When someone acts thoughtlessly towards us, and we react negatively
towards him or her, it is a similar thoughtlessness in us that
responds. In other words, our own hostile reactions take no thought for
anything outside of what they call into account for their suddenly
heated existence -- so that the only awareness we possess in these
times is that low level of cognizance that possesses us, making us
"entitled" to attack back! And with our own aching heart or pounding
thoughts providing the fuel, we lash out! After all, it is our "right"
to set the record straight.
in these moments, if we could learn to step back from ourselves -- to
see and to be aware of ourselves as being but a cog in an ever-turning
wheel of hurting and being hurt -- there would follow a great and
liberating self-revelation. We would see, clearly, that before we rise
up and attempt to hurt someone who has hurt us, it is we who hold this
hurt first. And if we realize the dynamic exposed here -- how one hurt
always gives rise to another one -- then we should also be able to see
that each of us is always the first to hold this unwanted pain.
we see the truth of this unconscious cycle, then we are ready for the
next truth we will need to escape this circle of suffering: It doesn't
matter how, or where, this dark cycle got started. It is not important
any longer. Why? Because once we understand that to try to hurt someone
-- even just to want to -- is to hurt ourselves, it makes no difference
who did what to whom, or for whatever reasons. Once we come aware to
the fact that when we hate, we feel this hatred first in ourselves, our
relationship with this darkness is done. The whole issue becomes as
simple as this: Hatred hurts us, not the person we blame for it. To
hold a wish to punish someone begins with the unconscious embrace of
the very pain we wish to inflict.
These discoveries all tell one
story: Nothing grows on a battlefield except for the number of cries.
Nothing can develop in us as long as the truth about our condition
remains buried beneath so much misunderstanding. The point is that the
pain we pass onto one another must stop somewhere or this cycle of
conflict will never cease. And it must, or else the vital energies we
need to grow beyond ourselves will simply be poured back into the earth
for purposes unknown to us, even as we are compelled to serve
conflict's dark plan through our unconscious suffering. What is the
Most of us already suspect what needs to be done if
we are to have any hope of moving beyond the conflict so common in
today's relationships. Nevertheless, here is a brief description of the
spiritual action to be taken: We must stop giving to our friends and
family the pain we cannot bear to carry ourselves. Said differently,
each of us must agree to be the one who will "taste" what we would
serve to our "enemy du jour" before we throw it upon his or her plate.
this moment forward, let the conflict stop with you. Make it your
intention to forever quit yourself from the turning of this invisible
wheel-of-woe. Each time we will consciously refuse to strike back in
anger or act out some aggression toward the one who hurts us, we sow
the seed of a new order of a conscious life. Now instead of being used
by dark forces that grow at the expense of our soul's development, it
is we who use our endless differences with others to grow endlessly.
And at the same time that we learn to rise above the pain of our own
negative reactions, we create the possibility and opportunity for
others around us to do the same.
Each time we will choose not to
respond to someone's mental or emotional blow with a blow of our own,
that person is left no choice but to see that the only antagonist he
has is his own pain. And just as this person's awakening to the
continual cause of his unconscious aching is the beginning of the end
of it, so too is this true for us. Our newly awakened understanding
reveals that there is nothing for us to do with our pain but to let it
be nothing to us. And with each such spiritual step that we will dare
to take outside the circle of suffering, so do we make a way for
everyone else... because at last the circle has been broken.