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As humans we own the godly gift of responsibility, which is the ability to will. This gift enables us to craft our destiny. The present human predicament is very poor craftsmanship, to put it mildly. And what is our duty as humans? To do everything humanly possible to have peace! So, why don’t we do this? We, all together! Why don’t we stop waging wars? Why don’t we stop shouting out for jihads, revenge, retaliation and all that mental madness? Peace will then naturally settle in. Please don’t leave it to the politicians or the priests to do something about it. This attitude to leave it up to others is irresponsible, if not inhuman. It is our responsibility, yours and mine, not theirs. This responsibility is not a burden but a blessing, for it bestows each one of us with volition and the freedom to use it. So the question is: “Is there a common thread running through all human problems? Is there a possibility to tackle all problems at once, like pulling out the roots of a big tree, instead of cutting few branches here and there?” Yes there is! It is the human mind that is involved in all problems; it is actually the root of all problems. The human mentality is sick, it is confused and because of that it behaves irresponsible. Life has become a battlefield, paradise a fairy tale.

A sick mentality has lost its natural ability to trust. But we can’t just unrelentingly remain in our distrust, waiting for the other to stop the aggression first. That way we will never have peace, let alone peace of mind. We loosely use the term ‘peace of mind’ but no one seems to see the connection between the mental noise some call the ‘inner war’ and all those war turbulences out here on this beautiful planet. On the contrary, it looks like this noisy thinking between our ears has become unwittingly a bad habit for everyone. No one seems to know how to stop it. We have become blind to the fact that this noisy thinking is responsible for all this madness, for waging wars. Just look. We are going to war since the beginning of history. We are out of our mind since thinking began! As they say, ‘understanding sets you free.’ Understanding the mind will cease the confusion. Understanding how thinking happens will lead you into deeper and deeper levels of silence. You know the saying, ‘I can lead the horse to the trough but I cannot make it drink.’ I can lead you to the medicine, to the understanding, but I cannot force you to sip it in. The responsibility lies within you. But, as we say in Germany, ‘Recognition is the first step to recovery.’

Listen to this wise saying. Let us have a look... we have to recognise that the reason of all human warfare is in our mind! First of all, war exists only in the psychology of man. In nature everything runs smoothly, harmoniously. You don’t find war or peace in nature. Nature doesn't know war or peace, nature knows only cooperation. We all give to each other what we need. We for example give by simply breathing out to the trees what they need and they in return give oxygen to us. We exchange energy. We work together, harmoniously, without any effort. No big deal. No peace-contract needed! It’s a natural happening. We all are just part of a great happening, a beautiful happening, the cosmic harmony of life. This beautiful happening knows no war. Lions are not at war with us humans; likewise we are not at war with carrots... or onions. Nature is not at war with itself. I am not against myself. If there is an inner psychological war (it) indicates that the human psyche is out of tune with nature. It is confused, out of order; it’s infected by a kind of mental fever. That fever makes you hear and imagine things - you hallucinate like in a hypnotic trance. The way we think, not what we think, is the obstacle that hinders peace. What we think is determined by our education, but the way we think depends on if we are in control of our thoughts. Either we think independently, unprompted and unconditioned or thinking happens to us. Animals are at peace for they are willingly follow Mother Nature. They don’t have any responsibility; thinking happens to them on an instinctual level unconscious to themselves. They don’t have to worry. Humans are not at peace any more for Mother Nature has lost its grip over us. We were able to meddle with her software but we were not able, yet, to take on full responsibility. As long as you are part of the - confused or unconscious – collective, as long you are part of the mechanics of life, you remain an animal. The transformation of the animal into a human is an absolute individual process, meaning; it has to be done by the individual alone.

Remember, we are not just confused with the content of the mind. We are confused with the use of our mind. Most of us don’t use it at all but are used by it. As long as this confusion prevails we have no will. Listen to this famous saying: “Where there is a will there is a way.” Without a will... no way! To get rid of this confusion and take on fully control over one’s mind is an absolutely individual task. No one else can do it for you. And by the same token, no one can hinder you to do it. Once you take over full responsibility and have freed your mind from this confusion you are at peace. Being at peace you are peaceful. To have global peace each one of us has to do it. 

