No One Wants War, but We are Always Fighting
By Michael Laitman
A few days ago, Norma Livne, the host of the show El Mundo (“The World”), dedicated one of the shows to answering questions from my students. One of the questions was about the war in Europe. More precisely, the question was why, if no one wants war, do we always fight against each other?
Indeed, people cannot live without war. At any given moment, there is an active conflict somewhere on the planet.
If you think about it, it makes no sense. If you ask people if they believe that violence can settle differences, they will agree that it cannot. If this is the case, then I, too, would like to ask, why are we fighting? Is it to show who is right? But if this is the reason, it means that the stronger one is also the right one because he won the war. This is clearly the wrong answer.
In fact, it is not only wrong, it is deplorable and immoral. How can anyone believe that if you are aggressive and crushed your dissenter, then you are right? This is not justice; it is bullying. We are not even animals; we are worse than animals!
Yet, this is human nature. This is how we have been behaving since the dawn of time, and it will not change until we change human nature. When we decide that we are fed up with our egotism and want to try a different way to live on this planet, we will be able to think of more agreeable ways to live.
When we decide to give up our self-centeredness, we will discover that opposites do not cancel each other, but complement each other. Opposites do not threaten each other’s existence, they secure and support it.
Complementary opposites exist not only in nature, but also in humans. Just as spring has no meaning without autumn, capitalism has no meaning without socialism. The same applies to liberalism and parochialism, and globalism and isolationism. Each concept is meaningless without its counterpart, which helps define and clarify it.
Yet, the truth lies on neither side. The truth lies in unity and cooperation. Truth is what enables life. The heart and the lungs, for example, perform very different, almost contradictory functions. The lungs saturate the blood with oxygen and the heart streams the blood throughout the body and distributes the blood to the organs. In terms of oxygen saturation, these are contradictory functions. Nevertheless, only when both the heart and lungs function properly can we have a healthy body. The “truth,” if you will, is neither that the blood must be full of oxygen, nor that it must be devoid of it. The truth is that when the heart and lungs operate properly, there is balance, health, and vitality.
Truth, therefore, is balance, not subjugation. If we maintain a balance where all parts of society contribute their respective and unique shares to society, we will have a balanced and healthy society whose members are safe and satisfied. If we try to eliminate any of society’s organs, we will condemn all of society to instability, dissatisfaction, and ultimate disintegration.