In 1914, during World War I, an amazing event happened. At a time when half a million people were killed near the Belgian city of Ypres, on December 24, before Christmas, suddenly soldiers began to decorate the German trenches with garlands and various lights. Later, they moved onto neutral territory. Both the French and the British also came out to the neutral territory from the enemy trenches, making a gathering of about 100,000 people. They had been killing each other up until that point, but on that day, they got together and connected: they exchanged souvenirs, sang songs, traded buttons, tobacco, wine and sweets, and played football with cans. In 2014, a football monument was built to commemorate the event.
It was an incredible spectacle. Those who fought to the death and hated each other suddenly started bonding. Naturally, the generals were instantly alarmed. Under threat of death, the soldiers were forced back into the trenches, and war continued. It lasted four years and 20 million people got killed.
A key question that arises from this example is indeed, could it be possible to stop war from the level of the soldiers themselves? We see that the soldiers could end the war if they wanted to, but since they follow their generals’ commands, then it would require the generals to also wish to stop the war, which in turn requires each successive higher level, which makes it impossible.
However, the example is etched in history: People who were killing each other in cold blood, with bayonets, fighting hand-to-hand, where everyone was faced with so much blood and it was not just distant firing of guns and missiles. They literally faced their enemies, felt hatred for them, and in a single moment, it all shifted to a state of bonding.
It shows that even the strongest hatred can be inverted in a moment. A fight could continue for a long time, and then all of a sudden, poof—the hatred dissipates. The reason behind the hatred suddenly disappears.
It is no miracle. It is simply how a program that runs our desires plays out. There is no point in our hatred, nor in our love. We can see similar examples of people who were once seemingly in love, and all of a sudden, they stop loving each other. That love that held them together instantly disappears. It is common to hear divorcees say about their partners, “What did I ever love in them?”
The fact that our emotions can suddenly shift from one moment to the next shows us that any unity we establish should be based not on our feelings, but on an idea. That is, if we circulated an idea of the need to unite in order to reach a complete merging among each other as the most desirable state we could possibly achieve, then we would have a strong basis for uniting.
The foundation of this idea is in a higher root, that humanity was originally created as a single unified consciousness that underwent a process of shattering and dispersion until we found ourselves in a reality where we perceive ourselves separated from each other. While we are in this state of separation, we undergo a certain development until we reach a point where we start waking up to our unified state once again. That is, at a certain point, we start feeling that we are opposite to our most desirable state, that we have suffered enough in our divisiveness, and we develop a new desire to undergo a major shift back to complete unification.
Based on the video “How to Stop War” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Semion Vinokur. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Posted on KabNet, Medium, The Times of Israel, Facebook, LinkedIn Newsletter, Quora