6.1. Moreover, from the scope of our collective karmic guilt for the pain and suffering of the world and for the pain and traumas of the victims and their aids, we also have to do as such. Indeed, suddenly I use the adjective “collective”. Suddenly I am speaking of guilt. Although before I mentioned how tricky, how dangerous the use of the prefix "collective" can be. The more so in combination with guilt. History proves many, many cases of horribly, large-scale violent reactions following earlier actual or imaginary collective crimes. Irrespective from how long ago. Even without any causal relation. Yet I use these terms - collective as well as guilt - be it only here. This, in order to underline my intuitive conviction that “each of us, though basically sacred, basically provided with buddhanature, basically jesuslike, is guilty of the pain of the world”. Although this is my intuitive conviction, as an important argument there is the fact that if not each of us is responsible for the whole, neither can there be collective responsibility.

6.2. So, even though I went a moral step down, switching from “guilt” to “responsibility” - though leaving the word guilt in the heading - yet even this weakened phrasing will lead many of you, maybe you too, dear reader, to objections. Objections against the thesis that each one of us is responsible for the whole. That is: for the pain and suffering of the world. Opponents will say: “This cannot be true! We are not offenders! And if we are, then only a bit. And only indirectly. For instance by not enough pressing for intervention, by not sufficiently protesting”. In this and other ways maybe one will say my thesis is not right. Maybe even psychologically unhealthy. Yet I hold my statement standing. Simply as each of us is part of humanity. Part of “the family of man”. Simply as there are no principal differences between those innocent and those guilty. Whatever difference is only gradual.

6.3. Though for myself I do not find it necessary to underline furthermore these statements since, as said before, these are intuitive convictions of mine, yet let me try to make an effort. Since, indeed, too many feel resistance to these opinions. It would be a pity if they would end considering the issue because of that resistance. Moreover, the last thing I want to do is to brutalise victims by disqualifying them as being only gradually different than their offenders. Accept my sincere apologizing for that. Since that sort of statements I can only make because of the fact I am not victim of the cruelty of others, neither my relatives and friends …. Or could it be possible that victims, out of more intense experience then mine, will agree ? …. That said now, please compare the “responsibility of each one of us for the whole” we are speaking of, for instance with the german government asking forgiveness at the end of the last century, for the crimes of genocide, committed by germans against the jewish people. For that was asked for by government officials who themselves did not have any part in it. All of them were even born after the end of the war. Did they say that? No, they did not. They took responsibility. At least a beginning of that. Representing the past as well as the present and the future of the german people.

6.4. Something similar did happen as far as the genocide is concerned against the herero people in a former german colony in africa at the beginning of the same last century. Giving financial compensation is still going too far for the german government. But, I suppose, it is not far away. As the u.s.a. as well as canada felt and feel responsible, in a more material sense too, for the indians from those days as well as the indians of today. And the australians for the aboriginals. Think of the feelings of guilt and shame in the dutch population regarding the exploitation of slaves in surinam, more than 150 years ago. The same regarding the exploitation of indonesia and the actions of dutch troops against freedom fighters and the civil population, more than 60 years ago. Very few who took part in those actions are still alive. Government leaders of that time are long gone. Yet many dutch feel responsible.

6.5. Think of the increasing awareness in our neighbouring country belgium, regarding the crimes under the supervision of king leopold II, 150 years ago, against the congolese population. Or take a recent example. So actual now, after 10 years: rwanda. Although the united nations sent a peacekeeping force there, they retreated when the reciprocal slaughtering of hutus and tutsis started, escalating into genocide. I am a citizen of a country that is part of the same united nations. Now that it is clear how this retreat at that time took place, I too feel guilty. Looked at from the law of karma we will, as part of the international community, one day be faced with the karmic consequences: not only on an anonymous country scale, but also including individual concrete repercussions. Either for ourselves, for our children or for theirs. Who does not hope we learned from that disaster? In order to prevent genocide in darfur (soedan)? In order to prevent genocide wherever?

6.6. In a similar way we take part in - and are responsible for - the unjust sharing and consumption of the richness of the earth (water, food, energy) and the unjust sharing of wealth and well-being (housing, hygiene, health, education, labour, trade, etc). Regarding my guilt, I cannot hide myself behind my own government, or behind failing decision makers in the international community. Indeed, the overprovided and over-consuming countries are responsible. But that includes every one of us, every citizen personally. We, individual people, are continuing this by our consumptive behaviour. It is by our own behaviour that we create negative large-scale karma as a result, if we refrain from fair and soonest re-distribution.


|  previous  |  back to the prayer  |  next  |

|  notes  |