ITL EP. 07 - engaging the cycles of violence

Cycles of violence are real. They are pervasive. And they are perpetuated by human beings and so can be broken by human beings. In my studies I understand this as Samskara.

The photo above came up in my recent research about racist violence. The photo was taken in Georgia in the 90s and does not feel much different than the photos we are seeing from recent events in Charlottesville. But this episode is not about racism, as much as the violence of racism is part of the conversation. This Illness Threatening Life Episode is about the most counter-inuitive solution to violence that I know to be true. And I think this photo is the most powerful representation of the cycles and so the solution that I have seen.

Listening to this EP makes me uncomfortable. I am nervous to put it out. Not only because I describe an experience of sexual assault in my life, but also because, even in the face of the violence perpetrated against me, I am calling for a solution that is not retaliatory - it is not even a call for justice, at least not as we understand justice. It is not a popular opinion.

For folks who are experiencing violence in their lives, especially if it is systemic and ever-lasting and connected to their identity or homeland, I make no claims about what they should do. If you are exhausted and over it and cannot hear "love is the answer," I fully support you. But my guess is that love has been the underlying force that has kept you alive, and I applaud you.

In this ITL EP I am actually calling for those who have the space of a safe reality to step up. But not with violence, with radical love. Again, I realize it is not a popular opinion, and not likely something we will do well right off the cuff. We will fuck up. I know I am. But we have to try.

I also disagree with well known author and teacher Rob Bell in this EP. Because, even as I am feeling terribly sad as a result of my studies of violence, because it is horrible and cyclical and overwhelming, I also feel brave. And I think we need to hold one another accountable, even those who set themselves above and apart. We have to do better.

As always, below are the links to resources I mention in the podcast. But please don't stop there. Keep learning, keep shifting, keep challenging yourself and those around you to do the same. With LOVE.

Catch you in matrix y'all! I love you.

Essential Teachings: His Holiness The Dalai Lama - Marianna Dresser 

The RobCast - The Thing in the Air/Part 5/The Lie of Redemptive Violence 

Me? Or Samskara? - on Tonia's Blog