“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
– Matthew 5:38
“Ye have heard it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth”.
This quotation goes back to the Code of Hammurabi, created by the Semitic First Babylonian Dynasty king of the same name. Unlike the preceding Sumerian codes that focused on compensating the victim of the crime, Hammurabi’s laws were particularly focused on physical punishment of the one who committed the crime.
One could argue that as a result of the influence of the Semitic culture of Babylon that eventually seeped into the west as the result of trade and empire, the more brutal, punishment-based laws of the Semitic world and the consciousness that created it, spread to Europe and to the European peoples.
Much of what is seen as “justice” is actually little more than revenge through a third party.
As without, so within.
There is a particular tendency in many towards internal self-flagellation. Here in America, this is rooted largely in the Puritan consciousness of so many of our ancestors, and its hyper-morality.
While we no longer live in that sort of culture per se, the cultural, ethnic and racial consciousness of the people of the United States have retained these values, albeit in a sort of watered down, then re-mixed version of them (totalitarian humanism).
When many of us see what we judge to be wrong, immoral or evil, we seek to suppress it, seek to punish and even destroy it. This is mirrored in both the external world around us, and the internal world within. We will often feel resentment towards ourselves for even being susceptible to such a condition. I know I do.
Jesus sees the folly of attempting to go blow for blow with this “evil”, we see within us, and the state of dis-ease that can create. This ties into his statement of how a house divided cannot stand.
Jesus goes on to say “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil..”.
To resist something implies a combative stance; to go against something head to head: force-to-force. This can create the conundrum of the unstoppable force against the immovable object, which results in nothing getting anywhere.
For years I have attempted to do battle with what I would subconsciously see as “evil” within me. I have tried to outsmart it, I have wrestled with it, I have fought it, and in the end, I am just kicking the crap out of myself.
All this would just cause me to feel worse, which would in turn just feed my addictive behavior, and the self-destructive cycle would inevitably perpetuate itself.
The truth of the matter is that it is an impossible thing to fight, because it was not some external “thing” at all. It was me; those parts of me that have been dejected, rejected, diseased and weakened due to my own fear, trauma, pain, resentment and self-loathing.
By trying to battle and hurt this “it”, I am really just battling and hurting myself.
I find peace when I stop trying to fight it head on (and I certainly could not outsmart it).
When I simply surrender to my “Higher Power” (WRA-ALDA, The ALL, The ONE, God, the Monad, etc., etc.), I can walk in another direction; forge another path. When I am in this place, I am as they say in martial arts, “like water”- clear, fluid, and adaptable to whatever uncertainty or unpleasantness that may come.
“:but whosoever smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
When I have the strength and courage of Christ, I can stand face to face with the unpleasant or “evil” thing, unmoved. I am hit. Not because I didn’t do anything, but simply because sometimes, you’re gonna get hit.
And you do. But it doesn’t hurt. Or at least it doesn’t hurt as bad as you may have thought it would.
Invigorated and perhaps even slightly emboldened, I offer the other cheek; not in weak, cowardly subordination, but as a way of indicating that I am un-phased and unharmed by what would have taken down others, and perhaps even myself at another time.
However, the process of reaching this point is typically not a “one-and-done” deal, and tends to require repeated acceptance and letting go. I recognize the source of the hurt and self-loathing that came from being stuck in the pain of past events, some of which were very repressed and recessed. At which point I then had to allow them to move and be released.
And then do my best to tend to the wound itself, while simultaneously working to keep it from being “re-infected” by toxic beliefs and emotions caused by my own mental chatter.
For me, this can be achieved through a combination of prayer in the moment, journaling, expressive art, connecting with and authentically speaking to another human being, and being of service to someone else.
When we attempt to forcefully do battle with ourselves, it inevitably creates more suffering. After we recognize what it is, we need to understand it. We need to understand what it wants and what it wants to express. These things within us that cause so much suffering are usually the psyche’s attempt to deal with past trauma. Once again, this principle can be applied to both the individual psyche, and the collective psyche of the human species. Trauma causes separation of the psyche.
At its very worse, intense or prolonged trauma can create such a detachment that it can give rise to a variety of physical and mental diseases. One of the most severe of the mental conditions caused by extreme trauma is psychopathy.
A psychopath is typically understood to be someone who is completely consumed by his/her own ego and feels no empathy towards anyone whatsoever. They are almost reptilian in a way.
Recent studies have found, psychopaths seem to inherently rise to the top of government and corporations. This is because the power structure that governs this planet is psychopathic in its very nature, as it serves its own interests through manipulation and is completely detached from concern for the true well being of the human population and the planet as a whole.
This corporate-sponsored attitude of selfish detachment has trickled down to the consciousness of the masses through the corporate/government controlled media and society as a whole, causing immense damage.
Collectively we are constantly experiencing “little traumas” through our media, and the “news” and entertainment it provides for us. These simply build on top of the psychological wounds already inflicted by family and other relationships, and through the various cultural institutions that shaped our belief systems and seem to govern our lives.
We have allowed ourselves to become separated from the Earth and her cycles, from our family and neighbors, and from our own inner being.
We have held onto the individual and collective traumas of the past, while continuing to allow ourselves to be traumatized by the world around us.
It is time to let all of this go.
Trauma is an inevitable part of this three-dimensional existence, and it is our ability to recognize and move through that trauma and express it in a non-harmful way that pushes us through the next threshold of spiritual evolution. Once we have consciously done this, we will no longer feel compelled to re-create the situation of trauma within ourselves or project it onto others.
When we refuse to acknowledge the “ugly” parts of ourselves and cast them away in judgment, like any neglected or abused child, they will inevitably lash out at us in some way. That it is why it is crucial that we be compassionate with ourselves in this process.
No actual part of us is “evil”.
What we call “evil” is often simply the results caused by being severely out-of-sync with the Laws of Nature and the vibration of the Higher Self. It is what happens when we give into the weakness and vice that keeps us from evolving into the greatest version of ourselves we can be.
Or it is simply a moral judgement led by beliefs and emotions.
When we do the work to clean out our belief systems and habits; when we show compassion to our underlying wounds; then we can effectively move out of the way and allow the healing to take place within us and through us. We can then take those same principles of compassion and loving-kindness and facilitate the healing work to our brothers and sisters in the “external” world.
Let’s do the work.
Namaste and WRA-ALDA’s Blessings.
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