Understanding Violence

Do we see violence within? Are we aware of it? There is a difference between seeing it and being aware of it. When we see, when we look, there is language involved to label and make sense of that which we are looking. We wouldn’t know what a “rose” was without classifying it, we couldn’t communicate that to others and ourselves without a label: “rose. I have seen a rose.”

Language is thought. The gist of thought is to separate, classify, analyze, dissect, compare. Thus, when we “see” violence, we separate it and compare it with something which we consider “non-violence.”
That idea is merely another thought. Then the mind comes up with a “solution.” What is that solution?
We ought to “practice” non-violence; which is just an idea.

The above, is what our society does on a regular basis. It is very superficial indeed. We want to “practice” an ideal, something floating in our minds and put it in “practice.” But we cannot.

Why?
BEING violent does not change through a behavioral “practice.”

If we observe a man hitting another, we label that as “violence.” Our solution is that man should not hit another man. That behavior, is the manifestation of violence; however, the root is still there, ready to manifest in another way: Let me hit an animal instead. Another law appears to protect animals. Violence continues to escalate: Then, let me hurt myself. There is no “law” against that.
Many individuals DO that (self-violence) on a regular basis: We hurt ourselves emotionally when we resent or make a trauma out of life. Physically; when we do not care for our bodies and psychologically when we continuously compare with others then; we cannot help but hurt others as we live in relationship. We are not isolated islands separated by the immense ocean. We are the ocean itself.

Do we see this cycle?

Looking at violence is not enough. Making “laws” is not enough.
Become aware of violence: When I push myself because of the idea of “winning” or “no pain, no gain.” When I compare myself with others and want to “beat them,” we are being violent. Society may give me a “medal” in certain “games” but, violence is there. Otherwise, why is winning so important when we are “playing” in goodwill?

When a child does not want to do what we grown ups, ask them to do. How do we react? What is the sensation coming out from us? When we belittle someone, what is the experience? Yes, the ego may feel “superior.”

If person A does not want to comply with the desires of person B, what is the solution? Although the “solution” is important, more important is to be aware of the sensation, the feeling coming out from us during that time. That is the path to understand violence. Are we clenching our teeth to avoid fighting? Are we repressing the sensation? Are we sensible enough to perceive how that repression is hurting our internal organs? Are we aware of the trigger and the whole motion of violence?
Are we watching the commentaries of the ego through the mind as the situation takes place? Are we aware on how those commentaries remain even days after the fact?

Do we see the importance of BEING AWARE?

Violence brings more violence in unaware individuals. They may think that they are “fighting back,” defending themselves. They may think that it is “reasonable” to fight back, but there is another side of reason that we haven’t looked at: The egoistic reasons of the mind. The one offending others and the ones defending use those “reasons” quite often. The end result is more violence.

How is it possible for a mind whose primary objective is to divide, to consider the common good?

“Spirituality” has been known for not being able to come up with “real” solutions for the problems in society, but perhaps we are missing the point: Violence has been inside man. No matter what we do from the outside, violence will be there. Thus, it is the task of every “reasonable” man to become aware of that; for until we become aware of that violence in us, it is very little that could be done as a “solution” for society. Even after so many laws to prevent violence; there is greater violence.

Society is “us” and so is violence.

Male sexuality and spirituality

Sexuality has been separated from spirituality and religious beliefs. The dichotomy is viewed many times as opposites rather than complementary.
The phrases: “pleasure of the flesh” or “temptations of the flesh” convey a lesser evolved way than the spiritual one, which is believed to be asexual, “pure.”

In spirituality it is well known that “we” are energy (subtle energy, that is) as many have the awareness of different subtle bodies besides the physical one. The word “I” then, has another meaning.

Sexuality is perceived many times to be about the union of sexual organs with an objective: To procreate or to experience pleasure. That is the extent of mainstream human sexuality.
However, arousal which is the ignition key in sexuality; is all subtle energy. It is completely unconscious when it happens until we gain some awareness when it has happened. That is the beginning of that subtle energy manifesting in some sort of conscious way. After that for most men, it may feel as if opening the sink water at full force. It is a matter of a couple minutes before it fills the sink with pleasurable sensation and then, it overflows… That is the extent of sexuality for many.

