For me, the greatest act of violence that any man can ever commit on this planet earth, is to declare, I am a Christian, or I am a Muslim or I am an atheist, or whatever they say they are, and really believe it. That hurts me so much. It immediately makes everyone who is not, a Christian, for example, someone other than them. They are not part of their tribe, their people, they are people who fall outside of their circle of love and protection. This then makes it easy to bring harm to these other beings, because that harm doesn’t effect them. But if someone in their tribe were harmed, by somebody outside of the tribe, they feel that hurt. They will come out and fight for them. They will even kill this other person, who is not in their tribe, if necessary. It also means that they can harm and kill people within their tribe, if they don’t follow the rules of their tribe. If every man loves his fellow man as he loves himself, he would hurt if any one of his brothers were hurt, because it would be like he was hurting. In times of tragedy, such as the bomb attack or whatever it was in Paris in 2015, people quickly forgot their idea of who they were and they pulled together to support each other, to support their fellow brothers and sisters. They brought humanity down to a single point, to the fact that we all have life, we are all people and regardless of how we chose to live our lives, we are all humans and they decided we’ll stand together, regardless of our differences. Meet up groups came about after the event in New York. It seems that when something big happens, people lose their bigness and their differences and embrace their sameness. What is this sameness and why is it only embraced when some big tragedy happens? What makes people want to separate themselves from others in the first place? Why do they think they have to tolerate others? What makes them think that they are any different from them? Sure we’ve all got our likes and dislikes, our preferences, the things we are drawn to and things that repel us. So that makes us all the same doesn’t it? If we all liked the same things, if we all were good at the same things, wanted the same things etc, wouldn’t we be more like robots? Can’t we all just like what we want and if we find someone who is disagreeable to us, simply avoid them? Or if we find something we don’t enjoy doing which has little to no value to us, simply just not do it? We’ve all taken on, to some degree, the values and beliefs of those around us. Some keep those values and beliefs, without question, all of their lives. This is good. This is how we build the traditions and practices that we all love. Some decide to question the beliefs and values and some will keep them or reject them, or maybe they’ll chop and change between the two all of their lives. Never gaining any solid ground.
What is it that we all have, that is unchanging, for the duration of our lives, that is solid and reliable and therefore trustworthy? It is life. We all have life, if we are alive on this planet; we have life, that much is evident. It’s the thing that connects all of us. As we come into this world, we start to learn and name and shape this thing we call life, into specific things we can all recognise. This is good. It allows for the building of a form of communication that we can all use to communicate with each other. We start to attach meaning to things. Such as this human who gave birth to me in this human form is my mother and we give meaning to that. It’s an important role, we should love our mothers, look up to them, do what they tell us to do. This becomes a fixed idea that most people never think about let alone question and explore. And if they find that they’re unfortunate enough to get a mother who they don’t even like, who they don’t want to follow, then they can struggle with having love for them. They know they must love their mother. Everybody knows that. Therefore, if they feel hate towards her, because she’s just beaten them, they must naturally conclude that they are bad. Then they can see that of course it stands to reason that they’re bad. Their mother, this most holy of creatures, wouldn’t hit them if they weren’t bad, because mothers are good, so yes, definitely, they must be bad. Traditions, shared understandings, differences etc, are all well and good, so long as each person knows, that underneath all these meanings and labels and words that we attach to people and things, is life and these words and labels and meanings are simply tools to help us communicate with each other. They are not there to separate but rather to unite us. If none of us had a way of communicating with each other, the human race would not advance and life seeks always to express itself. So we found a way to communicate, but that communication and the meanings we give to things, seem to have taken importance over who we are, over what it was intended for. It was intended to bring us together but instead it separates us. Until there’s a big enough tragedy, that is. Is it a tragedy if it brings people back together? If it gets people looking out for each other, supporting each other, risking their own lives for each other and even giving their last penny to help each other. Dissolving instantly, the superficial differences people ordinarily cling onto to so fiercely, so aggressively, so violently. I wonder if it’s a tragedy at all? Of course for those who’s lives were lost, we can say it’s a tragedy but could it be said that it’s an even greater tragedy if we repeat it again, and again and again. We will never get the violence and the wars to stop through