A Dharma talk given at the regular Friday morning service at Oasis. By Dharmavidya.

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Comment by Mat Osmond on July 9, 2016 at 0:42

Much here that I relate to, welcome. As a statement of broad principle I find it practical, intelligent and generous. But framed, as it is, as a response to the Chilcott report, I also see I'm very uneasy with it. It may not be exactly what you intended (?), but I certainly don't hear a rigid adherence to abstract ideals, or a lazy judgementalism, in (the best of) even the fiercest critics of what the Government and other leadership perpetrated in 2003. I hear, precisely, spiritedness. That indispensable kind of spiritedness that calls power to account, that 'speaks truth to power'. Realpolitik, yes. But the question here is of a degree of manipulative secrecy and wilful misleading that - it seems to me - is different in kind to the politics of (e.g.) the current Labour, or Green party. I would still dare to hope that not all those in authority lie, at least in the sense that Cilcott adresses. An interesting question seems to be how voices on the margins of politics, even the mainstream 'opposition', can afford a degree of honesty that the government of the day (including them, if they get there) may find much more difficult. But people are hurting at what happened, and hurting at the apparent hopelessness of what has been left in its wake. God knows, the hurt of those who feel made complicit in that crime by their Britishness is as naught, compared to what has been and is actually being suffered in Iraq, but to my ears anyway that's where the anger comes from - hurt, and deep sadness. I think the current Labour leader showed great statesmanship in his response to Chilcot, as did the only Green MP. The question of bringing a case of war-crimes hangs in the air, and even if it is vanishingly unlikely to happen, that too frames a challenging spiritual dilemma, I think. I believe it would be the right thing to do, but I also applaud the Labour leader for not calling for it, as his critics seem to have assumed he would. I do see that I don't know, and see too that opinions are very easy to have from where I stand - they are not costly. Your talk reminds me of this. I won't keep weighing in like this, and sorry if it feels intrusive. The talk clearly touched a nerve and was a useful provocation. Name Amida Bu, and thank you.

Comment by David Brazier on July 8, 2016 at 18:48

Thank you, Charlene

Comment by Charlene Diane Jones on July 8, 2016 at 15:50

Thank you for a warm, sensible talk that points to the need to mature as spiritual beings. Personally, I am beyond all that...(oh wait a minute, I think I'm lying!)  Your humour and compassion shine, David! 

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