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Predictably, many people in the comments are taking my call for

deescalation and my critique of vengeance and my observation that

violent resistance isn't helping, as an indication that I have a blind

spot, am unaware of the oppression of the Palestinians, etc. I am not

blind to it. In my last essay on this topic, hoping to preempt this very

criticism, I wrote: "I am indeed well aware of the desperate plight of

the Palestinian people after decades of oppression by the immeasurably

more powerful and increasingly theocratic state of Israel. The

expulsions, the sabotage of peace, the land grabs, the incarceration,

intimidation, and torture of activists, the bulldozing of houses, the

maiming of unarmed protesters, the violation of human rights, the

lopsided “wars” in which hundreds of Palestinians are killed for each

Israeli, the assassinations, and the propaganda and lies that hold it

all together are well known to me."

My point in this essay, which I stated unequivocally, is that this isn't

about what is justified. From the lens of "justification" then armed

resistance is surely justified. But Hamas is far from the only

expression of Palestinian sentiment. My sympathies lie with the peace

activists, Palestinian and Israeli.

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Oct 14, 2023·edited Oct 14, 2023

My heart soared when I read this and listened to your talk. It is time to lay down our grievances. "Vengence is mine", sayeth the Lord. The hardest thing to do, for me, is to take a step back when I feel I have been wronged, to humble myself, to not be the one who walks away with a smirk on my face because I got in the last word. I sincerely hope that Israel does not want to get in the last word. But it's not just Israel or Palestine, it is the war within our hearts. That is the real battle. Let us overcome ourselves and find true peace.

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As Solzhenitsyn said: ‘The line between good and evil runs through every human heart, and it is up to us, as you say, to overcome and transform that within us that would harm and punish others to bolster our personal ego. It is a challenging and lifelong task, but a beautiful one as well.

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The reason that wars and wealth disparity continue perpetually, with no end in sight, is that we keep repeating like a mantra, this mistaken idea that we can end war and wealth disparity by changing our 'hearts'.

This is a failed Enlightenment formulation that has never been true, and that Ayn Rand famously relied on to justify American libertarianism. Rand claimed that if we remove all barriers to individual freedom, Enlightenment 'reason' would then guide us to the best outcomes to all people (as if in allowing limitless individual freedom there is any cause to believe that those unfettered individuals would somehow magically adopt rational thinking and reason as their philosophy, when it is absurd to believe this).

And what this failed rational argument leads us to as the alternative, is that the way to end wars and wealth disparity, is to *structurally* change our local and global governing and economic *systems* so that the ruthless and selfish are not favored as they are currently.

The Iroquois Confederacy did not succeed simply because they had enlightened 'hearts'. It succeeded because the Confederacy consciously and carefully *designed* their governing, dispute resolution, and economic system *structurally* to promote democratic outcomes.

The solution in Palestine is to structurally enforce international law - for the rest of the world (at least in the global South) to unite and ensure by whatever means necessary that Israel ends its occupation and attacks on Palestine - end ensure that a more democratic government, elected by all people equally in Israel and Palestine together, is established.

Going all the way back to the Magna Carta, through every advancement in democratic governance since, built patiently, century by century, it is only changing the *structure* of our systems that brings more democracy, not appeals to peoples' hearts.

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You are certainly entitled to your opinion. What I refer to is spiritual, not physical. We will never cleanse these systems without a change in our hearts. That is what I believe. That is what I am striving for. Perhaps you have a different role in this. In that case, you are the one to make it happen. I wish you well. My power is in my attitude towards my fellow man, woman, child, beast, all creation.

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I'm not saying that inner work and spiritual inner work are not important. They are as crucial to every person as breathing air.

What I'm saying (and the evidence shows this) is that if you want to change a human system, the way to do so is to change the structure and moving parts of that system first. The inner understanding comes with the changed system.

For example we can talk until we are blue in the face to capitalists about how bad capitalism is, but they will not change their view until they see examples of operating socialism, cooperatives, etc, succeeding around them - while at the same time laws are put in place to reduce the reach of capitalism and wealth disparity.

It is very difficult for most people to change their behavior from the inside, out, especially when they are at war.

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I would add that a simple, real world example of this, in action, is Behavioral Psychology, which focuses on teaching people to simply change what they are *doing* without worrying about psychoanalyzing "why". It works. And after the behavior changes, the inner understanding follows.

I experienced this personally in my transition to veganism. I went vegan 30 years ago for very simple logical ethics reasons because a friend made those basic points and gave me a book on the logic of vegan ethics. But it was only over years and decades as a vegan I gradually came to deeply internalize how profoundly important that decision was spiritually, environmentally, etc.

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Eric, I really think you have got it the wrong way round.

It is why the idea of Marxism has always stuck in my throat.

'Change the system' you advocate is a few people deciding what is best for the masses...expecting people to suspend due diligence and follow what these few think they know best!

So all it means is 'the same old, same old', heirachical, 'top down'....most individuals expected to fit into, tailor themselves to the 'better' system. (even if quietly not acquiesing fully by maintaining their sense of self, in opposition, regardless of the impositions).

A holistic (moving into resonance with ecology?) system has to evolve through souls tapping into their goodly godly nature. No? And an essential part of this is recognising that Earth is ruled by demons hijacking us, all of us to greater or lesser extent... facilitated particularly by our insecurities due to trauma....giving this urge for power and control we humans are prey to! ?

And with the lid off now ...the parlous state of the world now being exposed more and more...it might just be (however horrid to behold, however uncaring it sounds, however terrible it is experienced) that global chaos, war and suffering is necessary for a greater collective awareness to emerge...hearts, love, compassion to genuinely come alive overriding moral pontifications (if we can muster ourselves to decide upon, and live, our best attempts at basic 'do no harm' personal stance) ...and letting go of solely trying to 'sort it' with our minds.

Everyone's uniquely personal process.

Organic, not forced, not top down...but arising up...and ultimately not in our hands....and requiring we all be rather stoic in our cluelessness how it will pan out...

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Sadly game theory says changing the structure will never work. There will always be people who are willing to play dirty and they will inevitably skew the system in their favor.

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First, much of game theory is developed in artificial lab conditions creating results that are not legitimate.

But even if we assume your assertion, the whole point of making structural change to a system is to make it more difficult for selfish actors such as those you mentioned to skew results in their favor. We can't completely eliminate the problem, but we can make it far less likely.

For example in a not-for-profit worker co-op factory it is much harder for individuals to hoard wealth than in a factory owned by a corporation and run by a Wall Street board.

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Perhaps the use of the term 'game theory' wasn't appropriate. Let's say that as soon as one group/individual is willing to use illegitimate force/power/etc. over another group, the situation will start to skew in favor of that group. Even with non-profits, someone inside or outside the organization would eventually find a way to skew the organization in their favor. That's the way amoral people operate. Sure, certain systems may create obstacles, but creative individuals/groups will always find a way around the obstacles.

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I agree that the solution is international law. However, I don’t think we actually have international law yet. Laws should be jointly made and accepted and evenly and reliably enforced according to pre-set criteria. We need to change our global architecture to get to that point. The UN needs to be democratized and strengthened. https://youtu.be/Fs5Bk3XOPgw?si=pglu8W7xTQ7VeMrl

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That's simply not correct. The United Nations Charter, multiple votes of the the UN General Assembly and Security Council, and international court decisions have established, repeatedly and absolutely, that Israel's occupation and war on the Palestinians is completely illegal and must end immediately.

All we need now is enforcement. And that can look exactly like the global sanctions on South Africa that forced the end of apartheid there,

This is not complicated. It is a matter of simply taking global action.

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Here’s a good article about Ukraine making the same point as I am making about Israel. There is nothing simple about taking global action. There is no mechanism for that, at least as long as any nation on the security councils doesn’t want the global action to occur. https://www.salon.com/2022/06/12/what-really-caused-the-in-ukraine-global-anarchy--and-we-can-fix-it/

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Yes, you make my point. The UN shakes its finger and says you shouldn’t do that, but they do nothing to stop it. If when someone murdered someone on our country, the legislature just said we demand that people stop killing people, but then the government did nothing to punish the murderer or stop further murders, then it wouldn’t really be a law against murder. It would be more like a suggestion. And clearly, a suggestion is not enough.

In such a lawless situation if I were afraid someone might murder me, I could not depend on law enforcement to keep me safe, so I might decide to murder him first. And could you blame me?

That’s where we are. We will never have enforceable international laws unless government cede enough sovereignty to make themselves subject to international law https://youtu.be/2s4UxmWOOA0?si=JWdcYNQJVEygQxVj

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Where do you think life supporting structures come from? A machine? They come from wise people who are acting in the interests of the group rather than self interest. But it has to go beyond that: we have to act in the interests of the neighbouring tribes as well s as our own, otherwise e get power struggles and arms races, with all the direct and indirect damage they cause.

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That's simply false. Take a detailed look at the ubiquitous and incredibly complex, structured, mycorrhizal fungi networks in living soils, on which all forests and other mature ecosystems depend.

Please show me the mushrooms, soil microbes, trees, ferns, mosses, lichens, insects, land animals and birds who are going around examining their inner heart and morality to make their forest ecosystem work..

This reveals the importance of structure over heart-on-sleeve appeals to morality. The world is an ecosystem, and human civilization is a part of that ecosystem.

And if we want to avoid near term extinction we need to recognize that our lives and progress are ecological, not gleaned from the pages of texts on religion or ethics written by arrogant Enlightenment scholars and theologians who think all of the answers of the world derive from achieving some myopic, mythical moral perfection.

Everyone needs to learn love and compassion. But let's remember that when the Palestinians attempted to use mass Gandhian nonviolent action (as the world was begging them to do) in 2018, the Israelis simply drew their guns and with deadly force mowed those peaceful Palestinians down with impunity - for which Israel received *no* consequences whatsoever from the "moral" world, and afterwhich Israel's brutal occupation simply escalated without missing a beat.

Centering appeals to morality is a failed strategy for change.

We need to build new egalitarian social structures that can stand on their own and which do not depend on anyone's morality to survive.

To begin learning how, search the phrase "Renewing the Anarchist Tradition" at: http://radio4all.net

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Does not a forest ecosystem operate with a oneness, and an absence of a consciousness we as humans have been bestowed with. Our challenge is to overcome our state of duality through a full awakening of our consciousness. Difficult to make comparisons between elements of the forest ecosystem and us.

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You have a very blunt and black and white mode of dialogue that suggests fixed opinions with limited interest in engagement with others. But I will respond briefly to a couple of your comments. Firstly, animals and plants are not moral; they do their thing and play their part in evolution beautifully. Assuming humans are just the same as animals and plants is one of the falsehoods of the Enlightenment that you rail against. You say that we need to avoid appeals to morality, yet at the same time, everyone needs to learn love and compassion. But these are surely the foundation of morality?

