"War zone" - coming to terms with Atrocity

Hi Open,

Some time ago in a response to a video I posted, you finished with:
This is when you become totally free. Truly free. You could be in any experience - even in the middle of a war zone - and you are totally okay, totally at-One. You'd accept the war zone was a necessary expression of light breaking through the darkness. You wouldn't resent it, nor need it to go away.
This is true peace.

I remember when reading this at the time I felt a lot of resistance with regards to being totally ok in the middle of a war zone and still I can sense I am far from ever being able to stand in the middle of a war zone like that, although ‘intellectually’ I can get what you mean. Now with the recent chemical attack in Syria this week and the video material of children choking appearing on my Facebook wall (I tried to avoid them, but these videos will start playing without sound even if you don’t click on them), I was reminded of our exchange again. I keep on wondering if it is really possible for anyone to watch those images, let alone to actually be in that situation dying in a chemical attack, and be totally okay?



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..as it describes a circle. The Universe is order and peace in its very core, so war is a human made distortion that must be dealt with by humans. The Universe can not be expected to deal with wars anywhere, it just accepts the interruption and seeks to reestablish order and harmony in time. So whether we humans pray to the Universe for disasters to stop that we ourselves are responsible for it leads us nowhere but back to ourselves. This is where the individual comes in. And anger. They are both absolutely healthy and should, I believe, be cherished and acknowledged. It is OK to be angry with humanmade disasters and atrocities. In fact it would be totally unhealthy seen from the perspective of the individual not to be so. We can choose to sit around and try to establish socalled inner peace meditating anger away or we can use our anger to spur energy that will make changes in human behaviour. Much too much evil in this world is tolerated and accepted because people are not angry enough. And the natural consequence is that nothing happens along the lines of change. Surely it is not very constructive to shout one´s anger out in the face of war madness but it is necessary not to suppress anger or try to "manage" it. It needs an outlet, and it is healthy to express it faced with atrocities, injustice or disasters created by fellow humans. I am speaking of mature anger. The anger that stands on its own two feet and speaks up. The anger that will be heard because it has something deeply felt to say. The anger that weighs its own words before speaking but that will not compromise with evil. The anger that says: Full stop. And explains why.

Anger in the face of atrocities, injustice or distasters such as war stems from a deeply felt sense of compassion and ability to feel deeply. It is not - as most people seem to believe - a mere need to stir things up. No.

The wars we see in the world today are mostly political and thus a game of the few in "power" to tempt the many "powerless" - I would say thoughtless - into believing in utter nonsense "I fight for my country," "I fight for my flag," "I fight for democracy." It´s all total bla-bla, propaganda that is. What is needed is not to send pretty words of compassion out to those who are made victims of such unacceptable idiocy but to stand up and speak out against it. Because one is angry with such primitive crap.

Atrocities are unacceptable. Full stop.

Anger that speaks sense is a deep feeling of justice. Full go.

Mind you, I am in no way advocating the sword. I am advocating sense in the senseless.




Strange thing. Of all that was said within this thread, what struck me was the word “atrocity”. It struck me as a surprise, although on the mind level I know exactly what was meant. I do not feel like I want to resist the recent events or meditate on peace (this feels like a resistance of what is, trying to fix something). It is great if people feel like they want to do these things though, why not?

There is a sense of an internal (an external) matrix breaking down and not wanting to follow the usual “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” as dictated by the society or anything external. Instead I’m feeling to leave a space for the feelings to just flow through. As I do that, my perspective on what is going on changes and I feel like challenging the dualistic perception of the static status quo and its anchoring 3D perceptions.

I can’t find within myself much capacity to judge... something shifted within recently and even a small judgment sends a solid punch into the solar plexus. So, I’m quite beaten up these days as old habits die hard. I do feel though… the energies of suffering and despair come through and want to be expressed, I also feel the pain of the perpetrator (heavy, sticky, trapped, desperate to be set free) and it is so much harder to allow this than the victims' suffering. I don't see atrocities, but I do feel suffering, on both sides of the equation ... In my reality at the moment there are fresh new energies flowing in the ether too! They feel like a bonfire passing through me and I can taste the violet quality of the flames and see the light within with the closed eyes sometimes, which causes some anxiety (health concerns) still.

