I have stated these four words many times here. But what do they really mean? How do they apply in waking life? Is someone without attachment also uncaring as a result? Is someone without aversion a person without caution?
In a book I was reading two more words were added, “without indifference.” Here is how this whole thing works…
You have a desired outcome, something you would like. You have an opinion, a viewpoint, a goal, and this at its core is your intention. It is what you intend. But if you live in the flow (which as I have said before is to live without forcing things to get what you want) where it is natural to be without attachment or aversion, you learn to develop an attitude of, “If it is meant to be it will be.”
Now maybe this is not really always the case. Maybe it even never is. But if you live with that attitude, in the flow, you will not be frustrated by trying to force your way, trying to get what you want, and then failing to do so. If bad things happen, instead of blaming God, you, those who did it to you, or anyone or anything else. you simply accept and move on.
Here is the secret… You can only be harmed if you are invested in something. Your possessions, your relationships, your identity, even your life. You should never be the rug that people walk all over. No. You must fight to defend yourself and those you care about, to the limits of your ability and conscience. But even this is testing flow. The outcome of the fight determines what is meant to be.
My dad is worried about me. Others tell him of all these possible fates that await me on my trip to California if I go by myself. I could be injured, robbed, or killed. But here is the question… Can I let fear of a possible future determine my present moment actions? The answer is no. To live in fear is to become a zombie, a thing dead yet alive.
I realized that this attitude of, “If it is meant to be it will be” even applies to my life. As scary as that sounds. Well maybe for others. I still have issues regarding life and death. I say, and believe, that I don’t really care if I die. Perhaps in the face of death I will be afraid like any other man. I do not know and I will not speculate on it. I acknowledge my internal issues and will address them somehow, someday.
This mental stance of mine does not mean I will let someone hurt me or take my possessions. No, not at all. I have set an intention that my trip will be an overall positive, learning experience. That with the time away from my family and the stifling environment here I will get past, move through, heal, all where needed. I believe this trip will be good for me. I have this attitude because other teachers have stated that what we see outside is a reflection of what is inside. Our internal attitudes and thoughts affect our external conditions. So I go with no expectation whatsoever of being hurt, robbed, or killed.
But that does not mean I am a sheep walking blindly to the slaughter. No, I am reading texts on self defense, giving my mind the information it needs to relay to the body should the time ever come where it needs to. I am watching Krav Maga. I am not practicing these moves hardly at all. Don’t really have time to. But I make sure I understand them. My intention here is to let my body take over if I am presented with a situation in which I must defend myself or others.
I have identified myself after all as a warrior. This is not just some statement I make. I truly believe, due to what I saw in the landscape of my eighth chakra, and due to other things as well, that I am descended from, or perhaps reincarnated from, someone, or several someones, who fought in medieval times. I have something I think of as an ability, maybe just my ignorance here, but when I get angry, I do not feel pain and my strength increases dramatically. I also do not seem to loose control or focus. I remain aware, and am normally a hyper-aware person.
As a result, another intention, that I have had long before I knew what intentions were, that if I am attacked, I am taking at least one attacker with me to the hospital. This is a warrior’s vow, a promise, and I do not break my promises.
So I will leave. I will avoid larger cities. I will remain aware of my surroundings and avoid trouble as much as possible. I will not physically intervene if I see someone being attacked unless I have to. I will call the police first. But if a situation occurs where I must fight, I will fight. My mindset will be to win the battle, whatever the cost. That I will not die, at worst end up in the hospital with one or all of my opponents. By not holding back I mean I will fight with the intention of killing my opponent. There will be no mercy, no ground given. I simply reserve the right to spare their life before I finish them.
If I am injured, robbed or killed in the process I will not blame myself. I will try to not even blame my attackers. When I report the crime, should I be able to do so, I will do it factually. I will not judge or condemn. I leave this to higher powers than me. I will simply retain the mindset that this happened as it was meant to happen, and move on. I do not believe in destiny or fate. But God, whoever, whatever you call Him, Her or It is in control. There is a reason, though I may not understand it. Christians say, “God moves in mysterious ways.” Perhaps this is better said as, “God moves in ways beyond our understanding.” Remember the Creator, the Life Force, the energy that drives everything, is a “big picture” entity. Whoever, whatever He She or It is they have greater sight and understanding than any mere human, enlightened or not.
I bet this paints quite a different picture for you of spiritual people! All you have to keep in mind is that there is a place for everything. For meditation. For spiritual study. For fighting. Some fighting can be done non-violently. Some can not. Everyone is free to choose how they wish to respond. A Buddhist monk may not only allow a mugger his or her alms bowel, they may remove their clothes and offer them too. There is a story in Zen of someone who did just that. A Shaolin priest however may fight his attacker, in defense of him or her self, or simply to prevent others form being hurt by this person. Ultimately everyone has to let their conscience dictate to them what they will do.
All human life is precious and unique. Those who bring suffering to others have suffered, and are probably still suffering, themselves. By hurting others they hurt themselves. How can we hate someone who is suffering? When we see that we could be them, in similar circumstances, we can empathize. Not pity. But understand, and this allows us to love our enemies. Which is exactly what those of the Christian faith, and many other faiths besides, are instructed to do. Because hatred is a fire, and responding with hatred only fans and spreads the flames.
So I go out in love. Learning to love myself and free myself from the things that entangle me. Learning to love others, realizing their suffering. Learning to love this world, this wonderful gift I share with all its other inhabitants. If the time comes to fight I do not hate. I do not have an uncaring attitude. I do care. I do not want to fight, to hurt, to cause pain, to cause suffering. I set my intention to avoid fighting, causing pain and suffering. I set my intention to be God’s Hands wherever I go. So I care and I do not hate. If I kill it will not be out of not caring or hating.
They say violence can’t change anything. This is wrong. If someone confronts me with the intention to do me harm, or to kill me, then breaking their arms or their spine ensures that they will not be doing violence to others for quite a long time, if ever. I will use force and violence in offensive defense to stop force and violence. I am defending my right, and the right of any with me, to live, to remain unharmed. In fighting to the death, if necessary, I am actually affirming life. This is the paradox of the Spiritual Warrior.
When you go to a foreign land if you want to communicate with the native people you have to speak their language. Likewise if a person only understands violence then you have to be able to speak to them in their own language. Otherwise they will not understand you. Afterwards, should they have survived, you can teach them a new language, the language of love.
So set your intention for a desired outcome. Test flow, try to get whatever it is you have set your intention for. If you feel resistance stop. Try again later, more resistance, stop. When there is no resistance, continue. Accept whatever happens as meant to be. Do not be indifferent, there is no strength in an uncaring attitude. Never be attached to any particular outcome, and you can never be hurt. Remember suffering comes from attachment and aversion, which is precisely why the Buddhists say, “No Attachment, No Aversion.” Teach the language of love to those who do not understand it. Fight to defend life or to affirm it. Fight to the extent your conscience allows. Not your beliefs, your conscience.