Life is, essentially, conflict. And what we do is, essentially, trying to avoid conflict. We accomplish this, essentially, by suppressing, ignoring, projecting or by engaging in it. We are, essentially, running away from life. And that is, essentially, why we are not happy.
One cannot avoid conflict. Suppressing, ignoring, projecting and engaging are, at best, temporary solutions. Suppressing and ignoring equal postponing. Conflict goes on unnoticed and unacknowledged behind the scenes and comes back even stronger than before. Projecting and engaging equal taking sides, aiming at making one side of the conflict win, be right or be stronger. Taking sides, however, merely fuels the very opposition it aims to overcome. Conflict is based on division, thus divisions fuel conflict.
Conflicts are never won. the imaginary win will inevitably look for new conflicts. That's we are not told to "Resist not evil", i.e. not to engage in the conflicts mind and world are presenting to us.
All my unhappiness, my always being driven, my discontent with life, was and is is based in trying to get away from conflict. Even all my spiritual practice has always been a search for salvation, for the end of suffering, of essential, basic conflict I was experiencing in more and more details. That's why this very simple insight that entered my mind today has been somewhat profound to me and I felt like writing it down.
What to do?
The best is not to do. Do as litle as possible. Just be the space in which conflict takes place. Do not engage, do not try to solve it. All conflict is inside, outside conflicts are altogether projections of those inside. Accept conflict assuming it will never end.
Torture never stops. (Frank Zappa)
Die Folter endet nie. Wir sind für sie geboren. (Tocotronic)
Peace is not apart from the war but admist it.
Non-duality is not beyond duality, it is in its very core.
The end of conflict is when we stop making a problem out of it it.
You are not part of the conflict, you are the battlefield. Your job is to watch it, carefully and acceptingly. It then, by and by, looses all its power over you. It will end only when you altogether stop caring about if it ends or continues.
This is the end of suffering, the end of good and evil, the end of ego, the end of delusion, the end of birth and death.
You are free, you are whole, you are endless. There is no bottom to you, there is no boundary to you. Everything that appears, appears in you and will disappear back into you.
I am not good with examples, true.
What is important in this, is that is does not merely apply to superficial conflicts like interpersonal problems or so. Every mind content produces conflict. The very fact that there is content, that things appear, is conflict.
Perception is essentially conflict, a conflict between consciousness and its objects.
We are not used to seeing that because we are not used to watch our minds. We are lost in the objects, in one side of the conflict and therefore they appear to be solid, real, immediate. Upon close observation of the mind, however, everything becomes fluid, a flow, a dance of consciousness and content. If we do not completely go with that flow, which is the normal human mind state, then it does not appear as a flow or a dance. We do not see the forrest because of all the trees.
In the thinking process we only see the thoughts, isn't it? We do not notice where they appear, we do not even understand the question, where they appear. We are so used to thoughts that they are all we see. Phenomenology, meditation, self-observation, however, reveal that thoughts are, just like every object of sense perception, like ripples in the sea of the mind.
Without ripples the mind is like a still lake. But we hardly ever notice because the ripples are so plenty, we are bombareded with sense perceptions (Reizüberflutung war mal ein Modewort vor 20 Jahren) and even more with thoughts and thus we do not see them for what they are. The ripples never stop, but what a release to see that they are just ripples!
In other words, the basic conflicts are unconscious, we do not see them and therefore we are slaves to them. The very first step is thus to become aware of conflict. Conflict is everywhere, the mind is never really at peace. Even if it seems like, there is always another level below where a lot of stuff and quarrel is going on. Seeing that, at first, is very painful, and this has been the pain of my recent years that kept me going and it still is.
But eventually the surrender to that, the dying to this process, which is life itself, is freedom, is the only freedom. Everything else is stiff, stuck, hard, closed and ultimatelly delusional. There is no save harbour, but the no-harbour of that helplessness concerning the process of life, of the acceptance of utter dismemberment Hegel speaks about:
"But the life of Spirit is not the life that shrinks from death and keeps itself untouched by devastation, but rather the life that endures it and maintains itself in it. The spirit wins its truth only when, in utter dismemberment, it finds itself. It is this power not as something positive that closes its eyes to the negative, as when we say of something that it is nothing or is false, and then, having done with it, turn away and pass on to something else; on the contrary, Spirit is this power only by looking the negative in the face, abiding with it. This abiding is the magical power that converts it into Being."
Happy conflict everyone!