So again, what's in the way? What's to keep 80% or 90% of humanity from having their way in spite of the small group of pro-death activists? In response to the ominous thought that "the whole world is controlled by just a few people," I say "Great news!" It means there are way, way more of us than there are of them. Like the classic story of the Lone Ranger and Tonto being caught in an ambush. "Well Tonto," says the Masked Man, "We're surrounded by Indians. Looks like we're done for."
And Tonto says, "What you mean WE, kemosabe?"
When we the people of the world look at the warmakers and say, "What you mean WE, kemosabe?" it will send a signal to the cosmos that there is indeed intelligent life on this planet.
So what do we do in the interim? What part can we play to bring about that day? First of all, entertain the possibility. One of the deadliest diseases of the spirit we suffer in our postmodern culture is what Michael Lerner calls "cynical realism," and what Swami calls "smartyrdom." We are just too smart, too jaded to be hopeful. To avoid the hurt of failing at something noble, to avoid being -- God forbid -- a fool for love, the cynical realist will wink and nod and say, "It's always been that way, it's always going to be that way, so I'm going to get mine." And that's how those too smart to be a fool for love end up being a fool for evil.
Secondly, let go of your story. Part of the intransigence in the Middle East (and every other region where rivalry has turned to hatred) has to do with people so identifying with their stories -- or their "people's" story -- that they end up living a surrogate life based on something that happened generations ago. The worst thing about it is that it begets more of the same, and stands as an obstacle both to learning and to making a real contribution to the world.
As a kid growing up in a Jewish family, I was well-immersed in Jewish history ("They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat!"). Thank God we had no relatives that we knew of who died in the Holocaust, but the horror of that was always real for me, as was the slogan, "Never again!" But at some point in my adult life, the question arose, did "never again" mean never again for the Jews? Or never again for anyone? If the lesson learned and the sacred mission arising out of that horror is never again will genocide be tolerated for anyone, then perhaps the awful suffering has actually made a contribution to the world.
Finally, we need to get off our head trips and join together on the heart trip. Just as surely as heart cells "entrain" to beat together, our individual human hearts are attuned to the same attuning fork. It's our minds that keep us separated. Now I know some hardheaded paragons of rationality are shaking their hard heads right about now, clucking about how I underestimate the power of reason. Not at all. I've seen the power reason has to provide us with all the rationalizations we need -- to act irrationally. Now we need the power of reason to be used in the service of the heart, to generate the yet unthought of solutions that will prevent the unthinkable.
Note: Please feel free to respond to this article, but please avoid sending me material which shows one side is right and the other is wrong. I've got files of evidence for both sides. What we need now are creative solutions that can take us to a new level. Send those.