Five of Wands — Spiritual Message of the Day
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
Last week we discovered that Osama bin Laden had been killed in a covert U.S. military operation. This event initiated a variety of Internet discussions, including ones on the topics of revenge and celebrating the death of a person, even when that person is as reprehensible as bin Laden. The reason why some heated discussions focused on the issue of revenge (as opposed to justice) with regards to this military action against a foreign threat is that the celebrations, which were ubiquitous in the media following the announcement, were often obvious celebrations of revenge. So in considering the reactions of the past week, I decided to use the Five of Wands for my card of the day today and talk a bit about revenge and violence and peace.
In our external world, the most obvious problem with revenge is that it creates a vicious cycle of violence, which easily escalates out of control. And even rejoicing in such violence, not just the act itself, darkens our world. One article I read had this to say:
… we cannot even begin to have peace until we stop the cycle of jubilation over acts of violence. So isn’t it time to ask: Who will stop the cycle? If not us, who?
Internally, the problem with revenge is that it is like a drug. Indeed, in one recent conversation I had with someone on this topic, it almost seemed as if I was talking to an addict, so irrational and desperate were his arguments and his repeated refrain of “Some things must be revenged!”
Like taking a drug, reveling in revenge feels good for a while, temporarily masking our pain but not curing its cause. Then after the high wears off, we are left with the same underlying problems as before since the wrong done to us did not cause them; it merely brought them to light. Our inner state of agitation and inability to forgive were there before we were wronged, and they will be there after the euphoria of revenge wears off. In other words, what we truly need in the depths of our soul are serenity and a capacity for love, and revenge will never give us that.
You can check back daily to read this online “day book” of spiritual advice from the cards, or you can see these articles collected by clicking on the Tarot’s Daily Spiritual Message category tag, or you can click on the “Email Subscription” link in the column on the right-hand side of your screen.