“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…” ― Hermes Trismegistus
There is a plurality of perspectives, opinions, attitudes, angles and perceptions for just about anything you can think of.
Sports, politics, psychology, sociology, crime; you name it, there are a bunch of differing thoughts as to why what is happening in our world is happening.
Having varied answers to life’s questions isn’t the biggest conflict we face today, but it certainly seems like it. After all, weren’t the Crusades and the Cold War fought due to varied opinions? In my opinion, no.
It is not that recently that people of varied political beliefs, religions and schools of thought existed together. Their thoughts may have opposed one another, but they did not oppose one another.
The biggest conflict we face in our outer world is the inability or unwillingness to step into the opposing attitude. It is also the biggest conflict we have within ourselves and explains why it is so hard for us to do it for others. Allow me to explain with some examples.
You have a desire to be wealthy but no matter how hard you try, it just won’t happen. You’re not just angry with yourself, you’re disappointed and ashamed.
What’s more is that you’ve failed to see that these are varied perspectives inside of you. Just as how a socio-economic class laments about some issue they have with the economy by showing varying emotions and varied solutions, so do you.
Now, if you love yourself enough or have enough self-respect, you will listen to these varied sides of you. You will grieve because a part of you wants to grieve the shame. You will vent because you’re frustrated. You will also listen to what you’ve learnt because you still have the desire.
By doing these things in a responsible way, you will not then steal, envy or manipulate for it. These types of actions are done when you don’t allow the various sides of you the chance to express themselves. It is no different than when marginalized people who are never heard or accounted for, turn to antisocial behaviors to get what they want.
Here’s another example. You are unhappy in a relationship, whether platonic or romantic, yet you stay in the relationship. You’ve been in this relationship for a long time and things aren’t getting any better.
Because you failed to fully acknowledge the part of you that is unhappy, instead opting to focus solely on being positive, or the thought that you don’t deserve better or even the thought that this is what friendship or love is, you stay stuck and you rot from the inside.
When we deny our internal worlds, our external world reflects just that — the denial that anything is wrong. No one’s coming to rescue someone who smiles at the hellscape. Even if someone did arrive, they can’t make you do anything. Moreover, when we get proof that things could be different, we ignore it because we ignored that notion in ourselves first.
How then could we look at conflicts between strangers and find a solution? It’s virtually impossible. We can’t do that for our so-called close relationships and we can’t even do that for ourselves. Good luck trying to make peace with someone who has strife within themselves, within their family and within their neighborhood. You are several degrees away from them caring about you or seeing your side to things.
The bedrock of war is one’s inability to solve one’s inner wars. The pain is eventually externalized, it engulfs the world and it triggers the unresolved wars within others. As a result, the world is washed in suffering many times over.
What is the solution to this? The various and conflicting aspects within you have to air out how they feel. Only by doing so can one find the truth, then a solution and finally peace of mind. We cannot bully our opposing side. We’ve seen what happens when we do that — lots of suffering and the “proof” that if you destroy your opponent, you were right. But even when one side emerges the victor, the other side slinks into the corner, waiting to rear itself in the future. The war is never really over.
Each side thinks it has the truth. In reality, they only have some of it. But if both can air out what they think and how they feel on a topic, another reality emerges; and in this one, both are satisfied. In the case that one side is actually mistaken about something, that side would still have to be educated. But that cannot happen if it isn’t allowed to share what it believes and is belittled.
What’s bugging you? What’s something that no matter how hard you try to change, it never happens? There is a wounded aspect of you that needs you to listen. When you feel that pain and let the pain speak, you’ll understand why you’ve been feeling off; you’ll understand why you’ve been reliving the same things over and over again. This is how we’ll change the planet.
We can’t change the world unless we change ourselves. But perhaps we didn’t realize just how fundamental of a change was required. Now we know. Let’s do better for ourselves and our fellow human beings.