(Editor's Note: While this article was written two decades ago, its message is still very pertinent today.)
There is an ancient tradition whereby authentic spiritual teachers offer their profound help to humanity in moments of dire crisis. Speaking with prophetic passion, and from the depths of their spiritual realization, such great beings call us to a course of action that can set things right.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, a Spiritual Master of rare stature, urgently calls all people of all nations to collectively make changes in the world for the benefit of everyone.
Speaking from an overwhelming desire to see humanity create a new destiny, in which war is no longer an option, Avatar Adi Da offers this Open Letter to the entire human "family":
My beloved every one,
I offer the communication in this letter out of compassion and love for all human beings and for the entire world.
This is the moment of truth for humankind. Critical choices must now be made in order to protect the continued existence of human society and the earth itself.
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
This letter is not a political appeal, although the message in it certainly extends to political leaders and the peoples they govern. It is a call to righten the collective moral disposition of humanity, and to establish a global cooperative order on that basis.
In this message to all, I call upon the leaders and educators of humankind to actively embrace, and to universally declare and promote, and to actively require the universal real fulfillment of the simplest law and measure of humankind, which I have stated in the form: "Cooperation + Tolerance = Peace". The acceptance of this law as a universal discipline is the remedy for the current plight of humankind.
1. Why War Must No Longer Be Allowed
Until the twentieth century, the destructive potential of war, though great, was nonetheless limited. There was a limit to the number of governments that had access to the most powerful weapons, there was a limit to the destructive potential of those weapons, and there was a limit on the geographic range over which such weapons could be exercised. Therefore, the violence and devastation of war, though horrific, was nevertheless contained.
Now, at the end of the twentieth century, the previous restrictions on the destructive potential of war have ceased to be the case. The ability to manufacture or obtain technologically sophisticated weaponry (whether nuclear, chemical, or biological) is no longer limited to the few, to the governments of the largest nations. Indeed, such weapons can potentially be obtained even by small groups of people determined to further their own particular agendas, at whatever cost. And the destructive potential of existing weaponry is now sufficient to cause unimaginable devastation. Thus, humanity is faced with two new and dangerous realities: The number of parties with relatively easy access to extreme weapons of war is proliferating rapidly, and the destructive power of those weapons is virtually unlimited.
In the past, it was only the "superpowers" that had the most destructive weapons. Thus, there was a time when it was plausible for a superpower to presume that, by using conventional weaponry, it could keep outbreaks of armed violence under control, at least to a satisfactory degree. However, that time has passed.
When sophisticated weapons of mass destruction are in the hands of many, war (and even armed conflict altogether) ceases to be something that can be "won". The governments of the world are, in general, acting as if they do not understand or accept this current reality. In the world of late twentieth-century technology, war itself has become a threat to all humankind -- not merely to the parties directly involved in any particular conflict. Therefore, just as slavery came to be recognized as subhuman and therefore unacceptable, so also war must come to be regarded as obsolete and no longer to be allowed. War is a past way of doing things that no longer makes sense and can no longer be accepted as an appropriate instrument of policy in the modern world.
It may seem naive and idealistic to say that war must no longer be allowed, but this call for the eradication of war is, in fact, a necessary response to two basic realities: (1) the vastly increased availability of the weapons of mass destruction and (2) the ego-based (or self-centered) nature of the unenlightened human being. Given these realities, war must no longer be allowed as an option -- the risk involved is far too great.
Therefore, I call upon the human "family" to refuse and repudiate all acts of war.
I call upon the governments of this world to reject the very possibility of waging war.
I call upon the people, the leaders, and the media to join in speaking this warning: War simply must be ended now -- before it destroys humanity and the earth itself.
2. The Root of War
The unenlightened human individual is in a state of constant concern for his or her self-preservation (even though this concern may not always be conscious). This self-based, or "egoic", orientation toward existence is manifested as the psychology of search and conflict relative to all that is presumed to be "not-self". Therefore, human beings are inherently disposed to control and dominate all that they presume to be "not-self". For this reason, individual egocentric lives are a constant expression of fear, sorrow, anger, and every kind of un-love. And the collective life of egocentric human beings (expressed in organized groups of all kinds, including governments) is, likewise, dominated by the same motives toward self-preservation and toward control of what is "outside".
As I have written (in "On Liberation from ego and egoic Society, or, Cooperation + Tolerance = Peace"), "Mankind is chronically depressed by the frustration of the Spiritual and Divine impulses that are the inherent characteristics of the heart of every living being. The ego-I, whether individual or collective, is eventually reduced to sorrow and despair, because of the inability of life, in and of itself, to generate Happiness and Joy and Immortality. And that self-contained depression finally becomes anger, or loveless confrontation with the total world and every form of presumed 'not-self'. And, when anger becomes the mood of human societies, the primitive and destructive intent of the frustrated ego invades the plane of humanity. That fire is expressed as all of the aggression and competitiveness of mankind, including all of the ego-based politics of confrontation. And that ego-fire is, finally, summarized in the acts of war."
