Invitation to Explore The Arms Race Within – A Meditation

James W. Douglass, 1980 & 1985

This is Chapter 5 of Lightning East To West – Jesus, Gandhi, and the Nuclear Age (also included as PDF) paired with the dopentary, The Arms Race Within, published in 1980 and 1985 respectively.

As Jim Douglass has observed, Hitler won World War II. This is unspeakably evident in such global manifestations of holocaust machines as Trident submarines. The book’s Preface begins with:

When work began on this book ten years ago, I understood its writing as a form of prayer. Jesus and Gandhi discovered a nonviolent process that offers inconceivable possibilities of change in our nuclear age. We need not despair. Hope is grounded in our very being, in a loving, truthful process bound up with it.
“[T]he purpose of the Trident campaign is not to stop the Trident submarine and missile system. Its purpose is to change ourselves—all of us—so that there will no longer be anyone to run the submarine or fire the missile. At that point Trident will be stopped, but not as a primary goal and not by any opposing force. Trident will be stopped because the spirit in which we all live will have changed to the point of reducing Trident to what it is in truth: An inert holocaust machine which conscientious people will no more choose to operate than they would an Auschwitz oven. When we become different in truth and in the Spirit, there will simply be no one to run Trident.”

video, (57:40)
Trident Meditation
Jim and Shelley Douglass

I don’t understand.

What is it you don’t understand?

This submarine which equals 7,296 Hiroshimas. How can anyone understand that?

Begin with a meditation: To understand Trident say the word “Hiroshima.” Reflect on its meaning for one second. Say and understand “Hiroshima” again. And again. And again. 7,296 times. Assuming you’re able to understand Hiroshima in one second, you’ll need more than two hours to understand Trident. That’s one Trident submarine. To understand the destructive power of the whole Trident fleet, it would take you more than 40 hours, devoting one second to each Hiroshima.

Your meditation is impossible. To understand Hiroshima alone would take a lifetime.

You do understand. Hiroshima was the end of our ability to imagine our destructive power, or to measure its consequences. Trident is the end of the world.

How does one live at the end of the world?

By beginning a new one. The power of thousands of Hiroshimas on their way to Trident submarines comes from the grip of an illusion: our own egos and the murderous security they seek. The force of truth and love, lived in their depths, is a force of unity, of life itself. That force is real. We need to join in a community committed to that nonviolent love force which is the power of the powerless. We need to test the truth of love by betting our lives on it in the world. If a community can experiment deeply enough in a nonviolent love force the White Train of Trident will be stopped. Love will stop the train. Love will stop Trident.