Mushrooms in autumn, Doorn NL
The Garuda and conflict
The world seems full of conflict. Through the media all kinds of conflicts parade before our eyes. Moreover, I bet that every human person has conflicts, had had them, and will have them. There seems to be no escape.
To put it bluntly: Participating in a conflict is training your mind. Different from what most people think, conflict is not about solving problems between the parties in conflict, but is the learning process in which we learn to master the human deficiencies, or as it is expressed in Buddhist psychology, the poisons. These poisons I see as the equivalent of the Christian deadly sins.
It is a pity to say so, but we have a definitively wrong understanding of what conflict is, and thus how to solve it. I came across the secret some 13 years ago.* My findings were to my delight confirmed when I started studying Flight of the Garuda. Zhabkar says that the manifestations that we see, this is our environment in the broadest sense, are not seen properly, uncovered, literally ‘naked’ in Tibetan, but that we cover them over with our judgments about good or bad, and yes or no. We have been habituated into this judging by upbringing, environment, parents, school, friends, adversaries, media, in short by all what has befallen us, whether we liked it or not. Many will say, that what they see is really there, but by saying this they really say that what there is, must be really so because of their judgments about it. And if their judgment proces wrong they are inclineer to hammer the manifestaties into the mold of their preconceptions and judgments.
Zhabkar gives in Songs 13 and 14 many examples of opposites, and he suggests to look well into your mind, and find out, whether they are really that different.
In Buddhist psychology, long before Western psychology reached this understanding (although not many understand it yet), it is established fact that your opinion about something, is not about this something, but about you. What you thought about your adversary in the last conflict you had, is not about him, but about your own deficiency to see properly one of your own weaknesses. Therefor you have to train your mind to see uncovered, to see without the filters of the mind. It takes some time to really see this point, because one is always seduced to find his own appraisal of the situation much better, and assess it as real reality. It is very helpful to say to yourself when it happens that you have passed a judgment, that this judgment is not about the situation but about you, and then look inside, and search how this situation has triggered you. The secret is that what you think of your adversary is your own problem. If you find him deceiving, search in yourself how it is with your honesty. This is not very difficult! Only, by doing this over and over, you will find the base of your own mind.
*About 13 years ago I discovered that the Autopoiesis theory of Maturana and Varela, if applied to conflict headed in this direction. Then not yet knowing about Zhabkar and Flight of the Garuda, I devised a conflict theory based on the secular foundation of autopoiesis that proved this to be true. The basic idea is that we as humans are formed by our experiences, and that only internalised actions can be given to new situations that we encounter. These internalised actions form our structure that expands with new experiences.
This conflict theory is published in English. You will find it with this link.
Reading this text might be a good preparation for reading The Garuda.
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