CLN – Alan Watts : Why Fight? – 24 December 2013

A thought provoking four minutes on the true nature of war, the fundamental question of why we fight, and the solution to end all wars – by the late Alan Watts.

WARNING: This video contains distressing images, viewer digression is advised.   The transcript is as follows:

Most modern wars are fought over political disagreements, which are pretty shallow, ideological battles.  What kind of government are we going to have? Capitalism called communism, or communism called capitalism, or what have you?

Those wars are fought out of fear.  So we’ll say, all right, we’re going to blow those bastards to pieces.  We’re afraid of them; we don’t want anything to do with them; we’d like to just get rid of them.

Yeah, but if that is your motivation and this is your spirit that you’re frightened of the enemy, you’re not going to be a good soldier – a good soldier is supposed to be courageous.  See, you’re not supposed to be afraid.

So alright. Say okay, we are not frightened of these people, we just think that they’ve been exploiting everybody else, and we are the knight on the white horse with the lance. And, we are going to rescue everybody.

OK, in you go.  And, you stir up the same kind of problems.  And, everybody says to the knight on the white horse, ‘Hey, aren’t you a stuffed shirt?  You’re holier than everybody else.  You offend us by your rightousness. You’re disgusting! You’re not even human.  And, after all, you’re a hypocrite.  You may come on politically with this white horse, but you have all kinds of rackets back home and you know it.’

Still you courageously won all that courage, you’re not afraid of death, and all that.  So, if you’re not afraid  of death and all that, the question comes up again.

Why fight?  What’s the point?  Who are you protecting?  Are you gonna teach your children to be afraid?  And, say I’ll protect my children because they’ve been taught to be afraid. I’m the father. I’ve learned not be afraid. Why didn’t I teach my children not to be afraid?  If I had, I wouldn’t have had to defend them, because they would have said, ‘It’s just an illusion.  We can dissolve out of this body and appear somewhere else.’

Because, if that’s what has happened, and it’s pretty obvious that it is. I mean, when I say that you’ll appear somewhere else, everybody who appears is you – only, you can only experience it one at a time.

But, everybody only experiences themselves in the singular. But everybody’s you. Everybody’s I. That’s our name.  We all share that. So, there’s nothing to worry about in that sense.

But, if you know that in your heart of hearts, then obviously the only strategy that is worth anything at all is enough to trump everything up: to love everybody.

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