Conflict Within Ourselves Is the Mother of All Conflicts
It Starts and Ends With Us
It might come as a surprise to many folks that all conflicts, including wars are not stemming from our intolerance and animosity towards others, but from our inner fragmentation and its conflicting tendencies.
To put it in simple words---someone at peace with themselves is practically incapable of being in a conflict with others. The very physiology of inner peace doesn't provide ammunition for outer conflict.
Thus, we got it all upside down by trying to figure why others are irritating us and so "making us" respond with anger, intolerance, envy, arrogance, gossip, and whatever else may spell being pissed off.
It's all self-made while others are just triggers, or better yet targets of our projecting on them what's deeply eating us inside. Then it picks up a mass over a time and gains an autonomy, now qualifying as yet another "strategy of survival"---at which point it seeks its expression, just like every other acquired ability does.
It literally guides us to situations where we'll have another chance to be in a conflict, by choosing our reasoning and behavior to get there. We have all seen or at least heard of those "unlucky" women who always run into an abusive or unfaithful idiot.
Or someone who had a bad luck with jobs, bosses, cars, or anything else for that matter. All of them never aware how in one way or another they were unconsciously seeking another situation in which they could bitterly say: "What did I tell you..."
Fragmented Between "Go" and "Stop" Lights
Earlier I mentioned how inner conflicts meant an inner fragmentation, and now let's make it clear how it has its root in something that happens to us early in life. Pardon my tendencies to simplify things in life, but I just see it as a set of green and red lights that we keep receiving from grownups.
Those lights signify the same what they do at any road intersection---a "go" and a "stop" sign. Namely, we instinctively "want and go after something" even at that early age, and those people and circumstances either let us have it, or they don't.
Actually, this set of lights is something that we share on a most primitive level of our nature with animals. Unless we find a sort of inner peace between these two tendencies to "go for it", and to "abort", our life turns into an inner battlefield of frustrations.
This is something that we exteriorize into a discrimination between people and their behaviors. In other words, we seek an outer reflection of an inner enemy that keeps applying brakes on everything we instinctually or mentally want of life.
Just like metal dust spread over a paper sheet forming into shapes dictated by a magnet held under the paper---our whole life assumes a form dictated by that raw dynamics of inner "go" and "stop" lights, with all their different facets.
No Higher Teachings for Peace
According to that subconscious arrangement we experience others as supportive or non-supportive, in all psychological forms invented by man. Thus, we may feel something like envy, not aware that it stems from our inner conflict, not from our malevolent deducting how that person "should not have it".
Shrinks, those masters of complicating things with their fancy terminologies might try to affect a positive change through your becoming more aware of your own possessions, of your own riches in life---as to minimize your fixation on what others are, have, or can do.
That may even work for you superficially, but not making even a small dent on the real issue of an inner conflict. On the other hand, those wise masters of not many words of persuasion may ask you to work on your energy level, insisting on establishing an inner peace----through meditation, qigong or tai chi, laughing more often.
Like Ralph Waldo Emerson said: "Nothing succeeds like success". Indeed, other than addressing the core of the problem, it's all just beating around the bush. We don't need any convincing, any higher teachings, new sets of beliefs and ideas about life in order to achieve peace within. We need practicing that peace, and whatever we practice---we are bound to become.
For, once that we have established that peace inside, everything outside so nicely falls in its place, and the world starts surprising us with so much benevolence seen everywhere. Of course, we still see those wars and crime and other forms of human stupidity, but we don't feel threatened by any of it.
Peace Is an Inside Job
I am talking about an inner state of a chronic and stressful "readiness" stemming from inner conflict. We keep scaring ourselves, folks. A brave person is free from inner conflict with his mental forces integrated into a focused effectiveness in life.
As such, he will find all composure and cool should he be expected to deal with unfavorable happenstances---whereas to constantly live in a state of a readiness means a slavery to fear.
Now we see how we got it all upside down by blaming others for our states of mind. And this is where spirituality divorces religiousness, since it means working primarily on ourselves, without a guidance from holy books, sermons, rituals, and teachings.
Peace is an inside job, folks, and no priest, no guru, no imam, shrink, or friend can do for us what we refuse to do in that direction. If all these outside stimuli were effective, after millennia of religion, and years of psychotherapy, inspirational books, CD's, and other self-help modalities this world should look and act like a Shangri La, or a replica of that Garden of Eden.
The reason for this not being the case is in refusals of individuals all over the world to take matters of peace of conflict in their own hands and once and for all stop expecting others to make that "first move".
Struggle Perpetuating Struggle
These days cellular biologists are telling us how the length of telomeres---those indicators of our longevity potential in our DNA---directly depends upon how much we are predominantly experiencing our environment, our world, whether as friendly or unfriendly, safe or unsafe.
According to the cellular science, our cells operate upon two basic modes of functioning. At one, they heal and grow, at another they are defending themselves, and the activity of one instantly shuts down the other.
Which is telling us how even on our most basic level of life that stressful readiness stemming from inner conflict works against the very principle of life in us. Thus, the more frantically we try to stay afloat, the quicker we are sinking---just like it is in a quicksand.
In all of my recent articles I have been using the example of the current national divide in the USA over the political issues, trying to present some clues about its aimlessness.
Within the context of this article it might become quite clear how this "struggle" is only creating more fuel for struggle, with no visible sign of anything constructive on the political horizon.
It seems like conflict has become its own purpose and goal, as criticism is by far outweighing any indicators of any proposed alternative. Which is so typical for individual's inner conflict where he is just revving and revving his engine in the "park" position and getting nowhere. Revving and revving, ranting and ranting incessantly.
I hope that the preceding paragraphs succeeded---up to a modest point---to inspire for an honest assessment of our own conflicting tendencies, before projecting them all outwardly onto those around and the world.