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….
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.