Joel S. Goldsmith

        Authentic Writings

War: Conscientious Objection

From Joel's Hawaii Hotel Talk, February 10, 1963

A person on the spiritual path has no right to be in military service.  But if he refuses he commits a worse crime, for in so doing he is asking someone else to do it for him.  That is the point that is overlooked.  A conscientious objector, by his very attitude, is harming two people - himself and the person who has to replace him.  The Bhagavad Gita  has a good passage on that:  "He who shall say, 'Lo!  I have slain a man!'  He who shall think, 'Lo, I am slain,' those both know naught.  Life cannot slay.  Life is not slain."