There is violence within each of us, it is in you and it is in me. Whether we are inherently born with it or it is produced by society does not matter, what matters is if we want to rid ourselves of this violence. But first we must acknowledge and be aware of the violence within us.
Violence comes in many forms, it is not just bludgeoning someone to death. Greed, anger, envy, rage, jealousy and hate are all forms of violence too. When we verbally abuse someone, berate someone, put someone down, we are being violent. When our greed overcomes our sense of humanity, we are being violent. When we have road rage or yell at a bank teller, we are being violent. We are all violent in our personal lives, in big and small ways.
On a macro level, we practice violence by separation. When you say you are a Christian or a Jew, you are positioning your religion over another. Nearly every war has been over religion, so how can we claim religion is not violent? When you say you are an American or a Russian, you are positioning your country over another, creating boundaries. We can then justify when our sons go to war because it’s for the love of our country, defending some colored rag we call a flag. I am sure Russian mothers can somehow justify when their sons kill in the war in Ukraine as it’s in the honor of their country. But is this not some sort of horrific violence that has no justification? Another form of separation comes by political party, just observe the Republican mob that stormed the capitol on January 6th. This violence on their own government seemed perfectly justified due to separation against their rival party.
Violence by separation also occurs in racism, bigotry and misogyny. If you observe yourself closely, you may notice you take pleasure in making a racist or bigoted statement. It gives your ego a sense of superiority. But is this not also a form of violence? All the hateful rhetoric that spews out from racists or bigotry, are we not all a part of this too? Do we really need to label people black or brown, gay or lesbian? If you see life through this filter, then there is violence within you.
If you discover yourself creating these dualities with the “other”, whether it’s by race, religion, culture or gender, you are creating separation and therefore some form of violence. To be completely free of violence, there must be non-duality. It means we treat anyone and everyone the same as there is a recognition we are all one. We are all equal sharing our existence on this violent but magical earth. It means you no longer have hate, or rage, or even jealousy or envy in your heart. No one is your possession, no one is better or worse than you and there is no longer a need to compare and judge. It has been said that we are better defined by our enemies than our friends, imagine if you had no enemies or conflict with anyone.
This, of course, is not easy in a world where we are wired to achieve and be successful, often at the expense of others. All our social cues tell us we need to be richer, thinner, smarter, more beautiful, more successful, achieve power and dominate at all costs. We are told to compare and contrast, to judge and be judged. All of this breeds violence. And when you act on it, by your actions or your words, to make a condescending gesture or comment, you are creating violence. Ironically, if you observe yourself, it is seductive to whisper behind someone’s back or even tell them off to their face. We feel superior and it feeds our ego and separate sense of self. But this is a fleeting experience, it feels good for the moment but it is not sustainable. You may have to continue this pattern and create more conflict, more drama. This is violence at play in our daily lives, would you not prefer to be rid of it?
Only by ridding yourself of all violence can you find joy, a joy that sustains and lifts you. There will be no anger or rage and your heart will be filled with inner peace and love. You will no longer compare and judge, snip at people with rude or belittling comments or complain and whine. You simply stop spreading negative energy into the world. The frequency within you changes and you will find people will gravitate towards you as they sense this joy and love within you. It starts with each of us, you and me, silence the violence and make the world a better place for tomorrow.