Creating Peace

Dear Friend,

As I write this, my heart is full of sorrow. Our world is once more plunged into the insanity of war, with thousands perishing in the name of Putin’s insane idea to restore Russia to its former ‘greatness’, to wage war against democracy, poke a finger in the eye of NATO’s expansion and in his words, to ‘de-Nazify’ Ukraine.

As in all wars we see the usual projection of one’s own Shadow onto another people, for as the whole world can see, the one who is behaving like Hitler is the KGB-trained Putin himself. Over twenty years of being president, a monster has gradually marinated inside him and all his actions now proclaim the truth of Lord Acton’s remark that ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’.

I am so glad that Biden, who has been so effective in arranging the coalition against Putin, is President and not Trump, as Trump admires Putin’s ‘manliness’ and strength as do many other Republicans. Indeed, it is not impossible that in 2024, Trump or a Trumpite – someone equally deranged and fascistic only much more intelligent – returns to power bringing with them their own brand of autocratic insanity, and that a country whose aim has been to champion democracy in the world, finds itself gradually becoming an authoritarian state?

Here, we keep our fingers crossed that this will not come to pass. Perhaps world events are showing everyone that demagoguery is not the slightest bit attractive and that it has a very, very dark face!

To return to the issue of war, I am so glad that the world has responded so strongly to Putin’s enormous mistake. Today, I attended an anti-war group in the square of our little Mallorcan town and I felt great kinship with everybody present. I felt my own heart open and realised that, on one level, this terrible tragedy is serving to open up the collective weeping heart of humanity and is also releasing a tremendous power of camaraderie on the planet.

I am glad that the strongest of sanctions have been levied on Putin and on his henchmen who have enabled him over the years. Sadly, his people – the vast number of Russians who don’t want a war – will have to pay a price, as will we in the West, as the effects of the sanctions will soon start percolating back. I am half Russian and I have many Russian friends and I can also feel their pain as well as that of the Ukrainian people. I ask myself: will Russians rise up against Putin? I mean, if millions take to the streets, surely they can’t all be arrested….

Dalai Lama

All wars have a similar tragic pattern to them. Violence and killing is let loose. Huge lies are told. Soldiers and civilians, women and children die, people are tortured and a vast 

amount of trauma and suffering is generated for all concerned. Yes, wars start for very specific reasons, but essentially ‘a space’ for them to emerge also lies in the fact that so much hostility, hatred, trauma and anger lies inside so many of us. Many people in the world today are very angry at the system and at the impossibilities they face in trying to improve their lot. But as the Dalai Lama put it:

If we use violence in order to reduce disagreements and conflicts, then we must expect violence every day.

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Addressing Evil in the World

My Dear Friends,

While I feel my heart open in appreciating the beauty and magnificence of life, a large part of me continues to feel sad at some of the dreadful things currently going on in the world. Right now, I think of the increasing proliferation of conspiracy theories.

Yes, in no way unintelligent friends of mine, many not unspiritual – I call them “conspiritualists”(!) – are sending me emails telling me that everything Q Anon says is true, that the earth really is flat, that the pandemic is a huge hoax, that Bill Gates is planning to take over the world (twenty years ago, it was Rockefeller that got clobbered), that the Jewish millionaire George Soros is plotting to destroy Hungary through the deliberate importation of migrants, i.e., that he wishes to replace white Christian Europeans with brown-skinned Muslims! I have not the slightest doubt that this is what they believe.

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Webinar: Surviving and Thriving in the Dark Days of Corona

Dear Friend,

You may be interested in enrolling in an online seminar (a webinar) I am giving with three others where we explore four different perceptions of the Coronavirus.

April 2020 Webinar Featuring Serge Beddington-Behrens

About my segment:

Saturday 18th April / 10:00am – 12:00pm (UCT +1)
Dr Serge Beddington-Behrens:
Surviving and Thriving in the Dark Days of Corona

The whole world changed when the Coronavirus burst onto the stage, and none of us – whoever we are, whatever our incomes and wherever we live – can avoid having some rugs being pulled out from under our feet. Today, the whole human race is collectively entering a Dark Night of the Soul crisis where we each have our own unique challenges to confront.

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The Challenge of Covid-19

Our planet has certainly had a profound ‘wake up’ call, and in this Newsletter I want to mention a few positive and a few negative consequences of this virus and then put forward a few suggestions of my own.

None of us can deny that all of us – whether rich or poor or whatever race, nationality, culture or sexual proclivity we belong to – are in the middle of a big crisis, which in Chinese is translated as ‘dangerous opportunity’.

Yes, my friend, actually I see huge opportunities lying ahead for us as a species, which I’ll talk about in a minute, but at the same time I cannot deny the fact that I also see danger lurking, for while being subject to big shocks can certainly serve to ‘wake us up’, it also follows that if we lack the capacity to process their effect, they can also be destructive for us.

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Serge’s First 2020 Newsletter

Dear Friend,

Welcome to 2020 where I think we are not only called to inquire as to what might lie in store for us socially and politically, but also what kind of 2020 we are personally going to experience. Will it be an annus horribilis or an annus fantasticus? Or perhaps something in between.

A friend recently suggested that “the world is getting better and better and worse and worse faster and faster” and I think that’s a pretty accurate observation.  I think today that we are all challenged to be what I call possibilists, that is, we seek to put our energy into possibilities that we’d like to see happen, as in this way, we can move away from either being an optimist (where we tend to deny that terrible things take place) or a pessimist (where we likewise close off to all the positive things occurring in the world, and, my friend, there are many!). Instead, we can good-heartedly embrace both polarities.

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