Why is there violence in a book whose characters yearn for non-violence? Well, non-violence is a meaningless term if there is no such thing as violence. One needs something in order to have a ‘non’ of it. The world in which enlightenment occurs is THIS world, not a realm in which the concept and actions of violence do not arise. That would render liberation meaningless. Liberation is a hallmark among progressive stages of clarifying the mind en route to enlightenment. What are clarified are the negative emotions that arise as ego’s response to suffering (8 Types) and change (3 Types.)
Zhampa’s mission is two-fold: to burn out the consequences of the crime he has committed and to deliver the scepters, an action that he believes will help others.
Each of the main characters in the story has taken human life, though each killed with a different motive. Revenge, survival, under orders and for the good of others. Yes, this last is a possibility. Though Gabe’s inner motive is not pristine, his outer actions are good.
The violence in the back story is ripped straight from history books and from the news. The violence during the trip came about as the characters interacted with their world and the kinds of governance that emerge during the rebuilding.