The great search and murder in the name of God
Repressed anger and the shinnying hypocrisy of the world we live in. The fundamental need to Connect with one another. Identities and transcendence. Psychological growth and assuming responsibility of or reality, of our life. “The world is as it is because you are as you are”. The world’s wars are representations of our inner wars. Europe’s Psycho-spiritual transformation crisis, an identity crisis. Each choice we make, each gesture, each act, thought or emotion is an answer to the question “Who are we?”
We are face to face with our own creation. The reality is the expression of our inner world.
What makes some youngsters, living in the middle of the shinning Europe, put on explosives and kill themselves along with hundreds of people? In what way have they strayed from Humanity, joining in one of the armies sworn to murder in the name of God?
I’ve watched an RIS expert, who was probably a psychologist, talk on TV about “radicalization” and about the stages of this process in which a normal youth can become a terrorist. Tens of thousands of such people live in the middle of the arrogance of European democracy. They are citizens of the continent, and thousands of them end up finding a purpose for their life joining in the murderous rage of some terrorist organization. The RIS specialist was speaking with the naiveté of experts as to how “in a few weeks” these people turn into cold blooded killers and was stressing brainwashing and indoctrination. Nothing about the world we live in and in which these youths have been born to, nothing about the lack of purpose in their lives and about the social and cultural alienation, nothing about the isolation or about the smoldering anger that burns at the edge of the great cities of – arguably – the most bloodthirsty civilization known to man.
A few weeks ago I was writing about one of the most troubling moments a human being can go through: that in which he discovers a lack a purpose, of significance for this life, all while navigating the well-organized labyrinths of our world. Usually, a man goes to work in the morning because he has to, because he has bank payments due, children to raise and because that is what he learned he has do to. He does his job and doesn’t enjoy working, even the money he earns fails to motivate him. He then goes to the supermarket on his way home, then he watches the news. Sometimes he goes out with his buddies and talks about the same old things again and again. His life seems like a closed, senseless circle devoided of happiness, creativity, of something new, everything becomes boring and insignificant. There is no passion in his job, no passion in his love-life, no passion on what he choses to do on Sundays. Everything is predefined – I do what my parents did, I pay my taxes, I’m a good man that tries to become a better person, I’ll send my children to a good school so that they can become “someone”, in this hard and dangerous world. At the end of my life I will realize I did what I had to do, but there was too little joy in my life.
Some people discover, before growing old, that their life has no Purpose, and that is a fundamental moment in which change can begin, that great adventure of searching spiritually. It is accompanied by this feeling that “there must be something more to this” beyond the cliché of life.
Imagine how this “There must be something to this” would look like for the youngsters found at the periphery of the great Western cities. Or the second or third generation of some immigrant family that never found their place in the western world. Uprooted, they’ve tried to live in their ghettos clinging to what remains of their old ways. Poor, feeling rejected and treated as second class citizens, filled with resentment and frustration, bathed continuously in the demagogic and hypocritical speeches of a Europe in which they feel they do not belong to because they’re of a different color and religion. It is extremely easy to transform the nostalgic for “the good old times” into “the solid values of tradition”. In their case it is Islam. But not the Islam that preaches peace in the name of Allah, because these people don’t feel inner peace, instead they feel anger and frustration. Not only theirs, but their parents and grandparents as well. They transform into a resonance box of the trans-generational complaints that they, unlike their weak fore bearers, will have the courage of manifesting. They end up “radicalizing”. Not in a few weeks, but in a few generations, on the account of the hypocrisy and demagogy of a world in which they feel foreign.
Thousands upon Thousands of European youths find a sense for their miserable lives under the banner and ideology of some God.
The anger, frustration, fear and violence expressed by them are, whether we like it or not, ours.
How much repressed anger does there need to gather to blow up hundreds of people? I do not know, but the inner processes that we feel when exploring our conscience, in which so many times we’ve found enormous revelations about ourselves and our great inner healing, unearth tremendous anger buried deep, repressed, is generally the result of some more or less conscious choices made at some point.
