Recently I changed the name of this blog (and another one at WordPress) from Raising Cain to Resurrecting Abel.
In my world view, the Biblical story of Cain and Abel is, in part, an allegory related to a specific episode or enactment in the early spiritual history of mankind on Earth. In particular, it encodes some specific information about ancient patterns of relationship that became anchored so tightly into the fabric of planetary life that we, as a human race, continue to struggle with it. This relational pattern is — for the human collective — as enduring as what we might call a personality trait at the level of psychological development and expression.
And we see it every day. We know the pattern by many names: master-slave, racial caste systems, haves and have-nots, privileged and oppressed, structural racism. How those relationships play out, and the efforts of peace and justice activists to transform them, have been the focus of this blog.
What is it that draws people to justice work? For me there is no one answer, but, certainly, the notion that we are accountable to one another in some fundamental way seems to be at the heart of it. And with that idea has come a question: if we are accountable to each other (and to other species) how are we to be, know, and act in our lives to bring harmony for all life on Earth?
Hexagram 43 of the I Ching has some clues, I think...at least I seem to come back to it almost every time I ask myself this question. A major idea here is that one must "fight without quarter" if good is to prevail over evil. Then follows a pretty significant "however":
In a resolute struggle of the good against evil, there are, however, definite rules that must not be disregarded, if it is to succeed. First, resolution must be based on a union of strength and friendliness. Second, a compromise with evil is not possible; evil must under all circumstances be openly discredited. Nor must our own passions and shortcomings be glossed over. Third, the struggle must not be carried on by force. If evil is branded, it thinks of weapons, and if we do it the favor of fighting against it blow for blow, we lose in the end because thus we ourselves get entangled in hatred and passion. Therefore it is important to begin at home, to be on guard in our own persons against the faults we have branded. In this way, finding no opponent, the sharp edges of the weapons of evil become dulled. For the same reasons we should not combat our own faults directly. As long as we wrestle with them, they continue victorious. Finally, the best way to fight evil is to make energetic progress in the good.
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