If we look at our world, at the way we relate to each other I don’t think we actually know what peace is. Many people, maybe most of us simply define peace as the absence of war. Others say peace is, if evil Saddam Hussein is gone. Both say peace is if… if something on the outside changes – such as the attitude of the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein or of the American President George W. Bush and his coalition of the willing. Yet peace is unconditional, it cannot be demanded or enforced, it has absolutely nothing to do with ‘unconditional surrender’ in the way the army is using this term. True, peace is if there is no aggressive attitude, if there is no war, but it doesn’t say anything about ‘peace’ itself. That is as if one is saying that ‘good’ is, if there is no evil, as if goodness could only exist without evil. That is as if one is saying that life could only be sweet if we take all bitterness away; which makes me wonder if we not only do not know the real nature of peace but –actually- also do not know what ‘war’ is. If we would define war through the negation of its opposite as we did with peace, saying ‘war is if there is no peace’ we wouldn’t know anything about either of them. Hence we illustrate war with killing, raping and enslaving and peace with hugging and kissing or so.

As no one seems to stop with the killing and no one seems to know what peace is or how to establish it except with slogans like ‘make love not war’ it might be a good idea to have a closer look at ‘war’. One of India’s most famous books, the Bhagavad-Gita, has tried the same few thousand years earlier. The illustrated Battlefield of Kurukshertra where Lord Krishna initiates Arjuna in the holy art of warriors is not simply describing a real event but the battlefield of the human psyche. Its task is to give the disciple the understanding of the mechanics of the human mind and thus be able to take charge of it. The transformation from war to peace is the transformation of the animal into a human. Our present situation, our human predicament is that we live in a world of strangers. This present human world is a very strange place. We mistrust strangers. “If you are not like me you must be my enemy.” There are still many people that mistrust if not abhor others because of their different skin colour. These people don’t realise that their attitude towards physical differences is based on fanaticism, a common variety of this mental fever. That is as if white roses would go to war with red roses. A much more dangerous expression of fanaticism and thus also much more widespread is the mistrust of people with a different mind-set. We easily mistrust or simply discard people with different keyhole visions. We even kill others simply because they think differently.

If we would believe science that our very existence is part of a harmonious cosmos -if we would have a cosmic overview- there would be not such negative fixation on differences. You can’t distant yourself from existence. There is no way out. Yet even the most elegant theory of science, the string theory, which claims that all differences in existence are based on one and the same energy string, cannot prove cosmic unity. That means trust is of another dimension than the physical plane. As long you only see with your eyes and only hear with your ears, as long you will not understand trust. Without trust the transformation from animal to human cannot happen. Trust is the glue of existence that keeps everything together. In reality all is together all the time. Only in your dreams and fantasies could you crack this cosmic wholeness into pieces. If your brain has cracked into pieces you can’t perceive peace, meaning: it’s then you who lives in conflict and war. So, if your mind is cracked you know you must live in conflict and war. And the other way around is also true, if you live in conflict and war you know your mind must be split. Understand that in this cosmos, in this existence nothing is missing nor too much. We cannot simply take war away for war is nothing but an expression of human aggression. A violent expression of a confused mind, yes, but that doesn’t mean we should throw our mind away. We cannot just delete our aggression like a software program in our bio computer, for that would only weaken our defence mechanism, our immune system; it would be like taking our initiative and motivation away, there would be no assertiveness, no drive. That would be totally against the nature of life.

Aggression is a very vital part of life. What we need is to understand our mind that motivates our body to act aggressively. Seeing that it is part of a natural process to defend life we are able to take charge of it and thus we are able to be humane and not react in barbaric fashion. Amongst humans we don’t have to behave like animals. As human animals we have to learn to understand our animal nature and take control, seize control of it, the human animal has to learn to will. This is the first step in astrology. The astrological circle for example starts with the spring sign Aries, which utters with a bang, “Here I am!” As you might know, Aries is mainly associated with independence and will or self-determination, with brute power, potency, initiation and aggression amongst others. The older Greek ruler of this sign, Ares, seems to be rather uncultured compared with his Roman counterpart Mars. In the Iliad, Homer quotes Zeus, the Greek chief of Olympus berating the god of war. He said, “Of all the gods who live on Olympus, thou art the most odious to me; for thou enjoyest nothing but strife, war and battles. Thou have the obstinate and unmanageable disposition of thy Mother Hera, whom I can scarcely control with my words.” Needless to say that Zeus didn’t get on with his sister-wife Hera. The late astrologer Howard Sasportas in his book Dynamics of the Unconscious said, “The Greek root of the name Ares stems from a word which means "to be carried away" or " to destroy". And this is what Ares is about - he gets carried away and is very destructive. Roberto Assagioli, the founder of Psychosynthesis once defined aggression in a similar way: He said, ‘Aggression is a blind impulse to self-affirmation, to the expression of all elements of one's being, without any discrimination of choice, without any concern for consequences, without any consideration for others.’”

