Learning from Silence
by Robert Rabbin
“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder the hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. How many times must we prove these words? Violence does not lead to peace. Violence does not create peace. Violence cannot co-exist with peace. These are self-evident truths. We cannot indulge war and expect peace. In my heart, I know that all people want peace, in spite of the seeming evidence to the contrary.
Therefore, on behalf of all people, I want to call for peace: total and absolute peace throughout the world, without further thought or consideration or calculation of any kind. It is a universal human experience that suffering, tragedy, and death can awaken us from the surface of life to its depths, from the superficial to the meaningful, from the crude to the beautiful, from the selfish to the selfless, and from the mundane to the transcendent. As we awaken, we are drawn towards deep reflection, inner Silence, and wisdom.
It is through deep reflection, inner Silence, and wisdom that we come to know peace. And now, in this moment of escalating passions and convictions, in this moment in which the world is trembling and reeling from past passions and convictions, we must seek that peace, know that peace, and become that peace. This is a crucial moment in human history. The path we choose now will create our future for years and generations to come.
Our every thought, word, and act holds the power to create or destroy. In the simplest of terms, our choices are between the paths of war or peace, between violence or nonviolence, between hatred or understanding, between fear or love, between retribution or reconciliation, between aggression or restraint. We must allow our first and second thoughts, our inflamed feelings, and our habitual reactions to dissipate in this sky of awareness, into stillness and Silence. Let us learn from Silence. Robert Rabbin is a San Francisco-based writer and speaker. He is the author of numerous books and articles, and the founder of Radical Sages. www.radicalsages.com.