violence and wars. And we’ll never get them to stop by trying to get everyone to see eye to eye. That’s never going to happen and would we even really want that? But if everyone loved his fellow man as if he loved himself, the life force within him that connects him to every human being out there, there would be no reason to quarrel or fall out with anybody, not to the degree you would want to harm or take that person’s life. If you love your brothers as yourself, you know that if you steal from another, you are cheating yourself. If you hurt another, you are hurting yourself. And every act is proceeded by a thought therefore if you harm another you must first harm yourself, you have to first have a harmful thought. And who does that thought hurt the most? If I think harmful thoughts I am not free and happy to enjoy the moment, I am busy plotting and hurting and dragging my spirits down in preparation to do the same damage to some body else, with any luck. If we can inflict more hurt on the other person than we are experiencing (as the effect of our own thoughts) then we shall be declared victorious. We can revel in and feel proud that now they are hurting more than us, we are the winners. Is this what winning at life means? Who can hurt the most? Or who can gather unto him the most physical possessions including money and sometimes including power over people. If you can control more people does that make you the winner? I don’t know. I know people seem to like and fiercely protect the idea of conditional love as the highest attainment in life. They love to tell the world how much they love this person or that as if the highest award in life is to love fiercely but to love exclusively. The more exclusive the love the more valuable and important it is and often times, everyone else can go to hell. I know there’s deep value and comfort in human or conditional love and it has a way of expressing itself that universal love/life never could. It’s needed, it’s necessary, but it isn’t the meaning of life. I don’t think we were put on this earth to be separated. We are all individual expressions of the one life, we are not in competition with each other, we don’t have to kill each other for a better life, wouldn’t it just be easier to avoid someone you didn’t like rather than killing them? Maybe that’s just me, I know I’m weird, but I haven’t, so far, found any real sense in murder and fighting, rather I think that life should be a joyful adventure with all the twists and turns and ups and downs along the way. Millions of minds and lives all working towards the same goal, to simply enjoy a happy life. If we all enjoyed ourselves there would be no room to hurt somebody. When you’re involved in enjoying yourself, why would you suddenly stop, and think, let me just kill a few people then get back to my enjoyment? If somebody came along that you didn’t like, you’d just think I’m gonna avoid that fella, I don’t like him and can’t enjoy myself when I’m around him, so I’ll just avoid him because I like to enjoy myself. Why not keep it simple? Of course those with all the human power don’t want that. A long held tried and tested practice is to divide and conquer at all costs and use fear to weaken people so they’re easier to control. But they can’t control us without our consent. But we can give them that consent because the alternative might mean death. But what is a man who has no free will, no choice in life? Is he not just an animal, following orders? What is a man without choice? What makes a man different to a pig, for example, or a sheep? Is it not the power to chose? Must we only chose between certain options that some other mortal man has decided we can have? Does our soul belong to him? He will tell us what we can and cannot do. What does he have that we don’t? Human power. But there is a power far greater than that which man can summon up. His best chance (man made power) is to install fear in people, to divide, then conquer. Is this in line with our true nature? To live in fear of our fellow man? Does it feel good to live in fear. Does fear present opportunities and possibilities, beyond our imagination, or does love do that? Do you feel more energised and open and free when you are dancing with love or drowning in fear? Is fear our natural state or is it just a great tool to keep us from harm that somebody decided they could use to their advantage? The good news is, when you are at once connected to that infinite power within you, that thing called life, then you see love everywhere. You see behind the masks of fear or greed or what other thing has caught the attention of that person and married them so securely to it. Sometimes, you can even wash it away by loves presence alone. Love has the power to stop a quarrel instantly, if it is untainted, and the quarrellers have no idea of what just happened. They don’t need to. If you tell most people about the power of love, they just laugh, and tell you, love is no match for this great president or that great leader. How do they know? They never gave it a chance. It’s not an easy thing to try. It goes against the grain. Against what society teaches us. To love all people? Never. I’ve never heard anything so absurd, they’ll say. I would never love that man, he wears a pink shirt and besides, men can’t love men, it’s just not right.
I don't mean to offend at all, but your paragraphs are really really really long. Has anyone ever told you that? I do the same thing, but then I go through my writing and split it up into bitesized chunks. Otherwise, it's a bit difficult to figure out what is being said.
