My grandmother used to always tell me: "You don't know what peace is because you have never seen war."
If I would say something like: "I can imagine," she would respond: "That's my point."
She was right - she had seen two horrific wars, I had seen none. Imagining is not enough - imagining is not accurate. Don't try to imagine - listen.
It is not for me to talk about war, and I do not have the pretension to do so. I cannot possibly try to put myself in the shoes of the people being threatened because that is the whole problem.
We have lost touch with reality. Humans think of themselves as the most intelligent and evolved creatures on earth. Why?
Because we can imagine.
We can imagine things that don't exist. This can be a good thing because we can build tools and create art. Yes, it can be a beautiful thing.
It can also be a very ugly thing.
Once we have imagined a tool, we are so attached to that product of our imagination that we lose track of reality - it is just a tool. It is just an idea. It is just a symbol. Because it is imagined, it is not real.
I have often said that religion is a drug that should be banned because it prioritizes our imagination over reality. That is a dangerous thing. People get so lost in these thoughts, into these illusions, these hallucinations, that they can be led to do terrible things.
To kill in the name of an idea. That is the definition of insanity.
It is the same as what is happening today in Ukraine.
Somehow, somewhere, we have made it possible for a single man, or small group of people, led by greed, hatred, insanity, and their own "imagination" to create chaos.
We have lost touch with reality, to the point that we have made it possible for people like mister Putin, sick as we all agree they are, to end life on earth, for all and all others, at the touch of a button.
This is madness. We have created all of these fictitious human constructs that now trump over the reality of nature. Humanity will pay dearly for this madness, from environmental disasters to meaningless wars.
We must evolve, we must progress - but when will this stop? The more evolved, developed, advanced, and intelligent we are, the sicker we become.
We are trapped in our ambitions and greed - we cannot stop wanting more—better technology, bigger bombs, faster (mis)information.
Look around you. Studies have shown that we are sicker now, mentally and psychologically, but also physically than a hundred years ago. That is human progress.
We overeat, overdrink, and over-consume everything we can't actually afford. All these excesses have obliviated the basics of experiencing our very existence. Again, we have lost touch with reality.
It is time, as it has always been, to stop this insane race against ourselves. Against nature, against our fellow human beings, and against all things on earth.
War is what happens when thoughts take over, blurring out and exterminating the reason of the soul. This crazy idea that we nurture, in that we are all so unique and separated from one another by our fierce individualities. We are not. We see it today more than ever. If something happens to your brother, as unknown and anonymous as that brother maybe, the same thing happens to you.
Without others, there is no me, and without there, there is no here. Others are me; I am others. Here is there, there is here. It is One.
We are interdependent expressions of the same thing - you can call it nature, you can call it God. I don't care how you call it. In fact, I would advise not to call it - by naming it, we diminish It. (The Tao that can be told can never be the eternal Tao, the Name that can be Named can never be the Eternal Name.) Our brains cannot process the infinite. Our words cannot possibly express it.
There is no conclusion, moral, or advice to this article, apart from the warning and the suggestion that we all look deep into our hearts and see that this craziness, this evil that is happening right now, is the effect of losing touch with reality.
What to do now? That is a great question.
What not to do now? That is also a great question.
The stoics would say: "Nothing should ever be unexpected by us" - his fellow Stoics might agree, for they would meditate daily on "what's the worst that can happen?" and on the impermanence of all things.
The first thing to do then is to realize that everything we have can indeed be taken from us from one day to another: peace, food, a roof, and life itself.
One of the most challenging quotes I have ever read and contemplated on is, again, by Seneca, who said: "When you kiss your son and wife, remember that you are kissing mortals." Memento Mori.
What we can do today is to contemplate on that - What do we consistently take FOR granted, when we should take it AS granted?
The second thing to do is ask yourself: How can I help my innocent human brothers?
If you are a writer, write if you are a singer, sing. If you are an artist, paint.
Do what you can do, be what you must be.
Contact your local authorities and ask how you can help.
There will be substantial humanitarian needs.
If you can afford to donate 10 euros, donate 20.
Last but not least, listen. With your ears and with your heart. It's ok not to understand.