The Romans had a much subtler understanding of this brute, raw and uncultured force that Ares represented to the Greeks. One way to see the difference is for example to take the Latin meaning of the word aggression in comparison. Aggression is usually seen as hostility, violence or assault, as a blind impulse or violent behaviour in general yet according to the Latin root the word itself refers to nothing but pure raw energy that unprovoked, out of itself starts to move; like the Big Bang of existence, for example, with which everything began. Bang, here I am, for no reason at all. The Latin ‘aggression’ means literally ‘unprovoked activity’. In other words aggression is not just a violent attack -that is a very limited view of it. The Romans took the sting out of it; they understood aggression first of all as a raw or uneducated energy that has the ability to willingly initiate action - to act without being provoked to act. The Romans associated it with fertility; a very feminine if not poetic way to describe aggression. They basically saw that some level of aggression is needed for life to continue and thus did not judge it or discard it. The Greek god Ares is the embodiment of brute force. The Roman Mars refined into fertility and potency. It’s a more sophisticated view of energy than the Greek one. Thus, astrology indicates that in order to become humane, the brute warrior has to learn through living life, encountering life, how to refine his aggression into a conscious action and how to be in control of its will. To use one’s will, a bit of aggression is needed. If one denies or rejects one’s aggression -judging it as bad- then there will be a lack of aggression, which will lead to a situation where one has no sense of direction, no initiative or motive to go anywhere. That’s why astrology connects the lack of Mars energy with depression. Too much or too little Mars energy thus leads naturally to war-aggression or depression. To be in control of it means to keep it balanced. However, if you could imagine a world without tyrants, politicians and priests, without soldiers and police, without rich and poor you probably get close to that original idea of what peace means. There is either peace or madness. It is madness to go to war. Madness is a mental illness! Peace is a sign of sanity.

We cannot just destroy all poisonous fruits for it might be medicine to others; we cannot just kill our opponents and call it liberation and freedom justifying it with our fear for security. This is lunacy. If you know peace only as the absence of war then I can of course understand why you don’t know it at all or only as an idea or concept, because war is all around us. The latest fashion is this global war against terrorism led by the Americans and their deputy sheriffs England and Australia. The American leader declared that if they could smoke out, run down and eliminate what they call the axis of evil, the American people could feel secure and therefore the world could live in peace. So they take the liberty to declare war to any country on this globe that harbours or supports terrorists, in fact to anyone they regard as a threat. Thus the "coalition of the willing" put a gun to the head of Iraq and said, “Disarm or I shoot!” The Americans sort of legalised pre-emptive strikes. Now the Israelis and Russians do it too. Soon the whole world is doing it. If you don’t like someone just declare him to be a terrorist and you are allowed to pre-emptively kill him. Well, now that the aggressive force of mighty America has won over little but evil Saddam Hussein does that mean that good won over evil? “The good kills the evil,” that’s good? I don’t think so! That has nothing to do with peace but only with power, or overpowering. It will lead to retaliation somewhere and the war game continues, as it does in Iraq and Afghanistan. No one wants to be bullied, neither the Americans by terrorists nor Iraqis by the Americans. Force only leads to force, as every animal bares its teeth when threatened. Peace by force does not exist! Isn’t that obvious?

