Witness to Violence & Repression

Topics related to physical, emotional and psychological forms of pain and suffering

Witness to Violence & Repression

Postby maite » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:50 pm

Hello. I have been studying the work of Eckhart Tolle since 2009. Right now I am faced with a situation I am not sure how to cope with.

I live in Spain, which many of you know is undergoing turmoil due to the crisis. Last Wednesday, that reached a violent peak during a nation-wide general strike. There was a protest in my city that evening and the crowd, as usual, had gathered in a plaza afterwards to listen to a speaker. Suddenly, without warning, riot cops swarmed in and started beating people. Young, old, familes....it was an awful sight to behold. I was also attacked by three police and beaten with a baton over my arms, legs, and back. A friend was left bloodied and will have to remain flat on his back for a month to prevent further damage to his eye.

This sudden attack spawned a counter-attack from the crowd, who threw bricks, glass, etc. The police then brought out rubber bullets. This was all in a small city that has never seen violence on it's streets.

The newspapers lied about the incident, and the police have made it clear that they will retaliate against people who speak out (they threatened people on the scene who were taking photos/videos). Two friends were taken to jail on false charges (one was not even present, they arrested him the next day for allegedly inciting people to riot) and are facing sentences of 5 and 7 years, respectively.

I know I cannot get stuck in the victim mentality and negativity. My question is: should I continue to be involved in political issues? Should I participate in the struggle for peace and justice? This incident makes me feel hopeless and want to drop out of all of this; on the other hand, seeing innocent people suffering makes me want to help, but how? I would appreciate any thoughts on how to move on from here.

Thank you.
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Re: Witness to Violence & Repression

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:19 pm

The more you see life in terms of right and wrong the more you will live in a sense of separation and turmoil. Consider how you feel about your experience of events. The more you feel anger and judgment, the clear it is that you are out of alignment with Source energy. The way you feel in any given moment is a marker of your clarity in being.

What you 'should' do is find a way of perceiving conditions and events that bring you peace and clarity. That way of perceiving is far more likely to be one of returning to your true nature and perceiving events as unfolding perfectly in a greater sense than can be seen from the ego's perspective. Make peace with what is. If you cannot change what is, change how you perceive it.

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Re: Witness to Violence & Repression

Postby smiileyjen101 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:34 am

My question is: should I continue to be involved in political issues? Should I participate in the struggle for peace and justice? This incident makes me feel hopeless and want to drop out of all of this; on the other hand, seeing innocent people suffering makes me want to help, but how? I would appreciate any thoughts on how to move on from here.


Even in times of turmoil one can move into presence and ask - what would love do now?
Even injustice can be met with calm truth. Somehow this presence is heard and felt louder than any noise and those that come into 'range' feel it, the energies of the universe join with it and it becomes like river flowing, catching everything up in its path. The river may have a long journey to take, with twists and bends and rapids and waterfalls, it's a movement of energies being fed into by individuals, either riding it, or, being caught up in it.

It is exactly the same with the energies of fear and reaction. When fear is in flow people can't even hear themselves, let alone those with a different message to the one to which they have subscribed or are flowing within.

It's helpful to know which stream/river one is in at any moment both the personal one, and the wider one and make conscious choices in love for self and others. Whichever 'flow' you are in is the one you will experience.

As a review, how aware were you of the rising tensions into fear and energy of violence? Even before the police moved there would have been 'signals' that it was escalating.

Once it did escalate, how aware were you of your own energy filtering and response - which energy stream was your energy feeding into?

How did you respond to your attackers? Love/fear?

How did you relate with them, and they with you?

It's the same as any life journeying, presence makes no enemies yet can move mountains.

In every moment, presence will guide you.
In every choice - what love would do now, will hold you at peace with yourself, regardless of what others choose.

Serenity ~ Courage ~ Wisdom, are all found only in clarity/presence in any given moment.

You are already aware of the turmoil in motion inside you - which shall you choose?
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
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Re: Witness to Violence & Repression

Postby maite » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:25 pm

Thank you both for sharing your thoughts. I am realizing more and more that this is something that will take time for me to come to terms with. That can be frustrating at times as there are more things happening here: press conferences, talk of reporting abuse to the police, more protests, etc and yet I don't yet know where I stand or how I do or don't want to participate.

I just need to have patience.

Last night I was reading James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son just by chance and ran across this beautiful quote:

“It began to seem that one would have to hold in the mind forever two ideas which seemed to be in opposition. The first idea was acceptance, the acceptance, totally without rancor, of life as it is, and men as they are: in the light of this idea, it goes without saying that injustice is a commonplace. But this did not mean that one could be complacent, for the second idea was of equal power: that one must never, in one's own life, accept these injustices as commonplace but must fight them with all one's strength. This fight begins, however, in the heart and it now had been laid to my charge to keep my own heart free of hatred and despair. This intimation made my heart heavy and, now that my father was irrecoverable, I wished that he had been beside me so that I could have searched his face for the answers which only the future would give me now.”
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Re: Witness to Violence & Repression

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:37 pm

Injustice can only exist within a context of right and wrong. But perceptions of right and wrong are what separates us from a clearer sense of cause and effect - and from each other. Rather than just choosing a side and fighting for a cause, choose a perspective and stand for clarity. You will find there are plenty of issues on all sides of any struggle, and it is only clarity that will bring genuine peace to a conflict - internal or external. Know who you are first and foremost. Find peace with your own being. That will do more good than winning the fight.

