In light of recent events in the world, we felt it was important to shine some light on our perspective on the matters.
Often in spiritual communities, there is a break in the conversation between the use of violence, creating change, destruction, and the emerging of a new consciousness. Of course, it doesn’t seem ethical to support violence, but what happens when the violence seems like an inevitability, against the corrupt forces which are more violent and using their energy to impose domination and control against people?
It’s often an awkward conversation to have, when profound spiritual revelations through modalities such as meditation and even plant medicine, we receive insights such as “everything is love.” Yet, we live in a world with a tremendous volume of inequality, injustice, and systemic racism.
We know that on a macro level, we are collectively moving into higher consciousness, and the intensity of global events is shining light on how dark things are. In this, we seem to be viewing some of the most mysterious of our collective shadow.
Looking at the wisdom of the world, we dove in to discover if there was an answer to this question. From many ancient philosophies, religions, and cultures, we have found the wisdom that even in the case of war and violence, there is a time and a place for it when necessary.
One example of this can be found in the Baghavad Gita. One of the main characters, Arjuna, is faced with leading an army into battle and struggles with the awareness that many of his friends and family are on the opposing army. Yet, Krisha appears to him and guides him through many lessons, to help him realize that this war is in divine order and that Arjuna must see the battle through because if he does not, chaos and terror will reign supreme. However, if he fights, he will change the course of history and create a new era of peace.
We also may glean some insights from a particular part of ancient Egypt’s history.
Do you remember Akhenaten, who we discussed in the original Human History movie?
During his short reign, this significant Pharaoh changed the rules dramatically for how Egypt was governed, and one of the things he did was pull all of the military forces back, and he said — do not attack unless someone attacks first. Implying very clearly as though having a military is essential, but for what intention? It is not to dominate others, but only as a line of defense.
In the influential Chinese spiritual text, the Tao Te Ching, there is a passage in one translation that states, “There is no calamity greater than lightly engaging in war.”
In another translation of the same verse, it says, “There is no mistake greater than making light of an enemy — through overconfidence we make ourselves vulnerable.”
These concepts, in many ways, have been distilled in our western culture to our shared belief in the human right of self-defense .
If I am physically, emotionally, or mentally attacked by someone, we all pretty much agree that I have a right to protect myself, up to and including an appropriate level of physical “violence” to do so.
If I am walking in my city and see a child across the street getting physically abused by a much larger, adult man, well, that’s also easy to discern rightfulness — it’s direct and present, at that moment. I feel COMPELLED to protect this child, as I would care for myself. I step in, perhaps with physical intervention, to the best of my abilities, and most would share the understanding that this would be appropriate.
But what if I see a video of my brother or sister being beaten down and killed by someone else with no apparent rightful cause?
And what if it is a story and scenario that I have heard of and seen before?
And what if I perceive the problem not to be that one person or small group of people that killed my brother or sister, but instead, I recognize that the problem is a culture, a set of rules, or a system that supports these atrocities?
How does the principle of self-defense apply?
How do I protect myself? How do I protect my brothers and sisters against not just a person, but a system, a culture?
The truth is — this is not going to be a clean transition into a new paradigm or conventional way of being. It’s messy, because the system that attempts to impose its control upon our freedom has deep roots around the world, and to them, giving up control or a change in the way we collectively think is not an option.
The philosophers will say that if a situation demands violence to protect yourself, it is acceptable. But the determination of when a position requires a more extreme action or violence is entirely subjective, and therefore something that is perhaps difficult for many to agree upon.
When is it necessary to take action? When is the line crossed?
The United States declaration of independence itself states that “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
Ultimately, this will be a job for both the American people and the people of the world to do something about, at every level. People in positions of power or authority are just as responsible as those who line the streets in protest about the injustice and tyranny in the world. Everyone must do their part if we are all to create the change we want to see. We must stand up for a higher potential reality for all of us if we’re going to see that come to be.
Ending racism and police brutality, among other things, is only just the beginning. If we want to see a better world, we are going to have to really shift our thinking, speak to the reality we want to create, and then move towards them with passion, purpose, and collaboration.
And while so many are protesting actively, there are also many, many more who are watching it all transpire. For those who are not compelled to join the protests, the question becomes, what can we do in these moments of uncertainty?
This is going to be an answer that each person must generate on their own.
It feels of the utmost importance to focus on the elevation of global consciousness and bringing our most authentic truth, wisdom, and love to the world. Along with this, it feels essential to stress the significance of daily meditation.
We know through the Maharishi effect that mass meditations can affect global consciousness. If millions upon millions of people were to practice meditation and prayer every day, we might help to offset the anger and violence and bring new awareness to the world by raising our consciousness.
But of course, we recognize that meditation alone will not change the world. Actions must also be taken. We see this happen today, and we pray that humanity continues to take steps towards a better future for us all, as we move throughout this year and beyond.
We love this world and want nothing more than to see humanity rise into a new paradigm of truth, love, and authenticity. But to get there, we must recognize the systemic problems that ripple throughout the underbelly of society, keeping us tethered to old ways of thinking and behaving. It’s time for us to be the change, to embody the shifts we want to see the world transform into.
If we all do our part, no future is out of reach.