— Do you know what is the most terrifying lie of our generation, reader?
It is not that “without asking for it” we were forced into a world filled with blood, tears, threats and violence. There is of course another side of peace, light and happiness.
The most terrifying lie of our lifetime is that, in order to survive in this world, from early childhood we are subtly taught to reciprocate violence. And today, we are so used to it, and having perfected the art of disregarding it, we justify and use violence, and cannot imagine our lives without it. We are not able to and do not know how to live otherwise.
What they do not teach you at school
When we were kids, we had already been asked one of life’s harder questions, which was left unanswered during the days of our youth and was finally set aside in favour of adulthood values and priorities. But today we will come back to it and ask ourselves:
— How do we feel about the fact that our day to day safety and peace of mind is built on threating and violent behaviour towards other people?
It is not a secret that our main occupations are business, science, and art, traveling, helping people, starting families, building houses and raising children. But all those things are only available to us because every minute of every day our safety is guarded by armed forces (such as police, army, and special services), whose job is to “protect” and “anticipate”, but in truth it is to threaten other people with death and injury.
Each and every one of us feeds, clothes and arms these protectors – even those of us who are against violence and cruelty. While buying your loaf of bread (or a litre of gas, or even a kilowatt of electricity), you are actively investing part of your income into tax included in the price of goods. You contribute to sustaining the culture of threat and violence, whether it is through adherence or indifference to their occupation. You are justifying your participation by allowing yourself to think that it is acceptable.
And so it goes on day after day, month after month, and year after year.
But one day you understand that you can no longer live in the atmosphere of non-transparency and hypocrisy, and take part in some strange and twisted game you are dragged into despite yourself. With sudden clarity you realise that real human being’s blood and death is on your hands. You refuse to make peace with the dependency on violence, and you decide to cease engaging with threat and murder, but the first major obstacle you encounter is the absence of a simple and clear-cut solution. What do we do?
How to stop being part of violence against people
What do I start with, whom do I trust, where do I go? Do I look for an answer on my own or join a group that shares the same values? Do I try to “get through” to people, combat displays of evil and intolerance in the world or admit that it is a futile effort and begin building my own world – inside and outside of myself? Do I turn to religion, philosophy, politics, and ideology, or remain free of the influence of others’ thoughts, social organisations and public institutions?
Spiritual books of the past, ways of pioneers, philosophical works, public, social and religious spokespeople can provide you with a truly invaluable experience of developing trust and honesty within yourself. But though they are exceptional when it comes to strength of emotional convictions, openness, rationalisation, sincerity and clarity of speech, they all disregard the following:
- The matter of personal participation in the bloody mechanism of protection
- The practical matter of this issue: how to live (and not die in three days time, denying everything of this world, but truly live), without taking part in threat and violence towards others? What do I do, a simple human being, who does not wish to murder and maim people – here and now, in my circumstances, with my own problems, with my humble means…?
In truth, it is a trap for honest, sincere and trusting people: the contemporary society raises its voice and offers multiple distractions without actually solving the problem. It sucks you into an informational vacuum, which in turn becomes a torrent, taking hold of you and tossing you every which way, but the necessary direction.
The project NONVIOLENCE.RU is for those of you who are looking for a way out of dependency on violence and no longer wish to take part in universal crimes of murder and mutilation.