Structures that support humanity to thrive are absolutely important, and I agree that these need to respect our nature as embodied beings, and part of nature. But our self-consciousness and capacity to act in either a wholly selfish way or a tribalistic way will sooner or later lead to what Daniel Schmachtenberger calls 'self-termination' unless we learn to stop the cycles of reaction and revenge.

None of this is based on Enlightenment thinking - it goes back much further to the works of the Buddha and the Christ, among other great world spiritual teachers. We simply must learn to act with wisdom and compassion - yes to create better social structures that support life and community, but also to break the karmic cycles that are drawing us closer and closer to the abyss. To quote Gandhi: 'you must be the change that you seek in the world.'

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He wrote 200 years together which the ashk then banned

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Absolutely. Good structures can support and facilitate personal growth and better ways of treating others, but there usually needs to be some ground of goodwill and a desire to do things better if such structures are to have the chance of being implemented. People whose modus operandi is to manipulate and exploit others are not usually that keen to implement structures that inhibit their power to do this.

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I admire your attempt Charles at laying out a broad scope of the past weeks events and inevitably becoming entangled in the miasma of our screen addicted algorithmic explosion of commentary, outrage, viewpoint and theorisations!

Might there be space for vigil, bewilderment, pain, sorrow and grief too in amongst our Co-evolved Audience Captured incessant need for commentary, reasons, answers, and getting it right, at such an early stage of an ongoing tragedy that's unfolding before our eyes.

Strength and sympathies indeed to those who are brave enough to be offering help and aid on the ground and to those who can offer diplomacy, mediation and humanitarian sense to de-escalate this current gut wrenching offensive.

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Thank you. I am in the 'vigil, bewilderment, pain, sorrow and grief' space myself. Usually I have alot to say, but increasingly the complexities and sheer volume of weighted history behind most of our actions, assumptions and commentary these days has simply become too exhausting to navigate. I find I am taking my elders advice more and more to pray and when no clear answer comes, to just pray harder.

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Oh Charles - it is soooo hard to talk about this subject with anyone these days ay?! To me you wrote the most wonderfully, well-balanced article that left me feeling hopeful and supported in my own stance too - and you perfectly stated it in, 'not taking sides'. And this does not mean that one 'side' is not at a disadvantage. These bloody labels are killing us. I liked the concept spoken of on Kim Iverson's latest talk with the rabbi...so sensible, so compassionate, so practical. I highly recommend adding it your viewing list...also the Gabor Mate one which was brilliant! I get the beautiful place you are coming from Charles...I feel no judgement in it - even if there is pain and opinion in. all of us, we want solutions, we want peace, or in the words of Naomi Wolf everyone needs to 'calm the f... down!'

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You talk of going beyond justification in your essay. Then here you say that armed resistance is surely justified. I hope you don't mean resistance in the form of terrorism. I had hope on this front, you know "Not defending Hamas is a very low bar to clear. Please clear it."

Beyond that I hope you address RFK's version of the backstory -- based on his version I can hardly view Palestinian conditions as the fault of Israel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFC7K09bkPI

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My point is that if one is operating in the mindset of justification, then one can easily justify armed resistance. With sufficient mental calisthenics, one could justify terrorism too. Orwell illuminated this in 1984 when Winston is recruited (so he thinks) into the Revolutionary Brotherhood and asked, "If necessary to overthrow the Party, would you be willing to commit acts of sabotage? Murder? If it would somehow help our cause, would you be willing to throw acid in a child's face?" In this passage, Orwell illustrates how the quest to overthrow evil makes one evil oneself. This is the pitfall of justification. The terrorists think themselves justified. So do the Israeli hardliners who would raze Gaza to the ground. If you fully occupy the worldview and historical narrative of either, you will agree that yes, their justifications are valid. And the other side seems just incomprehensible, immoral, evil.

So my argument here is not that the resistance is justified, or the response is justified, or that neither are justified. My argument is that the lens of "what is justified" is itself at the core of the problem.

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I think I understand your point Charles and from a purely theoretical place I mostly agree. 'Righteousness' can be manipulated in so many horrible ways. However, it seems to me that you are engaging in somewhat convoluted 'mental calisthenics' in attempting to justify the idea of 'non-justification' here. I personally prefer to use the term 'understandable' when trying to frame others actions and reactions. The actions of both Israel and Palenstine are understandable when one groks the full history. Which is 'right' and which is 'wrong' is a whole other can of worms we don't know how to really sort out at this point.

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Appreciate that perspective on'justification' and I agree. However to be honest I still see no way out, no offense (do not see your suggestions helping to bring peace). The issue is one of survival, given Hamas' stated goal. I really would love for you to address RFK's points about the history of the Palestinians rejecting all offers and only being interested in the end of Israel.

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Thank you Chris. Folks seem to be glossing over or forgetting the actual historical framework of all this. It is very possible to understand why both sides feel as they do, however I believe you are correct in that this is an issue of survival and not just of Israel, but ineveitably of the west as well. I do not think the US has to worry about Israel terror bombing america, but I have no doubts that Hamas and Iran would love to do just that. So I am a bit alarmed by the naivete I sense in so many of my dear peacemaking friends around this. It seems to me like yet another version of the deeply entrenched 'if we just have enough compassion for them and take responsiblity for our own and our country's bad actions; well then maybe they will stop doing terrible things and become lovely and socially well integrated human beings'

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100%. I'm quite alarmed as well. It's possible to have a strong moral critique of Israeli policies while being honest about Islamic Jihad. Unfortunately I see very few able to hold this tension in their minds and hearts simultaneously. To be honest I feel like RFK is doing the best job of any public figure I've seen.

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Exactly. Unless I see something very different in the future, I am behind RFK on this one. I notice some folks in the comments seem to think it is because he is catholic/christian that he has a blind spot common to other christians in that he supports Israel/judiasm over muslim/islam. I can understand why folks might think this, but that is not my take at all. I have listened to some very erudite legal discussions and it seems to me that Israel still has a strong legal right to the Gaza strip. Does that morally justify all of thier actions? Of course not. But folks also seem to forget that the good ole US has done alot of despicable things in multiple countries around the world for a very long time. Instead of lambasting Israel for fighting for it's life in immoral ways, why don't we clean up our own dirty laundry at home first?

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But has that ever been done in the history of mankind? Has one side, justified in taking revenge, EVER said “never mind, you’re not going to make us do that”. Has it EVER been tried?

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Probably not on a large scale, but in smaller conflicts I would suspect it has. When people are truly interdependent, endless revenge becomes obvious self sabotage. I do not see Israel taking revenge. I see them as fighting for their very right to exist. Hamas on the other hand is blatantly gloating over thier successful revenge on social media sites all over the world. I wish folks would listen to how many muslim countries are publicly cheering Hamas on with leaders who are gleefully saying how the US and rest of the 'evil' west will be next. The videos Hamas is posting online of the barbaric beheading of babies and rape and murder of civilians is being celebrated as a some sick kind of victory by woke left radical students in universities all over the world. This is not a philosophical/esoteric moment. It is a very real threat, not just to Israel. It scares me how many good liberal folks seem to feel the US< and Europe and Israel deserve to be attacked because of all the 'bad' things we have done. Hamas has been responsible for the continued oppression of the Palestinian people. They have taken millions in foreign aid and instead of using that money to help their own people they have instead built missle launching sites below hospitals, schools, etc, so that every time Israel figths back against Hamas bombings, they are accused of targeting civilians. Hamas has several times bombed their own people by 'mistake' both in Palestiane and in Israel. It takes awhile to sort out the truth of the situation and I am not saying Israel is squeaky clean. But the difference between the two governments is quite clear. Anyone who supports Hamas at this point is misguided at best.

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Hi Charles, I hope you can prevail on RFK to give a more tempered statement on this issue. It is completely inconsistent with his approach to Ukraine. It feels like he is going to great extremes to prove he is not an antisemite. Of course, he is not an antisemite and he was clearly quite wounded by that attack on him earlier this year. But I expect better from him. I don't know what the right thing is to do, but I've seen some comments from him about this that seem almost as shrill as those from Ben Shapiro and Lindsay Graham. I've seen quite a few comments from supporters of his who were drawn to his platform for peace who are now looking in the direction of people like Cornel West. If RFK supporters vote for Cornel West because of this, that just guarantees a victory by Trump or Biden. On the other hand, there is virtual unanimity among most Americans and especially former Trump supporters who have backed RFK in support of Israel. You couldn't have come up with a better scenario to put him in such a predicament.

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Interesting you should mention Orwell. It is a good example you used to illustrate your usage of ‘justification’. I expect the parallels are far more profound than you seem willing to entertain. In this example, as well, it is not vengeance that motivates the Party. Only power.

I should know ;)

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Check out my 6-part series on Orwell, "Handfuls of Dust and Splinters of Bone." https://charleseisenstein.substack.com/p/handfuls-of-dust-and-splinters-of

(that's part 1)

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Oct 20, 2023·edited Oct 20, 2023

That was really great, Charles. I stand corrected. You have entertained the parallels quite thoroughly and I regret, a little, that I stopped reading you several months ago and so have missed this essay series until now. In full transparency, I find your Sanity Project fairly creepy. With a past like mine, I'm sure you can understand. I mean no offence. Just needed some space.

Regardless, I feel that maybe I can better understand your point. But when discussing the justifications of harms, why not include the fairly obvious justifications of harm coming from Team Netanyanhu, who have allowed such a thing to happen in the first place (to what degree is unclear, but you seem to agree that this was allowed to happen). Surely there are justifications all over the place there? He (they, whomever, whatever) is human, like the rest of us. And, by separating that out and focusing only on the war-minded civilians, you seem to be placing him in a different category. You have said that you don't think it is important how it all went down. If I understand correctly, you seem to be more focused on getting the masses of war-minded civilians to come to peace, individually. I think that is important too. But if there is an abuser in the house, don't we want to say, "hey! there's an abuser in the house!" so as to help the abuse to stop?

I honestly fail to see how this can be perceived as a conspiracy theory. I mean, you said it yourself in the Intermission of Handfuls of Dust and Splinters of Bone, "[o]ne must accurately acknowledge the situation one is in." People are desperately trying to do this, and being called conspiracy theorists instead. I don't understand why. If it is not true, then it will be revealed. But if we never look, then potential abuse is completely unimpeded from carrying on, all the while we desperately dodge it, and simultaneously 'restrain' ourselves from lashing out in retaliation. Sounds like a form of hell to me.

