Sunday, August 24, 2014

Getting to the Root of Violence: An Integrative Public Health Model

~ Nelson Mandela (Image: Google Doodle)

The way to heal violence is through education for non-violence.

Unlike a natural disaster, violence is 100% man-made, and can therefore be 100% eradicated.

An Integrative Public Health Model to Heal Violence

Ignorance, Mistaken view of self (1) ⇒ Greed/craving/attachment/"all good", Hatred/anger/disgust/aversion/"all bad" (2) ⇒ Intention to harm others (3) ⇒ Individual predisposed to violence (4)   ⇒ Situation predisposed to violence (5) ⇒ Trigger event (6) ⇒ Violence (7)

It might be easier to understand and internalize the model starting from the end:
Violence (7) arises from an encounter with a trigger event (6), in a situation that is predisposed to violence (5), by a person who is predisposed to violence (4). A person is predisposed towards violence due to his or her habits of mind.
These habits of mind are in the mind, hence, steps 1-4 occur within an individual's mind:
The intention to harm others (3) arises in a mind that splits between "all good" and "all bad" in an exaggerated way (2).

It turns out that we all have this tendency to see others as "all good" or "all bad," a tendency that can be weakened and finally uprooted from the continuum of the mind, the mindstream. That doesn't mean that one loses the capacity for discernment. The contrary is true. The more we weaken our exaggerated tendency to project "all goodness" and "all badness" onto others, our view of reality improves and our capacity for discernment becomes sharper. Our reactions to situations become more realistic, more in accordance with reality as it is. Our tendency to project "all goodness" and "all badness" onto others, and to split between "all good" and "all bad" (to split and project are synonymous), arise from a mistaken view of how the I exists (1).

We grasp the 'I,' the self, the ego, as being most precious of all, from a view that we exist independently and inherently, from our own side. But we don't really exist in the way we perceive ourselves and reality as existing. We exist interdependently, interactively and dependent upon many causes and conditions. No person or any other compounded phenomena exists independently and inherently from its own side the way we mistakenly and wrongly conceptualize. This conceptual error of ours regarding the existence of the self is an active and destructive error, so it's very important that we become aware of it, in order heal it and to uproot it entirely from our mindstream. It's possible for a person to completely eradicate violence in his or her mindstream. This is actually a scientific fact that has been demonstrated by neuroscientific laboratory findings.

Social change begins at the level of the individual, in each of our hearts. 

"Peace starts within each one of us.
When we have inner peace,
we can be at peace with those around us.
When our community is in a state of peace,
It can share that peace with
neighboring communities."

~ His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

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An Integrative Public Health Model to Heal Violence

Original Hebrew post

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