I don't think people kill because they hate someone or see them as different. I think they kill to protect themselves from a perceived threat. Sometimes it's not possible to just avoid someone, and the choice really shouldn't be between avoiding someone and killing them anyway.
I think that the tendency upon encountering someone who is perceived as different is to socially shun them and this then escalates into blatant bullying. I know this pattern very well, because I have been on the receiving end of it several times in my life. The problem is that the behavour should be nipped in the bud at the point of social shunning, but nobody is willing to do this, and if the victim tries to defend against the behaviour, it just accelerates the escalation of the behaviour, because others join in. Humans are by nature a predatory species, and also a species that collects in herds, so when they see someone who is vulnerable being bullied by someone they perceive as strong, their instinct is to join in on the attack.
This is the behaviour that needs to be changed if we are to evolve as a species.
The attacks you mentioned are just a result of a group of people being pushed to the breaking point by an unsympathetic world. They lash out because they feel that is the only course of action left to them. They feel hated, so they hate. Instead of facing their problems and solving them through effort, they blame their problems on another group of people and they think that killing them will make their own lives better.
It has become a cycle of vengeance and retaliation, and it all starts from the threat perceived from seeing a person as different from oneself and feeling threatened by that person. To NTs, I guess it makes sense to behave in that way, because it happens all the time, whether it ends in destroying someone's life by bullying them out of a job, or in committing acts of mass murder. We don't have the capacity to understand it, and personally, I'm very glad about that.
Yes, I have been told that about my paragraphs and sentences many times. Thank you, I really appreciate that. I’ll probably go over the top the other way now, lol!
I’m about to start a series of short courses on the basics of grammar and nouns and stuff. I’ve never learned them. My friend actually bought me a little children’s book on grammar and gave it to me today. She was hoping I wouldn't be offended and I wasn’t, not at all. Quite the opposite. Not only was I grateful for the book but it also made me feel very special and blessed to have such a lovely thoughtful kind and generous friend.
So thank you for that, I really appreciate it and I’ll begin to make some changes.
Yes, but where does this perceived threat come from? It’s always possible to avoid someone, unless you’re in a lift together or some other similar situation. The avoidance may well come with a perceived cost, but it is always a choice and a possibility.
When my son was in his first year at primary school, he was 6 when he started school. There was a boy who wouldn’t leave my son alone, he was hitting him and chasing, he wouldn’t leave him alone.
From the outside looking in, it would appear that he was bullying my son and my son certainly wanted it to stop. We discussed it and we both agreed it was not bullying and even though we would approach the teacher, we refused anything less than finding out the cause. This boy must not get into any trouble.
We took the matter to the teacher and explained the situation. It transpired that this boy came from a home where all the kids and wife were not only neglected but abused. There was extreme violence in the home. The boy simply wanted to be friends with my son and didn’t know how to go about it.
My son didn’t want to be his friend, not in terms of playing with him anyway. But that boy stood by my son throughout their school years and still does to this day. He always speaks to me with so much respect and even though they never played together, they were friends of a kind and if my son was ever in any kind of trouble, that boy would stand up for my son without question.
However, I have witnessed the opposite, much as you described, many times. Few teachers take the time to really find out what is causing the behaviour.
If we try to change behaviour we are not only fighting a losing battle but we are giving power to the exact behaviour we want to change. And so we achieve only to give it strength.
The only thing that will change behaviour, is if we change the thoughts and beliefs that cause the behaviour. You don’t do that by saying positive affirmations and things like that. You question your thoughts and discover the truth and the lies we tell ourselves.
This world is far from unsympathetic and if somebody feels they are being pushed by somebody else, they have to question who these people are who appear to be pushing them and simply not allow themselves to be pushed. They have a choice. They can practice non resistance and instead do what they can to understand these people and to build a dialogue with them where by they can establish that they’re all brothers and sisters of the same blood, powered by the same life force that runs through every living person.
Yeah, it’s all about the thoughts, the only thing we have absolute power over.
Yes, it is a cycle of vengeance and retaliation. However the wars and the violence in the world end, the instant you know the truth. When the battle in your mind ends, it also ends outside of you. When your heart is crystal clear and filled only with love, then, all wars and conflicts end.