Look at the truth. We know, in some way or another, when we are being lied to.

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I do think it is important to uncover this background. It just isn't what will stop WWIII. Bibi, from all appearances, is a hate-filled man who will do just about anything to win.

People like him gain power only by leveraging public anger and grief, by pointing the finger at the most convenient enemy. The more resistant we are to that, the less such people can manipulate us.

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Oct 19, 2023·edited Oct 19, 2023

Thanks. I will. ✌🏻

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I'd argue Hamas has nothing to do with what the Palestinian people want or need themselves. The hate of Hamas towards Israel is more, much more important to them than the survival or the lives of the people they claim to fight for. Even if Palestinians (or indeed their supposed leadership) would want to find a peaceful way towards Israel they would risk their lives because Hamas would never allow it. In this way, the two 'revenges' are not symmetrical and hence cannot deescalate. At the same time it could act as a justification for Israel to NOT harm the Palestinian people. But something tells me Israels political class seeks the conflict for their own gain instead of trying to empower the Palestinians to emancipate from the terror organisations.

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That sounds wise April. What we have is individuals in the now who are deciding to cause harm through personal action...that is the priority focus needed. A consideration of history is just in the realm of judgement... what is crying out is a need for everyone's self-accountability in the moment by moment present.

Unfortunately humanity is in a perpetually screwed up state in having careers in killing...learn to be a marine or whoever in the 'Armed forces'...to activate the demonic realm to make you more efficient and successful in your career of harm! We are all taught to have terrorist mentality...

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Charles.. in light of this, why did you engage in the blatantly ridiculous hypocrisy of advocating for the UN to militarily and governmentally *undemocratically* invade and control Palestine, to prevent Palestine from fighting back militarily, while *not* supporting the same for Israel?

The absurd idea that Palestine is the only party which should be proactively and aggressively prohibited from attacking in this conflict, goes beyond laughable into Bizarro World territory.

The only possible explanation I can see, is that you are a closet Jewish supremacist racist who subconsciously believes that Jews deserve special protection and latitude over everyone else - especially Palestinians. Because if that were not true you would have detailed a mechanism in your bullet points *expressly* to prevent Israel from attacking Palestine. And you didn't..

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It seems like, despite your acknowledgement of your awarenesses of the plight of innocent Palestinians AND Israelis that there is still a blind love. Love is good, always. Blind love leads only to a wide path of tears and blood. Why is it that it takes us so long to call out "leaders" and public "servants" who not only openly confess intentions of genocide but actively carry out those intentions? Often with the shallowest of justifications. How many years after Pol Pot did what he did before ANYONE was held to account? Long after the graves settled. And his is still visited out of respect. If your neighbor and her children were being shot at by an abusive husband and she attempted to throw a rock or a plate in attempt to escape, would you go over and give her a placard to declare her intentions of peace. Ask her to leave her home and possesions with no future rights to it? Would you refuse to attempt to restrain or arrest her husband? Netanyahu and his cadres do not want the Palestinian people to stay, or to leave, and definitely do not want them to come back. It is clear as those vehicles attempting to leave have been bombed. . They want them dead. Wiped out. They are freely confessing to the most alarming of war crimes and genocide without the faintest sense of responsibility for them. What is happening here? Why do our leaders not call them out? Is it blackmail? Fear of a Psychotic with Nukes at his disposal? Or just blind love for a Jewish people once horribly persecuted? It should be obvious by now that these war criminals have no love or loyalty for the Israelis or the Palestinians. Love them, but call them out and restrain them.

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No, I agree with you. Any leader with courage needs to call for the genocide to stop. Period.

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Yes, that is one unconditional point, that our "leaders" (in the UK and the US) are shying away from.

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You have approached this with the mindset that os needed if we are to ever to have hope for peace anywhere! Scary to see the bloodlust in people who are far away from the reality of what has, and is, taking place. I am shocked that RFK Jr has not been able to go with what his campaign manager advises. Can only assume he has some deep backing or strong connection that blinds him to his own evil.

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I'm not his campaign manager, just an advisor. But I believe he will change his mind. He is a man of real compassion.

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I find it difficult to believe a "man of real compassion" would willingly be blinded to the images and thousands (and counting, soon to be many more ) children along other innocents, who are being picked out dead under rubble at the moment, in an ongoing genocide. Even an ounce of compassion can see through the "Israel has a right to defend itself" BS, doesn't justify what is happening.

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I agree. When I use the word evil I am talking about all of us who blind ourselves to the humanity of any group because we are on the other side of an issue. We all do this, from time to time, but lately it's excessive and dangerous. The last thing we need to lose now is our humanity. RFK included though I suspect he is not unaware.

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Are you serious about this shit you just said now ?

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Thank you 🙏

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I stand in judgment against the Israeli government because, as an American Jew, I feel that I have some standing to influence "my side" of the conflict. America is arming the IDF. American Jewish organizations such as ADL are lending moral support to atrocities.

I will not condemn Hamas, but I trust my Palestinian friends to condemn Islamic violence, as I condemn Israeli violence.

At this point, I do not know to what extent the attacks of October 7 were a false flag, but this is a subject that deserves urgent investigation.

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I doubt is was a false flag. Most likely in my mind is that the Israeli government knew something was coming, and chose to let it happen, thinking it would be a good pretext to take off the kid gloves. But they had no idea the scale of the atrocity or of Hamas' capabilities, blinded by their own arrogance.

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"Most likely in my mind is that the Israeli government knew something was coming, and chose to let it happen, thinking it would be a good pretext to take off the kid gloves."

Right, and how is this different from a false flag? Exact same intention and deception. We are nitpicking at technicalities.

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Both are culpable, but I think murder has a higher degree of moral and karmic culpability than failing to protect others for personal gain. Also in the latter case the terrorists beat the primary culpability. And I agree with Charles that deliberately allowing the atrocities to occur is a more plausible scenario than planning them, especially as I believe Hamas has claimed responsibility.

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I think they knew exactly the scale. It served its purpose. And now there is adequate justification for bulldozing down Gaza.

If the Israel government cared about its citizens, wouldn't a hostage extraction effort be considered before raining down bombs?

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They are listening to the devil on their shoulder. Obviously there is no calculation of whether the bombs are going to help their citizens. Primary motive is revenge. Dominance lurks in the background.

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Oct 13, 2023·edited Oct 13, 2023

Perhaps they are listening to the devil on their shoulder. But I don't think the whisper is vengeance. I think the whisper is power.

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Death cults do not operate on revenge or avenge. The singular motivation is power over other. Use of revenge as fuel for agreement. Sure. Fueled by revenge ? No.

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Nov 16, 2023·edited Nov 16, 2023

From what I understand, listening to people like Alistair Crooke there is a very extreme element in Israel that is rapidly gaining in power and is very influential in the Israeli government. Their object is the expulsion, genocide of the Palestinian people and the confiscation of all Palestinian lands, to create Greater Israel, based on some biblical idea. What Hamas did (and I understand that the majority of the deaths initially attributed to them, were actually caused by the IDF panicking and firing recklessly) unfortunately gave the Israeli government another excuse to carry out their ethnic cleansing objective. But here is the dilemma, what do the Palestinians do in the face of such an extreme ideology? Do they just go quietly into genocide? Because up til October 7th the world was essentially apathetic to their situation. And Israel was gradually taking over the West Bank and killing and expelling Palestinian people. How do you create peace in the face of such extreme hatred and ideologies? Quite a number of Israeli officials have talked about Palestinians as "sub humans", "animals" etc and have said that there are no civilians in Gaza, therefore EVERYONE is a legitimate target. You are dealing with a large number of people with extreme views backed by substantial military power.

I am surprised at the constant reference to Hamas as a terrorist organisation and how awful the events of October 7 were. It goes on and on... but few people call out Israel's actions as that of a terrorist State with massive military power that is being exercised on a daily basis. This is a very asymmetrical situation. Its almost as if subconsciously there is a belief that Israeli lives are worth more than Palestinian lives. As another commenter pointed out, the Palestinians tried non-violent protest in 2018, marching to the border fence with Israel - unarmed. Israel reacted with lethal force. Killing reporters, medics, men, women and children. Snipers caused 2000 Palestinians to lose their limbs. Why is there so much "shock and horror" expressed about those who lost their lives on October 7 - but none about the hundreds of Palestinians killed on the West Bank. Finally there is some awakening around what is happening in Gaza - but nothing is happening, the slaughter continues by a deeply dysfunctional terrorist state. How does it change given the ideologies involved? Did we try to not judge the actions of Nazi Germany? It seems to me that there is a false equivalence in the Israel/Palestine situation. One party has enormous power and the other is struggling just to survive. So I wont condemn Hamas, because Israel has created this situation. It did not need to be like this. And now it is literally a bloody mess and a very intractable situation.

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I remember the 1980 election, when the U.S. (CIA?) kept our hostages in Iran, to be trotted out on the nightly news, until Reagan was safely elected and installed as president.

Govts will do anything to citizens if it is deemed necessary to a "greater" cause.

Ugh.

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If you understood the current dynamics in Israel and its politics, you would understand that your suggestion is merely another conspiracy theory that makes no sense. I am not saying that, morally, some israeli politicians couldn’t wish to act that way; from a purely practical approach, this suggestion is illogical and not based on any factual info.

Tow basic factors should be enough to negate this conspiracy theory:

A. Netanyahu and his government have suffered a HUGE blow, in every possible way, from this failure. There is lots of criticism in israel, including from right-wing voters, of the multiple failures of both government and top military figures. Politically speaking, these two groups are the big losers of the Hamas attack. I can detail more but it should be clear to anyone who aims to think objectively and rationally that most politicians’ interests are in the short run, until the next elections. There was nothing for the decision makers to gain by such colossal failure, described by all media outlets here (Israel) as biggest military fiasco since 1973 war. And we all know the consequences of that failure for those who were in power.

B. In most democracies and, without doubt in Israel (given it social dynamics and culture), NO ONE would be able to hide such scenario of ‘letting them attack us on purpose’ for more than a day. Officers would know of such commands and, within a day, everyone else will know too.

Mind you, as recently as yesterday, i heard conspiracy theories along this lines, just with different outcome explanation as to ‘why it was allowed’ floating from Israelis.

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I am not sure these days if calling my comment a conspiracy theory is meant to be an insult or a compliment. Regardless, you are 100% correct about what it is. It is a theory that involves a degree (or several) of conspiracy. It is what it is. I don't know if it is true. But I certainly have questions about some very gigantic holes in the 'acceptable story' that are not being adequately addressed...probably because the world is too busy frothing, fuelled by a never-ending stream of provoking content coming from media outlets, over the unfolding nightmare. We are human. I understand the emotion. I have them too. But I am still cognizant enough to remember that they can certainly cloud good judgement.

