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Olympics and World Peace

It's hard not to get caught up in the excitement of the Olympic spirit. Even the Queen of England (parachute) jumped at the chance to be a part of the fun in her Opening Ceremony segment with Daniel Craig's James Bond.

The Olympics are one of the greatest things we have done with our humanity. It demonstrates that we, at least for a couple of weeks once every two years, can co-exist with people from other places on the planet, compete and do our very best and do it in the spirit of understanding and kindness and friendship. Yeah that sounds like PR copy written for some commercial advertising a product that is destroying the planet, but it's actually true!

Which, of course, lead me to thinking more about World Peace, as these two things are dynamically connected. The Olympics and World Peace are often joined in concept because of that element I just mentioned. We can get along for a couple of weeks while these competitions are taking place. Why can't we make that last not just year round, but forever?

The answer is, as I'm sure you might guess, far more complicated and far more simple than you would expect. The short answer as to why we can never achieve World Peace is because we don't want it. Okay, that's a little too short.

The question one always has to ask when someone is doing something that is clearly detrimental to both themselves and to people around them is: what are they getting out of it? And the answer goes back to something I have stated in this journal many times before, for a lot of other reasons. The adage:

In life, things are always easier when you know what you have to do.

And, much like the Olympics, in war, the concept of what to do is pretty clear, and that's defeat the enemy.

Now, there are other reasons to attack a particular enemy. They attacked you first. They have something you want. They are an easy target. We could go through every conflict of every war that has been fought before and every war raging on now and pick out the reasons some of these things occur. But, for the most part, having a war is a way of avoiding an even more devastating circumstance: facing life without a war.

The one type of war that is a bit different is the aptly named "Civil War," where people of the same region, territory, country, are fighting against each other, within their own borders. Usually those sorts of wars have overriding circumstances that make them an exception.

But war is a constant simply because not having a war means that void must be filled with something. And what will it be filled with, from day to day and year to year? Having to actually examine life, to learn about the elements, to examine our own minds and motivations, to reach a different level, a higher plane of consciousness.

That's some scary, scary stuff.

Imagine a 5 star general, now unemployed, having to sit down and deal with feelings? Isn't that enough to make someone charge into battle?

War also has a level of importance. It makes people into heroes. It wins people ribbons and medals, which is another parallel to the Olympics. War matters because it is life and death. It's legal murder. And it's done in the name of Patriotism. Or Religion. Or Both. Or neither.

It's not a coincidence I'm posting this on August 6, the anniversary of the Atomic Bomb over Hiroshima. That horrific moment in History, followed by the similar blast over Nagasaki, is something we must always remember. In war, people who have nothing to do with the process end up dying.

But in the end, that is what justifies it all. The other people can be outraged and can plot their revenge. War perpetrates itself because people are afraid of what will happen without it.

When we lose the fear of not having war, when we realize self-examination is part of the process of being human, when we truly start looking inward to discover the sources of our dissatisfaction instead of outward at the people we have been taught to hate, then will we truly light the flame that will burn not just in an Olympic year, but for all time.

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