“To Take A Life,” by Nev Sagiba

The Buddha’s advice on killing?

The Dhammapada expresses this sentiment succinctly:

“All tremble at the rod. All hold their life dear. Drawing the parallel to yourself, Neither kill nor get others to kill..”

Dhammapada V 130
“Seeking one’s own happiness, he, who harms other sentient beings, will not experience happiness hereafter. Seeking one’s own happiness, he, who does not harm other sentient beings, will experience happiness hereafter..” (Dhammapada vv. 131-132).

The Sutta further advises a transformation away from these violent contexts through self-reflection and by the active practice of non-violent means:

“Let me kill no-one, let no-one kill me…”

“It is because we are stuck in evil deeds that we have for so long been murdering our relatives…”

And biblically, our often presumed state religion;
“ He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword..” Proverbs quotes

Matthew 26:52
“Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

Movies have done young men a disservice.

Cops once had to be six foot something and bred tough. Now anyone can get into the job including the physically and morally fragile and frightened who are too quick to reach for and place their reliance unduly on a gadget a taser or a gun and add to harm.

So also, in today’s world, too many degenerate, undisciplined dweebs seem to aspire be soldiers. In the face of the fact they wont pass a fair and reasonable qualifying process, I find myself asking why this is so.

It may be they are chasers of the idea of “glory.”

Could it be we have a crop of serial killers among us, too smart to kill their own kind where they know they’ll be caught, and know what happens to young men in jail?

The movies propaganda have for many years portrayed killers as heroes.

One who saves life is hero. Particularly when he places his own life at risk to do so. Sportsmen, despite propaganda are not heroes, merely entertainers. More so when caught out in sexual misdemeanors. But not to their victims.

A killer is murderer. All actions have consequences.

Even inherently good people who’ve had to kill in the line of fire in reasonably legitimate service of some kind, are visibly haunted. Perhaps they think they hide it, but to an eye who knows the symptoms, they don’t.

Ghosts are hungry. They gnaw at part of your soul and ones you’ve volitionally killed are more so virulent.

I don’t believe that ghosts exist in the conventional sense. You know, floaties that go boo. But whatever it is that clings to, and follows one who has killed and eats at them, is not something pleasant.

There are consequences involved in volitionally terminating a flow of life.

Even authentic and imminent self-defence carries some measure of price.

If all you aspire to do is want to see lots of dead bodies and people expiring, (whatever for?), there plenty of opportunities in the fire brigades, ambulance services, nursing, recue services, paramedics; and if you can handle the rigors of education, then as a doctor. These fields serve life, not death.

If you crave the idea of killing, I suggest you have serious mental problem and should seek treatment. You don’t hide it that well.

If you want to SERVE, be mindful that many orders given will be in error, and if not deliberately wrongful and illegal, no less will cause you to be deeply and irrevocably ashamed. If not haunted.

Be also mindful that if you play the game, expect the consequences. The “enemy,” whether manufactured or real, won’t usually just stand there, not even women and kids.

You may come back in a bag or in pieces. That’s an important fact to face up to now, than after it’s happened. And the dead are the lucky ones because they no longer feel physical pain.

The semi-intact and still breathing have a long life of torment ahead. Usually unsupported; because the comfortable they believed they were serving, mostly don’t give a damn, too confronted by a terror they don’t know how to handle and don’t want to have to handle.

If you want to see the after-effects, go visit those who’ve return from “action,” and not handled it as well as the ones who think they have, and ask yourself how and why they have ended up that way.

Being useful means being able to do work constructively. This may be equally as challenging as being a skilled destroyer. But any idiot can pull a trigger and blow things up. Building, whether relations or bricks and mortar requires true skill.

Just remember that, if you live, you will have a long life ahead of you and you will need to sleep sometimes and that ghosts resist reconciliation. They want to eat. You.

Ghosts are usually vengeful. Many more so than others. Some want to return and curse your seed, or come through you as your children to complete the fight, afflicting the generations until they cause terrible afflictions for many, many generations to come. It’s the way of nature and nobody can change this.

Why add to suffering?

The movies were wrong.

Riding off into the sunset after “righteous” murder carries a price. An immense one that the movies do not show.

Consider carefully. Consider the “honour rolls.” You go into battle to die for someone else. They say you will be “remembered” but you will be forgotten. People have money to chase.

The glory may have a gratuitous “L” added and your dreams in years to come, may indeed be nightmares.

The professional protector is one who puts his life at risk to SAVE LIFE and is prepared to carry the consequences when they come.

This to protect the value of life. And there are many ways to achieve this without a gun or sword, which should be a very last resort; and only when no other alternative is left possible.

There are two ways to learn anything. The easier way, by learning from the mistakes of others having gone before. Or the hard way by making your own mistakes, and reaping the consequences.

Paradoxically, but perhaps not so, there is nothing more valuable in the formative years, to instill core values, education, wholesome habits, physical and mental fitness, teamwork, awareness, a sense of duty and personal responsibility, respect, social values, survival awareness, the confidence to multi-task, personal fortitude, a healthy spirit of service and the appreciation of the value of life, than a few good years of good quality military discipline.

It may serve to provide the skills and values that enable you to give life by protecting life when things descend to their rottenest.

Nev Sagiba


  1. Brett Jackson says:

    Powerful, insightful writing as we’ve come to expect. Compare Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Patriot’s Dream” from his Don Quixote album. You can see it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsfVD2srJOc

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