War - An Inescapable Fate?
More than 3.6 billion dead is, according to an estimate by the World Health Organisation, the total number of victims of all the wars that have taken place since 3570 BC until today. This figure corresponds to slightly more than half of the present world population. It is only an estimate, because we have no details of the exact numbers of victims in times long past. What is certain, in contrast, is that since the end of the Second World War more than a hundred wars have broken out and 21 million people have died, on average there is a victim of war every minute.
Are wars therefore an inevitable fate for mankind? How is it that human beings again and again lose their self-control, undermine the dignity of others and destroy their lives?
The cause of a war is often not comprehensible for the ordinary citizen, as the violation of a certain economic or political balance appears totally insignificant in comparison to the suffering that a military conflict entails. What can the individual do? Is there any option other than simply acknowledging that war is an inevitable “burden of the human condition”?
This view is often encountered – and it is not surprising. Even the causes of the individual's fate are mostly not understood, how much less the fate of peoples or nations.
And yet, the logic which governs fate becomes easily understandable if we take the Law of Cause and Effect into account. This Law is well known in science, and we can observe it also in everyday life: Each cause leads to an inevitable effect, and each effect is the result of a certain cause. For our fate the biblical statement therefore applies: “What you sow, you will also harvest!” All our decisions – thoughts, words and actions – are a seed, which goes on developing and we must experience their harvest on ourselves.
This Law is continuously effective. Our current experience is the consequence of past decisions, and the decisions we make at present will inevitably shape our future fate. It can therefore never be unjust.
Also war is in this sense the natural outcome of decisions, the result of certain resolutions, and has nothing to do with a blind capriciousness of fate. But which expressions of will participate in the process? Many people say to themselves: “The leaders of the country take the decision – There is nothing I can do”, and are convinced that they bear no share of responsibility for military conflicts. And yet many more people are involved in the outbreak of a war than is generally assumed. This becomes clear when we take the effect of thoughts into account.
Who is responsible for wars?
Thoughts which have not yet found expression are usually regarded as unimportant for the course of earthly events, because they are – in contrast to words and concrete actions – not tangible. Yet some expressions betray that by all means, we do regard thoughts as something real and effective. The saying “ideas govern the world” points out, for instance, that all earthly events follow certain ideas in the end. And the remark “something is in the air” voices the experience that certain thoughts can be taken up and implemented by a number of people independently of each other.
Thoughts are in a certain sense really “tangible”. They take on a form which corresponds to the respective thought, although of a finer, invisible material consistency. Every “thought form” sent out by a person remains connected with its producer by a “cord”. In this way, it can grow and become stronger if the person repeatedly cultivates similar thoughts and feelings, or the thought form can wither and even disappear completely if it is no longer “nourished”. Due to the Law of Homogeneity every thought form attracts similar, weaker thought forms or is attracted, in turn, by a stronger form. In this way centres of similar thought forms develop, in which – whether of a good or an evil species – thousands or even millions of similar thoughts gather and can thereby attain an unbelievable power.
This power can also be clearly felt. It is enough, for example, if we “let ourselves go” in anger for once. In this way, we open ourselves to the influences of such thought centres, and as a consequence, our aggressiveness is raised. Thus the readiness for violence grows in many people – until finally they do something that they had not intended originally. “It was stronger than me!” they then say and so describe the power of the current from a thought centre. If, on the other hand, it involved connection with upbuilding powers, we often hear the words: “It was much easier than I thought!”
The thought centres are therefore not only strengthened for their part by thoughts, but they, in return, nourish and influence all human beings who think in the same manner. So if someone has, for example, bellicose thoughts, he is thereby linked with the corresponding thought centres. From these centres all similar thoughts are nourished and reinforced, and as a consequence they press to the deed, to be translated into the visible earthly reality.
Now if a war breaks out, then the responsibility for it lies not only with those who gave the direct cause due to their decisions, but up to a certain degree also with all the people who by their thoughts nourished warlike intentions. It does not matter whether they themselves belong to the warring nations or not. Their share of the responsibility matches the strength and intensity of their own thoughts and feelings.
The struggle for peace
Strangely enough today, there is a “struggle” for peace. Peace is to be achieved by a balance in armament. But the associated thoughts do not develop peace centres, they revolve in the end around the topic of “war”.
Wars also result not only from violent or hate-filled thoughts. Greed, religious intolerance or racism likewise form, regardless of distances, powerful thought centres that have an effect everywhere on earth and can lead to military actions, once they find a suitable anchorage point. And paradoxical as it may sound, destructive thought forms can also be strengthened by extreme pacifists, because aggressiveness in the struggle for peace or a certain hate towards the belligerent parties, in turn promote the wrong thought centres. The end does not justify the means! If we want to achieve lasting peace, we must take the enormous power of thought centres much more strongly into account than before. Good will must vibrate through all thoughts and feelings. War or peace on earth always reflects the inner state of humanity.
The power of good and upbuilding thoughts – in it lies the most reliable system for the prevention of wars and for peaceful co-existence. Its effect is more sustainable than all political, scientific, economic or humanitarian efforts that are taken into consideration today. We should finally decide to place the power of thought endowed to us in the service of peace.