. As president, TR preferred to “talk softly but carry a big stick.” Still, in 1917, overweight and increasingly infirm at 58, the former president of the United States volunteered to raise a division to fight in France. (Not wanting to make Roosevelt a hero or a martyr, President Woodrow Wilson declined.)
Roosevelt was an extreme case. But how many men, over how many millennia, have wanted to know how they would do in combat? Would they be brave and fight? Or would they cringe and run? War has been, for almost all peoples and all times, the purest test of manhood. It is a thrilling addiction and a wretched curse—“a force that gives us meaning,” as former New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges has written—and the ruination of peoples and nations.
Men and (now increasingly) women fight wars for all sorts of reasons, sometimes out of nobility or at least necessity. We think of the “Good War,” World War II, whose warriors are fast dying off now, honored in their passing. But before the Good War was the Great War, as it was known at the time. The outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 was greeted with something like euphoria by the young men who flocked to the colors. British schoolmates and teammates formed “Pals Battalions,” and sometimes advanced on German positions while passing a soccer ball. They were slaughtered. At the Battle of the Somme in 1916, roughly 20,000 British soldiers perished in a single day.
“Every war is ironic because every war is worse than expected,” wrote Paul Fussell in The Great War and Modern Memory. “The Somme affair, destined to be known as the Great F--k Up, was the largest engagement fought since the beginning of civilization.” There have been larger and deadlier battles since, though, as war has become at once more modern and more primitive; the armed conflicts increasingly involved civilians, not just soldiers.
And yet, somehow, we forget. A collective amnesia afflicts young men who wish to live up to their fathers, and old men who missed war as young men. In the 1890s, not just Roosevelt but a good slice of his countrymen were possessed by a hunger for war. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., later perhaps the greatest of U.S. Supreme Court justices, put on his Civil War uniform and lectured young Harvard students that war was “divine,” not to be missed. The U.S. president, William McKinley, who had seen the dead stacked up at Antietam as a Civil War soldier, tried to resist the rush to battle. But he was swept aside by hawks like Roosevelt and William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper publisher who would claim, with some exaggeration, that he personally caused the Spanish-American War with his sensationalist crusading.
“It was a splendid little war,” John Hay, the U.S. ambassador to Britain, wrote Roosevelt in August 1898. The Americans had driven the Spanish from Cuba. But another, unexpected conflict was just starting in the Philippines, halfway around the world. The U.S. Navy had defeated a Spanish fleet at Manila Bay, and now the Americans were unintentional occupiers of a country that President McKinley said he could barely find on a map. The fighting in the Philippines dragged on for four more years and cost 4,000 men, roughly the same number we have lost so far in Iraq. There were atrocities on both sides in the long-forgotten counterinsurgency against the Filipinos, and for the first time Americans used an interrogation method called waterboarding.
My own appreciation of war, while particular to my generation, is an uncomfortably familiar history lesson in war and remembrance—or forgetting. I graduated from college in 1973, too late for Vietnam and in any case shielded by a high number in the national draft lottery. I was, like almost all my peers, opposed to the war and glad to miss it. Yet as time went on I felt increasingly uneasy about the realization that my type had been able largely to avoid the war, while less well-educated and poorer young men were drafted and killed. (In Memorial Church at Harvard, one can read the names of 234 students and faculty who died fighting in World War II, which cost 405,399 American lives, and 22 who perished in Vietnam, where 59,000 Americans died.)
For a long time, it seemed, we wanted to forget about Vietnam, to turn away from its cost and futility. But watching the movie Forrest Gump in 1994, I had a flash of recognition. The unlikely hero was Gump, unself-conscious in his Army dress uniform with combat medals at a peace rally on the Washington Mall. The villains were the scruffy antiwar protesters (Gump got the girl). It was apparent to me that the national mood was changing; Hollywood certainly could sense it. We were over Vietnam—and ready for the next war.
The Gulf War of 1991 was, curiously, not sufficiently bloody to be glorious—fought and won in less than 100 hours at the cost of fewer than 300 Americans (half of those the result of noncombat accidents). It was quickly overlooked. As the 1990s went on, there was a feeling that we hadn’t finished the job of getting rid of Saddam Hussein—I know I felt it. But since 9/11, with the prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’ve now had our fill of fighting. We’re back to the phase where movies and memoirs capture war’s darker side. War should not be mythologized, but it should be remembered. “It is well that war is so terrible,” Gen. Robert E. Lee once observed, “lest we grow too fond of it.”
here is another great book, which i highly recommend. it has been some time since i read this, but the information within was essential to me. it really gave me good insight into myself and others.
The Territorial Imperative A Personal Inquiry Into the Animals Origins of Property and Nations
In this book, Robert Ardrey writes about the natural tendency for people to be territorial, to need their personal space, their own home, their own territory.
Educated as an anthropologist, a playwright by profession, Robert Ardrey returned to the field in 1955 with a visit in Africa to view old bones. Out of his reawakening came "African Genesis", a book about evolution. In "The Territorial Imperative" he climbs farther out on a limb to present territory as a fundamental aspect of man's nature along with the will to survive and the sexual impulse. In this book Ardrey attributes many historical events and international problems, such as modem warfare and the difficulties of emerging nations, to man’s inability to assess and to control his territorial instincts. The author aims to exhibit and explain man’s animal nature and the influence of instinct on our daily decisions. In this respect the subtitle of the book was well chosen, since it is truly a “personal inquiry”.
"We act as we do for reasons of our evolutionary past, not our cultural present." ~ Robert Ardrey
you could sum the book up in this one sentence, and although i do not necessarily agree with everything the author writes, the book is still worth reading and referencing.
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