3. A Global Cooperative Order
The only way beyond the chaos and destruction of war is for humankind as a whole to embrace the discipline of a global cooperative order. It is essential that the peoples and nations of the world go beyond their desire for dominance -- relinquishing their wish to establish their own racial or ethnic group or their own religion or their own political system or their own presumed self-interest as supreme. Instead, humanity must accept its responsibility to manage itself as a globally interconnected community, relative to political, economic, social, and environmental matters. And, through this global cooperative order, humankind must collectively address the terrible suffering (whether brought on by war, exploitation, poverty, or the harsh realities of nature) that is endured by vast numbers of the world's population.
My call for a global cooperative order is not a call for a sovereign super-State. Rather, it is a call for the renewal of an existing global institution, the United Nations, as a mechanism for establishing and maintaining such a global cooperative order. Such was the purpose for the founding of the UN (and, before it, the League of Nations). For the sake of the world, it is imperative that the UN truly fulfill its Charter and become the global forum and means for defusing all acts of military aggression. When the UN truly becomes the body that establishes and protects a global cooperative order, then the entire world, rather than any particular government or group of governments, will benefit.
In order for the UN (and its associated agencies) to fulfill this role, the UN must be re-formed. There must be a return to the principles set forth in the Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations: "to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interests, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples".
The UN is not presently being required by the people of the world to function as a cooperatively governing world-body. That change must occur within the UN, and leaders of the UN must effect that change. There must no longer be the possibility for any single government to obstruct the right process of the UN, nor for a majority of governments to oppress any minority. And the UN must have the authority to take appropriate disciplinary measures against governments that violate the right principles of the global cooperative order, including, as a last resort, the introduction of non-partisan, UN-sanctioned peacekeeping forces.
Also, it is important that the UN representatives be principal leaders of their respective nations. Only if that is the case will the UN have the necessary authority to be an effective world-governing body. The leaders of the UN -- and, indeed, all leaders in this global cooperative order (not only in government but in every area of human endeavor) -- will have a uniquely great responsibility, for, even if individuals within the collective order of humankind yet suffer the immature disabilities of egoic living, the leaders of the global cooperative order must (without fail) preserve and protect that order by abandoning the self-centered, non-cooperative, and intolerant (or loveless) manner of life and the policies and activities that flow from it.
The peoples and nations of the world must begin the twenty-first century with a refusal to support the militaristic approach -- the nationalistic, aggressive, and separatist approach, based on racial, ethnic, religious, economic, and political differences. Such great changes in human life and governance can be made. Indeed, for the sake of all present and future humanity, these changes must be made -- in a non-violent manner, and in the gentle but persistent disposition of non-agreement with the militaristic mode of world politics.
4. Cooperation + Tolerance = Peace
My calling to all human beings is this: Accept, with humility, that your rightful position (and that of everyone) in the world "family" is not one of domination and control, but one of cooperation and tolerance. Only on the foundation of cooperation and tolerance is it possible for peace to be established. Indeed, this is a great and absolute moral law, which I have briefly expressed in the equation "Cooperation + Tolerance = Peace". It is absolutely essential that humanity embrace this moral disposition.
"Cooperation + Tolerance = Peace" is the great alternative to the path of destruction, and it must become a universally accepted discipline. The human "family" should fully and finally refuse to support the militaristic point of view, refuse to allow war as a means of achieving desired goals. Through this gesture, the peoples of the world can feel their strength and connectedness to one another and their collective power to transform the usual politics, and so create peace in the world. Everyone should become positively disposed to this global cooperative order, because that cooperative order is for the survival and well-being of everyone.
Let everyone act on his or her heart-desire to preserve this world.
Let everyone act on his or her heart-yearning to preserve the society of human beings.
Do not allow this precious gift of human existence to be degraded, or even annihilated.
Do not allow this precious world of Earth to be destroyed.
Preserve these gifts -- by doing and demanding what is right.
I offer you these words as a warning and a gift.
I say all of this in love -- for you, and for everyone.
Bartholomew, channeled by Mary-Margaret Moore, leads the reader on a search through various techniques to reach the heart of God.
About The Author
Ruchira Avatar Adi Da Samraj, known as The Divine World-Teacher, was born in New York in 1939. Over the years, Avatar Adi Da has been known by different Names (including “Bubba Free John” and “Da Free John”). Until his passing in November 2008, he resided in California, Hawaii, and Fiji. For more information about his teachings, visit www.adidam.org as well aswww.adidam.in.