There is a sense of multidimensionality and events playing out on multiple levels. It used to be so easy to anchor the reality with judgments, wants and needs of how things should be, everything felt so much more solid and predictable. Now, all is in a constant flux and events/people have been replaced by archetypes and metaphors. It feels really scary at times, like being suddenly thrown in a really deep water, but there is also a sense of not being able to turn around and a feeling of freedom, a freedom even beyond my understanding of the word… kind of like coming home. I'm still fighting it... not sure why... perhaps because I can't swim? ;-)

I’m just thinking now that my perspective may possibly be felt as cold, “not compassionate enough” or perhaps even weird and that is ok. The truth is: I’ve never felt as much as I’m feeling now and the more feelings I allow the less space for judgment there is.


Marye, thank you for raising this exploration. I resonate deeply with the resistance you feel to suffering. Open, I retract in body, mind, and spirit when reading about your past-life experience of self-immolation because I feel your suffering so intensely. Such a totally committed response to social injustice. Yet so shocking and extreme. I'm always shaken to the core when I see visuals of monks setting themselves on fire. I'm horrified by it. As I am whenever I see film footage of anyone suffering atrocious acts of cruelty and violence, especially children. It rips my heart out.

Open, you said:

"No one can control the universe. Period. No one can resist at a physical level the interplay of consciousness. Consider for example the macrocosm of an entire star system being obliterated by a black hole. Yet what we can each do (including the soul of the star system), is decide how we choose to experience such catastrophe: we can either retract from it, in which case we suffer, or else we can surrender and expand through, which brings with it the most incredible liberation."

You describe feeling that incredible expansion and liberation at the time of your death through self-immolation. I've been contemplating how it would feel to release all fear and resistance and experience enlightenment at the time of death, so your reflections are especially timely for me. Thank you for sharing.

With regard to how we choose to experience catastrophe, I'm reminded of Victor Frankl's book, "Man's Search for Meaning." Especially this quote:

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms-to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Victor Frankl's response to his experiences in the holocaust have inspired me throughout my life. He chose compassion and love amidst unfathomable suffering. What an incredible shining light he is.

I'm experiencing a disconnect between mind and heart these days. I accept on an intellectual level that suffering is an illusion. That souls draw whatever experiences they need to self-realize as Absolute Unidentified Presence. Yet I continue to feel resistance to suffering and social injustice. I want to make it all go away. I'm feeling frenzied, anxious, exhausted and burned out by my over-zealous attachment to eradicating injustice, to wanting to be a righteous person, over-compensating for guilt and feeling responsible for contributing to the suffering of others. I'm weary enough to know that I can't keep it up for much longer. Feeling I'm getting closer to breaking through and releasing the heartache and sorrow of self-judgment and guilt. To letting go of resistance and attachment to the illusion of reality. To the incredible, conditioned pressure I feel to act on what feels right and to do it as fast as possible to avoid impending disaster and resulting suffering. To embodying and expressing effortless and relaxed right action. Balancing surrender and willpower. Acting on what feels right and aligned with the flow of the divine from a centered space of peace and harmony. Fully accepting what is, cruelty and suffering included. Surrendering on the altar of profound truth as you describe it, Open. It's so not easy. Especially when I feel the suffering of others so deeply. Either I retract and I suffer. Or I surrender and expand through.

I know it's important to 'play' and find joy when one is in the thick of processing density. So I'm giving myself a much needed break at the seaside.

x Cathy


Hi Open,

Thanks for your inspiring response to my questioning post (I also learned an English word I didn’t know yet: ‘atrocity’). At a soul level I really resonate with what you write, but at a physical level I can feel a lot of tightness around this and the idea of a soul drawing atrocity to itself for self-realisation and growth. I can sense the identity that is still very much identified with 3D physicality, which contracts with the thought of atrocities and is trying to avoid them at any cost (the internal control freak). Possibly many layers of past-live atrocities still awaiting to be uncovered and integrated?