The mechanisms of fear. The need for connection
In our last Journey named The Art of Conscious Breathing, an advanced form of Practicing the State of Presence, the most important topic that has been revealed from experience during the 7 exploratory sessions, was not coincidentally, the way in which we control the vital energy in ourselves under the effects of fear and anger, even from childhood. The fundamental need for Connection is present in us all. We can call it need for love, attention, presence, but we understand it as a need to connect with others, especially as children. The birth in a human body and identifying with it, living in a reality of separation and borders not only does not smooth the need for connection but actually increases it. The body is a kind of loneliness of our Divine consciousness dimension, loneliness which we will try to compensate for, sometimes desperately, in order to find the Connection. Children need connection with their parents, but as we grow up, the need for connection is reflected in everything we call a Relationship. We will search for connection in our love life, in our friendships and in our children, with our relatives in many shapes and forms. The need for Connection is the expression of the fundamental unity of everything that exists, the need expressed by returning to the whole, of reunifying, while we are in human form, in body. That is why our relationships are extremely significant to every inner process. Our relationships express the depth of the inner rifts, the degree in which we fell isolated. Each relationship in our lives is meaningful to the other person, it represents an aspect of our own being. If the relationship is tense, filled with anger, frustration, shame, guilt or sadness, that is because we reject a part of ourselves. Relationships are mirrors of the inner soul and do not always represent what we expect of ourselves, but what we believe ourselves to be. All the judgements against ourselves are reflected in our relationships with others and with this world we live in. We are declining life experience by having such relationships with ourselves.
The child’s fundamental need for connection with his parents and with the outside world drives him in this attitude of his and will, at some point, create life solutions. In each of our lives there’s a point to which we can reconnect at any time, it is the moment we started counterfeiting ourselves, as children, to obtain that which we needed. A comfort, a praise, a hug or simply the poor energy of attention. The Adults, big, strong, smart, masters of the world, excel through absence. For children the absence of parents is a trauma. Either they disappear from the child’s life, or they are physically present but energetically absent because they are too busy thinking, adults create the situation in which children start self-counterfeiting to satisfy their great need for Connection. They start to falsifying some things, to smile in a certain way, to create attitudes and roles meant to get the attention of the adult parents. They start to do what “must” be done, as they will do for almost the rest of their lives from there on.
The collective and personal dimension of violence have but one root. No one is a stranger to it.
This is the point where self-doubt starts to form, the feeling that no, “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t deserve it”, “I can’t”, in which the great roles we play in our lives with our partner, in the most important relationships, will be born and will manifest in the ways we live. This is the point in which fear, anger, frustration, shame, guilt and sadness all are born. This is the point in which we start to kill ourselves slowly. Our opinions of ourselves are being formed as a response to satisfying the need for Connection and will follow us, unconsciously, perhaps all our lives. Fear and anger will pile-up, the feeling that “I need to always do something” to get what I need from others will turn into a lifestyle. The solution for the child’s survival will still be perfectly valid in adulthood.
Until the day in which the physical manifestation will explode, either it will transform into a disease or it will trigger a search and a process for “self-searching”.
Identities and Transcendence
This fundamental need for connection of the human being, in the plane of linear existence, represents a metaphysical truth: our human identities are transitory, ephemeral, and are concentrations in a more expansive identity, of the being. Once human experience began, corporeal, we forget this, but the need for connection survives. Even if some people will take refuge in stances such as “I need no one”, in their depth the consciousness of unity survives in spite of any identity they assume. Even the hermits, rulers and illuminates express the need for connection in the form of spiritual search. They do not need people, sure, it is too insignificant for them but they crave Connection with divinity. Many times the refuge in spiritual search has as a source a profound discomfort of human relations. Only that the relationships with others, as I was saying, always reflect inner identities, hidden judgements, stances. Humanity is the perfect mirror for each of us, as the Dreamer from The School of Gods said, this world is as it is because you are as you are. If we live in a violent world in which there are people that dress in dynamite and kill in the name of god it is because deep in ourselves there are some aspects ready to kill other aspects in the name of a God. In ourselves there are heroes and villains, implacable judges and soldiers, prostitutes (see the book: Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss) and integrity, victims and saviors. But, above all these roles there is the inner judge. He is the source of fear and anger.