Especially after the release of those horrible despicable pictures showing US Marines -so called freedom fighters and liberators- humiliating Iraqi detainees! These are true pictures of modern warfare that continue the older tradition of enslaving and raping the defeated. No soldier involved can claim to be free from guilt with the defence of having followed orders from above. And at the top of the ladder, the Secretary of Defence cannot and should not be allowed to claim innocence and to blame it on others down the chain of command, for he is the one in charge who has to give the guidelines of military behaviour -usually by example. Some even suggested that Donald Rumsfeld somehow recommended stronger than usual interrogation techniques of detainees and that he might not have ordered sexual intimidation but also not have hindered the act. If true or not, after all, it just shows how mentally sick war is. Those pictures simply show how mentally sick we are. This mental illness is a kind of schizophrenia. We are divided in our mentality, not in the clinical sense that we have a split personality, but in the way that we have a dormant authority and a false authority. The difference is that the dormant authority potentially can will, but because it is not conscious of itself, it doesn’t. The will is not in use, inactive, while the false personality is unconsciously willing, that means, the unconscious will is used by the laws of Mother Nature, following her orders. Even before George W. Bush split the world into friend and enemy, the human race lived in conflict-rich circumstances, in a world divided between for and against. President Bush’s recent message to the world, “Who is not with us is against us,” did not split the world, nor did the 9/11 attacks. No, that idiotic division between good and evil is not an American invention, though they represent it very strongly. It existed since the beginning of human history. Yet, to me, it is actually wrong to say human history. That history to which we refer to is rather barbaric, animalistic; anything else but human! Like with many other animals we find human tribes in strife over food and superiority; clans and cults, or call it nations and religions - groups of unconscious but civilized animals competing for a territory and its food supply.

Human animals like all other animals follow their instinctual nature, which is unconscious of course. Naturally there are guidelines life follows, for example, "the strongest prevails". Societies are nothing but biological mechanisms following these unconscious patterns of nature. Hence we see a USA striving for superiority with bombastic arms. All this has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with being humane! The real strength of a human is not measured by the size of his biceps or guns. What President Bush maybe does not know is that there is a distinction between muscle power and brainpower, which is a distinction between the physical and mental strength of the brain. Arnold Schwarzenegger for example will probably not be remembered for his acting abilities or his intelligence, or Albert Einstein for his muscular appearance. He wasn’t famous like Arnie for being the bodybuilder “Mr. Universe”. Einstein gave humanity a new perception, a better understanding of the universe and its gravity. Arnie will be remembered -for a while at least- for acting as a very strong robot known as "the terminator", and Albert Einstein probably much longer for his definition of energy and his theory of relativity. Most importantly, he added time to our three-dimensional thinking –the result is known as space-time-existence. The obvious difference seems to be that Albert used his brain to build mental strength and Arnie didn’t. When Albert realized that his revolutionary thoughts were the base idea to create those atom bombs that terminated Nagasaki and Hiroshima he became a very spiritual man -which indicates that even mental strength can be measured differently.

Those survivors of Auschwitz or Leningrad had a strong will to survive. Life was meaningful to them; worth surviving even the harshest circumstances. Yet, in the chronicles of history they are faceless; they are not remembered as individuals. But what has survived already for two thousand years is the individual spirit of Jesus. Even history is divided into before and after Jesus Christ. His strength was neither physical nor mental; it was spiritual. Spirituality is another dimension other than mental or physical. It is beyond both. One could also say that it is the synthesis of both. Jesus, the man transformed into Christ. Jesus Christ is not remembered for having been a body-builder or a sensitive scientist; he is remembered for being the Son of God, he is remembered for his love, his compassion and his guts. Jesus was so strong and thus a danger to the establishment that they decided to kill him. So, if one would ask which is the strongest, the physical, mental or spiritual strength then we would have to consider the spiritual strength to be on top. And if you would agree with me that the spiritual strength of Jesus was his love and his compassion then you will understand my final conclusion. Human strength is love!

