Shifting Our View of Violence

The moral view of violence, labeling it as bad and wrong, has done little to end it. The alternative view is to release our judgments and see violence for what it is: a form of suffering. This is a difficult shift for many people. Not only are they in the habit of making knee-jerk judgments, but violent people cause harm, and therefore their suffering seems to deserve less sympathy.

You hurt me, so why should I have compassion for you? It should be the other way around. Does it take a saint to make the shift from moral outrage to compassion?

Turning points arrive when we can make a choice not to suffer in silence. We then strike a soul bargain that is fearful but necessary. The bargain is that redemption is possible through love. The absence of love is absolutely the problem, and love is absolutely the solution. We donít have to reach into another realm to locate the redeeming power of love that is available to us here and now.

The problem is that love comes through a fallible human being. The rule is constant work on the spiritual path to clear away the obstacles that prevent love from coming through us. The work is much more like working on clogged plumbing than it is like imitating a saint.

Hope is the emotion that sustains this dogged work even when results seem to be slow or impossible. Can I love the terrorist who harms my country? Can I love the criminal who wants to harm me? At the level of the soul I already do, and the spiritual path is a means to arrive at that level.

No one is required to leap into sudden compassion for terrorists, or even to announce publicly that our enemies deserve love. But in our souls each of us harbors the knowledge that only love is going to bring violence to an end. No matter how you and I live our outward lives, our spiritual lives must remain devoted to that vision.

Adapted from: Peace Is the Way, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2005).

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95 comments

Liv Roman
Liv Roman5 years ago

thanx

Sean K.
Sean K.5 years ago

I feel this is where the most work is neccessary to fulfill one's desired purpose.
Atlas, undertaking the path makes work the old trait, hence the newer ideal to perpetuate the area of Universal Love of what Is.

Christian H.
.5 years ago

Truly, love is the only way.

Dana Awachi
Danah A.5 years ago

Great start for my day  I'm optimistic already!

Vanessa S.
Vanessa S.5 years ago

This is a very interesting way of looking at things. Thanks foe the great post.

Vanessa S.
Vanessa S.5 years ago

This is a very interesting way of looking at things. Thanks foe the great post.

Jewels S.
Jewels S.5 years ago

I had to relearn this recently. An aggressive poster I tried to make aware of what their violent ways was doing to others just continued to be aggressive but I let go and took the challenge onto myself and I feel better. So I feel I am spreading peace into the world again. Namaste.

Ann W.
Ann W.5 years ago

challenging and true. I forgive, even as I distance myself from the wrong doer (in a German family, women are expected to do all the "mending" -- and then not act surprised when the men act like greedy children, again!)

Melissa Burns
Melissa Burns5 years ago

Forgiveness can be hard to do. Letting go of anger, resentment and fear takes effort for sure.

I'm currently recommending Rosemary Trible's book, "Fear to Freedom."

Her book is based on her experience, strength and strong conviction. It inspires women of trauma and/or anxiety to becoming bold enough to dream again. It's also about hope and healing, and the profound message that the cycle of fear and anxiety can be broken.

Janice L.
Janice Lawrence5 years ago

This is a good reminder of the work we have to do each day.