Torture and Karma

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said in an interview Friday that torture isn’t “an easy question.” CNN.com

Recently in the news a headline popped up: Scalia on Torture Morality.  Another article on the same topic was about ex-CIA officials and their response to the complaints they employ torture to get information.

Elsewhere, there is another take with McCain’s recent response to the CIA’s use of torture.

You can get political commentary anywhere.  What I want to focus on is the use of the word Morality (henceforth I’ll use ethics as the term) from a spiritual perspective.

Human Intelligence

Intelligence based only on the human condition (the physical realm) will believe that torture is quite useful.  As revealed by the words of Scalia and CIA officials (as well as many congressmen), we see this concept that without torture we couldn’t gain information quickly enough to handle situations.

In the mind of the ego (the ego being the self identified with the body), it seems if you need information from someone and you torture them… you get the information and all is well.  You avert a catastrophe perhaps and it’s all due to the use of pain and torture.

Human intelligence doesn’t look much further then the immediate result.

When I was much younger and in High School, I too thought this was appropriate means for our government to get information to protect its citizens.

Today I see the foolishness in such a policy.

Spiritual Wisdom

While there are many different religions and spiritual movements in the world (and throughout history), many of these paradigms agree with a  sentiment:

What you do, returns to you.

Within Christianity there is the passage in Galations, “As you sow, so shall you reap.”  This means that the actions we do, return to us as we intended them.   Jesus also taught this when a disciple drew a sword to protect Him from the Roman soldiers: “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”

Christianity is not alone in this teaching.  All Easter Religions adhere to a concept of Karma.  Karma is an idea that those actions we make will return to us.  If we express kindness we get kindness, if we express hatred we get hatred.

In this way, if you adhere to a practice of torture, we know from the teachings of Jesus as well as Eastern Religions, that one will only create future problems.  A bad action never produces a good result.  If you think you get a “good” result from a bad action (like torture) it is an error.

The Good that results from any action, is the result of karma of similar intent.  Every moment is birthed from a prior action.  Therefore, gaining information from torture, is not the result of torture but the result of the karma to get this information.  The result of torture will be pain.  It may not come immediately, but it will manifest in time.

Grasping to Self

Those under the spiritual virus of Ego will respond, “Nice sentiment, but without violence we can not stop violence.”  Remind such as them what it says in 2nd Corinthians, “…the weapons of this warfare are not carnal.”  In other words, it is by the use of peace, love, prayer and seeing God in others, that we bring down strongholds.  The real stronghold is ego (the self identified with the body… that self that grasps for something at any cost.)  This stronghold can only be destroyed through living in God.

Fear can turn the so called liberal into a tyrant.  When the 911 attack happened in America, most people at that moment unified into a reaction of anger and hate.  There was an immediate response in the nation for revenge. During that time, I was studying Buddhism.  My Buddhist lama did not adhere to revenge.  He knew exactly what it would produce – more problems.

Why weren’t we praying for our enemies?

If you think that’s crazy talk, consider that this is the calling of Jesus, Matthew 5:44, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for them that despitefully persecute you.”  This is what He instructed His followers to do.

Consider my words from The Book of Virtue:

You can not kill your way to peace. 

What You Can Do: Express God

It doesn’t matter to me what religion you claim to be, it’s what you do about your life that’s important.  You can say your a Christian, Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish.  What is important is YOU.  Within you is God.  Within the angry person who is a racist, hater of homeless, employer of torture… whatever it may be – God is within that person as well.

God is seeking to be expressed, but instead the old Ego gets in the way.  The ego says, “let’s not listen to the Lord right now, let’s solve this problem with our fists.”

You and I can’t change the world by changing others.  Others will not change with pressure.  What we can do is Express God to others.  We can pray for our enemies.  We can learn to love them.  This is our path.

This is what is meant by a Gnostic Knight of Virtue.  It is one who is filled with Gnosis (Wisdom) and has the will (Knighthood) of love and right action (virtue.)  It takes guts.  It takes willpower.

The hardest thing to do, is sit listening to someone tell you how your family should be sent back to your “homeland,” or to hear racism be spit at you – and instead of anger, you respond in love and compassion.  Do you realize that is the most challenging thing to do?

Spiritual Practice

So I say to do this.  Each day of the week pray for someone who is lost to the darkness of ego (thinking they must employ darkness to win their battles.)  Take a figure like Scalia for example.  Hold him in prayer.  Find love within your heart and express it to him.

Example Prayer

“Divine God within me.  I know reside within me, as I have read the scriptures that foretell your presence within. I know you are here with me know as I feel your peace and love. Your compassion is a blanket covering me.  Through you, I relate to the world around me.  I know that Scalia is your child, as much as I am.  He is looking at the world with the eyes of man.  Help him to find YOU within.  Help him to lower his walls to touch the truth that lies within, that he is a child of God.  As God is within him, so God is within the victims of torture.  As God is within the victims of torture, so is God within the people applying torture.  Lord, help each person in this drama feel you within.  Let them know you are there, let them release their human understanding and embrace the understanding of YOUR ways – that all should be dealt with, in love and compassion.”

Love & Light Exercise

Repeat this until it is felt: “Scalia is filled with love and light.”

Then repeat this, “The victims of torture are filled with love and light.”

Continue by repeating the following, “Those who employ torture are filled with love & light.”

End with the repeating, “I am filled with Love & Light.”

Know that each person has God within (The love and light.)  Do not hate any in the drama.  Love each.  There is no difference between the terrorist and Scalia.  There is no difference between a torturer and it’s victim.  They each are bound by the karma of past action to each other.  Love them for what they are – expressions of God and know that they are not their failures, rather that below the mistake is a perfect source.  Relate to that person instead.

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