Yes, I know that the natural assumption is money but let’s face it there was a time when money didn’t exist and evil still did. I think we can safety assume that the root of evil has to stem from us. More specifically, as everything starts inside of us then it too must derive from inside. So, if it’s not money then what is it – ignorance. Yep, ignorance is the source of evil. A man that knows better can still commit an evil act but he is more unlikely not to. He will be able to empathise with the other person and he will be clever enough to know that any such act will eventually come back and bite him on the backside. That’s Karma – or as we like to call it ‘Gods Revenge’. This normally manifests itself in said individual burning down your garden shed, when you’re out at the shops.
[ps – Perhaps ‘Gods Revenge’ is a bit too strong a phrase for our horticultural arsonist. After all we all know that I prefer to call a spade a spade but as the spade in question was also burned down in the shed then I’m sure you can see my predicament.]
[pps – I have never owned a shed, this is fictional]
Buddhism talks of the Five Families and ignorance sits at the heart of the four main emotions that tend to drive our lives – anger, pride, desire and jealousy. If you arrange them in a wheel around an axis of ignorance then you can see how easy it is to move from one to another. You can travel across the centre because travelling through ignorance is as easy as walking through air. You can drift from one wheel segment sideways into the next. How often has jealousy for something someone else has turned into desire for what they have. Then your pride\Ego kicks in and says, “you deserve that more than they do”. Of course you believe what your Ego tells you and that starts to make you angry. The flow naturally but they need ignorance as a source of energy to keep them moving all the way around to anger. There are times though that you wil jump in at higher levels of emotional vibration. For example you are just standing minding your own business when this guy just stamps in your foot. That’s it, straight to red, possibly even violence.
There are of course mirrors for each of these families and if we can replace any of these (in moments of stress) then there is a good chance that we can alter or change the others, purely by association.
The mirrors are as follows;
Anger Unity With All
Pride/Ego Equality With All
Desire Empathy With All
Jealousy Accomplishment With All
Ignorance Knowledge Of All
Ignorance is the best one to work on. I’m not saying that you have to be a university professor. It’s not even that type of knowledge. I suppose it’s the stuff of life. For example – once you have been dumped badly by someone you know how it feels to be treated like that. Subsequently you treat other people that you come into contact with, with just a little bit more respect. That’s how it’s meant to work. Its not rocket science. Not doing it is classed under the heading, of the aforementioned, ignorance. You just haven’t learned the lesson of empathy from a bad experience – not cool.
So, bottom line. When you feel a bad emotion coming on then just stop for a second. Look at it closely and ask yourself a question. ‘Where the hell did that come from’? Chances are it didn’t come from outside, it was already inside you from years ago. Someone knocked over your ice cream as a toddler – and now – whenever someone bumps into you by accident, it’s full on world war 3. If you can work out, that it was the ice cream and not the guy stamping on your foot that got you angry, then you have educated yourself. You have chipped away a bit of that ignorance, shone light on a false emotion, highlighted a false belief and as a by product pumped up one of those mirror emotions as well. That’s why your mum told you to count to ten first. It’s actually pretty smart advice.
Now back to our scenario. You are now looking at this guy differently than before. You are all part of the same family. He is your brother. You then notice that your bag is sitting in the middle of the floor and that he tripped over that, before stumbling into you. He apologises for standing on your foot and you apologise for leaving the bag where it could have hurt him. It’s the exact same situation as the one above but an entirely better outcome for all the souls involved.
What’s the moral of this story? Ignorance is bliss – definitely not. Pride before a fall – maybe . Don’t leave your shit lying about – definitely. OCD rules. 🙂