This is entirely personal. I hope readers not familiar with India will be patient.
In the year 2000, one member of parliament (MP) Ram Jeevan Singh narrated an anecdote and asked me a question which has left a deep impression on me.
In 1930 the British govt. in India imposed a tax on salt. Gandhi, in spite of the reservations of his other colleagues in Indian National Congress party decided to protest and began his famous Salt March. The protests took the form of local people gathering and making salt themselves to deny the tax to the British Govt. The British govt. declared this act illegal.
Our MP, then 8 year old, accompanied his grandfather who was a police inspector, to one such protest gathering. The protesters had informed the local administration of the date and venue where salt would be made locally and following that 10 people will court arrest. The British Superintendent of Police himself arrived at the scene to ensure that no law and order problem arose. However, he found that there were approximately 5,000 people present.
The police inspector sought permission from his superior officer repeatedly to use force to disperse the crowd. But the British Supdt. of Police every time asked him to be patient saying, 'they are followers of Gandhi. They will not lie."
The salt was made, the protest registered and 10 people came forward to court arrest for breaking the law. The incident passed off peacefully.
After narrating the story, the MP paused, looked me into the eyes and said, "there was a time when even your enemy trusted you. Can you say the same of your friends today? Where did we go wrong? Think about it."
There is more.
At 5:12 PM on 30th January 1948, a young man approached Gandhi just as he emerged to conduct a prayer meeting. The man bent down to touch the feet of Gandhi. A gesture indicating highest respect for the individual whose feet is being touched in Hindu culture. As he rose after touching the feet, he fired three bullets from his semi-automatic into the thigh, stomach and chest of Gandhi. Gandhi fell and passed away shortly afterwards. But in an unparalleled act in the history, in the moments before he breathed his last, he forgave his assassin.
The assassin had still three bullets left. It was a prayer gathering where no one was carrying any arms. He could flee easily. But instead waited patiently for half hour before police could arrive and surrendered. Knowing fully well that he would be hanged. Which he was, two years later.
Gandhi lived his life with the motto to be the change that one wants to see. The assassin had the strength and courage to face the consequences of his action.
Do we need a practice to embody these principles in life? How meditation, prayer, yoga, floating, channeling, shamanism, voodoo, tarot, runes, wicca, magick and countless other devices can teach us these? Don't we know it already?
What knowledge can we derive from the amazing treasures contained in the writing of Vedas, Upanishads, Plato, Socrates, Hermeticism, Kabbalah, Alchemy and the rest, if we do not live ethically.
Where did we go wrong?
That is my pain of practice!
This was a heart touching story and I am grateful that you have shared it here with us. This gives those of us here on the Forum who have taken the time to get to know you on a basic level have a better understanding of you in a deeper level. This is an unfortunate experience for you and one that may have spoiled the treasures that are contained with in you far and deep that no one else can lead you to other than yourself.
It is a sad thing when man lets another man's evil intentions enslave his soul connection to the divine. Some times the ethical man is not always honest and truthful as he should be vice versa the spiritual man, however this does not apply to everyone. There are always going to be risks in the game of life that we all play gambling on the edge of life and death, right or wrong, good and bad etc but how can one know and understand their true life path without knowing themselves divine?
I would follow as Gandhi has done and forgive those who abuse natures laws for selfish intentions and cause hurt and pain amongst others perhaps if you do not you may be hurting yourself more than the abusers have hurt their victims. You have the right to pick and choose your way to the divine path. You're own leader and do not have to follow in another persons footsteps but only fulfill your own steps.
IMHO, practicing pain is a good self discipline but if done too long neglecting other needs the body, mind, heart, and soul needs you may end up causing pain to the chain of life that we all share together, hence denying to accept the love from God. You had once shared wise words with me saying, "duty is owed to the self by the self".
A person does not have to attend church to believe, or use wicca these are choices that are available to us all. I have trust that if you choose to tread towards a divine life that you have all the wisdom you need to make the right choices along your way. It is forgiveness that you need to get you started. This you owe yourself!
Blessings and peace will always be with you in the light of love.
Dear Captain ,
Eternal values and culture in human beings are the same all over the world , we are identified as such as all have these in equal measure , nobody is higher or lower .The day life and learning becomes practice is a very sad day indeed . One does not need to practice life and living . Doing things with knowledge and understanding is life that is all . It is not even an "ought to" especially for the species called the human being .