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Fer lamour, pa lager

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“Faire L’Amour Pas La Guerre” (Fer lamour, pa lager) is the title of a famous Sega song by Jean-Claude Gaspard. When we love instead of going to war, happiness comes into our lives, Gaspard reminds us. ‘Make love, not war’ was also an important slogan of the anti-war movement of the 1960s.

But what does it exactly mean? Why does the phrase set love in opposition to war? Maybe, love stands for one mindset, whereas war represents another.

‘And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love,’ the Bible says. Faith, hope and love can be seen as the trinity of light. Together, they stand for our progress as humans toward the good.

The trinity of light must have a mirror image if you want, a trinity of darkness. Which are those dark qualities that pave the way into the shadows of our human existence? What are the opposites of faith, hope and love that fuel disagreement among humans – irrespectively of whether these conflicts arise among a few people, different ethnic or religious groups, nations, or ideologies?

Let us start with the opposite of faith. If we consider the word faith in the sense that we have faith in something or someone, then the opposite is mistrust. If we understand the word faith in a religious sense, we find the words godlessness or atheism as antonyms of faith. Whatever we think faith is, we can have faith in many things: in a divine authority, in others, in ourselves, or we simply believe that something turns out in favour of the good.

In a way, faith is closely related to trust – either in God, the universe, others or even ourselves. Trust is the basis for everything that follows. If we do not trust others, whether our partner, our neighbour or another nation, we create the basis for everything evil that will follow. Trust is as important in human relationships as in relationships between nations.

Interestingly, trust is also the first positive virtue that we should embrace when walking around the circles of the Vortex de Riambel. In contrast, the first shadow we are asked to release is fear.

If we mistrust and, as a result, fear, nothing good will come out of it. When we fear, we leave our faith that things will turn out well behind. Fear can even lead to adverse actions that we may later regret. That is why we need to overcome fear and maintain not only faith in God or the universe but also in our fellow humans.

The opposite of hope is despair. If we cannot make something better, if we feel that there is no solution to a problem, we are likely to lose hope. Despair lets us believe that there is no way out. It takes a lot for people to become hopeless, but some of us have felt despair during the global pandemic. Now there is a war in Europe, and people are not only fearful but also hopeless that things will take a positive turn.

The third pillar of the trinity of light is love. Love is all-embracing, all loving. Love does not understand the language of war. People who love do not want to go to war. They want to stay in the love they feel towards their partner, children, parents, God, or even humanity.

The opposite of love is hate, not indifference, as some claim. If we are indifferent to a person, we do not harm them. In contrast, hatred can poison not only our minds but also our hearts and souls. If we have the capability of hating someone, things move to a different level, and we might even decide to inflict pain. Rage substitutes reason. We should never let that happen. Most of us have felt intense anger towards another person at some point in our lives. Some people even let hate towards each other overwhelm them.

That is why forgiveness in any human relationship is so important. Forgiveness is difficult to achieve, though. It requires kindness, the negation of our ego and sometimes even the acceptance that severe injustice has been done. Humans do cruel things to each other. However, forgiveness is our rescue; it is our salvation and maybe the only way that ensures that humanity continues to exist.

Thus, if we mistrust, are in fear, despair, anger, or if we even hate someone, we are led to the shadow side of human existence. I believe that we do not only decide which path to follow in our personal lives but also as a nation or even as the entire human race. That is why thoughts of mistrust, fear, despair, anger and hate may lead to adverse actions and ultimately to war.

So, what can we do as little souls against the overwhelming forces of evil? Everyone can let as much love into their lives as possible. We can embrace love as the strongest of all forces and be kind and forgiving.

Thus, I want to say: Fer lamour, pa lager. Only the love for other human beings, forgiveness and trust will prevent humanity from embarking on a journey towards the dark side that will ultimately lead to our extinction.

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