What is it about what I've said that suggests I don't understand the current dynamics in Israel and its politics? To your point about politicians' interests being in the short run, I'm pretty sure that Netanyanhu and his crew knew their time was up. I don't expect he was going to get a ton of support from the people he turned into Pfizer's gigantic experiment. There are other things that motivate politicians besides remaining in the hot seat. What exactly are the consequences for their failure? I actually don't know that.

As for the impossibility of hiding the scenario you describe, well, there are many ways in which that may play out. You are assuming one very simplistic version of the scenario. But I suggest you imagine the one in which almost no one actually knows what is going on and is deliberately kept in the dark and misdirected as necessary. Because I think that is actually already what happens all the time in the military, is it not? Pretty easy to appropriate such a set up wouldn't you say?

I'm not trying to provoke. Just asking questions about things that aren't making any sense to me.

I wish you well. I wish you peace and ease.

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I agree with Winston. I can see that it doesn't matter whether Republicans or Democrats, Conservative or Labour, etc etc are in power in a given country, because in the end it's the same forces behind them pushing whichever serves said forces best at that moment into power. We've recently seen Johnson, Arden and Sturgeon all exiting - their time was over and they have been replaced by more of the same with a different face/character. In Israel it will be no different. And Netanyahu could either sacrifice himself or be sacrificed in order for it to look like someone new and better, more acceptable, is taking his place. I'm sure he'll still have a nice life after losing his political status. But it would all be smoke and mirrors and the same agenda will be being served, in perhaps a more palatable way to begin with, by the new regime or faces. I'm surprised these days if people still see that as an imaginary conspiracy - it's plainly happening all over the place!

As for your second point, Jacob, judging by the behaviour of political leaders I've followed more closely during the past few years, they don't really care how obvious their hypocrisies or dubious strategies are. They believe they will get away with it anyway and significantly that most people won't be able to believe they could act so blatantly to harm their own citizens, using them as collateral damage. We really do not want to believe our parents could wish us harm.

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Oct 14, 2023·edited Oct 14, 2023

Precisely, Helen. All that's required is to distract (or censor!) the conversation away from legitimate questions for a few days—weeks, if necessary—until the next crisis comes along (shouldn't be too long now) and there are an entirely new set of questions to ask. Rinse. Repeat.

Everything appears to be right on schedule at the moment.

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And, tragically, yes. They do get away with the most infuriatingly obvious hypocrisies and fouls.

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Hi Charles,

I am currently in Israel (northern part, safe), came over 6 weeks ago from Dublin (Ireland), where i live, to spend a sabbatical year here.

Nearly every sentence in your essay resonates and corresponds to conclusions that i have reached in the past, confirmed again, tragically and loudly, in this round of mutual killing. It stands on my understanding as a social psychologist as well as a Buddhist practitioner.

Regarding your comment above, while it is definitely a possible political scenario and has been done in the past (along the classic acts of distracting your people from being accountable to them and transforming internal protests to national unity), it does not make sense at this time and state of things in israel.

Netanyahu’s aim would have been to usher the deal with S.Arabia through: that was the BIG bonus for his government and would score them high points. Allowing the border with Gaza to be inflamed at that point would make NO SENSE politically as it would pause or harm the process that US was pressing to move forward ASAP.

Indeed, this is what happened now and, the best pragmatic guess about the timing of the Hamas attack was that it, indeed, aimed at stopping this process (at the level of strategy; at the level of emotion and tactics, it follows the dynamics you pointed out above) and they got _exactly_ the outcome they wished and it’s first time that Saudi and Iranian top leaders are _publicly_ meeting.

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That sounds like a reasonable hypothesis, and it agrees with the facts as we know them so far. The idea that Hamas was controlled but went rogue when the time came seems completely plausible to me. Still, I'd like to see an investigation to tell us with more certainty. This is important first for us, so we have understanding to guide us in the future, but second for the people of Israel to be able to hold their leaders accountable and to remove from office those who created/permitted these atrocities.

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I don't pretend to know what really happened but we should be aware of alternative, conflicting accounts. Charles, you suggest that Israeli authorities may have wanted a smaller attack but they "had no idea the scale of the atrocity". This tweet states that Netanyahu ordered the military to stand down for 7 hours as the atrocities progressed. https://twitter.com/laurenwitzkede/status/1713344613409313003 . It is third-hand insider information, but consistent with what we know from other sources about the ability of IDF to respond quickly in an emergency. https://youtu.be/F_IAH7PnS_E

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Wow Charles, I can’t believe how deep your shadow goes. Appreciating your transparency. Do we really need more noisy and unsubstantiated accusations at this moment?

Please stick to facts and what you know, and refrain from instigating further.

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Thank you. Like you I smell that there is a more complex truth behind those facts, that involve global communication, and financial and political interests of all sorts.

However I doubt any of this will be investigated and put to the light.

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It took several years after 9/11 for Steven Jones and David Ray Griffin and Richard Gage to dig up the truth. When the COVID deception happened, there were people like Meryl Nass uncovering the lies in real time because we learned from 9/11. Let's hope that there are investigative reporters digging into the Gaza story even now.

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Charles, is there any way RFK jr would consider inviting Marianne Williamson to co-run with him? Not as P and VP, but as a team, a new paradigm of government, where counsel and consideration move us forward? His desire to end corruption, government for the people. Her deep rudder of spirituality based wisdom with a focus on the future? They are both excellent speakers and would have to work to find the junction points between - don’t we all? BIG TOLERANCE, a turn towards delight in diversity. We are not going to get anywhere without LOVE. She tempers and balances him. If he could be so courageous as to bust open the system with a whole new structure of governing......so many are ready for something completely different. I will no longer support the two party drama. It’s the new, the unexpected daring resonant of the best intentions of the visionaries in 1776......and so many indigenous people have graciously gifted their wisdom to beg us into the more beautiful world.......

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Israelis killing Palestinians. Palestinians killing Israelis. Each side claiming that they are right. Each side holding onto ancient pain, each side unwilling be the first to let go, and coming up with all the reasons in the world why they can’t and won’t.

A tragic tale as old as humanity itself. Insanity passing as normality.

When will we wake up to the obvious fact that we are all the same Awareness in disguise? That no matter who we think we are, no matter what appearance we happen to have, beyond our stories and histories, our religions, our nationalities, our beliefs, the colour of our skin, our heavy pasts and uncertain futures, we are all expressions of the One life.

That in truth there are no Israelis or Palestinians, Jews or Christians, Muslims or Buddhists, Atheists or Agnostics, that those images and labels can never define us.

That who we truly are at the most fundamental level is indefinable, mysterious, never fixed or static, never separate from All else that exists, never defined by a label, just as the vast ocean can never be defined by its waves.

Awareness has no religion, and no nationality.

It gives birth to both Palestinians and Israelis.

As Awareness itself, when we hurt each other, we are only hurting our own brothers and sisters, our own kin, waves of ourselves.

We are only fighting reflections of our original Face.

That bleeding child is my own.

We are only killing the ones we love, ancient friends from long ago.

How much more bloodshed? How much more pain? How many more men, women and children must disappear before we wake up?

The Circle of Life takes no ‘sides’.

https://youtu.be/RjPpMXMjIj0?si=sizNuze_3x0aJr2N

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'We are only killing the ones we love, ancient friends from long ago.'

That is saying it with such perfect and tragic beauty, I weep.

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Beautifully said, and I feel compelled to point out, there is no evidence this cycle is as old as humanity itself. For eons of human life there is minimal evidence for conflict and none for war. I wrote a book Before War to show this. It's important to know.

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True my brother. The deeper part of all these religions call us to this awareness, to see the Oneness beyond the multiplicity. But of course, the egoes role in the DIvine play is to hijack that, and to pull us into separation, and that happens in disorganized "new age" spirituality as much as in organized religion.

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So true - and beautifully put. <3 <3 <3

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Thank you so much for sharing the link to that unspeakable beautiful message of love and unity. Goosebumps up and tears down... Wish all humans would see this and then sing it together, all at once. One day...!!!

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Easy to say outside of open air prison, of course. How can the Palestinians let go? They can’t leave. They can’t do anything. Should they just dig their own graves? Perhaps they should immolate themselves on live TV.

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Perhaps revolt against their leadership that refuses to negociate for peace, and uses them as human shields. Without the overwhelming support of the people, Hamas could not continue to oppress their own people and continue this cycle.

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Personally I wish RFK would pair up with Tulsi Gabbard. I do appreciate Marianne Williamson, but for me Tulsi is tried and true politically. She spent 8 years in congress trying to work across the aisle to institute legislation to help all americans, instead of just the special interests of her own party. She tried to get the Patriot Act repealed which Obama promised to do but then did the opposite. Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House was able to stop much of Tulsi's legeslative proposals from even coming to the floor. Tulsi was crucified for pushing back against the dems and she finally left the democrats and went independent as a result. Tulsi has been strongly anti-war forever and she has criticized both parties for the endless warmongering. Yet she is a soldier and will fight for her country if necessary. That resonates for me personally.

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I could not agree more, Tulsi is the greatest politician I have ever seen, and doesn't seem to have any interest in running now.

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She has still kept a visible public presence tho so am hoping if the right situation comes along she will step up into office again. After what the dems did to her tho, I certainly understand if she wants to stand back for awhile.

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Marianne said Tuesday on Humanity Rising that she would not partner with Bobby, that although she sees him saying a lot of things spot on, she puts him on the right, libertarian stances around the economy. My take is she's closed the door, and that she's misperceiving as well.

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Yes, lots of misperceiving. Wish there were a way to bring the two of them into a conversation of sorts.

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Oct 13, 2023·edited Oct 13, 2023

I just listened to Marriane Williamson share that she is not being invited into some of conversations and she also disagrees with some of RFK perspectives and also respects him too. I also thought why doesnt she team up as we also would benefit greatly from having a female bodied being who is embodying what Marrianne is. Here is the podcast, I felt dissapointed that she is not being invited onto some of the mainstream podcasts to promote her campaign. Something felt tense in my being when I heard that. https://open.spotify.com/episode/6obkEQDUQwoeeAXFO3WTu0?si=bbf0fa9a21524713

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Sabine, so beautifully stated. I have wondered about RFK, Jr & Marianne W pairing up in some way. I too am so done with the 2 party drama. With the US going through major Pluto return, we are being faced with transforming into the original intentions of 1776 with the indigenous women elders’ wisdom…this is the more beautiful world we are desiring to create.

