In this blog, I'm going discuss the issue of violence both within and around us. In the west, violence usually equates to action - we see or read about violence in the media, or hear about it from our friends and family. Most of us have been victims of and/or perpetrators of physical violence in our lifetimes, but how often do we consider thoughts and words? Can these be equally violent?
When we argue with people, or even just have a discussion, we are often attempting to gain some kind of power over the other person. We inflict our own ideas or will upon them, making ourselves ‘right’ and the other ‘wrong’. We may even attempt to hurt others with our words deliberately; we say things that we know will be injurious to them. Many of us have seen, or been involved in, some almighty arguments that, while not physical, are extremely violent. They leave those involved depleted and hurt; usually both sides because there is no real winner. Yet this is not usually recognised as violent behaviour; just an argument.
This is a grievous error on the part of humanity. Not only can words, and the way they are transmitted, be violent, they can leave the parties involved deeply hurt and even traumatised. Although this may not show up as cuts, bruises and broken bones, it can have an even more damaging effect over the long term.
This also includes thoughts. When we think ill of others, situations, or even ourselves, we create violence and division both within and without. Some people have so much anger festering inside them that it is absolutely tangible on an energetic and vibrational level. We have all been around people who are emanating this energy, and, if we are sensitive, we will usually attempt to remove ourselves from it.
On a personal level, it is important to watch the thoughts that we are creating and harbouring regarding ourselves and others, and how we are reacting in the present moment. Truly, the only way to be free of the cycle of anger and reaction is to watch and feel it's energy as it arises and allow it to dissipate without allowing it to ‘act’ through us. This includes further energising it with our thoughts.
This of course takes a degree of presence and conscious awareness. Anger has a powerful energetic pull that can take the mind and body over before you realise what it going on. If this happens it is important to reflect on it later. With presence and practice, you will cease to energise these emotions within yourself.
It is essential that we notice this cycle of violence if we wish to be free and liberated, as much of society at this time is acting in a violent manner.
This violence even extends to association with groups and ideologies including patriotic and political partisanship.
Isms & Belief System
‘Isms’ are ideological constructs. Some well-known examples are: capitalism, communism, socialism, atheism, feminism, patriotism, Catholicism, Buddhism, etc. We are all familiar with these ideologies and many identify with one or more of them. The truth is that none of them actually exist as anything but mental ideas. They have no ‘ultimate’ reality.
When people strongly believe in any of these concepts, it usually leads to conflict and division. Even seemingly positive ‘isms’ such as environmentalism can often lead to hate and violence. This is because they create an ‘enemy, who is to blame for the perceived problems in the world. In this instance it could be big business, government or just ‘other people’. Proponents then fight against this perceived enemy, believing that they can make the world a better place if they can overcome them. They do not realise that they are reenforcing and energising the thing that they oppose and creating violence in the process.
The only true problem in the world is unconsciousness. Unconsciousness is the illusion that we are somehow separate from each other and the world around us:
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
The only way that we can free ourselves from identification with ideological constructs is to become empty. Emptiness does not mean a lack of something. We are so conditioned by the world around us to believe that content equates to quality, that nothing or ‘no-thing’ is a terrifying concept. This prevents true self-inquiry, and distorts our view of reality. In truth, emptiness is your natural state, content is that which is added later and perpetuated through continuous thoughts. These thoughts act much like heavy clouds obscuring the blue sky and the sun. Everything that is real and authentic within you is not based on content that was added during your lifetime. It exists eternally, and is your true nature.
It is of paramount importance at this time that we awaken from this dream of separation, and connect more fully with our true nature and the world around us. Only then can we remove ourselves from the cycle of violence that currently pervades the world.