If you need guns and weapons to defend your so called freedom then you are still in a cage. This is a human condition that has carried on from the beginning of so called civilization. Will we ever really be free? Once we realize our soul is imperishable then you realize there is nothing left to defend. Thereafter comes the understanding that all souls are filled with that same light, and thereafter resonates the feelings of Divine Love and Compassion. When our souls are one, Divine Love is all the protection we will need. When will we ever reach that level, the human condition that plagues us is crushing our society, when will love be enough???

I spend a good majority of my time in the mornings getting tuned in with what is going on in the world, this usually means my morning breakfast spent while watching Democracy Now.  (It’s very forward thinking news broadcast if you don’t watch it, tune in and open your mind.  Also, be prepared I wouldn’t recommend having breakfast and starting your day off with D-now, because it’s a very hard hitting reality check every morning.)  For me it is all about perspective, and because we work in the inner and outer social activism it’s important to know where and what are the needs of the human race.  The needs are many, and so surmounting that it sometimes leaves me  overwhelmed and hopeless as to the possibility of our race surviving at this catastrophic pace.

First, I’ll tell you what this piece is not.  What I want to present with this writing is not political activism, it is not specific to any piece of news or any one single event.  It is taking into account the entire spectrum and history of the human condition to see, is Freedom really possible?  Is love really possible?  Also taking into consideration if a foreign entity is invading your land and destroying and decimating your land, people and culture what to do then?  How and should one defend themselves?  Asking these questions usually starts with more questions, “well, what are we fighting about anyway?  And, what is the root cause of the inner dilemma that drives one to killing and destroying each other?

There are many philosophers and thinkers that put these concepts to thought and articulate them far better than I, and can be used as an immense reference for this particular writing.  The renown thinker, Krishna Murthi, so beautifully analyzes the root cause of most human suffering in this beautiful talk on Fear.  As always the mindfulness of Krishna Murthi is so in tune that if you watch this video there is really no reason to continue reading.  You yourself will come to many conclusions about your individual experience with fear and how it has lead the evolution of the “Human Condition.”  Krishna Murthi points out, there are many different types of fear.  In my view one that is most important is the hereditary fear of survival.

Jiddu Krishnamurthi thinker, philosopher, somewhat of the anti-guru working toward getting human beings to understand they have the power to grant their own self realization. To me let's face it, that's what a Guru does. Helping to transform from darkness to light.

From the early ages of the human being, before so called, “civilization” (that is not at all civilized, still very primitive), human beings were born into fear as a mode of survival.  If one leaves the safe confines of one’s cave there is a risk to be eaten by wild animals or destroyed by the natural chaos and power of nature.  So, very easily we cut to the chase here… How can we evolve out of fear (which leads to suffering) if it is engrained in our DNA from the start of the evolution of our species?  Is fear useful?  My very first instinct reaction to these questions is, no.  From the time of Buddha we have been hearing about peace… Do we have it?  Have we ever fully understood fear?  The best approach is to dive deeper and deeper until we fully understand the roots of issues that drive us away from peace, not to run away from them into a fantasy of, “I must have peace… I am peaceful… I will make myself peaceful…”  Until we have faced the root causes of fear, struggle, loneliness, loss, death and many other manifestations of fear in the human psyche it is my understanding that we will never truly “rest in peace.”  Another eloquent philosopher based in mindfulness is, Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Master of the Art of Mindfulness.

His approach to mindfulness is not to run away from our fears and negative attributes, yet to face them lovingly and mindfully to give as much respect and understanding to the negative as we yearn for the positive.  An example would be:  We look at a beautiful flower, we know that one day the flower will wither and die.  What is left of the dead flower?  Do we disregarded it?  If you have mindfulness and understanding you can see very clearly that the trash is just as important as the beauty.  The dead flower will decompose and become enriched organic soil.  The beauty of the flower still remains and it will give itself willing back to the Mother Earth in order to be sustenance for the new flowers to return again.

Hold your negative emotions lovingly like a Divine Flower to have deeper understanding of our self-imposed destruction.

