President Obama has just officially ordered another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. We are now fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and have troops stationed in 147 other countries around the world. The US actually has 1.6 million troops and a little fewer than 300,000 now in the Middle East. Protectionism, resource grabbing, retaliation, fear; the list is endless for the 'reasons' we do War. The question is, though, why? During our evolution, how did we humans turn in the direction of hate and War instead of care and Love?
The negative emotions like fear, anger, jealousy, envy, pride - all of the seven deadly sins when you think about it - how come these run us instead of compassion, love, understanding, knowledge and care? How did we get to be a human population of fighters and not lovers? What are we doing? And better yet, what are we doing about it?
Do you remember the old folk ballad Down By the River Side - The one that has the line "I ain't gonna study war no more"? What if everyone studied Love instead? What would life be like if we humans had made a turn, somewhere deep in the past, that lead us down a path of love instead of fear and hate? Would we have been much more careful about population explosion, hunger, abuse, control issues and infanticide? Would we have cared for those we did have and cherished and cared for the earth in better ways? Would there be no 'us and them' in this scenario?
In today's society adversity seems to rule. Stress, anger, judgment, opposition, defensiveness, alienation, and loneliness are pervasive in our lives. The de-stabilization that is caused by an up-tight and frightened society is killing us. The statistics are everywhere - crime, suicide, health, addiction - research shows that since 9/11 the average person in the US has had much less frequency of sexual contact. Another new study shows that murder rates go higher as mistrust in government gets stronger.
I read an article recently about a group of chimpanzees that had never encountered man. They were found in 2003 in a deep jungle area of the Congo. This is a phenomenal thing in today's modern world. But more importantly, the researchers were amazed to find that the animals came forward, unafraid, and sat with them for hours on end. The humans studied these animals for months and came to discover that in this chimp society there was virtually no fighting, no infanticide, extensive sharing, no fear and obvious deep caring among members of the whole tribe. This is unlike any chimpanzee group researchers have studied in the past and opens the possibility that apes, and indeed possibly humans, once lived in a much more natural and paradise-like way. It seems so far out of our experiences to even consider that we might once have lived closer and much more lovingly than we do today.
We live in a very altered, false, manufactured society in which we increasingly feel marginalized, compartmentalized, and negated. Yet there are many places in life to find hope. And there are many ways in which we might all make a huge difference in the quality of our own lives, the lives of those we love, and even the lives of all of humanity. Adversity may force us to eventually care more profoundly for fellow humans but let's hope that there might be more immediate reasons for change now.
More questions, always more questions. How would you answer some of these?
What if everyone studied Love not War?
Even a little. Can you imagine what life would be like? It's mind-boggling.
What if we reacted with vulnerability rather than defensiveness?
It feels so good to fess-up when I'm wrong. I can cultivate those good feelings and this will help me drop defensiveness more often.
What if we easily and freely hugged more?
I become more innocent when I hug, like a child who still has undying faith in everything. Hugging can be an art form.
What if we focused our lives on 'giving' but each of us could lovingly 'receive' also?
I often feel as though it is easier to give than to receive but when a true breakthrough happens to me emotionally it is always when I am forced to receive. One goes with the other so learn and use the one that you have the most difficult time with.
What if we all studied intimacy techniques as though our lives depended on it?
What we would see is mothers nursing their babies much more and businesses actually making spaces for moms and children. We would value all generations. We would all listen and communicate more effectively. There would be a lot more Love.
What if we treated lovemaking as an art form that we expanded throughout our lives?
Awe, for us all to be masters and mistresses at this! Kama Sutra throughout the ages!
What if intimate conversations healed something in each of us every time we had them? What if everyone practiced deep compassion so much so that we all became naturals at it? What if we all told the truth, all the time? What if we stopped studying War and started studying Love? What would our world be like then? Shall we learn and practice together?
Suzie Heumann is the founder of Tantra.com. She studies, writes, has authored three books and makes films about conscious sex, Tantra and the Kama Sutra. Check out Tantra.com Premium for the most comprehensive tantra training available on the Internet!