“And will you continue until there are no more Narns, and no more Centauri? If both sides are dead, no one will remember which side deserves the blame. It no longer matters who started it, G’Kar. It only matters who is suffering.”
Narn Image to G’Kar in Babylon 5: Dust to Dust
Quote Copyright © J. Michael Straczynski
We live in a world of the web, of sound bites and tweets, of headlines and agendas. We live in a world of capital letters explaining we should fear this group or that group. We live in a world where a carefully chosen example is used to define policy demonising whole layers of society.
Information comes at us so fast and from so many sources that it becomes very difficult to absorb any of the new material coming our way. Occasionally, very occasionally, we may see something, a few words of wisdom that change us beyond all recognition but mostly we cannot get below and into the real meaning of the text; there simply isn’t enough of it.
How many of us can really reason with ourselves, and with others, to create an understanding deeper than a very surface sense of something fleeting, a glance at a bigger picture waiting to be seen. We seem to be missing the point of communication. We are supposed to communicate with other people, listen to what they are saying, really listen. If we don’t communicate, how can we say we truly understand or appreciate another point of view?
By now the global village should be in an age of reasonable yet over the millennia of our evolution, the human race is stuck in an ever depressing, and destructive, cycle of conflict and a blatant unwillingness to see another’s belief is as valid as any other.
This article cannot be a sound bite. It has to be read fully to be absorbed fully, its content stretches far beyond your current beliefs. It turns conflict on its head and how many people really want to change themselves to understand that they are part of the problem.
Belief & DNA
Belief is like DNA. DNA is the building block of life. It is everywhere. Life cannot exist without it. Belief is the building block of society. It too is everywhere. Belief is unlike DNA in as much you can change your belief; if you are willing to do so.
Mixing unrelated sources of DNA creates a more robust and resilient set of genes which increases survivability for succeeding offspring. Mixing related sources, say from the same family line, the genes are less resilient and so weakens the following generations. This can be seen in tribal societies and those that still have caste systems in place.
Mixing unrelated beliefs strengthens those ideas and philosophies as the common concepts join while the old and outdated fall away. Mixing related beliefs creates a much more fundamentalist stance as the old and outdated is all that remains.
The UK is a multicultural society but still we don’t mix. We don’t mix because of belief, because we fear each other, because we fear part of us will be absorbed into other cultures thus losing our sense of self. Our sense of self and identity is controlled by our set of beliefs. Challenge someone’s beliefs and they think you are attacking them so tied are we to our beliefs.
Life is about choices, consequences and responsibilities. Probably the biggest choice we make is to ignore our pain, suppressing the feelings we have about ourselves and others. By pain, I mean judgement. We all judge; it’s in our nature, something we learn to do by watching the people around us. We may judge someone as too fat, too skinny, too old, wrong clothing, being gay, straight, a man or woman, being transgendered. We may judge their skin colour, their religion, their belief.
Our judgement can range from the subliminal to the outrageous; the subliminal being an unvoiced mental opinion; the outrageous being a full on hate against those who we think oppose our belief. The subliminal quickly disperses leaving only echoes. The outrageous is acted upon with rage and violence towards those who are the focus of our hate.
It is our belief that causes our pain. By leaving our belief unchallenged, we simply draw more of the same into our life thus confirming our belief to be correct. The more we see others as ‘wrong’, the more our pain increases. This is the consequence. How many of us have the courage to question our beliefs? How many of us are really willing to take responsibility for our choices and our pain? We may say we are but in reality we just pay lip service to change preferring to leave the status quo intact.
What level of emotional pain do the religious feel when they fight against the existence of gays and the transgendered? Do they really want to spend all their time and energy fighting against what is? There will always be someone who opposes their belief so they must be constantly vigilant watching out for transgressors. Are they really living their life or trying to bend society to their will?
When we suppress, it submerges into our subconscious, languishing for years if not for decades, nagging and irritating like an unheard child. We are like icebergs; only 10% of us is conscious. We are driven as much by our subconscious as our conscious mind; perhaps more so. We are motivated by the thought that only we are right and that everyone should dance to our tune, spinning on our axis rather than their own.
Troublesome thoughts and feelings rise from the subconscious and scratch their nails at the door of our conscious. They shout and scream, repeating their old, broken record dark songs until we are willing to turn towards them and acknowledge their existence. Life repeats hoping that we will listen to the increasing volume of pain. Most of, if not all of our suppressed pain, sinks lower and lower until it has nowhere else to go but into the collective unconscious.
Most of you reading this will have heard of the collective unconscious. This is an energy field which joins groups together called society and further joined into the global human race. This is where common facets of belief coagulate: religion, science, philosophy, common ideas about what it means to be human. The collective unconscious is where spontaneous revolution begins, infecting people in large groups who all speak with the same voice against a perceived common enemy. This sort of action requires no leader or figurehead. It just happens.
The collective unconscious is currently full of ancestral baggage, pain and torture millennia old, left to rot with layer upon layer of hatred for our neighbours, opinions, beliefs and Karma ready to be visited upon generations to come; ‘sins of the fathers’ sort of thing.
Reaping What You Sow
What you give, you will receive. This is one of the universal laws. It cannot be circumvented. There will always be a point where you will fill the shoes of those you focus your attention on. You will have to slide into those shoes, tie the laces, and walk the same path they did, face the same situations they did, experience the same feelings they did. The detail of your journey may be different but the feelings and emotions that overwhelm you will be identical. You will have to be them for a while so you can understand the consequences of your actions.
It is called Karma, the spiritual principle of cause and effect. Individuals can accrue Karma but also groups, societies and nations. Like national debt, national Karma can take many generations before it is cleared fully and only if there is a willingness of the hive mind to sway in the same direction.
If you choose to give compassion, you will receive compassion.
If you choose to give hate, you will receive hate in return.
You may have been persecuted for generations and now decide to visit that persecution on others. You may have been imprisoned, starved and slaughtered just because of who you are and now build a literal or metaphorical wall around yourself as protection but is this not just another prison? Even with that wall, you will still feel unsafe. The cost of defence will eventually become prohibitive on both a financial and emotional level and grows into a barrier as much to you as to others.
What Can We Do?
First we had choices and consequences, now we have responsibility. Taking responsibility for your own pain and anger, and it is your responsibility, pulls your suppressed part out of the collective unconscious. And why is this necessary?
Many people who have grown up within particularly fundamentalist societies, are deeply affected by anger and rage against those who do not believe the same as them. These people feed upon the suppressed emotions we pour into the collective unconscious and this drives them to do unspeakable things to humanity. These people are a reflection of our own hidden dark thoughts returning to us in a magnified way; the macrocosm mirroring the microcosm. Our fear of them, our feeling of powerlessness, is pushed away and ignored and driven into the collective unconscious which further adds fuel to the flames of separateness. A vicious cycle.
And before you say I’m not a fundamentalist, you don’t have to be. Everyone judges, everyone experiences pain and anger, everyone suppresses these feelings undiluted into the collective.
When you take full ownership of your emotions, you no longer have to carry the burden of the sins of the fathers. By removing your portion from the collective unconscious, you replace it with compassionate thoughts and wisdom. This lessens the effect on those who feed upon our unwillingness.
If all those who were ready to understand this concept were to move in this direction, the world would soon become a much calmer place.
I leave you to consider being part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Take responsibility for your actions, your thoughts, your choices. Pull them out of the collective unconscious and be free.