When Solomon, king of Israel, saw, by the spirit of prophecy, that the kingdom of Rehoboam his son would be divided with Jeroboam, the son of Nebat; and that Jerusalem, and the house of the sanctuary, would be destroyed, and the people of the children of Israel would be carried captive; he said, by his word, Vanity of vanities in this world, vanity of vanities; all that I and my father David have laboured for, all is vanity!” Ecclesiastes. Be ye happy, if ye may, In the years that pass away. Ye shall pass and be forgot, And your place shall know you not. Other generations rise, With the same hope in their eyes, That in yours is kindled now, And the same light on their brow. They shall see the selfsame sun That your eyes now gaze upon, They shall breathe the same sweet air, And shall reck not who ye were. Yet they too shall fade at last In the twilight of the past, They and you alike shall be Lost from the world’s memory. Then, while yet ye breathe and live, Drink the cup that life can give. Be ye happy, if ye may, In the years that pass away, Ere the golden bowl be broken, Ere ye pass and leave no token, Ere the silver cord be loosed, Ere ye turn again to dust. And shall this be all,’ ye cry, `But to eat and drink and die? If no more than this there be, Vanity of vanity!’ Yea, all things are vanity, And what else but vain are ye? Ye who boast yourselves the kings Over all created things. Kings! whence came your right to reign? Ye shall be dethroned again. Yet for this, your one brief hour, Wield your mockery of power. Dupes of Fate, that treads you down Wear awhile your tinsel crown Be ye happy, if ye may, In the years that pass away.
Romans are who people consider to be imperial, impartial but imperial. Very few empires have had the distinction of outliving others over a period of …. yet most if not all claim that they are one version of Rome or the other. Hence the phrase, “Rome was not built in a day.” Imperial might allows for complete jurisdiction of territory with little oversight by authorities. Thus the phrase, when the cat is away the mice will play. The picture of mice playing conveys mice like behavior in humans, timid, cautious yet abundant in life. When jurisdiction is parlayed further into favor, despotic tyrannies find root. It is hard to distinguish tyrant from emperor when one hand feeds the other. Eventually, the cycle of conquest gives way to revolution which when properly nurtured can bring hope and salvation to those rotting under the heels of despotism and disgrace. Vigilance is a valued necessity for freedom because it distinguishes wrong from right actions. Neither the Emperor nor far flung lackeys are able to bring to fruition what vigilance teaches all of us, to do what is right by others. Without this fundamental acceptance, there can be no way in which to make people believe in the rightness or wrongness of things including people. Law can be established only after vigilance has made its favor known. What can be wrought by people can be equally undone by them. It then becomes a question of incentive, in what ways do people yearn for the chance to be vigilant? A mother perhaps is willing to put her life at risk for the well-being of her children, a politician for the well-being of their party, a doctor for the improvement in their patient, but most of all humans in need of being vigilant to themselves. This is where most of us fall down. It is scary to be vigilant to oneself. At the risk of appearing trite, Eliot’s understanding of the love of J. Alfred Prufrock is appropriate; “We grow old and wear our flannel trousers rolled.” Civilization risks of the right to be vigilant when it is imperially managed. The right of some to judge the actions of all. The act is impossible in the best of circumstances and lends itself to butchery in the worst of them. How people disguise their intention is what captures the imagination, yet here imagination is too feeble to uncover intentions. Thus, the plodding challenge, grab hold of each moment and risk being both its champion and challenger. Dialectic rules when society cares only for the wealthy and arrogant.
When deception masters the world vigilance becomes servitude. In obedience to justice, the innocent and the experienced must change places frequently. The innocent in search of truth pay homage to the experienced even as the experienced learn nuances of right and wrong. The balance of imperial power is shifted toward fate when those in charge cannot accede to the inevitable, change. It is up to individuals free or otherwise to determine whether revolt is the just course of action. Power is never kind to anyone especially those pursuing a narrow and perhaps dangerous path. Denying power its might is one way to hold oneself and another accountable for gift of all, freedom. Empires have done poorly with it because they are unable to rise to the challenge of revolt without which there can be no such entity as “freedom.” If vigilance partners justice then the just must take into account the price of vigilance. Only in such circumstances can freedom be effectively instituted. Unfortunately, the emperor and the revolutionary fall short of paying the price; the emperors because of their inability to understand jurisdiction and revolutionaries because of their inability to discern futures. Mere exchanging of places will not work in this situation. As will it help for the Revolutionary to understand jurisdiction and for the Emperor to discern the future. Napoleon’s victories are legend as are Robespierre’s analytics yet it is not certain that freedom played an integral part in their calculation. For one territory was supreme while for the other moral conviction. Robespierre and Napoleon ended up in prison neither being fully able to fulfill their mandate. Dialectically, separating territory from conviction and conviction from territory can be a way forward to fathom freedom that meets the needs of both vigilance and authority. However, progressives have never accepted the cause of the vigilant and conservatives, the authoritarian. Yet it is this task that individuals are called to perform whenever and wherever freedom is a value that is overused and undervalued. Deciding the outcome separates what an empire is able to achieve, its crumbling or unfolding. Revolution is acceptable when it is tasked with defining the objective of freedom, one that empires can use to draw their own conclusion about fate. Rome is not built in a day and if properly constructed does not have to come apart in a day as well. Emperors and revolutionaries have risked all to change the way in which people approach their lives some with clout and others with autonomy.
Justiciability is determined by moral not a rhetorical paradigm. Laws of war” can also be considered to refer to jus in bello, which concerns whether a war is conducted justly (regardless of whether the initiation of hostilities was just.) Satyagraha remained the one law of value during the first and the second world wars of the 20th century. It did so by resisting imperial might and not advocating war for peace and liberty.
Till then, best of fortunes.
Truth, peace, righteousness and nonviolence, Satya, Shanti, Dharma and Ahimsa, do not exist separately. They are all essentially dependent on love. When love enters the thoughts it becomes truth. When it manifests itself in the form of action it becomes truth. When Love manifests itself in the form of action it becomes Dharma or righteousness. When your feelings become saturated with love you become peace itself. When you fill your understanding with love it is Ahimsa. Practicing love is Dharma, thinking of love is Satya, feeling love is Shanti,and understanding love is Ahimsa. For all these values it is love which flows as the undercurrent. The world rests upon the bedrock of satya or truth; asatya meaning untruth also means “nonexistent” and satya or truth, means that which is of untruth does not so much exist. Its victory is out of the question. And truth being “that which is” can never be destroyed. This is the doctrine of Satyagraha in a nutshell. Ahimsa: In Gandhi’s Satyagraha, truth is inseparable from Ahimsa. Ahimsa expresses as ancient Hindu, Jain and Buddhist ethical precept. The negative prefix ‘a’ plus himsa meaning injury make up the world normally translated ‘nonviolence’. The term Ahimsa appears in Hindu teachings as early as the Upanishads. The Jain Religion constitutes Ahimsa as the first vow. It is a cardinal virtue in Buddhism. Despite its being rooted in these religions, the special contribution of Gandhi was to make the concept of Ahimsa meaningful in the social and political spheres by moulding tools for nonviolent action to use as a positive force in the search for social and political truths. Gandhi formed Ahimsa into the active social technique, which was to challenge political authorities and religious orthodoxy.