Loving Oneness Now
Do we heal ourselves and others with Love, or do we punish with vengeance?
The ego has an entirely different world-view compared with the True Vision of the Christ or Buddha that is within everyone on this planet, although very few people Know that this True Vision is within them. "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you," says Jesus, but very few of us believe it, or see it, within ourselves or other people.
The ego perceives the world in terms of its own invented polarities. The "religious" ego mostly strives to shift people away from the negative "bad, evil, sinful, badly-behaved" ego-pole across to the so-called "good, virtuous, positive, well-behaved" ego-pole and hold them there. This is much like trying to hold a massive pendulum to one highest point of its swing, and keep it there by brute strength. The ego uses its own built-in Parental Authority System (PAS) to achieve this negative-pole to positive-pole horizontal shift, and the basis of its power to do so is fear, especially fear of punishment and guilt. (See: Layers of the Ego and the Parental Authority System E04, E09)
The ego's PAS says, "We judge, using our standards, that you are a bad child or adult, and as your self-righteous superiors, we find you guilty of the sin you have committed, and sentence you to a specific punishment which, once you experience it, will make you afraid to commit that same sin again. If you do commit any more bad sins we will punish you even more, until, out of fear, you will be so afraid (deterred) that you will not behave in that bad way again. And not only will we (the PAS) punish you, but God will also punish you."
This "crime/sinning and fear of punishment" method is almost the universal standard procedure for families, schools, religions, organizations, governments, countries, and even international organizations such as the United Nations and International Court.
The trouble is it does not work. Crime and bad behavior are as common today as they ever were in history; in fact I would suspect that, per capita, the twentieth century saw more crime and punishment in individuals, families, schools, religions, organizations, governments, countries and between countries than any other century, and it was not caused only by a larger population. Many major and minor wars took place, many mobs ran many rackets, and many dictators ran amok from Russia to Argentina, from Germany to Cambodia. Mass and serial murderers, both political and individual abounded. Ethnic cleansing and denial of rights took place around the world. The abuse and torture of children, women and men occurred everywhere and still does. In many countries, unarmed civil protestors of all kinds were crushed, sometimes with bullets and even tanks. In the USA the police gave up on solving many crimes of every kind simply because the overload was overwhelming. And the police themselves were certainly no saints. A police lieutenant once told me corruption was everywhere in the force. So-called criminals have been maimed or executed for 10,000 years but with little impact on deterring them or others from committing crimes. Perhaps there is a fundamental flaw in our treatment of criminals.
WHY DOES PUNISHMENT NOT WORK
One of the reasons why fear of punishment does not eradicate crime or bad behavior is because, whenever the PAS is temporarily absent, the ego-children's fear of punishment is lifted and all their repressed impulses to react spill forth in unruly behaviors. The stern teacher leaves the room and the spitballs fly; the police leave the disaster area or lose control and the looting begins; the sergeant leaves the recruits and the guys rough and tumble; a strict dictator falls and anarchy ensues. Any system based on perpetual PAS vigilance and fearful ego-children (who sometimes switch roles to being PAS dictators after a successful revolution, e.g., Stalin, Mao) is doomed to fail because the "discipline" is perceived as externally separate -- as coming from "outside" and "above." Most children, incidentally, grow up to adopt the very PAS they experienced, when, as adults, they have their own children; thus, "do the sins of the father and mother...."
A second reason why fear of punishment does not eradicate crime or bad behavior or "sins" is that once any so-called "wrong-doer" gets to the point of not fearing punishment, he or she blithely carries out crime after crime without "giving a shit" as to what happens. If the "rewards" are worth it he or she makes a lifetime career out of his or her "anti-social" behavior. This is particularly true for the perpetrators of victimless crimes who do not perceive they have done anything wrong, and, in fact, have not. Even the so-called "victims" and "perpetrators" of some of these types of victimless "crimes" are manufactured by the law itself. If we make a law that the drinking of alcohol is universally prohibited, then overnight, we have created millions of "victims" and "perpetrators" of many types, including bootleggers, club-owners and users, all drinkers and corrupt officials.
