Thursday, October 3, 2013
The first Buddhist precept is a vow of non-killing. It’s not an injunction against all killing, and indeed we are always, even in taking a breath, killing something. If we want to embody a non-violent way of being and acting in the world, we have to come to terms with life and death as unified. Inseparable. That living and dying are occurring in every moment, no matter what we choose to do or not do. On the whole, American’s don’t handle the death side well. When faced with any inkling of it, we’re prone to turn away, minimize, or deny it. The increasing, mostly male obsession with “self defense” and resorting to violent measures to carry out such defense, feels intimately tied to this issue. Men look around and see other men killing each other and they don’t want to be next. Never mind that 2/3rds of gun deaths in the U.S. annually are self inflicted, the fear of being mowed down by some other is widespread. It’s not the slow fading away from chronic illness or quick passing during an accident that haunts many of us. It’s the messy end by bullet.
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