At times it can be difficult to understand what is happening in our world.
Seems that things can go round and round in circles. We had the Crusades were European knights went to fight to the Holy land. Of course it was due to religious believes, (plus control of commercial routes and goods). Now, the European soldiers and the American too have been back fighting in the Middle East. Of course it is due to foster democracy, (plus control of oil and other commercial goods).
We can see the same kind of struggle at a different levels. For example, our present day materialism with all its financial and employment crisis against a deeper sense of community, of common good and care for humanity and the planet. They are aspects of the same age long struggle. A conflict that is as much universal as it can be personal.
Haven't we learned our lesson? Are we still doing the same thing over and over again and again?
I really don't believe so. It could only appear as a circular motion if we don't go deeper into the root causes of it all. Humanity has evolved. Human consciousness has evolved. I am sure that the awareness and consciousness of the soldiers and the societies that they belong to have a different understanding of war and all of what it entails.
GWF Hegel said that whatever happens in the world we see is due to the expression of a deeper reality, and idea that is embodied and manifested. This idea (and its manifestations) encounter other ideas and confront one another. It is a dialectical conflict, an encounter between a thesis and its antithesis. From this encounter, a new stage is found. A higher stage; synthesis. Then, the synthesis expresses itself as a thesis and it is again manifested in different levels to find (create) its antithesis. Through this constant process consciousness is developed and achieved. It is the purpose of human existence.
So, there are no two events that are the same for the idea and the consciousness gained are at a different (higher) level of existence.
From this philosophical point of view, confrontation and change are a must that constitute history. The confrontation does not have to be embodied as an armed conflict, as war, but then sometimes it does. In that sense wars and confrontation do have a purpose and they bring about change. Mind you, I am the last to excuse or support a war, but it does shed some light and hope in trying to understand what is happening. As human consciousness grows, the confrontations and their embodiments or manifestations will tend to be less important on a physical plane. It will be the mind the field of confrontation and understanding to achieve a new stage or synthesis. Sadly, we haven't reached that stage yet, but it is obvious we are on our way.
Every time we try to find meaning, to dig and find deeper causes we aid progress and human consciousness to gain a new synthesis. That is how powerful thought can be. That is why as we humans evolve and use or mind more and more to understand, to find meaning and to express and create concepts (reality), the better off we will be.
Many of the social changes happening at the so called Arab Spring, or the students protest in Canada, the Occupy movement in the USA, the European population questioning the austerity measures and the economic system, the evolution that China is showing and many more examples are proof of a larger social awareness and evolution. We need the political, the justice, the economic systems to be up to the challenge of our times. We need a different free press, a different understanding of what education should be. We need a different relationship with our environment, with the planet, with all sentient beings (aren't they all sentient?). These changes are happening. The thesis are being confronted by antithesis to find a new stage. We don't need to despair. We can be hopeful. There is a lot we can do. For example, search for deeper meanings, become much more mental in our understanding and express with respect and an open mind our ideas to move on the consciousness path. Every individual gain is also a collective gain, a step forward.
Hegel was questioned: “What if reality is not as you describe it?” He answered: “All the worst for reality then”. Not that he was to cocky and self assured. He meant, that behind illusion and its fear, there is a deeper cause and meaning, a System that rules change and evolution. We need to find and link to those deeper causes and work with the deeper System.
How similar is this to what the Ancient Wisdom has been saying for so many centuries! No worries, we are learning. From our mistakes at times, but we are learning and evolving for sure.
PS Sorry for the over simplification of Hegel's thoughts and the differences it has with the Ancient Wisdom but it was a need to make this a post and nothing more.