There are no bad guys!
Try and visualize in your mind the following scenario; you pick up the newspaper and read an article about a parent performing some horrific atrocity to a child. The police arrest the individual, who in turn accuses the police officer of police brutality.
Examine what thoughts, feelings and emotions you would likely experience as you read the article. Is there a tendency to judge the parent and in what way? What about the police officer? What emotions are felt toward the child? A common range of thoughts and emotions might go something like this; anger and outrage toward the parent, perhaps a strong sense of violation of the boundaries between right and wrong, a need to see justice? What about the police officer? Was he justified in bringing about some form of justice in a broken judicial system, or perhaps you feel he should also be punished because there are too many instances of police vigilanteism. Are there emotions tugging at your heart in sympathy for the child? How can there not be, after all the child did not deserve this.
Now lets re-examine from a self awareness stand point. When the above scenario was observed from a position of Ego, a great deal of thoughts, and emotions can quickly be observed. What thoughts and emotions you felt are a direct result of your own personal conditioning and views toward the world. Where one person may have felt anger and outrage toward the parent, another may have felt curiosity as to what brought a parent to this point. Whether you saw the police officer's actions as justifiable or reprehensible is again based on your own personal conditioning. Many of the thoughts feelings and emotions were likely to have had a very uncomfortable quality to them, especially if anger or outrage was among them.
These thoughts, feelings and emotions have a physical quality to them that do not feel very comfortable within us. They may even have a negative impact upon our physical well-being due to the stresses they produce. Now aside from that, what impact or benefit do they have on the parent, child or police officer? None! No matter what thoughts, feelings or emotions we may choose to engage in, none of them can undo what has been done, or help or change the situation in any way. Perhaps it may motivate someone to take action, but if action is taken from a position of strong emotion, its action can only lead to outcomes similar to the way the police officer handled the situation.
Now lets look at the what would happen if we had read the news article from a position of non-judgement and acceptance, in other words, not allowing any thought formations whatsoever to arise out of the situation. We would not have created any ill will, negative thoughts, or uncomfortable feelings within ourself. The event would simply have been an event that occurred. Feelings of love, and empathy for the child may still motivate you to take action to help the child, but now it can be done without the negative components that can cause irrational behaviour. If this were the position from which the police officer was operating, he would have simply done his job, the parent would simply have been arrested and brought in to custody. From there he would have been able to leave it up to the rest of the justice system to do the best job they are able.
A position of curiosity toward the parent might leave one wondering what drove the parent to commit the atrocity in the first place. Each and every one of us has had to face situations and events throughout our lives that cause us to act and react in certain ways. This is true for the parent as well. He or she may have been abused as a child, or witnessed horrific events in their youth. Something in their past has led to their actions.
A scenario laid out in this fashion shows the value of learning to become self aware. If we who practice self awareness and meditation for the purpose of transcending Ego find it to be a challenging task, what right then do we have to judge another person, one for whom self awareness may not even be a possibility. If we who are trapped in our Ego and are aware of it have difficulty controlling it, how then, can we expect someone else to be able to do so.
Compassion and empathy in turn seem to be the only healthy feelings one can harbour toward all parties involved, not just the child. Only when self awareness becomes so mainstream that every human on the planet practices it, and it is in turn taught in schools to our youth, can we expect to see violence, hatred, and anger start to disappear from the planet, and for the human race to evolve into a world of peace. As Ghandi said "Be the change you would like to see in the world"
|Michael L. Fournier|