That is subtle vital energy overflowing. That lack of “control” is what most men are looking to “improve” through many techniques and “high tech products” or participation in some retreat.

Sexuality is an extension of our spiritual nature. Procreation is energy creating energy. While having pleasure, is energy re-energizing itself. Although, for most men at this time, re-energizing is not fully experienced, while on the other hand; depletion is well known.

Because as humans we are living with violence, repressions and fear, we have damaged the subtle conduits of energy which will not allow us to “control” the force running through the “sink water.” Most men are trying to control through will power, or using best-seller techniques and so on; but the damage in the “pipes” cannot be fixed through those techniques. Yes, we could be careful, we could use many tricks; but that is all artificial, for that “control” or regulation happens automatically when the subtle “pipes” are working fine; therefore, there is no need for the mind to be involved at all. Thus, you are free to experience the experience, for the mind only deteriorates and interrupts the feeling of experiencing.

“Fixing” our violent ways, repressions and fears, will in turn fix the damaged conduits. That will change the perception and experience of male sexuality 360 degrees.

Why is pornography so popular in most men’s experience? Because it displays that which we repress. The armor of taboos and preconceptions are there to be challenged with what we unconsciously would like to experience but we cannot through heavy conditioning. Also, for most the mind is the most important “sexual organ” and when the sexual experience is not fulfilling, then the mind craves for more mental stimulus. Pornography as it is today; shows the association of violence with sexuality. It sends the message that violence is “good sex.” It sends the message that human sexuality is reduced only to the interplay of physical sexual organs. It sends the message that man has the “duty” to “make” the female enjoy sex while he is convulsively moving his hips back and forward in a tiring and violent way; while holding on for dear life. It appears to be almost a sweet torture. Pornography sends the message that sex ends with male ejaculation, and that that is necessary for men and women to feel satisfaction. Pornography lacks the depth of portraying human sensuality at its best, and because of that it lacks emotional intimacy, which is another level in the experience of human sexuality.

No wonder human sexuality has been taken apart from spirituality.

Definitely, there are other ways to experience human sexuality and one of those, is intimately related with spirituality. There are temples in India portraying that, even though; many will not understand why and rather use rejecting labels such as “impure,” or “filthy.”

Once we go through the road of fixing the “sink water,” we will know that there are no shortcuts. It is a road of self understanding and self-observation, where the mind and its conditioned tricks are caught one by one. It is a road of healing by harmonizing our dualistic nature of male-female. It is a road of patience as it takes time and… of course, practice.

Sexuality at that point could not possibly be viewed as “sinful” or “dirty.” Instead, it becomes one of the most beautiful experiences that man could have, which will allow us to grow in harmony, stability and love.

As we ARE so is the expression of our sexuality. Sexuality and Spirituality have always been one.

When a Lion wants to become a Rabbit

Let us imagine that lions could think like humans do. Then, lions will have problems when living in society of thousands of lions, due to their violent ways. They need to become soft, gentle, mild. What a ferocious, aggressive lion could DO to become nicer citizens?

Let us push our imagination: Let us say that lions have religious inclinations for they realize that they need some “self-help” guidance and want to be “good.” Wouldn’t a lion as it is now, be considered a “sinner”? Living in society with other lions must be hard for them as they want their own territory and want lionesses ( at least a couple of them) there, only for them. Lions will fight and kill any trespassers and are constantly looking out to expand their territory. Let the female do the hunting and take care of the cubs, while a male lion rests and procreates…

What is the “solution” given by society in such dilemma?
Lions need to be more like rabbits. Seriously: Rabbits do not kill each other. Rabbits do not even eat meat! Rabbits are gregarious and helpful to each other. They are “good” citizens! Therefore: Follow the rabbits! DO as they DO. That became the moral law in that society, the striving ideal to pursue!

Similarly, that is the extent of our education and religious/ moral teachings. We need icons, figures and examples to follow. We are taught to copy them. Effort is in copying. Therefore, to “be good” in our society is synonym with copying a behavior.
When we want to become “better persons,” we copy. We DO as some icon DOES, but a lion cannot BE a rabbit! They can only fake to be one.