Violence is breathed. It is the air, in the world we’ve created.
An immature ego, infant, that kept using the survival solutions that his child has found to walk further in spite of the lack of connection he feels, tends to project the world’s responsibilities outward. “It’s not my fault the world is as it is, violent, wicket, unjust. God made the world, others rule it, not I, the poor me I cannot do anything but survive”. An immature ego feels completely separated from the world he lives in, that is why his life is a fight, an attack and a defense. He is filled with fear, and anger because he is scared. He is torn between contradictory tendencies. On the one hand he has the same need for connection with others and everything that exists, on the other he is afraid to open up and that fills him with anger. He projects the responsibility for his unhappiness on the world. He does not perceive the fact that each breath, each gesture, each blink of an eye bears energy, his own energy. He does not notice that anger is fueling the anger of the world in which we live in, that the terrorists are the expression of his inner desires to destroy the mechanism of this world that has been charging him with the responsibility of his own miserable life.
One day this immature ego will pass through all the caudine hardships of a linear existence, he will discover those horizontal labyrinths in which he is struggling, and will ask questions on the repetitive circumstances of his life and will be able to discover, in the end, that he is the unconscious creator behind reality. He will discover that the important relations of his life reflect fear and self judgement, that “I’m not worthy”, or “I cannot” that he once said as a child and will be able to choose to make a change, to act differently, create some kind of reality, he will start “looking for himself”, comprehending that “there is something behind this reality”
The serene looks, behind a Kalashnikov, of some youngsters that believe that they’ve found “something greater” something other than the senseless misery of the ghetto. The fighting Archangel in the name of good syndrome, in Muslim expression.
This is the start of the great search for truth about one’s self. The profound understanding appears that in fact the life we’ve constructed, relationships, jobs, health and Imago Dei – the image of God -, have been infantile expressions of the need for connections. Psychological maturity comes only along with reacquiring one’s self confidence. A mature ego is centered on himself, and manages pretty well in this world with all the others, but still feels separated from this world. He still believes that the world is independent of his choices and feelings. The thing that’s missing is opening conceptual borders for integrally assuming responsibility for his life to become one with the responsibility of this world. Something of an identity of which he assumes.
Ken Wilber explains that the exception for detailing over the course of human consciousness in it’s different stages of inner identification, in his books: A Brief History of Everything and No Boundary. At the beginning we thought our bodies are our identity, then we extend identity to family, culture and tribe or nation, and finally to our political, cultural and moral values in which we’ve been born. But a moment comes in which we transcend all identities and that does not mean annihilating identity but instead including and overcoming it. This is the moment in which we discover the transcendental axis of our being – as we call it in the The Inner Master School, and in the moment in which we discover our authenticity and the true meaning of being. Only in this moment do we become free of the past, in the face of which we never close off from again, but instead choose to honor, because we’ve discovered its true nature.
Reality is the result of everything we once were. We shape ourselves into form. The reality cannot be changed unless we do.
The past is condensed life. It is life experience lived already. Everything that surrounds us, everything we feel and touch is structured in the past and bears our prints. It’s ourselves in fixed forms. We can fight with the world continuing to wander, or we can admit that it is part of ourselves, part of our more or less conscious choices. Our life’s situations are ourselves in direct expression. And if in this stage we cannot realize our responsibility, in our most important relationships, as centers of reality it is easy to see why it is difficult to swallow for many that the wars of this world, shaken by crisis and madness on all levels, are a truthful representation of our own inner wars.
And still this is and it was from the beginning. The world was the expression of Consciousness degree of humanity in any moment.
