WISO: Bearing Witness

5141TVTK8CL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ - Edited.jpgIn the last few months this country as been experiencing severe division – struggling painfully to understand each other’s seemingly vast differences. The last week has condensed and amplified the relative issues and feelings. So for me, who has been watching not just strangers, but close friendships and families battle one another in frustration and fear, I found this book to be just what I needed.

“Our actions – whether they make peace or war – reverberate
throughout this universe.
Since we’re all interdependent, nothing is small, trivial, or inconsequential.
Not even a string of beads. Not even one bullet – or one word.”

Here is What I’m Sipping On:

I was given this book yesterday based on my fascination with WW2 . This wonderful and enlightening book by Bernie Glassman begins with a diverse group of people camping out and “Bearing Witness” at auschwitz-jpg
Auschwitzn – Birkenau.

“Bearing Witness; A Zen Master’s Lessons in Making Peace,” is (so far) a deep and resonating work of art.

I have been glued to it since it was handed to me, and I find it extremely grounding. It’s the kind of book that really causes a person to stop and reflect, and ponder our personal humanity. A book to be read slowly and re-read often.

These words were especially powerful:

“This is a book of questions.
More precisely, it’s about living a questioning life, a life of unknowing. If we’re ready to live such a life, without fixed ideas or answers, no matter how difficult, offensive, or painful it is. Out of that process of bearing witness the right action of making peace, of healing, arises.” 

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7 thoughts on “WISO: Bearing Witness

  1. A real visit of a SS concentration camp and it’s death chambers will induce you much more than a book to reflect some principal matters regarding mankind and the nature of human species in particular such as: Why is totalitarian thinking and behaviour still so attractive although the Enlightenment period started long long time ago? Why do we obviously not learn from history? etc. pp.

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  2. Pingback: WISO: Bearing Witness – worldtraveller70

  3. Interesting thoughts my friend. I am hearing the word “division” as a major threat, uttered all over the world. Now I wonder. Is Division so severe? I do not pretend to agree with every one, not even in my own country. (Especially my own country) We are all different, unique beings who may or may not agree on many issues. So why is “division” so fearful? One cannot expect a 95% election. (Except in Zimbabwe). The only time where unity IS indispensable is precisely war (e.g. WWII) We are not there yet are we? Now, division does not worry me. Electing potentially dangerous leaders is a major concern. There is a primary in France next sunday. I will make sure to cast my vote. take care.

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    • Yes I agree, division can sometimes be the healthy option, and/or needed for growth and development. However we should not let out differences alone divide us and create voids between meaningful and important relationships. Allow our differences instead to be our common thread and what allows us to see each other as equals. I hope that out of the troubles of opposing views we can learn from one another and renew a sense of understanding that inspires respect; and in turn creates more opportunities for empathy. We as a people can grow and prosper tremendously from experiences like this. Only, chose Love, open-mindedness, and patience.

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