As humans we are not taught to OBSERVE our nature.
How can we pretend to self-transform without even looking at our own nature?
When looking, hopefully we are not following what society has to say about our nature. We shouldn’t be interested in labels such as “sinner,” “saint” or “impure.” There cannot be OBSERVATION of what IS, if we bring labels we wish to avoid or comply to.

We wish that a “system” could change the nature of a human. We even fight to demonstrate that a particular system (religious, political) is better than others. We don’t OBSERVE, we are not aware that any system depends on how human beings interpret and executes that based on what he IS. What a human IS drives any system to become “good” or “bad.”

But, many who have never “tried” OBSERVATION could wonder how just observing can make any change?

If a lion accepted its nature, it would be interested in preserving its life. It would experience that colliding with another lion would be detrimental for both parties. If the lion was aware of the experience, there would be automatic change without having the need to copy the iconic rabbit. But, if the lion didn’t have conscious awareness while going through the experience of fighting, the outcome would be a fearful lion or a cocky one. In that lack of awareness, to preserve ego is first. Life in community is secondary. That is how many are into the “economy” (obtaining wealth endlessly) rather than preserving Life.
Many go through life lacking conscious awareness while unconsciously manifesting their savage way, even though knowing, that this is counter productive. At the end, life is a fight for them. It is not something to relax and enjoy, but to fight for, to display the power of their egotistic minds.

Acceptance of our own nature is first.
Lions are needed in Nature just like rabbits, however; transformation of nature is “good” when it is natural. Otherwise, it is forced, it is fake, it is hurtful. Thus, Observation, awareness of who we ARE brings that change for it is natural. It is a personal journey.
Nevertheless; in a world where everyone is at a different stage on their own personal development, many are not ready yet for awareness; for they require the hand holding of religious and political systems, until they grow up and realize themselves, how artificial those are. We could observe then, the need for those systems and accept their role in society as sources of external reformation. The “revolution” is not in revolting or opposing, but in allowing all players to play their own roles.

That integration with all that exists, could be a glimpse of a growing awareness.

The “proof” of feeling

A human being is surrounded by fields of distinct “energies.” I wish there was another word to describe the subtle which is in constant movement, whose influence is always there even though few can perceive them. “Energy” has a physical connotation. “The capacity to do work” it is said; but that has nothing to do with the subtle fields. Thus, I would use the word “subtle energy” to refer to this.
Why is this subtle? Because it is imperceptible for many.

“Spirituality” received its “way out there” stereotype when referring about things which couldn’t be proven to exist. Economics are proven to exist even though artificially created, but subtle energies cannot be proven for not everyone is capable to tune into them.

Why is there some who could perceive subtle energies and others cannot?
That is a matter of sensibility. In some countries, megaphones are used to sell fruits, vegetables an widgets; although, there is a law prohibiting annoying noises, the law is seldom enforced for the majority of individuals out of “convenience” (laziness,) would prefer to buy from these people as they drive by their homes. These “buyers” are used to great noise. It doesn’t bother them. Nevertheless, their sensibility to more sophisticated and educated ways to hear, will suffer. The same example holds true with the perception of subtle energies.

If we take care of our mental, physical and emotional health; then our odds to FEEL subtle energies will increase. The recipe of “wholesome health” has been provided by many systems, religions and philosophies; however, our society does not support “wholesome” but the opposite through unhealthy practices in the name of “improving the economy,” which I will not discuss here but I am sure, many are aware of.

Few individuals will gain sensibility.

Those with the ability to FEEL, are better equipped to understand how these subtle energies influence the behavior of human beings.

FEELING is a subjective “proof” until the collective consciousness agrees. We could feel emotions, feelings, subtle energies, which will give us a different picture and explanation than the one offered by reason and logic alone based on the perception of the “normal” senses.

Consider this: Life is on the side of FEELINGS. Our society values reason and logic alone. The outcome of FEELING Life is fulfillment. The outcome of reason and logic alone is to “be right.”
There is a huge difference. To “be right” doesn’t give fulfillment, ego perhaps and fear but we don’t feel lively, at peace which is what FEELING does.

Love, harmony, peace are felt not reasoned or thought out. There is no thinking involved. Do we see the issue? Reasoning kills our feelings. Our society mostly lives in the head. Thinking, reasoning, analysis, logic, etc. all of that is highly valued, but we cannot FEEL.