The Great Search
It is not by chance that the central theme of our world’s greatest commotions is a religious one. The world’s religions have had, for the longest time, nothing in common with living spiritually. This always assumes an experience of identity transcendence and the direct discovery of a profound connection that links all of humanity. In the place of this feeling, modern religions are religions of dogma and separation. They are archaic forms of psychological and spiritual human immaturity. Also it’s no mere chance that the youth of this world chooses sometimes to kill themselves and to kill in the name of a religion and a violent God, in whose image they project their own fear and anger. I was saying earlier that reality is the past condensed. Life experience coagulated in visible form. Europe is pretending to be a bastion of democracy, unity, of social justice and perhaps it actually is, but there are people, angry people, immature people that project the responsibility for their happiness on the system, on the government, on the god of this world. The European democracy appears to not represent them, or please them, the unity declared by everyone around some pretty values does not appear to convince them, and social and economic justice seems cynical to them, so much so that they “radicalize” on the command of a Syrian imam and put bombs in the heart of the capital of Europe killing hundreds. We can blame the imam, ISIS and international terrorism, we can form coalitions to send planes and bomb the killers, but that will never save us from looking into our hearts with honesty. Hackers that break into the pentagon’s systems, the sites that publicize the miserable secrets of the modern world, the banking world’s international scandals, of the drug industry, of the pharmaceutical industry, of the energy industry, the pollution crisis, and the wars made for industry, all these clearly indicate that the shining window of European civilization is not the same with the deep truth of things. Europe is shaking at its foundations as a man in a psycho-spiritual transformation crisis.
Islam is a religion of peace. Just as Christianity. But from doctrine to reality lies the long road of experience.
Interestingly enough, the two great threats to Europe’s identity are the millions of Muslim refugees and Muslim terrorism. It’s as if reality would point its finger toward our values and toward the pylons of our civilization. In one man’s life there are four fundamental pylons, or four segments as we define them in our Integral Personal Development: Relationships, Health on all levels – physical, energetic, emotional and mental -, Career and Spirituality, the finest dimension of existence. How are Europe’s relationships with the rest of the world, of our civilization in general with the rest of the world? If we were to make a short analysis, in the case of a person in a transformation crisis, we could draw the conclusion that Europe is exactly in the middle of such a turbulent transformation.
Relationally, Europe is at war. With terrorism, with Russia, with corruption, with pollution, with China, with the refugees, with social issues, with rightwing extremism, with the threat of dissolution. With health, it is enough to look at the statistics referring to heart diseases, cancers, depression, statistics referring to the consumption of drugs, at birth-rates, to get an idea. As on the energetic and emotional health it is enough to watch the news. European spirituality… initially the European Union had at its foundation a cultural and especially a spiritual union, with Christian values put in the middle of its construction. In time they’ve given up on the pretense of cultural union because of obvious reasons, and on the religious unity as well because it was not politically correct. In this void of values, there have been instoled the principles of an ideal democracy base on thought. A democracy maintained with the help of political mechanisms. They have not, even for a moment, reflected on the social reality but on an ideological reality instead. As for access to spiritual experience, the only measure to help the dissolved identities, pulverized in thousands of tendencies, is almost null. The European churches haven’t, for the longest time, had the capacity to offer a space of true spiritual living. Then what is left for the Collective Being of Europe? The reality that is experienced is the faithful mirror of the inner chaos, of its lack of purpose, lack of life’s significance. It is a representation of the mental labyrinths that it had created. Not only young Muslims, from the subourbs, perceive this feeling of senselessness but also many Europeans as well. The question “where is this world going, where is my life going” is not only theirs. 500 Arabs, alienated Belgians and 6000 other Europeans have chosen to fight in the Syrian Iraqi jihads. Unbelievable, but more unbelievable is the number of tens of millions of people from Europe that suffer from depression. They don’t blow themselves up with boms, they do not kill anyone else but themselves. But they are the different expressions of the same phenomenon.
Christianity is a religion of love. As is Islam, love and sword, opening one’s heart and protective armor, what will we chose? Inner choice births action, action births the Reality that we will live in the next moment.
A world completely identified with the exterior aspect of reality, with the mental dimension, linear, perfectly ignoring the inner dimension, but feeling the profound fundamental need for connection. As children would do, the people of this psychologically and emotionally immature world, will, in the worst case, enroll in the terror and murder armies of some God, and in less bad cases they will succumb to the profound sadness called depression. The inner judgement from behind depression is “I cannot, it’s hopeless, I am not deserving, it is futile”.
