For peace, first understand the causes of violence
Written: | Published: September 29, 2020
We live in a world of great paradoxes. Now, more than ever, we are capable of providing for all our needs and ultimately, to live more peacefully. Yet despite this, we are faced with a world of growing crises and continued violence.
Why is this, and what can we do about it?
Firstly, let’s acknowledge that most of us do intend to create, and live in, a world of peace. We humans are mostly kind and benevolent beings. And even when we go off course, we are reminded that the power for peace and well-being lies within us. The greats of our history – like Ghandi – all reminded us of these truths: when we nourish love and kindness, when we educate our young to be empathic, we create a society of greater peace. It seems ironic then that in a world full of caring people we still struggle to overcome violence. It is this fact that gives rise to the concept and missions of ‘non-violence’.
What exactly is non-violence – is it the absence of violence or is it something else?
Is it possible to think of non-violence without also thinking of violence? This is not suggesting we deny the presence of violence. But rather, that we take the time to really understand what creates a peaceful society. It is an invitation to continue strengthening our resolve for peace-building mindsets. And to recognise that, what we are reaching for is not so much about an absence of violence, but rather an environment that supports peace. Yet ironically, in order to understand this more fully, we must first understand how violence arises.
What is it that causes violence?
If we look closely we might see it’s not just when we forget to nurture the inherent goodness within us that violence arises.
It has been said that to treat any ill we must remedy the environment of the patient. The presence of violence also tells us that the environment in which we live can reduce us to wounded, frightened, threatened beings.
And if we ask ourselves ‘what exactly is violence?’ we discover some interesting facts. Violence is the most extreme version of fear. It arises as an act of control, rage and destruction against a perceived threat or lack. Violence, like cancer, is one of the last and most destructive symptoms of a system that has been stressed to breaking point.
There are of course many causes of stress – mental health issues, social, financial, political and institutional pressures are all part of the world's growing conflicts.
However, if we dig deeper, we find that all conflicting symptoms arise from one common factor: disconnection. With disconnection comes fear and wounding. When left untended, these wounds accumulate, depleting the human reserve of trust, safety, caring and vitality. And the reaction is frustration, fear and aggression. It’s this that leads to violence. Disconnection is the environment in which violence grows.
Relationships are the most immediate gauge of this environment. The more disconnected we are from ourselves and others, the more we fear, the less we trust, the more we seek to control and protect our own needs – even at the expense of another’s well-being. The environment is ruptured, painful, toxic. And can rapidly become violent.
Relationships. Reconnection. Restoration.
But just as quickly, as we reconnect, we restore safety, healing and love. Our inner spirit is replenished. With renewed connection comes our own understanding, trust, empathy, support and kindness. And the reaction (of others) is more understanding, trust, empathy, support and kindness. Like begets and generates more of the like. A more peaceful environment is created. Connection is the environment in which peace grows.
This is why reconnection is at the root of all meaningful and lasting transformation, and most importantly, our peace. Reconnecting within relationships, with our self, with nature and our extended communities has the power to reawaken and restore our fundamental nature – which is love. Once we are reconnected with our intrinsic nature – within our self and with others - loving-kindness naturally flows and grows. And from this, peace is created and perpetuated.
The wider call for peace
Whilst we can be committed to those closest to us, we often forget that the degree of connection or disconnection we have as extended communities has an immediate impact on the well-being and peace of each individual. Sadly, it often takes a crisis to pull us together again. When faced with a tragedy that engulfs us equally, our inherent nature is awoken. We step-up with the greatest acts of kindness for strangers and family alike. We are united and reconnected in our common humanity: the need to be free of suffering and to have a life of wellness. This is the power of connection.
The quest now is for us to nurture and harness this power in our everyday lives. To put connection at the centre of all we vision, intend and seek to build.
Making ‘connection’ our priority will ensure we deepen our understanding, strengthen our bonds, recognise our commonality, and work together for the good of all.
If we look closely, we can see that, at the deepest level, this is all we really need – to be connected. Living with greater connection will grow happy, healthy humans.
It starts with each of us
As you take the time each day for yourself – to first find the connection within your own being, you will cultivate a greater connecting presence with those around you. This is further supported and strengthened as you reconnect also with nature. Take regular time to connect in a natural environment and you will feel more uplifted, restored and able to connect more deeply, not just with yourself and loved ones, but the greater circle of life.
From this, your greatest love, passion and potential can arise freely – not in isolation, but in togetherness. As we each reconnect with ourselves and each other, we strengthen our living presence. This is the environment in which civilisations can grow and thrive in peace.
Together we are capable of creating a world beyond our greatest imaginings. Connected, we can create a world of peace.
Isira is a wisdom keeper, spiritual leader and author of Australian Indigenous heritage. She brings penetrating insight on consciousness with unconditional love, clarity, and the ability to see into, and behind the challenges we face. She offers a way to respond, realign ourselves and move forward to a new more empowered life.
For more information on Isira’s teachings and programs visit www.isira.com