“Riane Eisler (author of The Chalice and the Blade), who describes early matriarchal societies, and Walter Wink, who coined the phrase “The Myth of Redemptive Violence”, suggest that human violence, especially as organized in groups, is a phenomenon of the last five to ten thousand years”. Reference.com.
I went to watch the movie Twilight earlier. I am not sure why but I have always been fascinated with vampires, which must have something to do with the appealing idea of eternal life. While I was waiting for the movie, I had to sit through five previews of upcoming movies. Out of the five movies presented, three were horror movies with very strong emotional imagery (read fear). Twilight turned out to be what I was expecting: drooling romance and vampire slashing (with a large number of heads severed). During both the previews of violent stuff and the movie, I realized that I had avoided watching the violence depicted by turning away and could only stand to watch “quiet” moments.
After the movie was over, and although I had enjoyed the story, I realized that I was being a hypocrite. I am Vegan. Veganism is about compassion, kindness, rejection of violence in any form. And yet, here I am enjoying something which contains violence. Some will argue that this is faked violence but frankly, as metaphysicians and spiritual people have taught us over the centuries, the brain doesn’t make the difference.
This is also scientifically verifiable and here is why: We are both conscious and unconscious creatures. But contrary to what people think, the majority of the world’s population lives in a semi-unconscious state. The conscious self makes critical decisions and provides us with the ability to make good judgments based on our personal morality, cultural upbringing, etc. and to makes us accomplish our basic functions on a daily basis (or we wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything). The unconscious self, which rules most people, is like a sponge. It absorbs literally anything and everything without discrimination. The conscious self’s ability is to sort out the mess we accumulate which the unconscious self is incapable of doing.
Have you ever wondered why someone who looks like a peaceful neighbor can suddenly go on a killing rampage? Think about it. Suddenly, that person is overtaken by the accumulated inner violence and “loses it” because something triggered a strong negative emotion which in turn lead to the expression of violence that had been contained up to that point. Violent tendencies are controlled with our conscious minds. The person is no longer in a conscious enough state to realize what he or she is doing. This is of course not true of all violent people. Some plan and plot their violent acts. But these are truly sick people who have buried their natural empathy, not “victims” of their own negative habits. A trigger can be anything. As an example of how the unconscious takes over, prescription drugs have a lot to do with kids killings kids in schools because their ability of making conscious, rational choices is seriously impaired by the “legal” prescription drugs which doctors currently push parents to give as a “solution” for ADHD. In all the recent school shootings, mood suppressors or anti-depressors had been prescribed to the teens who went crazy with violence. Drugs or not, we are all ticking bombs. For people who are mentally disturbed, life is in the unconscious nightmare they have created for themselves. We are co-creators of everything which happens to us or to others. When the collective negative unconscious becomes huge, we have wars, genocides, cruelty to animals. It has to spill somehow to get back in balance. You can’t fill up a bottle forever and not expect it to spill overboard.
Each time we witness violence, it is a stamp of approval on our minds. People in some traditions call it creating bad karma. Eventually that karma may catch up with us. The world is currently more negative than positive. We kill and torture millions of animals and humans. Each time we spread more visual violence (fake or not) we add to the negative balance. Think of it as a checkbook register. How do you not go bankrupt when you constantly have a negative number? Why is it that we have so many animal advocacy groups in the world but, at the same time, violence towards animals has never been more widespread. Is the bottle half full or half empty?
When we watch (any) images of violence done to humans or non-human animals, we also keep spreading negativity. Don’t get me wrong, these images are useful to educate non-vegans but to a certain point. It doesn’t educate them to see animals as anything but commodities which should get some “better” conditions. On the other hands, images of happy animals in sanctuaries or in the wild are probably more beneficial because they show them as free individuals, with their social lives. They show them as they are SUPPOSED to be.
I realized that being Vegan has turned on my natural empathy and that I tolerate less and less any image of violence, imagined or not (besides if it’s imagined, someone has serious violent tendencies to fabricate them). We have to learn to spread a message of peace and visualize the animals (and humans) as free, not imprisoned or we will never radiate a correct message of peace in the world. Being compassionate is not enough, consistency with our lifestyles is also necessary. It is not just about what we eat or wear. It is also about how we think and taking our ethics to the next level by not supporting what creates even more negativity in the world. After this realization, I started feeling conflicted with the idea of going to see The Hobbit in a few days. It is bad enough that animals have died in the process of making this movie but I expect that, like the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, it will be full of violence and gory images. Does my brain really need more negative pollution?
According to the Reference.com text at the beginning of this blog, we were not always violent. That violence, coincidently, started to appear when, as Dr. Will Tuttle points out in The World Peace Diet, we started enslaving animals and women. I believe that we have to reeducate ourselves (that includes me) to approve only of non-violence in every aspect of our lives or we, and the animals, will never be truly free.