If this moment and this situation with which Europe is confronting now does not lead us to the deeper questions regarding what we are and what we’ve created together, then our world is in danger as is the life of any man driven by the influence of unconsciousness. We will trigger another war, fully justified, of course, because blood demands blood, a war that perhaps we will win, because we are stronger, but that will not fix in any way our inner crisis. Once slain, the enemy will be reborn in other ways, we will always believe it is bad luck, until we will understand that reality is a mirror of our inner processes. Not by chance are the terrorists European citizens, they have not come from somewhere afar, they are born inside the borders of Europe. They represent those inner aspects and their existence raises questions pertaining to our creation. They represent Europe in the same measure in which her leaders do, in the same measure that each of us does.
Inner crisis transformation, personal, collective and global lead to the inner object of the great search. It is a search for a new identity, for a new answer to the question “who am I and who are we?”. Each situation of our lives is an answer for this question. There is no search in the life of a man or the life of a society, besides pertaining to Identity. Each moment, each gesture, each choice we do, each though, each emotion defines the identity that we assume, and together, we create collective identities. Who is Europe of this moment? What will we choose in this Great Search of identity that we like or loathe, represents our own spirituality.
Instead of an Epilogue
The hardest moment in an inner transformation crisis is when, as is the case now, we are face to face with what we’ve already created. We start to realize that it is our creation, and not some unjust god and we are put in front of a dilemma: do I give up on what I’ve created up until now and start anew? Do I try to repair it from a new avenue of understanding of reality? No matter what the answer is, a new path cannot be created until we accept responsibility for our old creation. Only a Creator can un-make what was made. If we project responsibility on anyone else, then that reality cannot be transformed. Any fight for change will end in reinforcing the particular reality.
We are the mirrors for each other. The fight is with ourselves. What is inside is outside too.
This births an inner conflict that we have seen hundreds of times in our work with so many people who have chosen the path of change and transformation. Some cannot renounce at their old ways, and what they’ve created, even if those old patters brings suffering. They prefer to live in pain. As they’ve done so until then, instead of changing. It is the fear of nonidentity. “If I am not who I was and my life is not as it was, then who am I and what will I become?” the Ego prefers the comfort zone of a painful identity rather than changing. The Ego fears change as it fears death, dissolution. In addition, it uses the created reality as a pretext for its own lack of responsibility: “I must”.
Others perceive the truth exactly, that the crisis is caused by their own identities, roles, limited faiths based on self and world judgement, on fear and on the projection of responsibilities. They comprehend with precision that the only sense of human existence is transcendence. Some choose forgoing the old ways and a wider identity, in which “we” replaces the “I”, sometimes in the scale of humanity as a whole. They are few. From what we can perceive, a few percentages of the entire humanity. The wider and more refined the experiences of these minorities are, the more the conflicts and contradictions become even bigger in the heart of our humanity as a whole, and the crisis accentuates. Seen on television, humanity seems on the road to inner collapse. Seen from the within humanity’s profound Consciousness, this extraordinary adventure of self-discovery from a personal, collective and global scale is dramatic but filled with splendor. The inner convulsions of the great being called humanity inspire something heroic and archetypal. Though fall and glory are always possible. Nothing is guaranteed, nothing is written in stone. Just as life is.
We do not belong to the few that believe that a small percentage of humanity changes everything. On the contrary, we believe that every human counts, each human experience that finds full conscious resolution changes something. We’ve explored this truth in so many of our inner healing journeys. The energy of a Sacred Circle is made from the energy of all and that is why each circle is unique and unrepeatable. The Sacred Circle called Humanity is unique and unrepeatable. The energy of each o us matters in the great global equation in each moment.
How open am I in this moment, so that I can feel and accept the whole of Creation? Each conscious inspiration is healing something of Humanity. What do I exhale in this moment as thoughts, emotion, energy and gesture in this world? Each exhale and each blink of the eye bears the mark of what I am in this moment and is my contribution to the collective space of experience of the whole.