Why So Much Hatred?

Enemy consciousness is the desire to blame and punish others because we are feeling unsafe, emotionally distressed, and desperate to return to comfort and a modicum of happiness.  We see this in the political world around us.  We see the hatred and violence, the torture and death, of men, women, and children because they are perceived to be the enemy.  Most of us watch in horror the genocide, the persecutions, and the angry mob violence wondering how on earth humans could act in such evil and inhumane ways.

Punish Children With Right Method_1The root of enemy consciousness lies inside all of us.  When we are children and run to tell an adult that Johnny was pulling our hair or Suzy was pinching us we expected that Johnny and Suzy would be punished.  They would “get into trouble” for what they had done.  We quickly learned to avoid trouble ourselves, or at least not get caught doing something, in order to avoid punishment.  And although we never wanted to be punished even through time-outs, being grounded, or deprived of something important to us, we were glad someone else got what they deserved.

We have been well-trained to find someone to blame when we are unhappy and to fill our prisons with those who dare to make us uncomfortable.  Prison is seldom a place of rehabilitation.  Its purpose, as most prisoners will tell you, is to punish the offender.  Desperate people do desperate things.  Probably you and I have never advocated for someone to go to prison for harming us.  Instead we shut our mind, our hearts, and our willingness to associate with, listen to, or forgive those who have offended against us.  We imprison them within our mind and keep them there so we will be safe.

When we feel betrayed we want that person out of our lives.  When we feel disrespected we want others to be told that they are bad.  We have learned to associate mostly with those who reward us with affection, listening, appreciation, and respect.  We have learned to disassociate with anyone who appears to disagree, disapprove, disrespect, or not like us.

socialoutcastWhen people in the Dharma Center make errors of judgment, cause emotional harm to others, break the rules, and step out of bounds their fellow sangha members often want to have that person disgraced, brought to a public accounting, or dismissed from a circle.  Even those with deep spiritual training often have difficulty overcoming the conditioning to demand punishment.  Fortunately, our spiritual teachers are not swayed by the Sangha’s emotional demands and upsets.  Instead they offer restorative justice.  Restorative means: gentle, kind, generous, harmless, and curable.  Justice means: fair, equal, impartial, honorable, and right.  They guide us back into acceptance, into love, and into unity.

“If people are cast out of the circle of love because they have caused harm, how will those people learn forgiveness, kindness, and honor?”  Maha Amma

When harm is created everyone must try to understand how they contributed to the creation of that harm and seek compassion, understanding, and forgiveness for themselves and for the other; only in this way will unity and goodness be restored.”  Maha Abba

GoldenRule-2As we watch, in disbelief and horror, the speech and actions of angry, fearful people let us take a moment and look at the darkness in our own hearts.  When we find it let us bring the light of hope, compassion, and generosity into that angry, fearful place within.  We can remind ourselves that we really don’t want to give away to others grief, hurt, and actions that we would not wish to experience for ourselves.  Enemy Consciousness is a weed with deep roots.  If we want it to die we must stop watering it with personal insecurities, emotional traumas, blame, guilt, and angry.  And instead truly practice what has become known over the centuries as: The Golden Rule.

The Mud at the Bottom of the Pond

Enlightenment is knowledge previously undiscovered but now exists as new consciousness. It’s a new understanding of the world.  Let’s take medical knowledge for example.  It’s now possible for people who have joint pain to have their joints replaced.  What has been the result of this enlightenment?  Freedom from pain; longer life; ability to have quality of life.  In other words it helps people to flourish.

Enlightenment, therefore, helps us to flourish as spirit beings.  Enlightenment allows us to be pain free and assist others to be pain free.  

When enlightenment occurs, even in a mundane way, it’s not universally accepted and there are challenges to the manifestation and acceptance of the new knowledge.  In order to live our lives as the Avatars of Divine Spirit we are being challenged to modify thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in order to bring them into alignment with Divine Spirit rather than following our own ideas of how things should work.  To discover this Divine Spirit alignment is as simple as asking these questions- how is this kind to myself and others?  What does this decision have to do with creating more peace or love in the world?  Who will be helped?  Who will be left out?

