Listen to part three of “The Secret of the Yamas”


178 responses »

  1. I perhaps have a very complicated and unpopular opinion on this idea. I do not like violence. I think it should always be a last resort and never a first thought or impulse. I also agree that one should attempt to live a non-violent life. However at the same time violence can be vital to survival. It makes me think of militant groups such as the Black Panthers and Young Lords. I believe that a lot of their violence was very necessary. Puerto Ricans in the South Bronx were being abused. Their homes dirty, their schools lacking. Nothing was available to help their ever growing and very much in need community. I think they needed to riot as a form of protest because peaceful communication was being ignored. I feel that if you exhausted other resources and your heart is 100% full of hate that occasionally violence can maybe even be a good thing. I know it is a complicated grey area and come people even when violence is necessary take it too far, but it’s worth a though that maybe neither complete violence or nonviolence is the answer. Maybe people and humanity need a balance.

  2. Violence is chaos, and the universe is chaos. This is why i believe non-violence is one of the oldest human morals. It is true that violence is in out nature, that is also why it has always been around. It’s always been there throwing the order of our society and survival into chaos. It is important for every individual to become aware of their own potential of violence, because if not that individual may become all to dangerous.

  3. Tyler Schrader

    Violence is within everyone and is human nature. For me i can contain when presented without exerting any bad energy to hurt myself or other around me. It seems as if there is always something in this world and in your day to day lives that have potential to tick you off. Learning to let go and free yourself from such things is very important. Its interesting in our current generation as we often get pleasure from violence and are attracted to it. Such as when two individuals get into a fight, we seem to migrate towards it and watch rather than closing the situation. Its like we’ve lost our values through moderation when it comes down to things like that. It seems violence is a necessity in todays world as its is needed to get anything accomplished the way things are set up, political peaking. Throughout history most big change was never accomplished without some kind of violence showing through. If only Peace could be the changing point rather than war. Also media has a huge influence on us. All they broadcast in negative material, because that is what gets our attention. If only people would understand that positives are 10 times powerful than the negatives and will get you much further. Both in our personal lives but also out society.

  4. Thank you for sharing these readings. I find that we need to embrace the idea of Ahisma now more than ever. Not only is there so much violence in the world around us but so close to home as well. I also see this on a much smaller level with my colleagues. I often observe hostility between some of the people that I work so closely with and find it so unfortunate. I do not believe there such hostility between people at all and even more so between people that circumstantially need to get along. Perhaps I will share this idea with some of colleagues. It’s never too late for positive change.

  5. I believe that many of these practices override what human nature is. But I do not see that as a negative, oftentimes it is important to override the negative aspects of ourselves, like the urge to be violent, to lie, to steal, and we must let positive forces override and stick to these principles of non violence, non lying, non stealing. Humans are at their highest capacity when they remove themselves from their animal instincts and focus themselves to being whole, forgiving, and self awareness.

  6. I do not believe myself to be nihilistic; however, I do tend to lean more towards the idea that humans are attracted to and motivated by violence. It is part of our history, of our identities, and our societies. Why were the games in the Roman Colosseum so popular during the Roman Empire? Why are do so many major religions display some form of sacrifice or violence in one way or the other? Why are horror films and video games so popular right now? I wonder if this is less about the sadistic spirit of the human, and more related to how we interpret and process danger through our emotions. Which also leads me to ask: is our instinct to survive so complicated in how it associates with violence, that violence seems largely unavoidable? It is well-known by now that fear is a chemical-based reaction designed to trigger human survival (1), but in this case, we have to remember that, for the majority of human beings, we no longer have to fear the same dangers that our early ancestors did. So, to that regard: have we then become so comfortable in our modern societies that we seek out danger and violence to compensate?
    I am not just referring to physical acts of violence. I admire the fact that this talk mentioned how violence is mental and emotional as well as physical. Jealousy, narcissism, emotional manipulation; these are all forms of internal emotional and mental violence. We must always be mindful of the violence we project onto others; instinctively, we may rationalize this as defending our self-identity when we are wronged in some way. But violence inhabits all senses of the human mind and body and thus has a greater threat when the two come together to enact harm. It is also imperative that we remember that self-violence is rampant but that many of us do not recognize its effects; when it manifests, we respond to the danger by either suppressing it or projecting it back outwards, harming others. However, the method of responding to the self-violence and trauma is a reflection of the person; not everyone projects outward, and not everyone mentally struggles under their own emotional weight while keeping to themselves. The complication with self-violence and emotional repression is that it is not inherently a physical struggle or act, and thus we turn to the unique human feature of ethics and rationalization to convince ourselves that no danger is present. However, it only serves to silently eat away at us.
    In regards to the mention of violence manifesting in the act of “swaying someone to our point of view”, I believe that defining this outright as “violence” may become complicated. Violence is almost always negative, but swaying someone to your point of view is not always a deplorable act. For example, do we say that peacemakers attempting to discuss prejudice with say, white supremacists, are guilty of violence? Is there an inherent contradiction here in that we are trying to “violently” maintain a sense of peace and acceptance, as history has shown us that humans show a propensity towards violence in general? Can it be said that peace is more of a result of violence and that one cannot exist without the other? But I feel that this is a question that we need to ask ourselves in regards to whether true peace is attainable.

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  7. Non-violence has been a established thought and practice for a long time now. However I think it is and easier said that done concept that was pushed more by oppressors and adopted by the oppressed because there was no other choice. Marginalised communities have been persecuted for decades and then take the heat whenever there is any kind of retaliation. The Black Lives Matter movement for instance. Black people are being murdered and when there is anger, riots or even peaceful protests, we are continually depicted as violent, regardless of our strategy. However I do think that there are things more powerful than violence or the acts of violence. Like the sense of self, acknowledging privilege, overcoming inner prejudices towards others, overcoming racism, homophobia, transphobia etc. Violence is what people who can not or choose not to communicate resort to and I think it also festers from a extreme sense of entitlement. Our current president for instance in sighting violence all over the world and continuing to oppress and disenfranchise communities. But I think it is important for myself to remember that all of this is temporary and whilst change may seem far fetch everything can be undone and is reversible. I think that is especially poignant now. Laws are going back and forth and change all the time, progression is happening whether those who discriminate like it or not. And all this is happening for those who are choosing to be their best selves and believing in the fact that it’s not too late for anyone to do that. I think this is obvious when certain Senators for example oppose this dictatorship nature of a presidency and the clear violation of many basic human rights. I think change is coming and is happening and it just will really be the work of others to acknowledge how corrupting and violent our actions are not even just through discrimination but even how we are treating the environment, economy and healthcare. Reversing that I think is practicing non-violence not just in a literally sense but really in the long term and reminding ourselves that as far as we know this is the only life that we have and that we should not waist it getting lost in a person or ideals that don’t really represent our best selves and who we can be and the potential to change our lives and world for the better and for generations to come.

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