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https://substack.com/inbox/post/137846757 MADHAVA SETTY

OCT 12, 2023

This is what seems to me, a balanced look at the situation. At the end there is an interview with Efrat Fenigson, an Israeli journalist who served with the IDF on the border with Gaza 25 years ago and who challenges the narrative being constructed around this event.

This conversation is with Dark Horse podcast host, Bret Weinstein.

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Excellent discourse. I listened twice!

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Yes, it seems clear to me that there is a whole lot more going on behind the curtain than we yet know about, including such possibilities as the aggressors having been mind controlled or in some way “unleashed” on Israel for a very different agenda than most people are believing or assuming.

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Many people figured out the 9/11 scam from practically day one!

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Don’t forget the American ex pat journalist living in Britain, Greg Palast. He opened my eyes about 9/11

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For an excellent discussion, the best I’ve heard so far on this, listen to Efrat Fenigson on The Dark Horse podcast. Very brave, insightful journalist.

https://youtu.be/F_IAH7PnS_E?si=4-jNvyV_47yGeorP

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They even told the cameras: “This is our 9/11”

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As a Muslim, I condem Hamas, but I'm also seeing the game for what it is - Hamas is ISIS, then they are worse than ISIS, then they are monsters, then their children are the "children of evil/darkness", that the Gazans are responsible for voting for them in 2006 and not uprising against them after, then the extension to Arabs/Muslims en masse as being responsible, its their religion, coz "they don't like our freedoms". The dehumanization starts gradually...and then builds up to encompass a whole people, more than 1/4 of the planet. Sadly it is a trauma cycle that our Jewish brethren should be most aware of given what happened in National Socialist Germany, but if trauma instead of being dispelled and allowed to pass through by being witnessed from a greater compassion, is internalized as an egoic/ethnocentric identity, then the victim becomes the victimizer, repeating and perpetuating the same cycle on others. On the positive spectrum of learning from one's trauma, someone like Norman Finkelstein draws on his own parents' experience in the Warsaw Ghetto, and their uprising, to explain (not justify) what happeend on Oct 7, and drawing analogies between the Nat Turner Slave rebellion which also had civilian casualities. The amplification of the dehumanization narrative even with HAMAS, whose actions and ideology are to be rejected, was present with the false imagery implanted of beheaded babies (a lie that Biden never retracted despite the Press Department negating) was there as manipulation for a reason, so that we have no other context except to see "them" as monsters and to facilitate the dehumanization of their own children as soon to be monsters, justifiably killed in the genocide happening now.

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The US is also arming Hamas.

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An excellent article. Thank you for your courage and determination to do the right thing!

I have an intuition that humanity is quite quickly approaching a tipping point on this and other issues like it. Enough of us want the loving path, enough of us are hollowed out and exhausted by the horrific cycles of violence that feed on themselves as they consume our dignity.

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Yes! I feel the same! This is why I think RKJ should stick to this path of love and not miss this momentum.

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In an ideal world, yes. I suggest nobody understands what it’s like to find themselves between a rock and a hard place better than RFKJ. Not making excuses, but expressing some understanding along with the acceptance that he remains our best and perhaps, last hope for this nation and the world. And I do believe, based on what he’s shown us of his character, he is more than capable of a nuanced and thoughtful understanding and to shift his position in time. With Charles at his side (or perhaps sitting on his other shoulder) there is a good chance he will. I’m taking RFKJ as a whole, knowing I will not be in lockstep with anyone in the running. But he’s the closest to reflecting my values in a 50 year voting history.

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Yes. I would be sad to see this one issue held against RFK. I think more light needs to be shed on what is actually going on in Palestine ( apart from the obvious) And the reasons underpinning RFK's position. He is generally so pro conciliation that I don't understand him on this point. I would love to see him and Charles have a discussion about it. That being said, I think Charles has navigated this issue very well: not abandoning the wider mission while courageously keeping course on his own values.

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Thank you. In full agreement with your words.

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Yes, I feel that too! As someone who was assigned at birth the label 'jewish' and 'israeli' (but have already long ago seen through their inaccurate, distorting, corrupting, limiting, imprisoning and divisive nature, and so have shed them) I am noticing that one of the main things that allows this ongoing horror to happen (not only today but it has been happening for more than a century) is that there is such a total SEPARATION AND DISCONNECTION between the "sides" (this is one of the greatest successes of nationalism/sectarianism, to separate people) so that people from both "sides" have no full understanding of the life experience and trauma experience of those on the "other side".

From what I see and feel, this total DISCONNECTION is exactly what allows people to be cheer when "our fighting heroes" (whom the other side calls terrorists) murder, torture, oppress, abuse, slaughter and bomb "them", because each side says "they are evil people who only want to harm us, take our land and kill us/kick us out of here" and each side has countless examples of evil actions by the other side that are supposed to "prove" the supposed rightness of their claim.

Each "side" is enclosed and contained within its own SECTARIAN BUBBLE and tells itself its own story, about its trauma and difficulties, and is completely unaware of the life experience and trauma of the "other side".

And so, when the other side reacts (in what it calls self-defense) then the first side interprets it as an attack (becasue of its DISCONNECTION from the stories and sense-making of the other side) and tells a story that "those people on the other side" are evil monsters who only want to harm our side..

It's quite amazing how similar the story that each side tells itself to the story that the other side tells itself , it is practically the SAME STORY - we are the victims here who are only protecting ourselves from the aggression of those evil people over there who only want to harm us and hate us for no reason. We have no one to talk to and negotiate with, they are not human beings, they are sons of Satan who hate us from birth, who only want to destroy us and take our land and kick us out - each side speaks the exact same stories!!

And I can't help but notice that all this lack of understanding happens simply because there is NO CONTACT between the "sides". This is the tremendous success of nationalism/tribalism/sectarianism, there is an almost complete disconnection, so that I don't hear the story that the other side tells itself and how they make sense of things, I don't experience their life experience, I don't know anything aboit theor pain, I don't realize how much the story they tell themselves is the same as the story I tell myself, and therefore there is no possibility of experiencing the HUMANITY (the fear, the search for security) that motivates the other, just as it motivates me, and therefore also indifference to the trauma that the other goes through at the hands of "our heroic fighters" (who in the eyes of the "The other side" are murderous terrorists/invaders/oppresors).

It seems to me that the main engine that drives all of this is that almost all the residents of the region undergo a very deep conditioning/indoctrination from a very young age into a SECTARIAN RELIGIOUS-NATIONALIST IDENTITY and learn to believe (contrary to what reality shows) that this separate and divisive identity is what will provide them with protection and security, even though it does THE EXACT OPPOSITE!! (In a moment I will say why it does the exact opposite).

This indoctrination into the separative exclucivist religious-nationalist identity is much more than juat mental brainwashing, but it is mainly the conditioning the of the nervous system and emotional system into IDENTIFICATION with a nationalist-religious label (this label equals me. This is me, This label is where safety and security is to be found), which causes the emotions and the body to react very strongly to anything that might disrupt this identity/label.

Strong reaction that comes from the fact that the body/brain/nervous system has been conditioned to learn - through constant repetition in the first years of life (when the personality is formed), again and again and again, and without questioning - this is who I are, that I am this national-religious identity, therefore anything that questions or does not identify with this national-religious system of ideas is immediately perceived as a threat to my very existence, because I am this identity/the nationalist-religious label, this is me, this is where safety and securoty is at..

It seems to me that those who have fallen into the abyss of sectarianism/tribalism/nationalism (and especially those whose nationalism/tribalism also involves divisive and God-denying sectarian religious beliefs) have been conditioned to believe that saftey & security will be found through group separation and exclusion and a sense of uniqueness from the rest of humanity (a feeling that is so deeply imprinted in those who believe that the label of "Jewish" is who they actually are), that security will be found through an attempt to ensure the safety of ONLY one group of people, only those who were born into the "correct" religious-national label (and everyone who was not born into the correct national-religious label, can go to hell. She matters a little but not nearly as much as the Chosen People, the most valuable and important people in the universe). It sounds ridiculous, but this is a VERY common worldview in the extremely nationalist, ethnocentric and exclucivist Israeli society (which is much more fanatically tribalstic and nationalist than Jews outside israel), and I think it plays a huge huge part in what brought this conflict about in the first place, since the very early days of sectatian zionist nationalism.

To me, this is precisely the blindness of the sectarian nationalist-religious identity: trying to create security ONLY for one group, only for a part of the whole (through division, exclusion, separation from the whole and working to secure the narrow interests of only one nationalist-religious identity), such an attempt - of trying to create security ONLY for the part and ignore what this does to the whole - such an attempt not only can NEVER ever lead to real security but exactly the opposite - this is the number one factor that creates constant conflict and INSECURITY!!!

TRYING TO CREATE SECTARIAN SECURITY - SECURITY ONLY FOR THE PART AND NOT THE WHOLE, ONLY FOR ME AND MY GROUP - IS THE VERY CAUSE OF INSECURITY!!!

In my understanding, tribalism/nationalism and sectarian divisive exoteric religion (which is the POLAR OPPOSITE of what God actually is) is the great disease and blindness of humanity. Is the most destructive and deadly invention that humans have ever invented (not because we are bad, but because we have not psychologocally matured yet and are still blind and in our naiveté we believed that this is how we find will safety & security, without understanding what we are doing, without realizing that we are actually creating constant INSECURITY when we search for security through the sectarian divisive nationalist-religious identity, when we seek security only for the part and not for the whole).

To me it is absolutely clear that it is the world's number one cause of human division, separation, antagonism, hatred, conflict, violence, murder and war..

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I'm 57 and have pretty much dedicated my life over the last two decades or so to understanding the roots of the problems you describe. Charles Eisenstein has been a big influence on me in this undertaking. His analysis points at Separation as a cause, and Reunion as a 'solution' to aim at. Putting it extremely simply.

As I've stumbled, fallen and travelled deeper into the consequences of the desires and decisions that have urged out of my idealistic and somewhat utopian nature, I've learned how devilish the details of this material, this domain, are, when you apply 'noble' principles in a world that cannot want them.

We are social animals socialised from birth into a worldview. How else can it be? As babies we uncritically accept the reality we are born into. There is no other way for us, or for any living being, than to adapt uncritically to the environment we find around us. To make mighty efforts to ensure 'socialisation' always transpires optimally, that every living being everywhere matures in love and wisdom and truth, is to reach for utopia, or to risk doing so. That has so far delivered only quasi-dystopias, as far as I can tell. It seems to me like the utopian urge is a perfectionist urge, that it easily becomes tyrannical.

Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc., are wise people's wisdoms codified somehow in an attempt to ensure Right Living. Then life happens. The terrible tragedy of Israel-Palestine is perhaps the bitterest example of how Life Happening can take well-meaning people so very far from the peace and prosperity at which they aimed themselves. It is very humbling, sobering, that this happens so often. My take from this is we humans still have a lot to learn, individually, and more challengingly, collectively, culturally.

My intuition tells me, though, that the horror is producing a tipping point whose character is to do what it takes to evolve beyond the now endemic hate-filled suspicion that divides too many cultures. The steps we take at first will likely be dull, pragmatic, nationalistic in the sense of respecting differences and keeping a respectful distance, perhaps also recognising that humanity can't really afford war, that cautious trade-based exchange is the safest language between cultures ... things of this kind. I.e., less ideological, more pragmatic. This will have the effect of creating a breathing space for us to recover and reassess where we are and what we have become. In that space it will be easier to recognise that fundamental change is upon us, that very different thinking is needed, etc. And because we will remember how futile the antagonism and hatred was, we will be in a state of collective/cultural being more open to what needs to be done.

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I hear you, understand and agree that socialisation is indeed inevitable, nothing wrong about that, however wjat is not inevitable, it seems to me, is that we should blindly act out the sectarian-nationalistic programming throughout our adult life as if we're doomed to be nothing more than machines who have no choice but are compelled to play out our programming, with no capacity for insight and growth and comprehension of the horror that blind adherence to tribalistic programming leads us into.

It is my experience that we DO have this capacity and so can wake up from the tribaliatic sectarian trance (both in ourselves and then naturally also raise the following generation differently, and not impose the sectarian trance on them too, in their helpless formative years, so that they aren't conditioned with divisive exclucivist thinking to begin with).

In my own experience, part of the waking up process and breaking that sectarian/nationaliatic trance involves being exposed to the stories of "the other side" and how they make sense of reality.

I don't think such exposure (and stepping out of one's programmed tribaliatic bubble and listening to others' stories) is utopian or unrealistic. i know from my own experience that it is very realistic and achievable, but it just needs to happen on a much vaster scale (but that's where the huge success of tribalism/nationalism comes in,. In how successful it has been in keeping people apart and disconnected and which makes it hard to step out of one's group bubble)

That in itself would be a GIGANTIC step towards breaking down the sectarian nationalistic walls of misunderstanding and the resultant violence.

There is also a deeper waking up that might happen (not just understanding the story of "the other side", but seeing the absurdity of "sides" to begin with, seeing the One-ness prior to the labels) but to be honest I am not even sure this deeper awakening is even necessary for the violence to stop, at least initially. . Even just the firat awakening would undoubtedly make a huge difference by itself.

And once this insight is clear (which seems obvious to many people, but unfortunately in israel/palestine it is far from obvious) then there opens the possibility of a voluntary enlightenment of our structural organization as well. Here's one that resonates with me right now: https://oneworldrenaissance.com/2021/01/23/holism-fragmentation-and-our-endangered-future-a-new-vision-and-a-new-hope/

And here https://oneworldrenaissance.com/the-earth-constitution/

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I did not mean to imply any inevitability of robotically predictable outcomes, more that what is possible individually – where 'waking up' can take decades – is far slower still collectively/culturally. And yet what you describe above is indeed how I see the process, but that very process, as all similar processes, can develop utopian strands, especially when it is time to confront the devil in the detail with actual compromise between oppositional groups, such as is the case between Israel and Palestine. Currently we have states whose decision makers are selected for their ability to champion the state they represent. The psychological profile of those promoted through the ranks of any state up to decision-making power is very unlikely to be like ours (or mine, anyway!), and on top of that they operate under intense structural constraints.

These things evolve slowly, though are interspersed, it seems to me, by historical moments of sudden advances or leaps. I agree with you, I think, that this is such a time. Nevertheless, cultures will mature at their own speed and cannot really be forced to move faster. I sense a mighty change is upon us, that there is great appetite for meaningful and lasting peace globally, that the things you detail above will indeed increasingly shape the vector of this evolution, but also intuit initial more gentle moves marked by pragmatic considerations as I laid out in my first response to you.

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I understand :-)

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>>"The policies of two generations of Palestinian and

>> Israeli leadership have both brought the very

>> opposite of what they intended to achieve."

Maybe a state of fear is exactly what the Israeli leadership intended to achieve. Maybe they have fomented terror attacks from Hamas as an excuse to launch terror attacks of their own, killing 10 Palestinians for every Israeli death. Maybe their real goal is to expand Israeli territory and slowly squeeze the Palestinians out of their ancestral land. Maybe they are succeeding.

"Israel's 9/11" has a special meaning to those of us who see America's 9/11 as a staged justification for a series of wars in the Middle East, for repressive policies and government secrecy here in the US.

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I was struck by the exact same sentence that you quoted. After studying this issue for 20 years, I simply came to the conclusion that the Israeli government has never truly intended to have a two-state solution, or even any solution where they don't have all the power.

My initial reaction is simply to say, "Israel is perpetrating a slow genocide," but I fear to say it this way because I don't want to "take sides" and be again in the same old story as Charles was describing...but, how can I look away from the whole history? When I look at it all, that is the conclusion that I come to. I am afraid of saying it, however, because I fear making the whole thing worse, when I really just want all this madness to stop.

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Some things are visible through that lens (slow genocide). But much else is obscured. The times demand we stay outside simplifying narratives. What they exclude could be instrumental in our salvation, or our destruction.

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As usual, you have a way of articulating things that I can't quite get ahold of well enough to express; you explained my fear of saying what I did better than I did.

When I read the quote in question, I also thought that, perhaps, you are trying to see the situation "with generous eyes".

I've thought about this often after taking your Living in the Gift Course, and how difficult it is, for me at least, to do this.

That's another reason I don't really like my conclusion, because I don't believe it is "seeing with generous eyes". But it seems like to see with those generous eyes I have to really believe that it is possible, don't I? What if I don't believe that? What if, despite the fact that I really truly wish that the Israeli government would sincerely pursue peace, what if I just don't believe it. How can I see with generous eyes then?

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Charles, i have commented on the essay elsewhere here; i have scrolled through the comments and was alarmed how many of them are perpetrating nonsensical and evidence-poor conspiracy theories about Israel’s knowledge. I have explained in a comment why this is not logical and does not fit the political interests of those who rule so i won;t repeat.

It is upsetting and alarming to see so many of the readers supporting you but, in essence, not taking any of the core of your message in. It is clear to me that all those conspiracy theories, about Israel planning/fully knowing about he attacks are, indeed, fulfilling a need to demonise and blame one side. It does no good for any reconciliation nor rational understanding of the situation.

I don’t hold you responsible for what your followers read in your text and how they interpret it; at the same time, I invite you to clearly respond to these projections-of-one’s-shadow in a clear message, possibly a follow-up essay. Those conspiracy idea merely fan the fires that blaze now, which is the last thing we (allow me to include you in that we) wish for.

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My argument is hard for people to hear, because it doesn't fit into any of the preformed positions.

Yes, the conspiracy theories are a way to flatten this situation into a narrative in which Team Good and Team Evil are clearly demarcated.

I think it is likely that the Israeli gov't knew something was coming. I doubt it had any idea the magnitude. But I don't think that is very important right now.

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I don't know. I think the most accurate conspiracy theories are about the shadowy forces influencing, in this case, the Israeli government and Hamas, making them do unspeakable things so that we go into apoplexies of moral righteousness, taking sides, polarising and always, but always, placing ourselves in Team Good. All the while the forces in the background aren't evil either, they are simply parasitical, doing what they need to to survive and thrive, in essence like an intestinal worm, a tick or a mosquito. Their ability to manipulate us into black and white oversimplified thinking is how they do it and our emotions and projections are what they feed off. What they are is another matter, but they are there.

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yes! Well said.

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Every media outlet that I have noticed also doesn’t seem to find it important to ask why IDF screwed up THIS bad. It is phenomenally bad. Like, impossible to explain, kind of bad. But no one is asking any questions about that. The Covid story had an identical blind spot, didn’t it? Or many. I suppose you still think no one is driving the bus, though. Well, if we never check I guess we’ll never know, will we? And our fair little delusions can remain intact.

I once lived in a little neighborhood where some thieves were praying on people’s backyards. After much discussion over what was to be done, an elderly lady spoke up and suggested we put motion-sensitive lights in our yards. “When the light finds them,” she said, “they won’t be able to continue.”

Please consider that the so-called conspiracy theorists among us are not lusting for revenge. We are trying to direct the light where it ought to be doing the most important work. It need not be violent.

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i wrote a comment before seeing you sort of addressed the issue. I do not understand how it is not very important to you. To me it is the number one problem. Like 9/11, like Lee Harvey Oswald. If we don't identify the actual perpetrators, they will continue their strategy of schismogenesis. The problem is that Hamas, bin Laden, etc, are contrived to justify their territorial agendas.

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Outstanding remarks, thank you. I feel the same.

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Thank you Josh. I was struggling with myself as to whether or not to provide my perspective. You are the courageous one. Why? Because in order to provide a sensible and non provocative hypothesis on this hot topic, one must smooth over those nasty wrinkles or bumps in the road. My favorite word these days is “obsfuscation”. You did not smooth over the tough questions that remain on the table. And I have no need to repeat them. My sense is that most prefer the soothing patriarchal parent who ignores those nasty and difficult questions and provides instead, a pat on the head and a soothing cup of tea.

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You sir are directly on target. Taking land grabbing out in the glaring light. And I expect Israel’s western enablers will hardly blush.

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Yes that’s my feeling as well

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indeed.

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Oct 13, 2023Liked by Charles Eisenstein

There is only one thing to add to a truly superb and moral article: that the "International Governing and Peace Force (IGPF)" ALSO cover Israel, with a view to protecting the Palestinian population from the brutality of the Apartheid system, until and after the agreed Settlement. It is not only Jewish Israeli lives that require protecting from violence by a neutral international force.

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I was genuinely horrified that he didn't mention that. How is that not obvious?

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Exactly my thought on reading the article

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I had the same thought on reading that section.

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Just added this clarifying point to one of the threads here. People are having a hard time discerning which side I'm on. Am I saying armed resistance is, or is not, justified? So here is what I said:

My point is that if one is operating in the mindset of justification, then one can easily justify armed resistance. With sufficient mental calisthenics, one could justify terrorism too. Orwell illuminated this in 1984 when Winston is recruited (so he thinks) into the Revolutionary Brotherhood and asked, "If necessary to overthrow the Party, would you be willing to commit acts of sabotage? Murder? If it would somehow help our cause, would you be willing to throw acid in a child's face?" In this passage, Orwell illustrates how the quest to overthrow evil makes one evil oneself. This is the pitfall of justification. The terrorists think themselves justified. So do the Israeli hardliners who would raze Gaza to the ground. If you fully occupy the worldview and historical narrative of either, you will agree that yes, their justifications are valid. And the other side seems just incomprehensible, immoral, evil.