A third reason why fear of punishment does not eradicate crime or bad behavior is that quite often the bad behavior or crime has its own deeper motivation of "getting even," of "making them pay for what they have done to me," or of experiencing the ego-child prowess of "getting away with it" in terms of "beating the PAS." Another reactive behavior is simple revenge, but this revenge for previous punishments is all too often perpetrated on surrogates or substitutes for the original PAS punishers.
A fourth reason why fear of punishment does not eradicate crime or bad behavior is that most punishments themselves only make the "criminal" more angry and full of hate, and this usually results in a deeper, reinforced desire to "get even." Conventional society, for many criminals is perceived as a hateful hurting PAS which can only be safely "punished back" in indirect ways called crime.
However, while it is not my purpose here to reiterate a longer list of fear-of-punishment based good/bad polarities, I do want to discuss the fundamental nature of conscience, guilt and the so-called "sins" many of us feel guilty about. Many religions point to conscience as a kind of God-given intuitive set of valid prompting criteria by means of which we can know right from wrong, and from there regulate our behavior accordingly. But this does not explain the huge variety of (and often contradictory) tenets of conscience held by different individuals, social groups, religions and cultures. In fact, conscience is just another word for certain moral and ethical pronouncements of a person's acquired Parental Authority System. As in Dickens's Oliver Twist, if your parent or guardian is a Fagin, it is okay to steal. One of the main components of anyone's conscience is guilt.
GUILT AND CONSCIENCE
Guilt Is made up the three basic emotions: fear (including anxiety), aggression (including anger -- mostly from the PAS) and ego-love (including approval). For a detailed diagram on the nature of GUILT see E09 and R07.
Guilt-as-conscience is the direct result of PAS "negative" belief indoctrination ("never do this;" "it is sinful to believe that"), mostly occurring during childhood and adolescence. When, as children, we are constantly told that a belief in this behavior or that doctrine is naughty, bad, evil, disastrous, or that the neighbors will judge us unfavorably, we believe the statement is true and so we incorporate it into our PAS conscience where it usually operates as a strong belief, even if we later rebel against it. Whenever any ego rebels with force it is confirming the PAS belief is "real." Very few parents train their children on how to think freely and openly on issues, and thus encourage their kids to figure out logical, sensible temporary conclusions without resorting to permanent dogma. Almost no schools do this kind of training, and traditional religions never do so. Even science is developing a closed set of dogma that is no longer genuinely open-minded; orthodox science now puts pre-conceived arbitrary boundaries around scientific knowledge. (See more on this in the Science Page H6.) The PAS is embedded inside all our institutions including our religions, governments, legal systems, armed forces, media, and schools and colleges -- all of which we project our particular PAS into and onto. (To learn about projection see Page R12.)
A guilty child or adult, then, fears the punitive aggression of the PAS while, at the same time, he or she respects, and may even "love," that Parental Authority System. If no love is there, as might be the case with an abusive parent or dictator, then the victim will not feel guilty, but only afraid of the punitive aggression. Thus we can say that almost all parents and Parental Authority Systems utilize "love" (which includes respect and deference) as well as fear and anger to control those in their care.
Fear, "love" and anger, then, add up to GUILT. Consequently, almost everyone on this planet ends up with a worrying guilty conscience about doing many things (behaviors) that are entirely harmless and never hurt anyone! And yet we continue to wonder why most of the people in the world are depressed, unfulfilled and confused, even as we fill them up with (including numerous children) with amphetamines and anti-depressants. When will we get to the point where we examine the fundamental fear-based human belief-systems which cause most unhappiness. Note that even the PAS "love" aspect of guilt is filled with a fear of that pseudo-love will be withdrawn as a punishment.
HEALING IS WHAT THIS WORLD NEEDS, NOT PUNISHMENT
Norway is a country that endeavors to heal those who commit crimes (see Q3W).