In other words we have so much to learn from negative human conditions.  Yet, we spend much of our time running from them… suppressing them… filling the empty void with materialism… creating organizations that perpetuate separatism… all designed to keep us under control and unwilling to face the reality that Fear is within us.  The United States runs around promoting fear mongering, invading sovereign countries, imposing our will on foreign entities, and claiming democracy.  If the leaders of a nation have mindfulness and cultivate an understanding of meditation and breathing, there is no doubt in my mind they will be forced to look at their own fears.  Hence my comment “if you need a weapon to protect your so called freedom, you are still in a cage.”  (It is a reference to the aggressor, not the one being attacked.)  Nothing is truly Free that needs protection.  Of course, the argument can be made, “what if there is an indigenous village being pillaged by an aggressor, should they defend themselves with weapons and violence?”  Again, we are taking steps even further back to say, “Why is the aggressor even acting that way at all?”  ”What stirs in the human condition for greed and aggression and violence?”  What is deeply embedded in the human conscious that we need to “take, conquer and divide?”  What is the root of this selfishness?  And furthermore, what is to be done about it?  Will we ever have peace?  My outlook on this topic is very bleak.  The entire evolution of our species until now, so called “modern civilization,” is built around suffering, separatism, materialism, and the military industrial complex.  So, in reality our species is still very primitive.  Fighting and killing each other has never stopped since the beginning of time.  One of the most epic and deeply enriching philosophical texts of Sanaatan Dharma is based around a massive war in which brothers are fighting and killing each other.  (Sanaatan Dharma or just Dharma sometimes referred to as, Hindu Philosophy.  I don’t use the word Hindu because it does not exist in the Sanksrit Language and does not relate at all to the true teachings of the Vedas or individual Saadhana [everyday spiritual discipline], but that is an entirely different subject).  Yes, we look deeper to see the metaphorical teachings that it is a war over our negative attributes, from darkness to light, from suffering to salvation, but seriously, it’s war.  It is killing other human beings… It only perpetuates suffering and separatism.

The end of the Maha Bharat war, one brother has killed another brother.

I, for one, cannot relate.  Of course, I have never been put in a dyer straight situation of having defend my family from an intrusion of an aggressive force, so who am I to talk?  And again, I will stress my focus is actually on that of the aggressor… what is causing them to engage in that aggression?  What is the cause for the undying human condition of greed and rage?  I have no answer, because from the process of our evolution we have never really seen any.  We still have war, we still have poverty, we still have suffering, we still have rapists, we still have killers and murders, even those in so called, “positions of power,” if we really analyze them mindfully, they are murders.  And until we deeply understand our own individual suffering and fear, then as a human race, we have no chance for peace.  How can we expect peace in the world when there is so much unrest and self imposed suffering in our own daily lives?  When will we ever learn?  Will loving ourselves and our neighbors ever really be enough?  How can we not only understand our suffering, but uproot our suffering systemically?  Where to start?  How to begin?

In the end the only thing we have any control of is our emotions and our actions.  Breathing, Meditation and mindfulness are tools (or keys) to bring us closer to those states of peace, compassion and understanding that have the power to uproot our negative tendencies and self destructive behavior.  What else do we have?  Meditation really is the only answer…  How do we get the aggressor to meditate?  That is a completely different talk, and again completely out of our control.  The only thing we control is our emotions and our own actions.  My hope and wish is that the more we dive deeper into our own consciousness with mindfulness and meditation we will more deeply understand these roots of suffering.

Meditation cultivates a deep sense of self awareness and mindfulness.

With loving emotions cultivated through meditation and a pious daily life we can hold our suffering like a baby, or like a delicate flower until suffering is either uprooted or transformed again into the beautiful flower.  And what if it should return?  The entire process is repeated until higher and higher states of understanding are produced.  It has only taken thousands of years for the human being to ruminate on these topics.  The best we can hope for is that every individual on Earth dives deep into meditation.  The only hope is that our individual actions of love and understanding creates an unstoppable ripple effect in the immediate world around us, and again ripples out into the rest of society… the ripple would be so powerful that the positive vibrations of love and meditation would reach even the aggressor, and in turn through our right actions even the aggressor would understand the root of their suffering which is driving them to such desperate and heinous actions.  A mindful meditator would simply never kill or hurt anybody, because they would have no choice but to see that we are all family… we are all connected… we really are all ONE in the beautiful web of life.  With united heartbeats of mindfulness peace and love would be possible.  We have not seen that massive shift yet.  Maybe in this lifetime?  As one watches the chaos of this Kali Yuga (dark age) one sees very clearly we have a long way to go.  From thousands of years ago until now, the shift of consciousness has been happening.  Start with your own personal dedication to your suffering.  Start with your own affirmations of love, peace and meditation, and impart those emotions unto your friends and family.  Keep the spiral of love alive and swirling around your daily life.  After that, be an observer to how your meditative energy transforms your life.  See its highest potential and your highest potential.  As if it were the deep cry of our beloved Mother, have an ernest yearning for the purity of true peace and love.  This really is the only thing left to do…  What other choice do we have… Continue to divide and kill each other?

Meditating in a Redwood forest grove at Mount Madonna Center in California.

The choice is truly yours, and I do hope that with our combined efforts and understanding we take a few more steps in the direction of love and peace.

Om Bhadrum No Apivaathaya Manah:  Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi

With all my love,

Tyagaraja

PS, if you have been inspired to take on the practice of daily meditation and would like to learn, we will share it with you and are qualified teachers of this ancient art form.  Kindly contact us for more information.

j.tyagaraja@gmail.com