I won’t watch the video. From the description – I get it. I get that the guy acted like a hateful person. I don’t need to see it to get me all incensed. If you wish to watch, it is here (see link below). Also, in the link read the post in which the author tells of her reaction to the vid.
This is my response to the author of the post, who brought this to all of our attention, and I thank her.
It’s About Your Own Psyche
It’s really not even about “forgiveness” is it?… You can’t “forgive” acts like this.
It’s really about delving into your own psyche and letting go of the ideas that everyone should be the same, think the same, act the same. There are always going to be things that people do that we can’t and will never understand.
Our First Response Is Out Of Fear
I think our first reaction to these things is really to protect ourselves. We feel for the animal… or another person… yes, but I feel that the initial reaction is from a deeply seated Fear around Trust, or the lack of it. How can you trust a person who does this to an animal? The answer is simple – trust yourself. But it’s not that simple, is it? – because there are times when you are surprised by your own thoughts or feelings – feeling real hate and violence toward this man, for instance – closely followed by the need to change him (and others like him). Change him by hating him? By punishing him (which is necessary because actions have consequences)?
Getting In Touch With Your Own Shadow
Throughout my spiritual process, I’ve taken on the task to become ever present to the shadow side of myself. When I see that I have the capacity to be angry, to hate, to wish someone ill, to get excited, to be kind, nice (shadow can be both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ qualities), I can see it in others. In seeing the ‘dark’ within myself, I stop feeling victimized by the ‘dark’ in others. My work is to act in the clarity of seeing the entire range of feelings and personalities that can manifest within me and cultivate self-knowledge and self-acceptance.
If you’re always trying to see the ‘light’ in yourselves (and in others), you will never see the human capacity for the opposite, and that can paralyze us when we come face to face with the shadow (or what people like to call ‘evil’ or the ‘devil’). Always cultivating the ‘light’ (beauty, kindness, etc.), doesn’t help us deal with the ‘darkness’ in others (or within ourselves). We are surprised by it. We are never ready.
Balance Is Key
Everyone has the capacity for balance; everything on an even keel, expressing equally all aspects of ourselves in a balanced and healthy way. This man unfortunately did not express in a balanced way. His hate and loathing for animal rights activists out weighed his capacity for love. He acted out of fear. That is sad.
As humans, we act as we act. We all act differently according to external stimuli and the internal filter. The guy in the video has no more or less capacity for balance than you or me.
It is the nature of being human to have both sides (non-dualism sees all acts as just that – neither this nor that, good nor bad. It is how we respond to these acts that become the ‘defining’ instrument with which we judge). It’s actually normal to have the range of emotion, of thought. What isn’t normal is when one is much stronger than the other – when one is so out of wack that there is no sense of the other: There is no balance.
Be Your Own Beacon
Balance yourself in this way. Accept that you have the capacity for all sorts of feelings and see them for what they are. You don’t need to act in one extreme or the other – as this man did. You will act according to your own heart which has the capacity to accept all. Be brave. And admit to being angry when you’re angry, sad when you’re sad, afraid when you’re afraid. There is no need to hide from these. And you don’t need to think about “forgiveness”, because in the balance, love and compassion will be there – despite the feelings for retaliation and fear toward those who perpetuate these acts of violence.