Dogs of War and The Cry for Peace Beyond Human Understanding
Reflections of Opposites
We are entering a time of opposites, seeing deeply into a mirror of our own making. Pursuing that which we think we lack, but in truth, we cannot possess anything that we believe is lacking. The pursuit will be futile indeed, as the moon chases the sun into the horizon, all is an illusion in life without knowledge of how things work.
How is it that we believe that war will bring us peace of any kind? We couch the question as a need for safety, for protection of things and people we claim to hold dear. We choose the course of our lives in things that cannot possibly bring us closer to want we want or feel that we cannot live without, such is human folly.
Shakespeare was aware of the use of the meaning of havoc and he used ‘cry havoc’ in several of his plays. The ‘cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war’ form of the phrase is from his Julius Caesar, 1601. After Caesar’s murder Anthony regrets the course he has taken and predicts that war is sure to follow.
Blood and destruction shall be so in use
And dreadful objects so familiar
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quarter’d with the hands of war;
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds:
And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.
How many is the number of our perceived enemies? How can vanquishing their numbers ever bring us closer to that need for safety? It shall never. It has never brought us one step closer, and surely, we keep up the illusion for that is what history seems to do. Repeating itself numerous times over the many eras of so-called human development.
Unless we change our minds about these deeply held beliefs, Shakespeare’s words of 500 years ago will surely be as true tomorrow as it was when the ink was drying on his quill. Or, that it was an old truth when those words were penned about a time of Roman rule. All things end, but as to that end we are the ones who choose what its portents may hold for us.
For me, I choose to walk in the light of the knowledge that we make our own way. Only the one that made us to walk upon this world of duality. This is what is meant by “beyond human understanding”. For, as long as we remain human, we can only define our world through the hazy and uncertain mirrors that reflect back to us our own fears…or visions of beauty. This is our only choice. What do you choose to see in that mirror?
Debra E. Brady
© 2016 DeBrady.biz
 The Phrase Finder, “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war” http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/105600.html