Why do we harbour so much anger that it eventually manifests into violence? How can we commit such violent acts on our fellow humans, and other living creatures? Why do we misuse power and invoke trepidation and fear in others? Is it the make-up of our human psyche? Or, is it restricted to only the few monsters that we read about?
Are we conscious of violence and if so is it a behaviour that we observe only in others and not in ourselves? And if it lies within ourselves can we do something about it? In the process of thinking, writing, talking about violence or any other abnormal trait, are we not speculating that we can do something about it? Further, is there a deeper intelligence worth investigating that allows us to be aware of all our (mis)behaviours? These are important questions and not to be treated lightly. Unfortunately most of us won’t take the time, nor are many concerned enough to investigate further, to seek answers.
How shall we investigate this phenomenon, violence? We could investigate the causes of violence, but volumes have been written on the subject and little can be added to what has been said before. Would it not be better to discover its’ fundamental issue, its’ root cause; with the hope that we could be free from any movement of violence, and come to a complete understanding of why it is so prevalent in the world? Is not this what we want, an understanding of the self and our relationship with all others.
Violence is such a deep-rooted problem and we must be careful not to fall into a mind field. We will narrow our investigation to the root of the problem—much like a doctor, we need to make a correct assessment and a useful diagnosis. How do we do this? Through watching our anger, our hurts, and the violence within. Try this little experiment, when you sense a hurt, or anger just watch your reactions to the feeling. Do not take action with it, just quietly, patiently observe. What happens? Is it possible to be aware without any pre-judgement, objective, or purpose? What is the result of silently being aware? Actually nothing happens, other than to follow the movement of the particular feeling, like a non-involved bystander. Find this out for yourself; don’t take my word for it. To assess any (mis)behaviour we must go deep right to the root of the problem.
So exactly where is the root of all problems? Is it not lodged in the mind within its’ contents? It can’t possibly be anywhere else—unless you are psychotic. And what happens when we simply observe the movement of the mind? We notice that the mind chatters to itself; that the mind is the fuel that ignites the fire and emblazes us with fury. The impulse of the mind takes action, sometimes it may become violent. This happens, one time or another, to most of us. We find we are out of control. After the fact we may respond by saying, “I will not become upset, angry, or violent.” But how can the mind, in responding, stop, eliminate itself? It can’t destroy the structure that created it. Try as you may you will never succeed. What is important is to recognize that our behaviour is a movement, a living active thing, it’s transitional. One day it wants peace, the next day a revolution.
Does the mind realize it is the root of all evil? “Is it possible to live without the mind as we know it?” The process of observing is different from the process of moving in a direction towards something.
Violence: The Solution
The mind (talking to itself) says, “I understand that the mind is the root of violence, I see this in Syria with people like Bashar Hafez al-Assad.” The mind blames another and does not see that the responsibility lies with the self. Our mind is afraid, fears what it does not know so takes no action. Why should it change, the mind is not aware of the harm it is doing within. All appears well on the surface, but quite the opposite if we were to listen to the constant chatter of our mind. If only the mind could disassociate from any pre-judgement, even for a brief moment, a radical positive transformation would begin. If this is not clear, consider how the mind works unconsciously–It continually makes judgements: “I don’t like the perfume that person is wearing.” The moment a judgement is made in time, the landscape changes. We become difficult, argumentative, even violent.
How do you view life experiences? By being judgmental, with a purpose in mind, in terms of time? Do you now “see” this leads to violence through unconscious thoughts which affects: How you feel, the way you live, the way you react? If you simply observe, reside in the present moment, with a non-mind you will see things so much differently; you will free yourself from the tyranny of your own mind.