Have we ever seen someone playing a musical instrument by memory? (funny, we say by “heart”) That person knows the structure, the notes, the timing; but there is no music in what he plays. Unless, he puts his FEELING there.

What do we value in Life? The economy, the market, the six figures job, income…. All mind. Nothing wrong with that; but we cannot be fulfilled in Life because the mind knows no satisfaction. It is always looking for what is next, in the future or remembering the past. The mind cannot be in the “now.” The mind sings “I can’t get no (satisfaction).”

Life is balance and the new challenge in society is to put the mind in its “right” place which is behind FEELINGS, that is if we are interested in encouraging a wholesome human being who experiences love, peace and harmony. That human will be able to FEEL what most cannot at this time. On the other hand, a highly effective human taught to add and subtract like a computer and to calculate his movements as to avoid making “mistakes,” will not know what is like to FEEL fulfillment in his Life.

By feeling the outer subtle energies we could perceive how these will affect others and the self. By feeling the inner world we could know our intentions.
Why is that important?
I will be succinct. The “choice” is fear or fulfillment. Put your mind in the accumulation of things, add “gifts” to your personality to become “better” than others, to “succeed” in Life; fear of losing those things is unavoidable. The mind believes in “improving,” but that improvement is only accumulation. It is building the outer layers of the self. Here is the catch. Spiritual “improvement” does not come out of accumulation but in diminishing the outer layers to go into the root of the onion. Thus, when we go over the fear of losing, we gain.
How can we go over fear of losing unless we experience what is like to lose?
That requires a logical, reasonable answer from the mind. 🙂

The ontological question of BEING.

The “reality” of the “normal” person is surrounded by a man made “reality” of formulas, formalisms and philosophy known as economics. The poor and the rich are man made. That is not something coming from Nature or Life. That “reality” is what most humans are conscious of. A man made illusion which has become “real.”

Similarly, at this time in Spirituality; there is the “reality” of the “ethereal body” for some individuals. This is related with the touted “Ascencion to the 5th Dimension.” where it is said that “everyone in the planet will go through that.” That “5th dimension” is not a place. It is a state of consciousness where the bagagge of emotionality will be dropped by some individuals (those who are ready) with the outcome of a non-violent being who is ready to explore the meaning of love. Thus, the development and awareness of this vehicle (ethereal body) has importance according to this time.

Below is the conversation between Mathias ( A being of light manifesting as a tree of Nature) and Ahnanda about some ontologycal questions surrounding BEING. I am reproducing it, for it shows the interconnection of BEING with the Totality. The question of “who I am?” is answered in an orignal way. Note that many religions or philosophies may use other labels.

Ahnanda: Now that you mention about the importance of developing the ethereal body at this time, I read many articles with contradicting information about the ethereal body. Could you tell me what the ethereal body is?
Mathias: It is “you” but bigger. It is a world of giants. En each part of those worlds, there is “you” as well, but you are under the illusion that you are only here. The ethereal body is the body limit which unites these dimensions with another sublime reality where density is not nor duality. It maintains a connection and interaction. It is like the roots, stem, leaves and the flower. The ethereal body is the leaves before the flower.
Ahnanda: What is the flower in this analogy?
Mathias: The essence, my friend.
Ahnanda: The essence? That is what is known as “soul.”
Mathias: That is what is known as “spirit,” that is “you” not “I.”
Ahnanda: Isn’t the soul the essence, as I have been taught by religions?
Mathias: If you wish, we can call that soul.
Ahnanda: But, you call it spirit…
Mathias: Yes.
Ahnanda: And that flower is the one having experiences of many lives?
Mathias: The stem has the experience of many lives, my friend. What would you call the stem? The stem has two parts. The first one is the emotional body and the second part is the physical body made to enter duality. Then you have the roots.
Ahnanda: But that stem unites everything.
Mathias: Of course, my friend.
Ahnanda: And… where is consciousness then? I mean, the plant who is conscious of the stem, the roots and the flower.
Mathias: In the water, my friend.
Ahnanda: Water is the Universe?
Mathias: Everything. Water here is everything. It is called Totality.
Ahnanda: But there is a difference between the plant and the Totality, right?
Mathias: Correct. Do you want to know a label for that?
Ahnanda:Yes.
Mathias: It is called nothingness.

