War Is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things
If you were around during the Vietnam War, maybe you remember that oft seen refrain. Posters, bumper stickers and more. There really is no good war. Some religions say there are just ones–not necessarily good. Inevitably, the innocents suffer. So do the people fighting in them. Oh, it is true that collectively there may be self defense—as in one-to-one self defense when one is attacked, instead, defense of a community or a nation.
Soldiers who fight in war see and do terrible, inhuman deeds. They suffer PTSD from the memories they relive at prompts that occur in daily life. So do the survivors of the war—those who lost friends and loved ones or were themselves victims. It used to go by other names, shell shock, war neurosis and more. It’s all the same and not just from war-related events—rape, murder, and more.
I didn’t suffer PTSD after a year in Vietnam—I wasn’t in combat nor did I witness it. I came close, but not close enough. My brothers had far different experiences from me during the Korean War. One served as a radar operator in Hawaii for two years. The other saw combat as a platoon sergeant in Korea. The former suffered not at all, of course. The other became an alcoholic. The first had a family and retired from a successful career at a major American corporation.
Time for another visit with Derek. If I were Derek, could I go back and perform a reset on my deceased oldest brother? What might he have accomplished had he not died of a heart attack at 48? Overweight, a smoker and a 20-plus-year alcoholic that drank a fifth of whisky each day. He had a brief stint of sobriety lasting nearly two years before relapsing. He had a girlfriend from the past who he reunited with during the booze break. They might have married had he never used tobacco and alcohol to mediate memories of life at war—and the nearly simultaneous death of his father from cancer.
I don’t know, today, what his life might have been. I won’t know next month or next year. But I will write about it. Perhaps in the Derek novel, with some changes to my brother’s circumstances and connection to me. Or I might come up with an answer in the Buddhist fiction series that I will start sooner. Consider the correlation of changing one’s life through Buddhism with that of meddling with the past via time travel. In Buddhism, one creates karma through thought word and deed. In other words, one makes causes that inscribe potential results in one’s life. Karma is not predestination. It’s constantly changing as one makes good causes and bad causes. Not only that, but the Buddhism which I practice enables one to eradicate (or change) negative karma. We have described how in other posts.
In the meantime, here’s a brief explanation. Let’s say you did something years ago that you regret. A deed that might result in loss of a job, a breakup of a relationship, a health problem, etc. You can’t change what you did. You can lessen or erase entirely the effects of such karma through connecting with your Buddha nature and the karmic storage in your life. Not quite traveling through time but the result is the same as going back and not doing what you did.