So my argument here is not that the resistance is justified, or the response is justified, or that neither are justified. My argument is that the lens of "what is justified" is itself at the core of the problem.

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Absent from most of the finger pointing is the fingers pointing at the US, UK and other nations/transnational powers that stoke the hatred in both people's to engage in violence and bloodshed in the first place.

The US/UK created Hamas, along with Israel. And funded/funds the indoctrination of children in Gaza and the West Bank to hate Israeli's, hate Jews, with so much fervor that they think of them as subhuman. Our US tax dollars pay for that. And so we have one side of combatants accounted for...follow the money.

The US/UK created the state of Israel. For many good reasons on the heels of WWII and the Third Reich. And for many bad, to stand as a proxy in the Middle East, previously carved up after WWI to foster continuous strife and discord in a region of the world deemed necessary for its oil reserves. Israel's presence serves as a forward projection of power. And allowed/allows for the profiteering off of military conflict and research benefiting US and UK financial interests.

Both Israelis and Palestinians are pawns in a US/UK game of wealth and power accumulation. ISIS is another US/UK creation, the Benghazi attacks were about the arms dealing through Libya to foment terror in Syria and Iraq for US/UK agenda's

The hate has been created in people on both sides that allows them to commit atrocities. And if one digs deep enough they'll find US/UK fingerprints on all of the violent attacks coming from both sides.

As long as we keep pointing fingers at the Israelis or Palestinians we allow the true culprits to laugh and sing all the way to the bank at the horrors they unleash. Never being held to account because they successfully divert attention away from them.

The violence and death will never stop in the Middle East until the guilty in the UK, US and transnational interests are properly identified and held to account by all peace loving people on both sides. The most difficult work off all is to point the finger inward at oneself when we are guilty of harming others. The US and UK are the most guilty parties of all. Maybe we citizens of both nations start holding our own leaders to account for their 80-year long role in steeping the flames of violence and hate? Instead of blaming the pawns?

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I was thinking that if anybody were to ask what "side" I am on, I would take a cue from the late, great Robert Fisk, who said that his job, as journalist, is "to be neutral and unbiased on the side of those who suffer."

What side am I on? I'm on the side of those who suffer.

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I was just on YouTube, looking for a video of an Al Pacino impressionist, and was interrupted by an advertisement from CNN showing the distress of the British parent of one of the victims of the kibbutz killings.

This level of all out propaganda, exploiting the advertising mechanism on YouTube, is exactly reminiscent of the Covid scandal, and therefore reveals the weight stacked behind this whole operation.

I also found a video by Andrew Tate, of whom I am not a fan, denouncing Jordan Peterson for his call to Netanyahu to “Give em hell.” Em being the inmates of Gaza, half of whom are children.

Tate calls the current events in the Middle East an operation orchestrated by the cynical people who run the world. It’s not black and white, he says, it’s grey. It’s a mess.

In that mess swim people like Netanyahu, Karl Rove, Tony Blair, the Bush dynasty, MBS, Mossad, Russian Oligarchs, private security and PR firms.

What is the game they seek to win?

I’m not sure they know any more. Perhaps it is a game that cannot be won, yet they cannot quit. Perhaps Mossad has them all by the balls. The Epstein hard drive has footage of them doing xyz to minors in NY or Florida or whatever. It is exactly the same dynamic of evil, the same Hotel California, as drives the mafia or a street gang.

As Jeremy Corbyn pointed out in his address to crowds in London yesterday, we must signal to the Palestinian people, and by extension all oppressed people, that they are not alone, not forgotten. And we must call out those who follow of dictates of the great game, especially those who do it willingly, with unconcealed relish in their deceit, in their demonic and demiurgic theft and distortion of truth, even of the word of God.

One day, perhaps, we will thank them for making manifest and obvious the deep shadows that keep us all from the more beautiful world we know is possible.

The current events are “designed” to rock our faith in that possibility. Knowing that, let our faith be a rock.

From a spiritual perspective, one feels sorry for Netanyahu, Bush, Blair, Sunak, Biden, Peterson et al. One looks at their cynicism and wonders what consequence must follow (for them). As the Quran says: there are those who scheme. Let them scheme, for God is the greatest schemer.

And that is not to say, I think, that one should do nothing from a spiritual perspective. To turn a blind eye to evil is to be complicit. At the same time it is not about pouring oil on the fire. Weaponised words should be avoided, as should intellectual pontificating.

Let us cut through the complexity to the simplicity we would see if we went to Gaza, and saw for ourselves the daily oppression of the people there, at the hands of a brutalised, theocratic and racist oppressor, who has othered them to such levels of dehumanisation that they are “animals.”

Let us quit bending over backwards to defend the indefensible.

Let us peacefully resist the manoeuvres of our indoctrinated, manipulated and corrupted governments, in their pursuit of this great game in nobody but their interests.

Let us be alert to the signs of totalitarianism, its one sided narrative, its siding - always - with the invisible haves, its call always to the worst in us, to destruction, to hatred.

As Jeremy Corbyn called to Glastonbury in 2016, another world is possible, if we come together.

There is no naivety in that call. It is a call from the heart. Those who turn away from it will know their fate.

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Yesssssss thank you!

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So, can any act be justified if it holds clear intent to harm? Only the person claiming 'justification' could know in heart and mind if that intent is NOT the predominant motivating impulse/force causing action. But most are swept along by events and the lacing of their prejudices with adrenalin, and a madness... they wont take stock of themselves, and braking mechanisms are absent. "Justification" takes on a life of its own...self-serving-justifying-orientation... to maintain the edifice of "justification".

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Actually let me re-phrase that...'justification' taking on a life of it's own is not self-serving....it is following the bidding of demons, so not in the interest of anyone... John explains this with next level insight, and so much more... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4rpwV3dflk

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I watched this updated version of RFKJ just before this Substack came in, and Charles you ARE making a difference clearly - https://twitter.com/IPNBreakingNews/status/1712707932683473112

As a Military family in support of Peace, separating out Hamas from Palestinians is a "Herculean task", and I will pray for the almost impossible.

Hang in there.

Peace/Shalom

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Oct 13, 2023Liked by Charles Eisenstein

Watched those statements and didn't see any vision at all. Rather, it amounts to a detailed and dismal justification for continuing the status quo. I'm not sure any prominent American politician could say otherwise these days, but it's clear RFK Jr. is—at best—useless on this issue. He doesn't even remotely approach the understanding, compassion, or moral authority of a figure like Jimmy Carter with regard to the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Am I disappointed? Honestly, no. It's about all anyone could expect from a fading, super-violent empire on the road to complete social, moral, ecological, spiritual, and financial collapse. There appears essentially no hope the United States will ever again be anything other than a vicious, oligarchic abattoir devoting the last embers of its might to the oppression and likely destruction of humanity.

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Optera, I got as far as RFK, Jr., saying something like Israel is essential for American security in the area. How utterly absurd. Does RFK, Jr. mean to say that the United States is incapable of having secure, respectful, non-violent relations with the countries of the Middle East without Israel??? If that's what he means..? Among the myriad problems with that statement, what message does that convey to the people of those countries???

Just ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous.

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Israel is not our partner. We don't have partners, nor should we. Palestine is as much a partner as Israel. I agree, useless.

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I would like to see Charles or someone on here take on the points RFK makes one by one. I resonate with the spiritual perspective Charles is bringing, a no-sides peace perspective. AND I tend to think of life as paradoxical (I'm a parent) where at the same time practical steps may be out of sync with the longer term vision one holds. I haven't seen Charles articulate any specifics of a practical vision and for now RFK's points stand uncontested in my mind (I'm no expert though I have a moderate understanding of the millennia long history of Jews in the the Holy Land)

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Somehow, this info should be passed on to RFK, Jr. Charles?

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People have been telling him this for months and it has not made one bit of difference.

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Peace/ Shalom/ Salaam/ Shanti

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Also I just signed this peace & solidarity petition. https://www.google.com/url?q=https://forms.gle/8EuxTv6B8PM5eQ1FA&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1697207707258560&usg=AOvVaw1Glby7QlPlZ51WfxIBdYDz I encourage others to do so as well.

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Okay question. Why is Hamas' attack in this statement 'horrific' and 'brutal' while the Israeli regime's attack is merely 'unbridled'? Why is it always like that? Why is there such fucking emotion when condemining - the fraction - of violence that the Palestinian people can inflict on Israelis? And this strange distanced tone when condemning the Zionist regime absolute - statedly genocidal - bombing and starvation campaign? Why is it always like that? You may say 'I didn't write this' but doesn't this render all calls for so called peace empty and hollow? Doesn't it render the lifes of Palestinian people almost throw-away, beside the point, when their suffering isn't worth any emotion? Worth any anger?

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For some reason, we see bombing etc. as acceptable because it's impersonal and done at a distance, whereas killing someone face to face is seen as brutal. As an example, beheading a baby is heinous (which it no doubt is -- and I know that this probably did NOT occur in the recent violence), but blowing a baby's head off with a bomb or a grenade is somehow not so bad. It's completely insane as a concept, of course.

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A poster at Caitlin Johnstone's substack said recently "The more expensive the weapons, the more justified the killing. The very most expensive ones are almost holy relics". The poster was being bitterly sarcastic of course, but that observation was just so spot on. That seems to be the way, the average Western mind works

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Charles, you could link that at the top somehow?

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Signed. Can it be pinned at top?

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Oct 13, 2023·edited Oct 13, 2023Liked by Charles Eisenstein

We should be calling for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Israelis and Palestinians to use the process that was so successful in South Africa ending apartheid and stopping the ongoing violence. Come before the Commission, admit your crimes and wrongdoing, apologize and go free to live in one state. There is more than enough blame for all sides and there is no possibility for two states, if there ever was. Perhaps South Africa can take the lead or UN Secty Genl Guterres in making this happen. Alice Slater

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my dear Alice, apartheid in South Africa is more entrenched than ever; violence is now endemic, misery and desperation are everywhere and the white fascists have been replaced by black fascists who make the whites look positively mild

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Ooh isn't that a bit harsh? Yes there is truth in what you say but the Truth and Reconciliation process itself deserves huge merit for having averted a bloodbath. Tutu et al facilitated miracles there. It served as an outlet for veritable outpourings and release of unimaginable pain. The fact that, no small thanks to globalist forces at work in SA for decades, we are where we are now cannot be blamed on the process. I would profer that we need more of it now more than ever. SA is a funny old place, peopled by individuals who for the most part get on fine. As always one has to look at who is pulling what strings in pursuit of other agendas.