The human race sorely needs to turn away from punishment and turn toward healing those who commit so-called "crimes." In some areas we have already done this. For example, when I was a child, drunk alcoholics were regularly jailed, and to my knowledge, at that time there was no Alcoholics Anonymous or Rehab Centers to help them heal their addiction.
Please note that I am not saying we should not incarcerate those whose behavior is a danger to others or themselves. After all if someone has a dangerously contagious disease we promptly quarantine them and strive to heal them until they are no longer infectious, and no one calls this punishment. We also confine our children, between the ages of 5 and 16, to schools for at least 5 hours a day and we adults do not regard this as punishment. So, what I am proposing here is that we regard all so-called criminals as psychiatric patients and strive to heal them of their disorders until they are healed and permanently healthy. This should be done in very humane therapeutic environments (as in Norway) and a very few other places. To read about a wonderful beginning example of such a transformational therapeutic environment see an article in the Christian Science Monitor dated November 10, 2008 by Dortel Williams entitled, "My Shawshank Redemption." Incidentally, Dortel has already served over 20 years for murder. Years ago, in Florida, while on a continuing education Rape Treatment Course, our class visited a therapeutic low-security prison where convicted sex-offenders could volunteer to serve the last two years of their 10-year mandatory sentence. This program was a step in the right direction.
Please also note that I am not saying those convicted of certain serious "crimes" should not, if necessary, be incarcerated for life. Nor am I saying that, if such an inmate is eventually released, he or she should not be monitored in different ways.
Obviously, this changeover from punishment to therapy is going to take a while to accomplish, but then we humans-as-egos are slow learners; after all it is now 2000 years since Jesus said, "Forgive them Father for they know not what they do (i.e., they were simply ignorant about Truth)." Jesus did not say, "Father please punish them by causing them to fry in hell for an eternity."
Every human being is a Child of God who needs to Wake up to Love and Light, and those who need the most Loving healing help are those our society has caused to resort to crime.
TRUE VISION, TRUE KNOWING
Spiritual Vision does not always refer to the body's eyes even though, sometimes, they are involved. True Spiritual Vision occurs when we Wake Up and "look out on" the world with Love, Light, Peace, and Joy.
Even beyond Spiritual Vision is True Knowing which comes from direct experiential revelation from the Universal Mind. This direct revelation can be very muddied by human egos, and therefore we humans have to distill True Knowing from the revelations of a wide range of High Masters such as Jesus (today), Krishna, Buddha, Lao-Tzu, etc. Because each of these Masters, including some modern ones, has been scribed and interpreted in different local languages, we ego-ridden humans must extract Truth through a careful examination of their common near-identical Ideas by penetrating to a deep understanding of the unified thought system of Truth behind their words. In other words, we have to sort out the True wheat from the ego's tares. The more ego the more tares there are in the mixture. Using this discernment process, we can deduce (for example) that Stilling the Mind by eradicating all ego is a key Idea; that Universal Love is the Answer; that there is only One Mind-as-Such; that there is only the Present Moment, NOW; that Universal Mind-as-Such is directly experiencable, Now; that our function and purpose here, right Now, is to Wake-Up to the fact that we are all Masters in ego-disguise, falsely believing in the egoic masks and costumes we have fabricated within our limited imaginations.
A WORD OF CAUTION ABOUT PSYCHIC PHENOMENA
Even those who are psychic may sometimes experience glowing Light permeating the environment indoors or outdoors, and people have reported seeing Light around, and sometimes in, trees and plants. Of course there is a long history of there being auras surrounding people that certain psychic individuals can see. Others may hear music or register delightful scents when there is no stimulus present. Some people have healing powers, others are highly intuitive, while still others may be able to channel differing "entities." While these experiential kinds of phenomena have a long interesting history, they are not necessarily correlated with Spiritual Advancement or Insight in any given individual -- especially if ego-pride gets into the act. They may be, or they may not be.
Loving Oneness Now -- Copyright © 2007 Alexander Bannatyne, PhD