Reminders of significant military milestones are strong at the moment. One hundred years ago a first, cruel, world war was raging, and seventy five years ago yesterday Japan bombed Pearl Harbour in the middle of, and escalating, a second terrible world war. How many people remember? What have we learned?
After World War II, there was a universal acknowledgment that we are better united than divided, and that peace between nations was to be sought over conflict. In 1945 the United Nations was formed for that purpose, and because of the huge costs in life and economies from the two wars that ran into each other, there was every intention that a global war would never be allowed to occur again.
It was not to last, and a Western generation that mostly has never known war directly sees the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan as unreal events in far away places that do not affect them. Few people realise that a third world war is under way, some of it a proxy military war, some of it an unseen cyber war, and some of it an economic war. Technology has changed the nature of war from the time of Pearl Harbour and World War I, but because we cannot see it, it does not mean war is not there.
There is a karmic thread that runs through the course of recent human life on Earth; it is an embedded urge to be competitive, to fight, to win, to be the best and most powerful. It can be seen in many marriages, in some religions, in business and in leadership. The habit of being at war, whether domestically or nationally, can make being in a state of peace feel uncomfortable, and an urge arises to return to the familiar, rather like poking a snake to see what it will do. You may not like the outcome, but you cannot help yourself: that is the karma, and your task is to change it.
So it is with global war, where, somewhere, all the time, war is waged and people suffer. The biggest challenge we face as a human race is to resist the urge to fight our neighbour, but instead to create a new karmic pattern of natural world harmony that will be part of the psyche of countless future generations to come. It can be done, and will be done, but it will take each of us individually and collectively to make it happen.