After the talk with Mathias, I was wondering what would be the “root” in this analogy of the plant.
When I recalled that he used the word “root” to refer to my ancestors, my “roots.” My past, my genes which make up my personality. That is the connection with the past, which is part of the stem.
Thanks to this talk, I understood how spiritual schools, religions and philosophies emphasize only one label, one thing as the most important aspect of the human being when responding to the question “who am I?”: Soul, spirit, genes, physical body, consciousness, etc. without seeing the connection.
The plant is not only the flower or the roots. The plant requires water to survive.

Every human being is living their own “reality” of “who am I?”and thereby, the answers that he will validate as “the truth” are the ones fitting that “reality.” Very convenient indeed.

Who am “I”? 🙂
Laughing at that question, is my “rational” answer.

Beyond fight or flight: Acceptance

When we perceive danger or a situation which brings a feeling of uneasiness, we could stay and fight. We need to “win,” we need to conquer the “enemy,” etc. On the other hand, if that situation is perceived as unsurmountable, then we need to “save face,” that is “flight.”

Our conditioning is heavily influenced by dualities: win-lose, fight-flight. This is the first aspect to observe, when making sense of our behavior. Why is that important? Because we are caught in a box of 2 possibilities, when there are many.

One of the heaviest conditioning there is in our society, is related with this duality of perceiving Life as the inner working of a computer: On-OFF, 0-1. In general, we see Life from this binary format. Duality. No wonder “our creation,” the classical computer works in the same way. We may need to switch our awareness to something like a “Quantum Computer,” where there could be more than just one choice, many possibilities.

Spirituality sees that ACCEPTANCE of “what is,” is indeed another way to meet Life.
This is not surrendering or an offshoot of “flying,” by slowly walking off like a dog who has been nagged by his owner. Acceptance is to be flexible in the moment to meet Life as it appears.

For example, every Tuesday I may eat spaghetti religiously. One Tuesday I ran out of it and couldn’t purchase it. Yes, I could eat something else instead, but that is not the type of acceptance that I am talking about.

Acceptance is to look with some sort of excitement at the opportunity for something different, that is the arrival of newness. Acceptance is an attitude of gratefulness for the new experience.

The above is something difficult to see when we are only caught up in our own stories, our own images that we want to protect.

For instance, Life sends a pandemia. The story is not just about human beings. Nature has the rare opportunity to rebuild itself. Caught up in our own stories in self-absorption, we cannot see the whole picture. So what Nature has to do with “me”? Nature is where WE live, what we breathe, Life itself.

The human story commonly shared is about lost jobs, lost lives, lost income, lost markets, lost GDP, and so forth. We do not see the unity of all. We do not perceive when we divide ourselves from everything else, that we create a duality between “us” and “them;” therefore, the survival of “them” depends on the extermination of “us.” We cannot see a sane balance of “us” and “them,” for our minds haven’t been conditioned to harmonize but to ‘win,’ to ‘conquer,’ to follow the “survival of the fittest” idea when paradoxically, the weakest of us are being killed through a virus (There is an element of human responsibility in every pandemia) and we want to protect them. Let us not go into the “morality” of that perspective. Let us see the facts. Animals, plants, the environment are the “weakest links, “younger brothers” compared to humans but the same moral direction to protect is not there, but to exploit.

Acceptance. That is the opportunity to end the stories of despair and anguish and look forward to newness, the opportunities.

There are different levels or interpretations of acceptance, but a deep acceptance will bring as a result what is known as a “detached observer.”
What Life “throws at us” is for our own inner development; thus, we may need to sharpen our ability to Observe, so we could assimilate Life experiences with acceptance rather than bitterness and opposition.
“We” cannot ‘win’ over Life. We are Life itself.

The levels of attachment

In society, we define attachment as “a feeling that binds one to a person, thing, cause, ideal, or the like; devotion; regard.” In psychology it is defined as “a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space.” Those definitions sound positive and desirable.

