Twenty years ago in the Isan region of Thailand, near the killing fields of Laos and Cambodia, I noticed that the tapered cylinders of temple bells in every wat appeared to be made from bombs. During the 1960s and ’70s, massive bombing raids on Vietnam and Laos had been launched from secret U.S. air bases in this part of Thailand. At the war’s end, when the U.S. withdrew from Southeast Asia, large stockpiles of weapons were left behind. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the prophet Isaiah says, “and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares.” Ingenious people of Thailand converted bombs into temple bells, calling Buddhist monks, nuns and laypeople to practice a way of peace.
Anyone who thinks that there is no immortality or ubiquity has apparently not encountered the world of ideas.
Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose
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