I’ve heard that in Europe the threat of terrorism is striking fear in everyone. Airplanes are delayed by extraordinary security measures, many of the seats are empty, and some airports are closing. People are even thinking twice about going out in the evening. And all this is more prevalent since the recent bombing of Libya. Is the rise of terrorism over the last decade in some way symbolic of what is happening to society in general?
Everything is deeply related with everything else that happens. The event of terrorism is certainly related with what is happening in the society. The society is falling apart. Its old order, discipline, morality, religion, everything has been found to be wrongly based. It has lost its power over people’s conscience.
Terrorism simply symbolizes that to destroy human beings does not matter, that there is nothing in human beings which is indestructible, that it is all matter – and you cannot kill matter, you can only change its form. Once man is taken to be only a combination of matter, and no place is given for a spiritual being inside him, then to kill becomes just play.
Nations are irrelevant because of nuclear weapons. If the whole world can be destroyed within minutes, the alternative can only be that the whole world should be together, now it cannot remain divided. Its division is dangerous, because division can become war any moment. The division cannot be tolerated. Only one war is enough to destroy everything, hence there is not much time left for man to understand that we should create a world where the very possibility of war does not exist.
Terrorism has many undercurrents. One is that because of nuclear weapons, the nations are pouring their energy into that field, thinking that the old weapons are out of date. They are out of date, but individuals can start using them. And you cannot use nuclear weapons against individuals – that would be simply stupid. One individual terrorist throws a bomb – it does not justify that a nuclear missile should be sent.
What I want to emphasize is that the nuclear weapon has given individual people a certain freedom to use old weapons, a freedom which was not possible in the old days because the governments were also using the same weapons.
Now the governments are concentrated on destroying the old weapons, throwing them in the ocean, selling them to countries which are poor and cannot afford nuclear weapons. And all those terrorists are coming from these poor countries – with the weapons that have been sold to their countries. And they have a strange protection: you cannot use nuclear weapons against them, you cannot throw atom bombs at them.
They can throw bombs at you and you are suddenly impotent. You have a vast amount of atomic bombs, nuclear bombs in your hands – but sometimes where a needle is useful, a sword may not be of any use. You may have the sword; that does not mean that you are necessarily in a superior position to the man who has a needle, because there are purposes in which only the needle will work – the sword will not be of any use.