Libya – is might, right? April 1st,2011

At a time when we are involved in attacking Libya to aid the rebellion against Colonel Gaddafi, it is worth considering whether good can come of violence and, if one has military strength, whether one should use it to intervene in other countries.

From the perspective of the Relative aspect of life (as opposed to the transcendental or Absolute aspect), there is a good case for intervening to help people who are being persecuted. It can be argued that the NATO intervention in Kosova saved many innocent lives and that had NATO intervened earlier on previous occasions during the war in the Balkans atrocities such as the massacre of Muslims at  Srebenica might have been prevented.

Furthermore, in the Bhagavad Gita, a seminal work of Vedic philosophy, Arjuna when confronted by a battle between his relatives, does indeed enter the fray – choosing to have the wisdom of Krishna beside him in his chariot rather than Krishna’s army which was the alternative given to him. So, even the textbooks of highest consciousness do not advocate passivity.

My teacher, Maharishi, however, who spoke from the perspective of the Absolute, was very clear that violence only bred violence. He said that, rather than killing our enemies, we had to melt their hard hearts with love. This sounds very idealistic and, to many of us, unachievable, but he had a practical programme for doing this.

Basing his approach on the evidence of the civil war in Lebanon, when a group of TM meditators practising advanced techniques called the TM Sidhis managed to create so powerful an atmosphere of peace that violence was reduced, Maharishi advocated turning the military into a peace corps by teaching them to meditate and sending them to do so in trouble spots!

Disconcertingly for sceptics, evidence that the group of advanced meditators efforts were influential was reported as statistically significant in the scientific journal: the Journal for Conflict Resolution. It seems that when the critical number of meditators was achieved violence decreased and when some people went home it went up again. This happened a number of times, so much so that the group’s influence was found to be the only factor in common.

The effect, subsequently called the Maharishi effect, has been replicated a number of times, so there really is an alternative to bombing people into peace – and one which doesn’t sow the seeds of future conflicts – and that is to enter into the profound calm and peace of deep meditation and share the glow with all in the area…

Michael Jon Pierce


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