Unraveling the Cause of War

thoughtful Thursday

It’s Thursday still…at least for a few hours, and so I’m going to post this article as I write it. I haven’t written on this site lately and it has been refreshing. For the last 4 years or so, I have kept an “inspirational” site going with all the things that people said I needed to do.

Social Media posts. Regular content updates. Commenting on other sites.

I gave it all up (for the most part).

I felt as if I didn’t have something to say.  At the same time, I have been going through a deepening of my own spiritual awakening.  When I first started to “awaken,” I was tied to philosophies and personalities and felt like I needed to say something different. Unique. Special.

Now I have something to say. For some, it will be way too deep. That’s okay. Let it go and move on to the next thing that your soul connects with.  For others, it may be like the porridge bowl in the story of the Three Bears, and will be “just right.”

Either way, I am not writing this because I need to write it–or because I should write it. Instead, I write it because I have something to say about war and the terror of reality.

For those at war (in your household, in your community or in your own mind), this may bring some peace. That is my hope for myself–for you and for us.

The Cause of War

There is nothing that isn’t true if you believe it,
and nothing that is true, believe it or not.

                                                -Byron Katie

I have to be honest, when I read this quote from Katie’s book, A Thousand Names for Joy, my mind rebelled.

As I sat with this idea, thought about it, and questioned it, I understood. The mind loves absolutes. It cherishes unquestioned belief. It nurtures ideas of stability and control at all costs.


I am right is the ego’s life blood. The mind is the “heart” which pumps these thoughts through the being.  As new thoughts manifest, the ego immediately latches onto them and looks for ‘proof’ of rightness.

As soon as the identity attaches to thought, it becomes a thing to be defended.

The Terror of Reality

Abandoning our belief in our thoughts is as close as we ever come to annihilation. And the idea of annihilation–whatever that means to each of us–drives us to defend and protect everything we think we believe for the sake of self preservation.

The root of all war lies in the belief: I am right. The root of terror is the belief: I will cease to exist.

When I use the word annihilation, I am speaking not of a physical destruction, but of a non-existence of the soul and of the self. There is nothing more terrifying to the unquestioned human mind than the possibility of nonexistence.

To a clear and awakened mind, nonexistence is a fearless reality.  Nothing but you exists, not even you. It’s all projection of the mind and the mind’s experience of itself.  But that is really deep and is a difficult experience for us to embrace practically.

The Victim of “I”

We terrorize ourselves with the thought that if I release the beliefs which I have attached to thoughts, I will cease to exist.  And even if we can come to the place of recognizing that this release is possible, we are terrified by the next question–Who will I be then?

War begins with defense and protection–first in the mind and then externally. I invite you to exercise the courage to face yourself–your true self–as you really are (not).  You may find that liberty lies just on the other side of defense and protection.  Instead of annihilation, you may find liberation.

The Key to Freedom

Who am I?

When we unravel the war in our minds, we eliminate war in our world. It’s not easy, but when we no longer have anything to defend or protect, war becomes ineffective.

When you eliminate ware in your mind, You eliminate ware in your world

Without the thoughts I believe, who am I?

That is the question!

About Steve

Hi, I'm Steve Rice and my goal is to transform simple philosophical truths into practical fuel to revolutionize your life. It's not about self-help, it's about self-reliance. I show you how. Connect with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and let me know how I can help you.

  • “As new thoughts manifest, the ego immediately latches onto them and looks for ‘proof’ of rightness.” This is so true. I enjoyed this article. A thought process I don’t visit too much, but love how you have expounded on it.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, @carollbritshoneeatkins:disqus and for sharing this post. I appreciate the comment. I’ll be writing more articles on topics similar to this in the coming months as I’m planning to write a book about resistance and our thoughts and how to end suffering in our own lives.

  • ashvini_saxena

    Hi Steve,
    I believe having a little ego is worthwhile while a lots of it is a big problem.

    The problem with ego is that it allows us to be attached to our roots our traditions. Not all the time these things are useful in changing landscape of life. I stick to traditions when they are useful and not when they cause problem to someone.
    A way to let ego is to think everything as transient. What we have today, we may not have tomorrow and vice versa 🙂

    • @ashvini_saxena:disqus – That’s a great way to look at it. Reality is transient. Getting attached to anything–traditions, philosophy or beliefs and thoughts–is often the cause of disconnection and frustration.

  • Mollie Player

    Hello there! Just want to tell you I’m enjoying your posts … and that since you’re a blogger and someone who likes reading spiritual stuff, I would absolutely love to send you my most recent, titled “You’re Getting Closer: One Year of Finding God and a Few Good Friends.” Raves not required, just your honest opinion….honestly. Email me if you like. I would also be interested in doing a guest post on your site or vice versa if that appeals to you.