Search & Read
Marlon: Dear Ram, when the Rwandan genocide was happening I saw on television an image I can’t get out of my mind. It was of a beautiful little girl, maybe five years old, sitting staring at the camera trembling. Some lunatic had hacked off one arm with a machete. How do we cope with the horror that happens in the world?
~ Regards, Marlon
Ram: Hi, Marlon. I hate this question because there is no glib, easy answer, a comfortable place to put it. The answer is as uncomfortable as the question.
You need to stare the horror in the face in all its gut- and heart-wrenching pain and see it as God, ignorance playing out as karma, and know it is only a movie. At the same time you need to see that the self is unaffected by this. And the little girl is still there, minus an arm. In the fullness of time she will play and love and bear children.
What is death? What is life? Is she the body or is she the self? Did anything ever really happen? If you really see it, the suffering ends. Inscrutable indeed is karma.
The angry, destabilizing thoughts should be there. It means you are in tune with life’s highest value, non-injury. But you should not dwell on them. Instead, turn your mind to the self and in the light of your appreciation of who you are, forgive yourself for the small daily injuries you inflict on yourself and others.