Six weeks ago I've started working on a new documentary film about peace, my second full-feature film after Anicca – embracing change. The new documentary has nothing to do with the current situation in Ukraine and Russia – and yet it has everything to do with it. As a human society, we're going around in circles, and it's been like this for decades, centuries, millennia. Wars, battles and power games – there's always a conflict, somewhere.
If the wise holy men of the past, such as Buddha and Jesus, were sitting on a cloud high above us right now, looking down, surely they'd be wondering, “Why are the people on Earth still dealing with the same issues? The untamed egos bathing in selfishness, the ignorance, the constant dissatisfaction, the overwhelming fear – how come they haven't advanced?”
Looking at the current war, and all the other wars that we know of, even though most of them usually drift swiftly past our attention, the naïve but inevitable question is: Why isn't there peace?
Is it really necessary to keep causing so much suffering? And if it's not necessary, why does it keep happening?
Some argue it's human nature. That we are a very competitive and aggressive species, and that we simply love conquering and winning and fighting over our possessions. Others say the real conflicts started when we stopped roaming freely across the land. The day we stopped being nomads, we got sick.
But almost eight billion people living on a small planet, all of them going back to living a peaceful nomadic lifestyle? Not very likely. What about the aggressive part then? The destructive energy that's been raging in the world, can it be reduced?
In a recent podcast, Zach Bush shared a prophecy from a tribe in the Ecuadorian Amazon. For far too long, it says, the bird of humanity has been flying with only one wing: the wing of the masculine energy, the yang, the fire. Using just one wing, the bird can't help but going around in circles. The result is history as we know it, a story that keeps repeating itself, a story of rising and falling empires, a story of endless war. But according to the tribespeople, the bird is in the process of opening it's neglected second wing, the wing of the cooling and nurturing feminine energy. The yielding yin. And so for the first time in a very long time, humanity's bird will be able to fly straight.
As Zach puts it, it's not about “the masculine and feminine human, but the masculine and feminine divine – the divinity within us!”
Perhaps the only way to really change the destructive pattern of our species, the only way to stop the ongoing wars in the world, is to look within. To create peace by becoming peaceful.
I've hardly followed the news about the current conflict, I haven't watched any images of dropping bombs or dying children. I know all these dreadful things are happening – they've been happening for as long as I can remember. But as terrible and absurd as all the fighting is, I can't end the war. Not the one in Ukraine, nor in any other place.
So instead of watching the war on the news, I've been trying to watch my own inner war. More often than usual, I've been asking myself: Am I really peaceful?
Do I love? Do I forgive? Do I want to heal?
Do I use both wings?