Our life, inseparably personal and collective at all times, is a complex story, which is also an inseparably personal and collective one involving countless choices. Each personal choice or decision is unique, implacable and unpredictable, and at the same time is the outcome determined by the infinite chain of all beings and relationships that make up the cosmos.
This is true for everything –every bite I take, every step I take, every hand I shake– but it is especially true for what is most precious, both locally and globally: a community of life in justice and shared peace, the source and outcome at the same time of all personal and collective choices. The universe is a body animated by energy, dynamism, creativity, a “spirit that flutters or vibrates” in the heart of All and of every part. Nothing breathes without All. The most abundant peace of each one of us is inseparable from the most abundant Peace of all living beings.
Ever since I was a single embryo formed by the fusion of two different cells, all my choices have been affected, I might go as far as to say determined, by the conjunction of all the innumerable particles of the measureless universe or the unknown multiverse. However, I am in charge of my choices, I am responsible for walking towards my true freedom, which is not about choosing without being determined in any way, but about being able to determine myself better in my countless determinations, and about choosing what is best for me, which is inseparable from what is best for everyone, even if we often do not know exactly what is best. And so on until this organism, which I am in charge of, dissolves into and becomes the global organism, My Self in the cosmic Communion, my consciousness in the universal Consciousness.
I want to live driven by this worldview and by this inseparably particular and universal, individual and political, spiritual and structural consciousness. So that is why, in this uncertain and decisive time, as a minimal and unique part of all the solar systems and galaxies in formation, of this planet that shelters and nourishes us, of the Earth that engenders us and which we are, which we are and hurt, as a member of this my people, neighbour and brother of all peoples with their best shared yearnings and their fratricidal wars, with their inordinate unjust sufferings and their shared aspiration for a just and common peace, from my radical limitation and from my non-transferable responsibility, in open dialogue and in a shared quest, in the midst of uncertainty, I want to help myself and help to choose what is best. In other words:
- Every day and in a specific way I want to choose peace in justice, and justice in peace.
- From my own position, while at the same time putting myself in the other person’s shoes, I want to choose, while always asking myself: “How would I need to be treated if I were in his or her shoes?”
- I want to choose a comprehensive memory that is supportive of the past, without forgetting any hurt, any injustice, any call or condition for a just shared peace.
- I want to choose relief from pain rather than being ideologically in the right, rather than the implementation of a particular political project.
- I want to choose trust in the goodwill and capacity for goodness of the adversary, or political adversary, or even the person who has inflicted deep and unjust suffering on me.
- I want to choose, in spite of everything, faith in the innermost part of myself, in my capacity to heal the wounds I have received and inflicted.
- I want to choose forgiveness of myself and others. Forgiveness: not absolution of supposed “guilt” or exemption from supposedly restorative “punishment”, but trust in goodness and goodness as the deepest and most real part of myself. Looking to the future and its possibilities rather than back to the past with its hurt. We become caged in by resentment, punishment and revenge and they hurt us even more. Forgiveness of self and neighbour, the forgiveness we offer and receive is what heals us and restores creative peace, the outcome and source of justice.
- I want to choose the smallest possible step forward, rather than the always unattainable goal.
- I want to choose to light a small flame of light instead of lamenting the darkness that envelops me/us.
- I want to choose a word, a look, a gesture or a simple action that will help me to make possible my own and other people’s choices so that they can be made in the interests of peace and justice and transformed into reality.
Aizarna (Basque Country), 7 July, 2022
(Translated by Sarah J. Turtle)