The Compulsory Force

But I am well aware of the excuse which men, ever ingenious in devising mischief to themselves as well as others, offer in extenuation of their conduct in going to war. They allege that they are compelled to it, that they are dragged against their will to war. I answer them, deal fairly; pull off the mask; throw away all false colours; consult your own heart, and you will find that anger, ambition, and folly are the compulsory force that has dragged you to war, and not any necessity; unless indeed you call the insatiable cravings of a covetous mind, necessity.” – Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus

A certain level of clarity of thought and purity of heart is required for a man to truly discern his underlying intentions. Most have their inmost compulsions so thoroughly justified by so-called “good intentions” (be they born of tribalism, patriotism, egalitarianism, humanism, pacifism, etc.) that they no longer have direct cognition of the compulsory forces at work in themselves.


4 thoughts on “The Compulsory Force

  1. Kolya

    This is so true. It really takes someone who is passionate about expressing the highest and their finest in their life to move beyond the typical excuses.


  2. Steve V

    Thanks Gregg,
    Your words are worth meditating on for the clarification of the natural forces that are to be at work within and through ourselves.


  3. Lady Leo

    What a quote! The compulsion of our hearts is often exactly that. It has been unmasked for a long time but rarely would people think themselves as evil “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speake good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” It always comes back to our hearts. The first step in cleaning that up is being as devoted to nonjudgmental thought and attitude as we are to whatever mores we have been exposed and ascribe to. The leap to war is short and quick if we are propelled by what we may think of as righteous indignation.


  4. Carmen

    We rarely look inside, because we fear so much what we will find there! But without the light of inner reflection we can never dispel our own darkness.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s