We Are Doing Little to Address
the Cause of Violence in Our World
Could it be that all that is going on in our world right now—Syria, New Orleans, Boston, Iraq, Iran—is the result of a very young species of sentient beings undergoing the pains of its own evolutionary process?
The violence, the unending assaults of one group of humans upon another, the loathing and hatred which fuels it, the struggles of the rest of the world to overcome all of this while living alongside it…I believe that all of this could be, in part at least, the fallout of a fundamental condition in the human psyche—one might even call it a “psychological injury”—from which humanity must recover if we are ever to take our place as highly evolved life forms within the cosmic community of sentient beings.
Any animal, backed into a corner, will attack. When people are in pain—pain they cannot seem to find a way to end—they can react and respond in painful ways. They plunder, they injure, they rape, they kill. They go to war with each other, and in not a few cases they go to war with themselves.
What is not understood as widely as I wish it were among the people of the world is that this is a spiritual problem, not merely or simply a psychological one. It is because I understand this that I know the messages of the New Spirituality to be of such importance.
PART ONE OF A THREE- PART NEWS ANALYSIS
Humanity’s deepest pain is felt collectively by the species at varying levels among its members. Yet no single human being seems immune to it. The secret of ending humanity’s deepest pain may be found in a simple four-word statement that leads off a nine-book series of spiritual texts spanning more than 3,000 pages, called Conversations with God.
To see how this could be true, we need first to identify humanity’s deepest pain. That can be done with one word: Separation.
World famous psychologists and psychiatrists, such as Arthur Janov and Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, have suggested for years that deep emotional pain that has been repressed by the mind is at the root of many of the psychological challenges faced by human beings, and nearly all of their dysfunctions, including violent behavior.
It is the mind’s job to push such pain deep into the subconscious, so to allow each person to go on with life in a reasonably well-adjusted way. So when bad things happen to us, we automatically and quickly submerge them—not actually forgetting them (although is rare cases we do even that), but removing ourselves (sort of, “stepping away from”) the emotional content of them.
Yet when you step away from something, you do not cause it to cease to exist. You merely put some distance between you and it. It still exists, it’s simply not right in front of your face.
Negative emotions are never deleted from our memory. They are simply stored in a different place: the subconscious; the layer beneath our conscious mind. Thus, our mind holds the data of our emotional pain forever.
Today’s computers work very much the same way. It is virtually impossible to actually delete data from a computer. You can send a document to TRASH, but that does not delete it from the computer’s memory bank. It merely moves it to another location on the hard drive—a place that is not “seen” on the desktop or in any of the user’s folders or files.
The data still resides in the computer’s memory, however—as persons with criminal intent have learned to their chagrin the moment that sophisticated law enforcement investigative techniques are used to examine their laptops.
You can now purchase software for your computer called, by some companies, a “shredder” (which inspires images of a paper-shredder-kind-of-program in your computer), but even this software does not remove any data from your machine. It merely overwrites it. Overwriting a file multiple times renders the data within it virtually indecipherable, and that is said to be one sure way to “trash” the data. Yet, technically, it is still there.
So it is with your mind. You can shove your unwanted data (bad memories, traumatic events) into your personal “trash bin” (the subconscious), but can never get it completely out of your mind. You can “overwrite” it with dozens of newer and better memories, and soon the bitter memories can begin to fade, but they will never be deleted.
Unlike computers, however, there seems to be no way to control if or when this “unwelcome data” shows up in our lives, triggered by something that causes it to spontaneously arise out of the subconscious and take over the conscious mind.
I believe that this is precisely explains the state of human affairs on this planet today. It explains Syria and Boston, Iraq and Cleveland, and all that is going on in between. Yet there some ways open to us by means of which humans can release these negative emotions without harming others or themselves.
(Next: A look at what psychology offers around all of this—then, a surprising description of what you can do as an average, ordinary person to offer a non-psychological solution that, if it swept the planet, could change the world.)