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Re: Witness to Violence & Repression

Postby rideforever » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:02 pm

maite wrote:“It began to seem that one would have to hold in the mind forever two ideas which seemed to be in opposition. The first idea was acceptance, the acceptance, totally without rancor, of life as it is, and men as they are: in the light of this idea, it goes without saying that injustice is a commonplace. But this did not mean that one could be complacent, for the second idea was of equal power: that one must never, in one's own life, accept these injustices as commonplace but must fight them with all one's strength. This fight begins, however, in the heart and it now had been laid to my charge to keep my own heart free of hatred and despair. This intimation made my heart heavy and, now that my father was irrecoverable, I wished that he had been beside me so that I could have searched his face for the answers which only the future would give me now.”

This quote is ... like many beautiful quotes very emotive, but I believe does not offer the truth.

The first part is correct, acceptance of the ugliness of society ... however the second part is not correct ... it is not necessary to feel like you have an emotive honour to fulfill, that you must fight the darkness etc... the correct second part is that you must also accept yourself - accept yourself in action, accept yourself in inaction.

Any feelings of honour or good and bad ... just turns the wheels of karma over and over ... that is why one war leads to another, one social revolution leads to another and another.

The acceptance must also be of you as you, how you are ... whatever that is. You may respond to the situation in many ways, running away, doing nothing, fighting ... loving people .... whatever ... just don't judge it.

Be as you are, and you are already the force for good.
I was proud, and I demanded the finest teacher
.. .. and when he appeared
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Re: Witness to Violence & Repression

Postby smiileyjen101 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:11 am

Maite there are many times in the journey of life where we are called upon to exercise wisdom in our choices, and sometimes those choices seem difficult to make. Knowing yourself, accepting yourself being loving and compassionate to self... and equally applying love and compassion for all others is the greatest freedom the heart can hold, even if it feels scary sometimes as it does call you to action in the face of injustices that are right here, right now, but it doesn't make a heavy heart, it makes a heart that knows itself and its true capacity.

Knowing yourself you can hold your presence no matter the situation, you can more clearly make choices and have a peaceful heart in the choosing because you choose willingly to accept, change or remove yourself from a situation - even if that situation is a mind created 'crisis'.

In the biggest of human pictures/perspectives - globally people have come to define what they 'need' in order to be happy, yet in many instances what they think they 'need' enslaves them into a culture of delaying happiness, hoarding and abusing resources and creating enemies, obstacles and means to an end towards happiness that never arrives.

There has long been a building imbalance across the globe and within societies and much of this building has been upon false premises. It may seem strange but the 'crisis' is not really a 'crisis' at all it's a turning point. It's about facing reality after decades of delusion in terms of resources and redefining how to share them more realistically and sustainably. The furore and angst is part of the healing process, very much the journey between expectation and reality, and for many in many societies that journey will be viewed as painful as they give up their false ideas of how they 'expected' their future would be and redefine what they 'need' in order to be happy.

In reality though nothing real has changed. In Scotland they would say, we've had our dance, now its time to pay the piper. Those who came late to the dance may grumble, but in reality they have lost nothing that they didn't have in the first place.
The facade is peeling off the veneers of walls built to create the illusions of growth and prosperity beyond where it was ever real. Greed built castles in the air and those castles are crumbling.

Food, water, shelter and belonging are the true human primary needs. All else is a bonus in reality. And there are some on this planet who for long seasons do not even have that.

On the immediate and closer perspective I read this article and looked into the traumatised eyes of this young police officer at the rally pictured. http://www.voxxi.com/spain-general-stri ... ty-relief/
How hard would it be to look upon him as your brother - he likely has family that has been just as affected by the austerity cuts and he is trying to maintain his own job. When peaceful protests turn violent its because people forget we are brothers and sisters together. Any gain made in violence is going to swing back the other way. Only agreements made in accord with fairness all round find the balance in the first place. From there the depth of agreement grows, rather than the width of disagreement.

As an aside I saw an interesting short doco a couple of weeks ago about people in Greece who had left the cities because of the cutbacks and had returned to a more simple life with a connection to growing or rearing their food sources. They'd returned to numerous small villages that were grateful for more hands to contribute within their communities. They discussed all the 'riches' they had lost from their lives in the cities, their powerful positions and material possessions all lost.

To a one each one of them said they had actually never been happier, they would not return to the city even if prosperity returned, they felt at peace and honest after a good days work, their pleasures were simple and connected. To a one they were amazed to even be saying it, they did not miss their 'high life', some even regretted not making the change earlier.

One needs to step back in times of confusion and say 'What is it we are fighting about and for?'

In clarity the answers will always come in love and compassion, generosity and gratitude, the answers will always be ...with love and compassion, generosity and gratitude.

If you see that young policeman out there, give him a hug for me.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
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