In spirituality, attachment has a different view. That “binding emotional feeling” could potentially be a trauma, when the receiver of such affection is no longer there or there is the danger that it may not be there anymore. Great emotional suffering is experienced by the unaware individual which could even affect his mental health.
There is nothing wrong with bonding with individuals or to have devotion to certain ideals or things as long as we remain stable, centered. Most will lose their stability when their object of attachment is not there anymore.
Spirituality observes the potential trauma of that experience and that is what this article will explore.

Life IS change. We know that intellectually. Practically, we may not.
What is attachment? In general, when an emotional need arises. This need has the power to be a trauma in our lives.
What is a trauma? When our beliefs, ideas and ideals are in conflict with what IS. That conflict is an internal rejection which is emotionally stored mostly in our subconscious, and giving us a view of Life with a biased perspective. In this way, the past, what happened IS still part of our present even though the past is gone.

We have attachments to ideas, beliefs, ideals. We have attachment to situations, circumstances. When someone close to us goes away, our circumstance will change. When we say that we are attached to someone, we are attached to the feeling of need being temporarily fulfilled by someone.
To be able to feel attachment in variable degrees of neediness, will allow us to feel it, which is very important to practically “know” attachment.

There is attachment to what we consider “self” and the sensations that this will bring. For instance, if I am an avid swimmer and I cannot swim for whatever reason, then the sensations of not being able to swim will be bothersome. If this need becomes emotional, then we may say that we are attached to swimming; but in reality, we are attached to the sensation that it brings. It is not the exercise itself bringing “addiction” but the sensation it leaves, which is very subjective.

Attachments will not allow us to become a witness of Life. Without witnessing Life, we cannot experience freedom.

How to deal with attachment?
In our society, attachments are expected and supported. They are “normal.” We may need to forget stereotypes or conditioned moral teachings to look and find attachments in our own lives. That is what takes more involvement from a seeker.
Very few will do that and recognize attachments as potential traumas.

Therefore, for the few who may be ready, here goes my “recipe:”
First and foremost, to OBSERVE that (whatever it is we find as attachment) in ourselves. To be able to see it there, without any masks or pretty words to hide it, without any judgment. Many times we may realize those after the fact, when we recall the experience after some time.
Second, to OBSERVE it in action. Life will bring a particular episode and we will react to it. Catch it there. It is important to FEEL it. Just to use words to make sense of it; will not allow us to truly see. Remember that the important item is how we FEEL in front of some Life episode. It is that feeling alone the one that brings the sensation of need, of being unable to be without. That is attachment.
Third and last, a deep feeling of the following fact of Life:

Life is change. Life is unpredictable. Life is temporary. Life is unexpected. Thus, it is impossible to possess something. Everything goes away. Do we see this as a fact?
Then it follows that everything; every experience, every person who crosses our path, every possession is borrowed from Life. The reality of impermanence is there, despite any social laws or rights which may bring us a sense of security.
Note that I am not inferring that a spiritual person must not possess things to avoid suffering. That is an infantile understanding which interestingly, many religious faiths will follow.

I am saying that while having things, experiences, circumstances, beliefs, ideas, etc. know that we are “borrowing” them. Life is leasing us something for a temporary time. That could be a wonderful wife/husband, a great job, our excellent health, etc. It is all “leased” to us for a temporary period. Those things are meant to eventually go away. We should keep that in mind, for it is a fact of Life. This is not meant to bring worry or despair. A tourist travels around. He is not meant to stay in a particular place.  The same is with us. The joy of being a tourist is the freedom to travel, to know and try new things and that means to stay in continuous movement, in change. Just like Life.  The important thing is to keep the stable center within.

With the understanding of the above, then we will pay attention to the intention of using the word “Mine.” In society we may need to use that word to deal with people, but know deep inside that we meant “leased,” “borrowed.”  This sense of FEELING how everything is borrowed, will open the door to the witness. The one who doesn’t need to choose in Life, for everything whether coming or going;  is meant to be appreciated as it IS. A witness is the ultimate way to appreciate Life.

Go left or go right. We will get to the same place eventually. Life is not a race. There is no prize or destination. It is a journey.
Therefore, appreciate the trip.
When attachment decreases, for sure our emotional stability increases.

Will resume writing on April 30th.  Enjoy! 🙂