How Can We Permanently End Terrorism?


In the words of Gordon Davidson and Corinne Maclaughlin, authors of Spiritual Politics, Changing the World from Inside Out,

Terrorism can be seen as a virus in the world body. The U.S. and other nations are attempting to solve the terrorist problem by trying to eliminate all of its manifestations around the world. This is like trying to eliminate a virus by removing one cell at a time, while damage to the host body (the world), increases with each violent removal, and more illnesses (terrorists) are generated. To those who can look more deeply, the only way to truly eliminate terrorism is to deal with the systemic causes of it. Groups such as al Qaeda are only effects, not causes. The causes are desperate poverty, oppression, and a future without hope. Terrorist organizations often provide a distorted sense of meaning and purpose for disempowered people.

The way the body successfully fights a virus is with helper T-cells that stop the virus from multiplying. To deal effectively with terrorists, the U.S., together with other wealthy nations, needs to come into heartfelt dialogue with true representatives of those who are dispossessed and impoverished. The approach that can stop terrorism from multiplying lies in developing a long term plan, supported and financed by all nations of the world, that addresses the basic needs of all people on the planet, and helps them in an equitable, fair way. This will provide a new sense of hope, meaning and purpose for them, freeing them from the despair that leads to fundamentalism and terrorism. With a new horizon of hope, people's thoughts will naturally turn from death and destruction towards life and creation.

Nearly everyone agrees that in all things change is inevitable. I would add to this that all change is growthful. Even changes that are outwardly regressive and harmful eventually lead to deep suffering, forced new insight, and forward growth. Thus, growth is not optional. It is an inevitable part of existence. The only option or choice is whether we will grow consciously and joyously or unconsciously and painfully. In each major step of our lives, we all face this crossroads. How does this relate to the "war on terrorism" and the crisis we all face?

In a search for deeper understanding, not justification of terrorism, I invite you to ask yourself, "how does a beautiful newborn child transform into a terrorist?" There are many complex answers to this question, but in the final analysis, it is caused by tremendous pain leading to tremendous rage, and the directing of that rage towards a foreign people, in this case, ourselves. The lure for terrorist groups seeking new recruits is an offer of relief from this pain, either in this life or the next. As Gordon and Corinne so poignantly stated, the only way to end terrorism is to end the pain and suffering which makes it possible. I believe that with the leadership of the United Nations, and an Apollo program type of commitment, the wealthy countries of the world now have the technology and resources to end much of humanities overwhelming, often unreported, suffering.

But we must grow our collective awareness of this suffering and our compassion for it in order to have the will to end it. And this growth in awareness and compassion is not optional. The only question is, will we grow consciously and joyously by opening our hearts to the world and finally practicing the simple principle of doing to others as we would have done to us, if we were in their shoes? If we make this choice, each of us will sincerely ask, "if I were starving and oppressed and another country’s people were mostly wealthy and free by comparison, how would I want the people of that other country to respond to my plight?" And as we take our own honest answer to this question as the guide for our deliberate actions, we will discover the profound joy of service, both individually and as a nation. Or, will we choose to grow in awareness and compassion unconsciously and painfully, forced by world events to experience the same suffering as others have been experiencing, but in our own lives, within our own lands, upon our own doorsteps?

We stand at a crossroads in which we can choose to grow through tremendous pain or profound joy. One choice is for insensitivity, resulting in passivity. The other choice is for love, resulting in deliberate, consistent action. Which will you choose? Which will we choose together?


- From


Read about the Science of Peace and the Power of Prayer
Healing Hearts ~ Healing Nations


For images of world reaction to America's 9/11 events
America's Tragedy as Seen by the World


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