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The SA gov should not be involved, Alice - they are applauding the actions of Hamas. And SA is certainly not free of apartheid policies... they have just been reversed... to the detriment of the majority of citizens, 27 million of whom now receive a social grant from the marxist gov.

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South Africa today has all the problems of ost countries but it does NOT have spartheid—a legal system of two kinds of people with ine having more legal privileges and power over the other ensrined in their laws which is what Israel has today a legal system of privilege for only one group and the disenfranchisement snd legsl domination of another.

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Oct 13, 2023Liked by Charles Eisenstein

I love the moral standards everyone is holding Hamas to over the past week. My wish is that everyone put as much energy into holding Israel to these same standards over the past 75 years.

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Oct 15, 2023·edited Oct 15, 2023

Yep, this is often the way the repressed are painted. It's little more than a marketing job. The Anglo-Saxons (I'm one of them btw) are masters of this deception.

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Absolutely! I don't excuse what was done, but I don't excuse what was done unto them.

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I was so sad hearing RFKJ position. It reminded me everyone of us has a blind spot, a belief we hang on to and is preventing us from seeing a better truth.

I really hope he can change his mind and you can help him see it, the contradiction with “end all wars”, and how this is weakening him. I will really admire him if he does. It could be beautiful and impactful.

However, I am unsure if this is politically possible when you are in his position, sadly. I am aware it requires tremendous courage.

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The Christian view is to turn the other cheek. Rise above the instinct to retaliate. If everyone followed one rule in life: to not harm another living being, no other rules are necessary. We all know violence begets violence. Break the cycle.

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Beautiful words Bettina. It could be so simple! Just that one rule! Love is the greatest power we have.

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It's called Natural Law...most humans have forgotten due to separation from each other and Nature...

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'What could drive human beings to do such things?'

I feel we have to stop thinking this way. Us, human beings do not want these monstrocities,

we do not want to send weapons to kill people,

we do not want trees and bees dying from geoengineering,

we do not want to be told we can't have babies.

We HAVE TO STOP TAKING IN THAT IT IS HUMANITY CAUSING WARS;

IT IS DAMMIT A GROUP OF ROTTEN, POISONOUS, TOXIC, SELFISH, DISTURBED, MANIPULATIVE few MEN and WOMEN!

We have to come TOGETHER, take each other's hands in our imagination and YELL: 'ENOUGH IS ENOUGH YOU DESTROYED PEOPLE! THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR TOO LONG!

WHO IS DOING THIS SHOULD BECOME COMPLETELY VISIBLE!

NO MORE!

NEE! NO! NADA! VOTSH! LA! NEJ! NON!!!

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I agree with you in that it is the modern military industrial complex fueling endless mass scale warfare. No sane person wants that. However humanity itself evolved with the urge to make war as a part of it's survival package; as did every other species on this planet. We can choose to cultivate peace, but we cannot simply get rid of the war like part of us. For me that is the real conundrum.

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I understand what you say Rainbow. I do however argue that we, as a species are currently evolving intellectually and physically at the moment. Either we stay stuck in old-fashioned, obsolete, destructive patterns or we open up, dare to change and grasp a new sophisticated, spiritual awareness and alertness which is good for us, the planet and everything alive. Either we move on or we destroy ourselves being stuck in obsolete behaviour and hatred. We aren't the Vikings anymore we used to be? We need to get out of that 'survival-mode' thinking.

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On my more optimistic days I agrree absolutely. My husband had viking ancestors, so particularly personal analogy for me! My concern is I see so many good peace promoting people unable to process their own repressed and unconcsious violence and that shadow plays out in the collective. I don't personally see how we evolve until we can consciously claim, integrate and allow transformation of the warlike aspect of our species which made it possible for us to survive on this planet in the first place. Many folks I know who are looking for a better way seem very afraid of their own inner capacity for violence and they just want to stuff it in a box and pray or meditate it away. In other words as long as peace is viewed as 'spiritual' and 'good' and war is seen as evil, ignorant and 'bad', we are, from my perspective, not going to step up into claiming our wholeness as human beings. Perhaps the best analogy of this for me is the 80's muppet movie, The Dark Crystal. It brilliantly portrayed how neither the Mystics, good peace loving spiritual etc, nor the Skelties evil, disconnected, anti life oppressors, etc, were whole without each other.

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Very intriguing and very interesting what you write. You should write a book about this!

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Couldn’t agree more.

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A lot of our "heroes" have huge blind spots.

Kennedy with Israel....

Chris Hedges with covid and 911.

Chomsky with covid and 911...

And the list goes on.

My gf thinks the issue with Kennedy re Israel is that he's a boomer that grew up in a privelaged environment that insulated him from considering some things. I'm sure you tried to talk to him about it, and his brain freezes... Much like my father, for example when it comes to wars.

I pray for peace. I pray that people wake up and can face their cognitive dissonance.

I think the times are ripe for this as covid really exposed how dirty our leaders are.

The emperor has no clothes, 😂.

Some pertinent quotes on the psychology involved:

"And then there is the psychological effect of the Big Lie which is axiomatic in gaslighting. The paradox here is that the bigger the lie, the harder it is for the mind to bridge the gulf between perceived reality and the lie that authority figures are painting as truth. I believe that the prospect of being deceived evinces a primitive emotional response on a par with staring death in the face. We are hard-wired to fear deception because we have evolved to interpret it as an existential threat. That’s why deception can elicit the same emotional response as the miscalculation of a serious physical threat. Lies told to us don’t always bear the same cost as a misjudged red light, but the primitive part of the brain can’t make this distinction and we rely on cerebral mediation for a more appropriate but delayed response. And in the long run, the lie is often just as dangerous as the physical threat. Many government whoppers – ‘safe and effective’ – do cost lives.

To avoid the death-like experience of being deceived, a mental defence is erected to deny that the lie is happening."

(From https://leftlockdownsceptics.com/alleged-cia-involvement-in-jfk-assassination-goes-mainstream-so-now-what/ )

------

"The evolutionary psychologist William von Hippel found that humans use large parts of thinking power to navigate social world rather than perform independent analysis and decision making. For most people it is the mechanism that, in case of doubt, will prevent one from thinking what is right if, in return, it endangers one’s social status. This phenomenon occurs more strongly the higher a person’s social status. Another factor is that the more educated and more theoretically intelligent a person is, the more their brain is adept at selling them the biggest nonsense as a reasonable idea, as long as it elevates their social status. The upper educated class tends to be more inclined than ordinary people to chase some intellectual boondoggle. "

-Sasha Latypova

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I also think RFKjr's Catholic upbringing and faith figure into this to a tremendous degree. I'm not justifying this in any way, simply bringing it up. Many of my far-right Christian friends will always "stand with Israel" because this is where their savior hails from. It's as simple as that for them. They see Judaism as far closer to Christianity, and see Islam as barbaric in it's adherence to the words of Allah and it's literal and fanatical interpretation of the Koran. To many, Islam terrifies, as the terror that has floated to the top of Islam represents the worst interpretations of the Koran and the dictates of Allah.

Everyone is certainly entitled to their own beliefs, but it terrifies many to think that the strongest and most violent members of Islam wish the total destruction of anyone who is not Muslim. I believe RFKjr may fall into this camp.

It's hard to imagine a peaceful scenario when considering a group of people who consider anyone not of their faith "Infidels" who must be destroyed, and who are ready, willing, and able to die to further that cause-

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Are most Catholics in sync with far right Christians on this? I don’t think so.I believe his statement is grounded in politics.

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The political margin for Catholics between Dems and Republicans is quite narrow in fact, leaning a bit more Democrat, but more equally distributed than most think.

And Catholics are Christians. All Christians are not Catholic, but all Catholics are Christians, and as such they have more in common with Christianity in general than not.

RFK jr may be making a political choice to favor Israel, but his Christianity and belief in God will skew him that direction anyway. Most Christians will side with Israel when push comes to shove.

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Yeah, he also did say that his faith helped him overcome his addiction. That doubles up the belief, as he was not just practicing but was healed by it.

All religions have extremism in relation to political issues.

I'm not sure when the extremist vision of Islam came into play.

Perhaps it was when England and other western nations started to colonize their lands. As they tend to be nomads, the colonists bumped into their freedom.

There was extremism in Christianity, where they had the crusades to "take back" the holy lands. It was very much driven by the politics of the church and people looking to get some land, as many were serfs.

We also see extremism in Judaism. Settlers who want to gain and keep their land tend to be violent to the Palestinians that were living there. That's also politically driven as it deals with land ownership.

Hmmm notice how all of this extremism comes from land/economic issues?

Great way for the powers that be to create infighting among people who were previously peaceful, like Jews living peacefully next to Arabs and Palestinians before the creation of Israel.

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I agree with all you've said.

It's been interesting to me to come to understand that the Jewish people didn't really have a land "of their own", and how few Jews there really are in number when considered against the numerous masses of Christians and Muslims in the population of this world. It makes sense to me that they would feel a need to defend and protect, as well as to carve out a "homeland" for the few of them that remain in relation to both Christians and Muslims.

In that respect I think the "land" issue is particularly relevant here. We are all in search of a "homeland", both literally and metaphorically.

It is never easy for two so culturally different groups of people to live side-by-side. We see it everywhere. When visiting Spain several years ago, I was struck by the pride many Spanish displayed when they spoke of the time in their country's history when Christians, Muslims, and, Jews lived side-by-side in peace. It was not long-lasting, but was nevertheless impactful in the perception of Spanish history. They communicated a profound sense of awe and respect for the ways the three different cultures and faiths had transformed Spain and made it the place of beauty and mystique it is today.

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I was thinking the same thing when reading this article. I love Victor David Hanson, his book "The End of Sparta" is truly a work of art, but his views on this topic are abhorrent especially since he is a historian. It surprises me the sheer amount of people that understand the evils of our governments who are still willing to believe the war propaganda that is flooding the airwaves.

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I love Sasha. She is pretty talented being an expert in pharma development, an artist, writer and astute philosopher as well.

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"Either party can break the escalating cycle of vengeance simply by refusing to participate in it."

Surely you have not fully understood the situation of the Palestinians. They are living in an open-air prison under a military occupation. Unarmed civilians including children are routinely murdered. I fail to see how they are able to simply refuse anything.

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I am well aware of the situation of the Palestinians. The open air prison. The slow motion ethnic cleansing. The dispossession of lands. The maiming of protestors. But the recent actions of Hamas (who I know from friends in Palestine are loathed by many Palestinians) have done nothing to help them, and made things in fact much worse.

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