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War is what is normal || On Albert Camus (2017)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
4 min
175 reads

“There’s always been war, But people quickly get accustomed to peace. So they think it’s normal. No, war is what’s normal.”

~ Albert Camus

Questioner: Acharya Ji, which ‘war’ is Albert Camus referring to?

Acharya Prashant: The questioner has asked that Albert Camus has said that ‘war’ is what is normal. What does he mean by that? Which war is he referring to? ‘War is what is normal.’ Conflict, basic inner fragmentation, lack of total flow, indecision, our fractured movements. That is the war he is talking of. Basic duality, the presence of two-ness, the mind is split into two, and two means twenty thousand. So, there is no smoothness in its functioning.

Twenty thousand parts, each part talking a different language and each part talking a language that is fake, alien, foreign, imported. Twenty thousand parts and no part a master of itself, all slaves to phony masters.

All slaves to slaves. Twenty thousand slaves, each a slave to another slave and all these slaves are quarreling with each other. That is war.

Each of us is the site of a civil war. You know what a civil war is? When a nation doesn’t have to fight against the other. One part, one group within the country is fighting, that’s how our minds are. That is the war that Camus is referring to. Are you ever able to proceed without a decision? We require decisions, and decisions require thoughts. That is war.

To decide you require options, and each option has its own merit and demerit, right? That is war.

Should I do this, should I do that, this says ‘come on be with me', this says, 'no, proceed with me', that is war.

Those who have ever known spontaneity will know what it means to be warless, what it means to be peaceful.

Those who have known ‘Love’ will know what it means to be peaceful.

In ‘Love’ you are option-less. A thousand facts and difficulties present themselves to you, but you know that now you are sold out. You know that the decision has been made even without your consent, and that decision is irreversible because it is not your decision. You can only reverse that which is yours. And in Love, someone has possessed you, overpowered you, and acted on your behalf. So, there is no decision and hence no conflict, that is a state of warlessness.

We don’t know ‘Love,’ we only know profit, benefit, security and there we find many ways that can offer us relative profits. So, we need to continuously measure, weigh, assess, "Do I get more profit here, do I get more profit there?", and that is war. With a war inside, is it any wonder that the world appears like a battleground?

When you are internally at war, then you will be very easily able to find a lot of enemies outside.

Those who find that they do not like the world, those who find that the world appears greatly like an enemy, those who find that they often feel that people in the world are out to hurt them, are planning to hurt them, they must know that the world is appearing inimical because they are internally at war and if you are internally at war, you must know that you are ‘Loveless.’

Had you ever known Love, you could not have been internally at war. Love is such a great victory; it admits no war. The victory is absolute, now who is there to fight with. There is not even a loser left, who do you fight against? Only in Love do you know peace and it is another matter that in Love, your life appears very, very turbulent. At the center of that turbulence lies great peace.

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