The enlightenment process requires extreme vigilance of our mental and emotional states of being as well as our true motivations for taking action.  It’s important to be accountable for the decisions we make.  We are trained to believe that what we think is real, that what we feel is real, and what our body tells us is absolute. However, thoughts are an illusion of organic mind, emotions come and go for no apparent reason, and our body reacts to situations that are not factual.  Think of the last time you had a body reaction to a stick thinking it was a snake.

mud-mud-glorious-mud-11As in all times when we begin to embark upon a new enlightened state of consciousness, a time of initiation into that enlightenment, we are most likely going to experience a stirring up of the mud at the bottom of our pond.  The mud at the bottom of the pond colors the way we perceive the world.  During a time of expanded consciousness, it’s important to pause, to consider results, to consult with wise individuals, and to understand motivations BEFORE reacting from what we are feeling.  This is because once we have new insight we must integrate those understandings into our life.  Having a moment of enlightenment doesn’t mean it will last.  Having a moment of enlightenment that leads us to make, and manifest, transformational, permanent changes in our life anchors that knowledge into reality.

ANY strong emotion is a problem.  Love, joy, delight, anger, fear, pain, and grief- any strong emotion is a problem.  Love can be a problem.  When we are overpowered with “true love” we make impulsive decisions.  The emotion of “true love” “romantic love” wears off and what we have left will determine if the two people can continue in relationship or not.   Long term relationships can only be based on the fact that we actually like the other person and that person actually likes us also.

Consider- Emotion simply exists and it is totally up to us what we will make of it.

When there is a lot of mud stirred up at the bottom of the pond there is a real need to not make decisions from anger, pain, grief, disillusionment, resentment, and victimization.  These are the emotions arising when the mud of unconscious emotions are stirred up at the bottom of the pond.  When this happens we usually respond from one of two ways- Depression because we think we are at fault, or Anger and Blame because we believe whatever has happened is someone else’s fault.

aaeaaqaaaaaaaalpaaaajgy1nzgxm2y1lty5mgytndnjms1izgq3lwyyztlmmtu4yzywygTO BE ENLIGHTENED WE MUST DISCOVER THE MUD IN US!

It’s helpful to try and use muddy times to focus on Evolution rather than going to Hell and taking others with you.  Try to imagine what it means to be Sacred.  Imagine that you can accept yourself.  Imagine that you are able to truly live from your heart so you can act from your ancient wisdom.  When you live from your heart you are listening with the ears of Divine Spirit. You are listening for love, joy, and peace!  You are not listening for insults, judgments, and anger.  You are not afraid of dark entities or evil times.

If we are reacting to life rather than actually choosing life, we are not free.  There is a lot of talk about free will and being free to do what we want to do rather than what some authority tells us to do.  But we are programmed into following the path of least resistance- meaning we do the same things we have always done, think the thoughts we have always thought, tell the stories we have always told, and react the way we always react- this means we no longer understand the meaning of Free Will. 

The Path of Spirit is not there- EVER- to make your life work.  It is there so we have somewhere to stand when our life does not work.  It is the foundation on which we can depend because the Dharma will tell us what to do to restore ourselves to peace, compassion, kindness, and love.

Any Path that tells us that we can have what we want if we follow the proper forms, say the approved prayers, and believe in the correct god, is lying.  Life is not Safe.  There are no guarantees.  We cannot buy enough insurance or say enough prayers to make life safe.

Ash-E-Tah- I accept what is happening.  I don’t like what is happening.  And none of my emotions about this event matter because I will choose to do what is right according to the Dharma of my Spiritual Path even if that does not make me happy right this moment.

Healing restores us to wholeness.  It does not make us perfect.

To learn to Accept the self means accepting all of the self, including our ancient darkness.  We recognize our muddy pond and decide to grow a lotus.  Acceptance means to stop placing blame on others- our mother, father, teachers, friends, spouse, neighbors, or anyone else.  Blaming others will not help us have a better life- changing ourselves and the way we interpret life will help us have a better life.

ENLIGHTENMENT- See it.  Recognize what it is.  Accept what it is. Change it if necessary.  Then you can expand, grow, and be who it is possible for you to be.  Remember it only matters what you DO with what you FEEL.

enlightenment-vs-wisdomThe Path of Enlightenment is for those who are strong enough to follow the Path of Self Questioning.  Yes- question authority.  Your authority-for you are the greatest authority in your life…you always believe you know what everything means.  Do you every question your own authority or do you assume you should not be questioned because you know the truth?  Imagine asking yourself hard questions about what is truly right and not just what feels right in the moment.  Are you choosing from Divine Spirit’s Way of love, joy, and peace?  Or are you choosing from your will, your way, and your story about the way thing should be?