Even if they are wrong
Having tried to watch the now notorious documentary India’s daughter (I could only stomach it in bits)…I retire into my deeper oldest self looking for answers. I know in my heart that I cannot spit venom (as I have done) and wish a ghastly torture upon the hideous rapists who destroyed , ripped apart, a girl and then left her to die in the street.
By sheer coincidence (since I have seen it but thought it was about the Spanish Civil War) I am watching -of all things- the life of the founder of…Opus Dei~!~! (There be Dragons) and what the young man (José Maria Escriva’) said to his distraught friends and fellow Opus Dei followers, was we are to love them and treat them as humans EVEN IF THEY ARE WRONG. “They” had just shot his mentor ,an old fat priest ,in cold blood and enjoyed doing it. Escriva’ is able to understand the chain of causes….he is a true Buddhist without knowing it! . He was able to see how they depersonalized the old priest and for them he represented all their misery and the injustice in their lives.
Forgive me Lord for my anger, for the anger of others, for my hatred (Escriva’)
Our greatest enemies are within(Cervantes)
When you forgive you set someone free, yourself (narrator)
This gives me much food for thought. I have become lax in my practice. I KNOW that ignorance(in the Buddhist sense) is the cause of heinous acts….and descending to their level is not the answer. Of course. Perhaps forgiveness is impossible when faced with such horrific cruelty and barbarism as the Delhi gang rape, or the villager who raped a sick cow…or Aushwitz…what is it that shocks us so much? It is the apparent callousness, and even the seeming clarity of intention of these monsters. A drunken driver is not in the same category. Nor even a trained soldier (killer all the same) .
For me the clue lies, again, in Buddhist ideas. I am helped by the concept of compassion as something you TRAIN yourself to practice, it becomes your second nature but you are not necessarily born naturally compassionate. The ego can do any wild thing, for it is a survival mechanism basically and as such it is very much me first and who cares about anyone else. Empathy has been shown to use a certain area of the brain and it expands with practice. In small children it is not yet developed and even in teens it is still forming. We do find heartless attitudes in both teenagers and children! Yet here we have it, they have not yet fully developed their powers of empathy!!
Criminals are formed by lack of love and nurturing, and maybe some are born with a part of the brain damaged, who knows. But THAT THERE ARE EXPLANATIONS, is probably true. How many of us can accept them is another story. For not all abused children turn into criminals. Many deprived children become MORE compassionate!!they identify with the underdog… However, we know that an unstroked untouched infant will die, literally. The brain simply won’t kick in with the life force…
All my being says death to the rapists and torturers….but my conscience stops that urge and causes me to feel shame that I am descending to a primitive level of evolution. It is not and can never be our right or duty to take away life, any life. The implications of having that power legalized are terrifying as we know. However I can see that a society may have to take that drastic measure just as if it were a body producing antibodies with no questions asked to any protein that harms it.
In the case of India, right now, clearly the menace to society is the bunch of brain dead or brainwashed males that go around blaming women for their own animal behavior and dressing up misogynism as moral purity. It is truly disgusting to listen to. And as the ad. says, it all starts in the home with the little boys. Little boys DO and SHOULD cry and big ones too!!I can honestly say that the rapists’ lawyers made me feel even more repulsed than the cold blank inhuman driver of the bus. He reeks of poverty and squalor, the lawyers are smug, well fed, educated, bah! what is their excuse?
So my anger gets directed at those who seemingly have a CHOICE or a greater choice…these rapes are the ultimate expression of gross inequality and indifference endemic in present day Indian society. They are, in political jargon, the lumpen, marginal faceless future-less ill- educated dregs of a cruel caste- ridden pyramidal and surprisingly rigid system.
So we should direct our rage and indignation at the system, that produces some of the richest billionaires in the world, and will be the cause of climate change becoming irreversible because more and more coal mines will be opened for the very greedy or the ever consuming middle classes to have and buy more and more….but not, let’s be clear about this, the vast majority.
Where to begin the change? Within within within….not a single wise person has ever failed to see that it has to be that way round. And that is what I try and do every day, and chase hate away in the process, for it will NOT TRANSFORM THE WORLD. Only love can do that!
Charlie Chaplin as The Great Dictator: We think too much and feel too little, more than machinery we need humanity, more than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness, without these qualities life will be violent and all will be lost.