illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)
Karmic continuation (IV)
Assume I believe I have enemies ready to jump on the first opportunity to strike me down. I threaten them with retaliation, I put economic sanctions in place, I display weapons and anti-missile shields and counter-measures, I announce that I may even strike preemptively.
Regardless of the initial intentions of the 'other side,' it is only rational for them to now feel threatened: not only do they suffer right away, which can only lead to attempts to change the situation (by being smart, or not), but they also feel the ever increasing unbalance of power (to the point that they will simply be at my mercy, if they leave it unchecked).
A rational response for them is to at least try to re-balance the conversation i.e. pursue an arms race. Being on the defensive, they will not feel like negotiating or compromising (which is meaningful between equals but never between an oppressor and its victims —unless the victims become credible vis-à-vis a revolution).
— The old body ceases, the environment does not. —
Weapons systems last. Military bases and bunkers last. Military skills and evacuation drills last. Even attack plans last (primary strategic targets are rarely very mobile). Vigilance requires that an old threat should not be easily forgotten. Military strategy requires constantly imagining new threats, new risks, and preparing responses. The military-industrial-congressional complex tends to perpetuate itself by all means necessary, including deception at home in the name of protection and prudence.
— A new body arises. —
Any newborn in such a world —regardless of which side one is born— will live under threat (imagined or real) and long for security. By education and consensus, he or she will try to implement the longing for security by increasing threats on the 'enemy,' by striking preemptively, by using embargo and sanctions (or geopolitical tensions increasing the price of oil, hence penalising an oil-dependent enemy), by spreading the fear around and bringing allies into the same cyclical logic…
— 'Values' from an old body passed onto a new body: the 'I' shaped an environment, which later re-created the 'I'. —
Clinging to one-sided security favours a rebirth surrounded by 'isolated' actors, without trust in others and thus ready to renew one-sided measures to promote their security further. An arms-race habit leads to rebirth in an arms-race world, where the habit is picked up and continued as the 'obvious' choice.
Cyclical existence (rebirth impacted by karma) is really easy to spot in our modern world. It is not some outdated myth from antique Indian culture, and it does not imply a 'self' passing through: the 'self' recreates itself (i.e. appropriates the consequences of previous intentions) via the environment it shaped.
#Buddhism #Dharma #karma #buddhistcircle
[ graphic: "Arms Race #2 - AK-47u" from http://bit.ly/TgVmqr ]
The previous "karmic continuation" modern examples are available at http://gplus.wallez.name/SLgQ2hJGMAn (I: capitalism) and http://gplus.wallez.name/evMACwQksZ2 (II: dualistic views).
Another karmic continuation from the Samaññaphala Sutta is available at http://gplus.wallez.name/XGaDUdTtNhH (III: "the end justifies the (feral) means").