Vimal, I am with you on finding overcoming the fear of death still far out of your league!




Incredible open. For me too when i contemplate death for instance ,liberating oneself from it ,to know the fear of death and yet expand beyond it seems far out of my league. In this life i have come slightly near it as a drowning experience. I remember it was not pleasant at all. But i suppose when one embarks on the spiritual journey he will have integrated enough surrender to walk through an experience of death and suffering when required so. But is there a difference between experiencing an energy of the past life and actually experiencing it in this life.


Hi Marije, yes it can be shocking can't it, that people could do such a thing that causes others to have to experience such incredible suffering, especially the young. Let us meditate on peace and release of such suffering by attuning to the interconnectivity of life.

Always, but always, when contemplating such heart-rending issues, I find it greatly helps to remind oneself of the bigger cosmic picture: that throughout the universe there is only 'The One' being, expressing itself through the interplay - the relativity of consciousness. Light is exploding out through the dark, which creates "fizz", like an ocean rolling up on the beach. Since all is interconnected, the fizz of distortion must be resolved out so as to bring the universe ultimately to balanced harmony - "light" - in all places.

    Souls are naturally drawn into this fizz by the law of attraction to have an experience: perhaps, for example, to realise that we are never truly physical and separate from the whole of life.

But to know this, as an experience, a soul must first confront identification with the sense of separation - our investment in the illusion of reality. It is vitally important to understand this: at a soul level, nothing is ever done to you. You draw experience that reflects your distortion - where the soul fragments into the illusion of reality and then suffers from it. But it is only by direct confrontation of this suffering, and immersion within it, that a soul can truly self-realise, and thereby reintegrate, through it. In other words, it's only by knowing your separation, that you can truly experience the interconnectedness at a soul level.

Remember the saying: "your pain is the place where the light enters". This is so incredibly true. I can recall a past life experience of self-immolation. It was in some Tibetan village, pouring fuel over oneself, and then igniting it as a form of protest. You can imagine the pain quickly became excrutiating. However, it also brings you into a direct confrontation of the truth of the moment: resistance is futile, just as any resistance to the ultimate causality of the universe. So you're caused - invited - to surrender on the altar of profound truth. This is what happened to my soul. Upon which, there was the most incredible juxtaposition of feeling - it was as if the fire was bringing every cell of my being into intense aliveness. And as my soul expanded through, the upliftment and release - upon death - was the most divine imaginable.

    Now let me be clear: I am not saying this is easy! And I am most definitely not condoning any kind of intentional cause of suffering - which I find absolutely abhorrent in this case (in Syria) especially. But we must work to understand that the soul draws the experience to itself as a means of self-realisation and evolutionary growth - ultimately to be released from ALL suffering.

    Also, although hard to understand, even a young person may draw this kind of experience. It's because it is the soul drawing, not the identity. And no matter how young the identity, the soul might have an incredible age. In many ways, for many people, it is the hardening of identity (with age) through this physical world that causes the greatest suffering.

No one can control the universe. Period. No one can resist at a physical level the interplay of consciousness. Consider for example the macrocosym of an entire star system being obliterated by a black hole. Yet what we can each do (including the soul of the star system), is decide how we choose to experience such catastrophe: we can either retract from it, in which case we suffer, or else we can surrender and expand through, which brings with it the most incredible liberation.

I'm not saying this is easy of course. But such endurance and longevity exists within the heart of all souls. Just sit and reflect for a moment that you may well have had thousands of past-lives yourself, many with traumatic conclusions, and yet here you still are, contemplating, feeling and realising.

No, it's not easy. But the possibility of such realisation and enlightenment is available for all souls. My heart goes out to all those in suffering.

Open *give_rose*