I think that if someone declares allegiance to a specific religion, and really means it, it only becomes an act of violence if they can't find it in their hearts to love others of a different religion, or none. It doesn't make sense to me that anyone would have that prejudice, especially if they came to their faith later in life, because surely they can see that they once believed something different themselves.
Unfortunately people are very good at focussing on the differences in others, rather than the similarities, and you can even end up with wars fought between different variations of the same religion, as with Protestants and Catholics. And verses taken out of context from holy books can be used to justify almost anything.
But if the message was originally one of tolerance, love and understanding, the fault lies in the person who has distorted and corrupted that message, not in the teachings themselves.
Interesting. Have you ever felt any separation between you and another person? For example, has anybody ever annoyed you and you’ve thought, they’re an annoying person?
Are you saying you follow a particular teaching?
The fault lies neither with the teachings nor the understanding of the teachings by the individual.
Where does the message of tolerance, love and understanding come from? I’m not sure I’ve heard that message, which is not unusual, I haven’t heard that many messages.
Also, what are the similarities you mention?
Doesn't the fact that we're all here on this forum mean that we too are identifying with a group, a group that is separate from the whole?
Yes, of course, but we don’t think we’re the group. The group isn’t seperate from the whole, it’s just that we have particular traits that we all identify with, but we’re not our traits. They aren’t the cause of separation.
I follow the teaching of Jesus, now. But I was an atheist most of my life, I wasn't raised as a Christian. I came to it through a personal crisis. I was interested in Buddhism for a few years, and practised transcendental meditation, which I found calming and restful, but not life changing. (At least, for me.)
In the Bible, Jesus is recorded as regularly speaking to people considered "unclean" or undesirable in his society, including prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers, Roman soldiers and people of other faiths. He preached that we should do unto others as we would wish them to do unto us, and said that we should love and forgive even our enemies. (As it's no big achievement if you only love those who are good to you.) That's what I was thinking of.
I can't be more specific about the "similarities" between people which I referred to earlier, because that depends on who you're talking to. Sorry if that sounds a bit lame, I'll work on it and hopefully post a better reply later.
I've heard / heard of many people with autism become annoyed / irritated / whatever with things said by people about autism. Many identifying with the group and seeing themselves as part of it and insulted / annoyed / irritated by association. It's the same as anyone else who identifies with any other group.
It also seems to be a recurring theme that 'we' talk about 'we' versus non-autistic.
Autism / it's traits are very much the cause of a feeling a "separation" from non-autistic from just about every post on this site!
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m talking about.
When somebody declares, I’m autistic, and believes that they are autistic and nothing else... ~ I used the example of religions but it could be anything, I’m black, or white, or fat or whatever. But we’ll go with autism.
So if somebody declares, I’m autistic ~ meaning that they are simply this body, it’s autustic, I also have my own personality etc, I’m male or female, I’m short of tall, but mainly I identify as autistic. I’m autistic.
If they think that that is all that they are then that is where the separation lies.
Your true nature is love. Love can be called life, infinite intelligence, god, infinite source. Whatever you want to call it, it doesn’t matter. We each have in us something which is the same in everyone. It is with us for the whole of our lives. It never changes. Never ceases. It is always there in everyone of us and it’s life.
We each have this one thing called life. This life is part of the greater whole. But it resides in and is each one of us. It’s like we are all each an individual expression of the one whole.
This thing called life, which is in all of us, is what unites us. Our outer or physical identities are an expression of this life but we all express ourselves in our own unique ways. For example, some are men and they might be great chess players. Or they might be women who are autistic.
These are who we are as our outer expressions. Yes, our bodies are part of us but we are more than our bodies.
Autism and it’s traits appear to be the cause of separation but the cause of separation is when you deny that life is also part of who you are and in fact it’s the main element of who you are because without it, you would be dead. If you deny who you are and believe you are the body only you create instant separation and then the hunt is on to find others like you. And you’ll gather like a tribe and you’ll protect each other, gain confidence from each other through identification and it will be you against them ~ i.e. anybody who isn’t autistic. Because you believe your autistic.