The recent news headlines have been filled with the story of the bloody massacre of a young man in Woolwich, London and many have already spoken about this story from a Three Principles perspective, one such article by Damian Mark Smyth, explains beautifully and eloquently the thought processes that brought the killers to commit such a Mind-less act.
A week or so ago, the headlines were filled with story of a husband who, after having beaten his wife to the ground, then stabbed her to death in front of their five year old son.
What is the difference between these two stories? In fact there is none. The motives were not the same but the “mechanical” thought processes that brought these human beings to destructive acts towards other human beings are exactly the same.
The fact of the matter is, we are the creators of our own experience of life; that is to say that whatever we think we feel. If you have angry thoughts, you will feel angry, if you have loving thoughts, you will feel loving. Conversely, you cannot have a loving thought and feel angry and vice versa. This much every single human being on Earth can understand.
What we can have more difficulty understanding, though it is so beautiful in its simplicity, is that we are, in fact, the ones doing the thinking.
So what is a thought? Since the beginning of the time of man, thought, whether verbalized or not, is the tool that we use to navigate our environment in much the same way as every living creature on Earth uses thought. Thought, as an electro-neural impulse, is what helps us get out of danger, allows us to find food – it is a tool for survival.
In the case of Homo sapiens, it’s an ultra-developed navigation system that we have verbalized and intellectualized. Strangely enough, the term Homo sapiens means “wise man”, yet we can appear to be anything but wise, particularly in committing acts of violence and destruction.
So why is that? Well, it’s fairly simple to understand. When we take our own thoughts very seriously and believe what we are thinking, we feel that we don’t have any choice but to act upon our thoughts. We believe so ardently in the righteousness of our own thinking, we are blinded to the fact that there can be any other possible way of “navigating the surroundings”.
You see – thought is an illusion. If you take two different people and put them in exactly the same set of circumstances, one may find those circumstances unbearable while the other finds them perfectly acceptable or even pretty cool!
When we look on situations of that kind, we will say that one is weak and one is strong and brave and positive but that’s not it. As human beings we are all made equal; what differentiates us is the way we think about things.
The one who finds the circumstances horrible finds it so because of their thoughts, the one who finds the same circumstances acceptable or even pleasant, finds it so because of their thoughts.
Our thoughts create our feelings and we are the ones doing the thinking.
But there is no obligation to think whatever we may be thinking, we can think something completely different but we get stuck in our thinking and can’t see any other way out than the way we are choosing to navigate.
There is one fundamental difference between those two acts of violence, and that is WISDOM.
When the husband had killed his wife, he got his son away from the situation and he called the police himself. When the police arrived, this man was sobbing and crying out for his wife.
The two murderers of the man in Woolwich persevered in the “righteousness” of what they had done.
Here is how I explain the difference. The husband’s murderous thoughts suddenly stopped, his Mind cleared, and he wakened up to the atrocity of his own acts. He was no longer “up in his head” with his thoughts churning; he could suddenly see what he’d done.
The two murderers in Woolwich were still “up in their heads”, the same thoughts turning round and round in their brains, believing their thoughts, unable to let go of them… in all innocence.
And I say “in all innocence” because we are brought up to believe that it is our outside circumstances that dictate how we feel, but we are jumping a step; that step is thought. The link between our circumstances and our sentiment of those circumstances is thought.
If person A believes that person B is responsible for their anger, hurt, negativity, even circumstances, then person A is likely to take their anger out on person B.
But if person A is aware of the fact that they are creating their own experience of life, and that they have no obligation to think what they are thinking, then they become fully responsible of their own thoughts and thus, their own acts. They are no longer a victim of circumstances, or Person B, and are aware that they are making up their own reality.
Thought is like an optical illusion; until we see the illusion we believe it’s real – we see the face of an old lady when we could be seeing the face of a young woman because this much is true: we see what we choose to see, the importance is being aware that we have a choice.