Practicing Peace in Times of War


Both of books currently loaded onto my phone are about war: Karen Armstrong’s Fields of Blood and Pema Chodron’s Practicing Peace in Times of War.

Karen Armstrong has gotten a lot of press on her book. This latest one has lots of interesting comments. Her central theme is that religion isn’t the cause of violence but instead inspire many different actions. It’s societal stratification and political power brought about by the development of agriculture and then industrialization that began and perpetuate the cycle of subjugation and violence we see today.

Karen Armstrong: We are always talking about the importance of democracy. But I think in our perilously divided world, we need global democracy, where all people’s voices are heard, not just those of the rich and the powerful.

Pema Chodron: When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias, and aggression. You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds, from now until the day you die. And, you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently.

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