Astrologers long before Jesus connected strength with love, so indicating that Love is strong, stronger than anything else! Love will survive longer than anything, even longer than the memory of Jesus, for everything, our universe, the whole existence is made of love, astrologically speaking. Astrology asserts that love is the source of all there is. Love is infinite, indestructible and inexhaustible although it seems to be very fragile in our world. It is love that makes our existence beautiful not the moral glamour of Hollywood or the political stupidity of American imperialism. Don’t get me wrong; I am not against America! Being for or against any political structure doesn’t do anything. Democracies, as all other social systems, including multi-nationals, are reflecting the unconscious animal structure of life! All societies have a pyramidal structure, a hierarchy system that reflects the way of life - instinctual life that is. On top are a few rich and powerful, and at the bottom are the masses of have-nots that do all the dirty work. Power and money, as we can clearly see in America, go hand in hand. Meaning: those in power have had the money to get there. Once they are on top they help their rich buddies to get even richer, as we can clearly see it with George W. Bush and all his military buddies. History recalls that strong races come and go, the Greeks, the Persians, the Romans, the Mongols, the Germans, the Americans. They come and go while the memory of few individuals, such as Jesus, Mohammed, Moses or Buddha, lives on. And we will be lucky if in the next two thousand years a few more of those rare individuals can be added to this small list. So rare and yet so strong is the love in humans that without a living example the whole of humanity falls into a dark age. Life becomes loveless and meaningless, chaotic and destructive.

In all dark ages the meaning of this natural law, the strongest prevails, is only used in the physical sense. America’s strength, such as high tech missiles, bombs and stealth fighters, is nothing but an extension of barbaric muscle power. Meaning, those who have got the money, have got the power over the poor and weak. Hence, I maintain the view that our democracies are nothing but modern slaveries and a mockery to our consciousness. For example, Bronwyn Bishop –at a time her popularity in Australia was very high that some even considered her to be a future prime minister- when asked during an interview why she took up politics answered that once she realized that there are only two types of people "those who follow the orders of others and those who give them" she decided to be on the latter side and naturally became a member of the liberal party. That party obviously seem to represent to her this drive to be in charge over others. Having said that she was grinning from ear to ear absolutely convinced that she had said something very smart, a kind of arrogant expression that lately has been portrayed too, -very often with near perfection- by her liberal leader John Howard in similar circumstances. Big smiles very often intend to disguise empty hollow words, trying to mislead your attention, and the arrogance usually provides those ‘smilies’ with blindness towards their own stupidity. As idiots usually project their madness onto the world they think that everyone is an idiot and thus they really believe that we do not notice this insult.

But contrary to popular belief, it’s not W. Bush’s low intelligence that hinders us to unite the world, to see beyond all this dividing madness. If you need to point a finger, then point it towards your head. It is the human condition in which we all are stuck, which is the problem. It is the unconscious or confused state of human animals. These animals are dangerously intelligent; they gang together in nations that fight with gigantic powerful weapons of mass destruction for world-superiority. Just because well-mannered monkeys dress up in expensive gowns it does not make them human. However well-mannered they were trained to behave, they remain animals. There were studies made of monkey’s intelligence to find out if they are able to comprehend words in a complete sentence as commands. First they were made accustomed to each word independently, in different settings, without any connection. Some time later these words were given to them in a complete sentence. To the astonishment of all the scientists involved these monkeys did go to the fridge, took a specific item out, left the room and locked the door, and so on. The scientists concluded that we need to check our definition of consciousness. If chimpanzees can comprehend the syntax of a sentence… then there is no longer much difference between them and us. It doesn’t make them more human, but it makes us more animal-like!

With that in mind, voting for a leader becomes a farce. All political systems are then the stage on which human animals fight and compete with each other to become the leader of the pack, the president, the king or prime minister. It is an animal instinct to get to the top of the pyramid. Hence the democratic system is the most cunning for it is used to keep us at bay not through the tyranny of physical oppression and violence but by means of mental trickery, keeping us unaware of our own authority. Luring us into the belief that by voting it is in our hands which destiny we craft, or at least in the hands of the strongest or most convincing belief that the majority of voters maintain. So, same thing again, the strongest idea prevails. It seems as if the conservative or right wing parties represent the animal law of "the strongest prevails" whereas the left wing parties seem to try to have a more humane situation, representing the drive to be human, which is a spiritual quality. Following this logic then those little parties in the middle that hold the balance of power must have a sense of both. The interesting thing is that this balance does not exist in the USA. There it seems only to be a fight between black and white.

