Transforming Terror: Remembering the Soul of the World

Transforming Terror: Remembering the Soul of the World

Transforming Terror: Remembering the Soul of the World

Transforming Terror: Remembering the Soul of the World

Synopsis

This inspired collection offers a new paradigm for moving the world beyond violence as the first, and often only, response to violence. Through essays and poetry, prayers and meditations, Transforming Terror powerfully demonstrates that terrorist violence--defined here as any attack on unarmed civilians--can never be stopped by a return to the thinking that created it. A diverse array of contributors--writers, healers, spiritual and political leaders, scientists, and activists, including Desmond Tutu, Huston Smith, Riane Eisler, Daniel Ellsberg, Amos Oz, Fatema Mernissi, Fritjof Capra, George Lakoff, Mahmoud Darwish, Terry Tempest Williams, and Jack Kornfield--considers how we might transform the conditions that produce terrorist acts and bring true healing to the victims of these acts. Broadly encompassing both the Islamic and Western worlds, the book explores the nature of consciousness and offers a blueprint for change that makes peace possible. From unforgettable firsthand accounts of terrorism, the book draws us into awareness of our ecological and economic interdependence, the need for connectedness, and the innate human capacity for compassion.

Excerpt

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The book you hold in your hands presents a path through which we might one day meet the challenge of terrorism and bring peace to our troubled world. If we are ever to put an end to the terrible cycle of violence terrorism causes, the use of more violence is not, in the end, the answer. As this book makes clear, in the effort to transform hearts and minds, we need to change the way we think, both personally and on the level of public policy. Yet if we are to do that, we must first enlarge our understanding of what terrorism is and the nature of the suffering it causes. With a wide range of contributions, combining ancient, spiritual wisdom with modern insights and approaches, this collection of essays presents us with new ways to heal the damage terrorism causes and at the same time addresses its complex causes on the deepest level.

Reflecting the premise that underlies this book, which is that collectively we all share responsibility for terrorism, those who have contributed to this volume come from many different cultures, religions, and nations. If we are to create the just and compassionate world in which terrorism cannot thrive, we must all join in this effort.

To transform terror may sound like a tall order. But the future requires it of us. and I speak from experience as a witness to many beautiful and unexpected acts of courage and generosity that this task is well within the realm of possibility.

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