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Is it possible to live at this time and not see the “confusion and anxiety, of strife and trouble,” as PB expresses in his “Prayer for the World”?*

*Prayer for the World – excerpt -Category 13, chapter 4, para 306  (13.4.306)

The awareness of the discord among us, as countries and neighbors, is so obvious, but a solution seems so far away. In the volume Emotion and Ethics, PB speaks of the need for spiritual refinement:

“As students of philosophy we must free ourselves from all narrow racialist views, national prejudices, class feelings, and personal selfishness. Philosophy in practice demands no less than this, because it brings the realization that in actual fact all are inseparably linked with each other.” (6.5.50)

“Those who regard impartially friends and foes, foreigners and relatives, the righteous and unrighteous, they excelleth.”–Bhagavad Gita

“Racial animosity is really a pathological state which clouds vision and falsifies judgement. It raises prejudice to the dignity of a principle. Hate is a mental poison. It is the worst possible sin of our thought life. It damages those we hate, infects our own environment, and in the end, it severely damages ourselves. The ability to treat all kinds and classes of people equally, and with universal goodwill, does not imply the inability to observe the comparative differences and even defects among them.” (6.5.50)

There is a song by Vince Gill -“Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” If that thought could permeate our thoughts, could that spread a more peaceful atmosphere? After all, our most strongly held thoughts tend to manifest in our life.

“Tolerance and mutual accommodation are the way of true spirituality. There is room in life for the other person’s opinion also. Let them keep it if they wish, so long as they refrain from forcing it upon us and so long as they themselves do not preach or practice intolerance. Their own experience of the ups and downs of life have combined to bring them to that belief; why should they not have it then? We may dislike it intensely, but we must admit that from their standpoint they are right enough. When their experience broadens out and they see life in larger perspective, be sure that they will change their opinion, too. When their circumstances alter or their environment changes, they may learn how limited was their former view. When the long-drawn lesson of suffering or a thought-provoking book or powerful personality swings the balance of their mind in a new direction, they will desert their opinion or modify it. Meanwhile, let us set the world an example–and be tolerant.” (6.5.5)