Remember, as long as politics rules then the unconscious nature rules. The difference between politics and spirituality is that politics rules powerfully and spirituality guides lovingly. Love creates silently’ whereas politics is just made up of big hollow words. However, we don’t need human animals to rule over us; we need to find a way out of this barbaric situation so that we can have a strong body and a healthy mind. How can you vote for a person to be your leader if you know that he won’t defend you if you are accused by mighty America of being a terrorist? “Accused”, not proven guilty! The sole super-power America declared the 3rd World War on terror, which is a new kind of war. It’s not against a nation or a dictator; it’s against terrorism, against everyone who is against America, against everyone who scares them. The idea to declare war on terror is actually good but the Americans, who think of themselves as the most sophisticated people, got it absolutely wrong. The real war on terror is not fought with bombs but with understanding fear in the psychology of mankind. The real terror is inside. Naturally, if those without brainpower are in power, they will not allow those with brainpower to emerge. Meaning, they will not educate the masses, for -clinging onto their power- they know that only idiots would vote for them. The very fact that we vote for idiots as our leaders also makes us idiots. Hence we need better education, which must be freely available, for otherwise only the rich and powerful can afford it. But most importantly it must include an education of how to use one’s mind freely. As long as we are educated in a way where we get cultural software programmed into our minds, is as long as we will behave like robots, like puppets on a string. 

To wake up out of this nightmare we need to be educated by the likes of Moses, Jesus, Mohammad and Buddha, mind you, not by their fellow representatives, the popes, priests and mullahs. No, for they also cling to their power. What is required of us humans in this Dark Age full of confusion, madness and violence, is to wake up to cosmic unity, to our togetherness, so that we understand our oneness and our intimacy in our human essence. We need an understanding that brings us together, that creates bridges and does not destroy them. We need to understand our unity as a human race that has the strength to bring forth those flowers of consciousness, like the ones of Jesus or Buddha. We need to create a world that allows more and more humans to flower. We need to understand that it is our responsibility to create such a unity. Many would ask here, “But how?”

In one of the "Enterprise" movies the scriptwriter envisioned that only when aliens landed on earth, humans of all nations and religions united, for they realised they are not alone in this universe. I don’t know about this reasoning. Others suggested that earthlings would unite only to meet those aliens as a whole, either as friends or foes, but most probably as enemies. But again, even in science fiction the responsibility would lie in the hands of aliens, in the hands of the other! What we are left with is the hope for their arrival. It is time that we stop hoping for a better future. Hope is a big word in all our societies. Let’s put the record straight. Pandora’s Box was filled with godly gifts that intended to extinguish the human race, and because hope was the only poison that did not leave the box we cling to it in our desperation to survive the madness inflicted on us. The trick of hope is to keep us imprisoned in the box without suspicion, and thus it keeps us inactive and dull. It is time that we let go of this hope for redemption, salvation or even liberation. It’s time that we stand up and do it ourselves. Let’s do it together! I am ready. What about you?

Peace is not a manifestation of a political or religious concept, dogma or idealism. It’s not a value; it’s not a party line. You can’t find it in a book, not even in a holy book. It’s not a philosophy. It’s purely being humane. For it to be we don’t need any politicians or priests. No one can be it for you and for that matter no one can prevent you from being it! I am certain that as long as humanity does not realise that peace is an inner psychological condition, not a political achievement, all those brutal wars between humans will continue, probably until nearly the whole of humanity is extinguished, with the exception of the Americans, maybe, or the Chinese. In the end -I am certain- love will prevail but it depends on us if we experience its aliveness in our blood and bones and its joy in our hearts and minds or if we have killed each other long before. It will depend on our maturity to have taken on the responsibility to free us from this political and religious madness we call our culture, our belief, our religion, our nation, our ideology or whatever. We don’t need national, ecological or philosophical ideologies. We don’t need recipes of how to live. What we need is a deep connectiveness with this wonder of life, something it seems that only innocent young children still know.

Astrology is not recipe; it's a tool, a cosmic tool of a do-it-yourself-program, that, rightly used, can help anyone to take on responsibility and thus you will break the habit of allowing those destructive war-activities to go on and on... and so it can end.

Sieghart Rohr

further articles from Sieghart:

Imagine you know nothing

A view from beyond the stars

My astrological overview

The astrological language

1968-2008  

The hymn of love

The global finance crisis

The creation of humanity