Why we fight

I just watched the Why We Fight episode of Band of Brothers.

In the beginning of the episode, one of the soldiers ask what’s it all about. There is no answer. It seems meaningless.

At the end of the episode, they come across their first concentration camp, and they find their answer.

That’s the answer for me too. During the times in my life when I live for myself, others, and life, I know why I am here.

There is a visceral sense of meaning, purpose, direction. It’s grounding. Clarifying. Prunes my life down to what’s essential.

That too got flattened during the dark night phase, and I sometimes wonder if it will ever return. It probably will, in a slightly different way.

Note: Life is it’s own meaning, of course. It’s life exploring and experiencing itself. That’s valid and true. And at the same time, there is a sense of meaning and purpose as a human being in the world, and that’s equally valid, true and important to take seriously. Without it, there is always a feeling that something is missing.

Note 2: When have I experienced that deep sense of meaning, purpose and being in the right place doing the right thing? When has there been that deep sense of rightness? For me, it’s been several and quite different periods of my life. First, in my early 20s when I lived in Oslo, engaged passionately in art and studies, and close and rewarding friendships. Then, at the Zen center in SLC. After that, through my sustainability work in Madison (the work was rewarding, although the place didn’t feel quite right.) And more recently, whenever I give or receive Breema, or teach a class.

Note 3: I have watched Band of Brothers and most of Pacific over the last couple of weeks. There is a strong draw for me there. It’s gritty. Real. Sobering. Places things in perspective. And it gets me in touch with my own undercurrent of dread.


  • why we fight
    • Band of Brothers, Why We fight
    • asked what’s this about, why do we fight? no answer, seemed meaningless
    • discovered concentration camp, that’s the answer
    • 20s, lived for the benefit of myself, others, life
    • that too got flattened during the dark night
    • but is the answer for me too


From my gratitude list today:

I am grateful for the most recent episode I watched – Why We Fight – and realizing that the end of that episode was the answer, when they discovered the concentration camps. I am grateful for knowing that is the answer for me too.

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