The Sources of Violence and Conflict Within Us

By and large, humanity has forgotten the relationship between thoughts and reality. The world that we experience is the reflection of what we carry inside us. Mystics, sages and shamans throughout the ages have tried to remind us of this fact. Western culture has largely turned its back upon such notions, however. Since the Industrial Revolution, we’ve increasingly viewed the world as something separate from ourselves, and thus not responsive to our inner life – something to be manipulated, tamed and conquered. Within the reality painted by such beliefs, thoughts appear to have no influence; and violence seems like power.

When we’re involved in a conflict, it is because something has touched upon an internal wound and/or we’re trying to draw energy from those around us in some way. You could apply this to personal strife as well as to larger global conflicts. Both of these stances are fueled by one underlying assumption: That we do not create our reality for ourselves, but are rather at the mercy of an exterior world separate from us.

The acknowledgment of our personal power to create reality is the key to all forms of healing and problem solving; and the misunderstanding of it is the source of all our problems and sufferings, both individually and collectively. When a country wages war upon another for the sake of resources, it is because of an underlying conviction that abundance is not really created from within. Conflict is always fueled by our ignorance of our own divinely creative natures.

This can be an empowering truth. The next time you feel overwhelmed and insignificant in the face of wars and other predicaments on a mass scale, remind yourself that this world is the mirror of your inner condition. You can then take personal responsibility, explore that inner reality, and see where you are contributing to the light and where you are creating darkness. There is no God to thank or Devil to blame. Tracing everything in our life experience back to their sources within us empowers us to direct our lives in the most positive and expansive way. It also implies that all of our conflicts and dilemmas, collectively, can be conquered with the knowledge and application of our true creative power.

No militaries would exist anywhere in the world if we did not carry the seeds of violence within ourselves. Ages ago, the use of force to settle conflicts was inspired by deep fear within our race. Some of that fear persists today, and is projected upon foreign lands that are then proclaimed our enemies. But much of the persistence of war – of the veritable addiction to violence that afflicts so many people in this world – can be attributed to an underlying sense of powerlessness.

From the standpoint of our separation from our deeper selves, hate seems more powerful than love; and war seems more effective than compassion and understanding. If we don’t understand and feel the connection between our thoughts and our outer experiences, then it seems to us that manipulating the physical environment is the only way to achieve goals and create change. In that arena, so much of the true thrust of love and consciousness becomes invisible. It seems so ineffective alongside a bomb or a machine gun. In reality, it is so much more powerful. Human consciousness created bombs and machine guns in the first place, long before human hands invented them.

Reference:

Pearson DG, Ross FD, & Webster VL (2012). The importance of context: evidence that contextual representations increase intrusive memories. Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry, 43 (1), 573-80 PMID: 21867664

Grof, S. (1996). Consciousness evolution and planetary survival: Psychological roots of Human violence and greed World Futures, 47 (4), 243-262 DOI: 10.1080/02604027.1996.9972599

ResearchBlogging.org

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  • Awesome perspective. The old mind vs. world dichotomy was always problematic, and we are increasingly getting bogged down in it. True change comes from within!

    • Jason Carr

      Exactly! Thanks for reading Scott 🙂

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  • This is an interesting posting, and it’s one that just last night, my therapist and I were discussing this. The power to shape our world is found within is something that, outwardly, makes sense, but it’s a hard concept to believe, considering the world we live in. I am speaking personally here.

    This particular section struck me simultaneously as interesting and puzzling:

    ” If we don’t understand and feel the connection between our thoughts and our outer experiences, then it seems to us that manipulating the physical environment is the only way to achieve goals and create change.”

    I’m going to take a little more time to digest this article so I can offer meaningful commentary.

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