By Alexandre Perlingeiro
Ignorance is a malady that separates us and causes us to create divisions among ourselves deludes us as human beings and causes us to commit acts of insanity against each other. Whether though misery, racism, greed, or violence, humans are exploited, murdered, and die of hunger. The Earth as well is affected by human ignorance, as forests are burned, and the air and water polluted.
Because of ignorance, we are convinced that there is something missing in our lives. And because of ignorance, we look to fill that void with power, money and pleasure, though acts of hate and violence. Ignorance is the root of all human suffering, and the only cure for ignorance is knowledge. Only when human beings attain a consciousness of the need for unity will there be an end to human suffering.
When unity is attained, there will not be a lack of anything; there will be no more fear, no more rage, and no more violence. Violence only generates more violence. Hate only generates more hate. Ignorance only generates more ignorance. Yet we can interrupt this vicious cycle with the consciousness of unity. The United States was not the only nation affected by terrorist attacks. People in many African countries are dying of hunger. The civilian populations of certain nations are not the only ones being affected by wars that go on in the world. Not only those who are being tortured is being violated.
There is also a part of us who are being violated and murdered cowardly and brutally. It is man against man in this world. It is these actions, due to ignorance, that only serve to create more pain, suffering, and ignorance. As Christ said when he was on the cross, “Forgive them Lord because they know not what they do.” The present is a propitious moment to show love, compassion, and respect to one’s neighbor.
The violence that exists today independent from our political and religious beliefs, our nationalities, our socio-economic statuses, needs to stop, or at the very least it needs to decrease. How we can begin to make a difference in the world so that it becomes a better place for our children and grandchildren, is to appreciate what we have, and not continuously search for things that we don’t need.
I would like to invite everyone to send their prayers and love to those who are the poorest, the most desperate, and the most alone. This is a message to all those who suffer in the world, and to those that through ignorance, only aid in increasing violence and the suffering of others.
* Alexandre Perlingeiro lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and is vice-president of the Brazilian Association of Dakshina Tantra Yoga.