There is violence in the media. There is violence in the
streets. My mind has been asking why
what is cause and what
is effect? I have tried to rid my thoughts and actions of
violence. I have boycotted violent films and the evening news. I
have prayed for peace within and without. Yet I have come to see
that I am in the realm of aversion and repression.
Is the violence in the media and in our streets from our
collective repression of our fear of death and pain and
suffering? In many cultures there are rituals around death and
dying. Is our collective unconscious giving us the experiences we
are not giving ourselves?
For weeks I thought about seeing "Schindler's List"
yet the idea of the intense physical and psychological horrors I
might see held me back. Finally I decided to create a spiritual
practice. As I entered the theater I asked God (Higher Power,
etc.) to use this experience for my awakening and healing around
my perceptions of the body. As I watched blood spiriting out of a
man's head I did not turn away. I allowed the waves of emotions
to sweep over me as scores of naked human beings waited to be
either showered with deadly gas or cleansing water. I cried as
the acts of love and kindness amidst this vast darkness appeared
like golden flowers rising from the mud. After the film I sat
outside in front of a fountain. All the trials and tribulations
of my life were gone. The beauty and impermanence of everything
around me washed my mind.
Within this journey through the darkness there was love and
hope and beauty. I also found both the darkness and the beauty
inside my self. And for a moment they merged into a sort of sweet
Now I am seeking a way not to condone yet not to abhor the
violence around me. I wonder if I can use it to seek the violence
in me and use its dark mud to grow the golden flowers of light.
I have noticed my own tendency to see Transpersonal films in
terms of films of light and not of darkness. Yet now I can think
of several films, which are clearly transpersonal odysseys
through darkness. There are films which show the triumph of the
human spirit through the dark horrors of existence
("Schindler's List"); films which take us to the
horrors and madness deep inside us ("Apocalypse Now");
and films which take us through the darkness of our minds on our
way to the light ("Jacob's Ladder").
But perhaps every journey through darkness and violence can be
consciously used for our own healing. And perhaps as we make this
journey and face our fears, the external manifestations will
dissolve into the golden lotus growing up from the dark mud.