The Key to Non-violence in a Battle-prone World
We live in a world with many troubles arising. Land disputes, economic turmoil, religious conflicts, demands for freedom and respect, struggles for safety from hostile outsiders. We wonder how to have peace, how to end wars, how to stop others from hating us or our country, and some feel a duty to go to war. We are tired – but not tired enough – of the battlefield. We live in a culture of finger pointing, denial and projection. We don’t know who we are and we don’t now who our brothers and sisters are. We are ignorant. Why all this strife? It is merely that we don’t see where the battlefield is in truth. If we did, all would settle down instantly.
The real battlefield is within the self. Externally a situation may demand involvement with the motions of physical battle, even if it is just speaking your mind externally, but nothing will change if that which is within the consciousness of the individual does not changes. Yet one person’s change can affect thousands, even millions, because his or her consciousness determines the responses of all around. Imagine then if a hundred people genuinely change their consciousness.
There are places and times where we are confronted with a physical manifestation of the internal conflicts in the consciousness of the mass mind of humanity. The individual wanting peace, wanting to live a spiritually founded life is in turmoil as there seems to be an attacker. What must he do? Gandhi taught us nonviolence. A non-violent battle is one where there is no violation, meaning the person engaged in it sees he is just acting out manifestations of unconsciousness in a field of illusions, yet created in oneness with all. He sees no otherness, thus is not violating other. There are no victims and no attackers. Yet at the same time he sees that those he attacks are his own self projected, and those who attack him are his self projected, and that the root of these manifestations is his own consciousness.
And so that is where he turns to make peace, and brings it forth in his words and actions wherever possible, seeing others not as other but as extensions of self into the world of manifestation. Where it seems he must fight externally he does so with wisdom, love and compassion, remembering the suffering of all “others” is his own. He strives to survive externally so that he may live another day to bring by intention yet more light and the dawn of awakening to himself and his fellows everywhere. He strives to have mercy on his brothers and sisters, to give them a chance to awaken, and in battling them do what he can merely to prevent their harm of others, remembering that all combatants are merely magnetized to each other’s inner issues, and that if it were not for those issues, peace would reign.
What goes around comes around. What you are will be reflected back to you in the world of manifestation. There is no escaping this, which is fortunate, or else you would never have any motivation to change and become a brighter light in the world. Ignorance is not bliss, it is hell. Just look around you. All the world’s troubles are born of ignorance of self, ignorance of others, ignorance of real value, ignorance of the price we pay for not caring, for not loving, for not forgiving. That is the core issue: worth. Outer conflict comes from inner conflict and ignorance of worth – of self and all. The battles it produces inevitably always diminish the world around us, manifesting that inner desolation outwardly.
Another distinction to make is how spirituality and materialism relate to this issue. When we blame others and material events and conditions we are being materialistic. When we take inner responsibility, heal and change with an uplifted spiritual position, we are basing our lives on spirit. This is the technical crux of the issue: what creates your reality, and what reality do you want. Either it’s someone else’s fault and a cost to you (materialism), or it can be to your (spiritual) credit and a gift to all.
Gandhi had it right. Just look at the most basic of human instruction: a little child, unhappy with something, will strike out physically. What do we teach them? “Use your words” to resolve it. Talk it out. Listen. Give and take. Don’t hit. God yes, Gandhi had it right. So did Mom. So simple, so basic.
Ultimately we come to a realization that even to think of others as separate is an act of violence. Non-violence thus must begin within the self, both spiritually and in one’s external actions wherever possible. Only then will violence be ended in the outer world. Only then will we bring the heaven that is available within our hearts into manifestation for ourselves and all.