“Bupppphhhpf. Bupppppphpft. Bipppht.” What was that?’ I stopped eating my Katsu curry and looked up. The window pane of the restaurant shuddered like it was being hit by a battering ram.
“Karrrunnnhhhch, booooom. Bppppphhhhh!” As the glass started to wobble, people nearby abandoned their seats and ran back, towards me.
“Bbbbusssshhhh! Busssssssh! Bmmmmppphhfff!” As people let out gasps and screams, I started to make out what was happening.
A man was being thrown and punched against the glass. A mob of men gathered round him in the dark, as he fell down to the pavement. His saliva still hung on the glass nearby as they swooped to pick him up and fling him once again against the pane. At first, he tried to escape, to move, but pretty soon it was clear this was doomed. So he curled up in a ball and simply tried to minimise the blows as they rained down.
“Kkkkkkaaaaaarucnh!” The gang circled around him like sharks, scenting blood. “Kkkccchh! Kuscccch! Kccchchhc!” They each took turns to lean in and kick his torso, as it lay on the ground, like some twisted form of ancient ritual.
By this stage, the man had slowly been kicked around the outside of the restaurant and now lay near the window in front of me.
“Bummmphhh!“ Another kick came, this time to the head. There were shouts of glee, delight and ridicule abusing the man, who lay prostrate below.
I found myself standing up, glued to the spot before my steaming dinner plate, staring on like I had a front-row seat at some bizarre blood sport. I wondered about calling the Police.
“Kkkkkkkkaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaruncchh!” As he was thrown once again to the floor, I noticed the restaurant owner talking excitedly on the phone, to what seemed to be the authorities. No one had left the restaurant at all; most cowered inside but yet were oddly transfixed, just like me.
“Bbbbbbpppppppshshshshshsh!” Another blow landed and as I was trying to work out if the man was dead or alive, a siren sounded nearby. The ringleaders did not let this deter them and gave the man a few more kicks ‘just for good measure’, before sidling casually down a dark alleyway next to the building. I noticed a few even slip inside the restaurant foyer and pretend to consider what they might like to eat, as some form of cover.
As the Police arrived on the scene, there was an air of an endless cycle repeating again. They got out of their car as if this incident was but one of many they had seen this day.
’At last’ I thought to myself, expecting to see them pursue the gang, hot on their heels, like in a TV show. But they did not. They stood around the man’s body, checked he was alive, spoke to passers-by to confirm there had been an attack, seemingly oblivious to the blood underneath their feet. The officers pulled out a clipboard and started filling in forms. An ambulance arrived and the man was wiped down. It seemed, despite everything, he had survived for now.
Gradually people in the restaurant shook their heads and went back to their dinner plates. But I could not return to mine. I felt sick in my stomach and in a deeper way inside of me. I made my way back to the hotel I was staying in and attempted to sleep.
Over the next couple of days many things came to me to consider. But what stuck out in it all was how I behaved. I stood as a witness to an attack, with a clear unobstructed view. I stood watching a fellow human being getting bashed, with a state-of-the-art video camera in the phone in my pocket, yet I did not get it out. I did not record this crime that was happening in front of me. What was I thinking? Well, I had to admit that I instinctively knew that this choice was not the ’safe’ thing to do.
What became clear is that there were a series of consequences being calculated inside my head: “If I video this and report and stand against these men, then surely they will dish out the same treatment to me. Look at how brutal and aggressive they are, do I want to be exposed to that? If I call the police, they will take my name and mention me and call me to court. You know every gang member has a friend who will visit you one night when you least expect it to take their revenge”.
All of this seemed to have been processed by me in the moment I saw this brutal attack. And so, I did nothing but walked on with my life, stumbling out of the restaurant, not mentioning it again till now.
Recently though, some friends of mine have been subject to severe and prolonged online abuse, also known as ‘cyber-bullying’. It got me to thinking – how is it that we ever get this way? How is it we turn from a precious baby whose skin is as soft as feather and whose touch is tender as velvet glove, to beating one another to a bloody pulp? How is it we attack, vindictively pursue and even kill someone else?
I remember my first experience of being bullied clearly. “Get out of my way” she said to me, “your shoes don’t go here! This belongs to me – now get lost!”. It was my first year at school and Imogen was a year above me. Apparently, she took exception to me and decided to make this clear with immediate effect. Although the words she said were not swear words as such, or illegal in any way, they came with anger and a fury I had not expected or experienced much in my life. Stunned, I quickly moved my things and attempted from then on to stay out of her way.
A few years later on a school camp, a boy I considered to be a close friend of mine turned on me in front of the group and started to put me down to make himself look big. No-one in the group who I knew stood up for me or called him to account. I was devastated to see a person I considered my friend be so mean, unexpectedly it seemed.
Perhaps we have all had similar small instances of ’bullying’ like these in our lives? Although they were ‘minor’, looking back they made a huge impression on me, my attitude to people and to life. I felt it was not safe at school, safe to be me, safe to trust or let others in. It never occurred to me to say something about these events to my teachers, as they were often sharp and harsh with me too. So, I just accepted it as ‘something that happens to us all’, that I probably deserved.
Judging by statistics this is one aspect of life that hasn’t changed much since I was at school:
80% of Australian students believe bullying is a serious problem at their school.
59% say they have experienced bullying, with 20% experiencing it weekly, and 8% experience it daily.
But does bullying stop at the playground yard? The attack I saw seems to be just the tip of the iceberg: Violence in general is an issue we suffer as society with still.
In the USA alone, more than 10 million adults experience domestic violence annually.
In Australia 39% of people have experienced violence at some point in their life.
And one woman is killed every nine days by a current or former partner.
But is there an even wider setting to this bullying scene?
Growing up as teenager, I was a big film fan and watched movies like Casino and Goodfellas by Martin Scorsese and The Godfather Series by Francis Ford Coppola. These films all attempt to depict the inner workings of The Mafia, the underground gangs who were prominent in the USA. Whilst these cinematic works may distort, glamourise and make these mobs into entertainment, they do capture the modus operandi of how the Mafia works:
‘If you are on my side, you are safe. If you play by our rules, you will be looked after. If you toe the line and do what we say, everything is bound to work out fine. But mess with me and dare to disagree and there will be, shall we say, ‘consequences.’
Legendarily this might be a horse’s head in your bed, a limb cut off or more finally a member of your family killed or tortured. Eventually it may be needed to ‘take care’ of you and put you in the cemetery too. Some mafioso worked not only by a role of fear, but by extortion too, seeking money in return for your safety, like rent or a tax you submit to pay to protect your ‘security’. Yet this is in truth just a series of bribes paid to murderers and killers to temporarily hold off. What kind of a life did the inhabitants of the ghetto’s these gangs ruled really live? Could you describe this as freedom, or true safety of any kind?
It’s common to see the Mafia’s approach as separate somehow, restricted to Italian or Latin men who wear black suits and shades and live in Chicago or Boston or New York. Yet when you look at our past as a race you can see this extortionate and bullying way is not new or exclusive to them at all. The Roman empire for instance was founded on the same reign of force and terror. They had the weaponry; they had the control. Dare to go against the empire, its dogma and tradition, and you could expect to suffer. The lifeblood of its existence was slavery, obedience, contrition, intrigue, plot and assassination. Take the example of ancient philosopher Hypatia, who dared to stand and present a way of viewing the world the Roman authorities did not like, so they stirred up a group of fanatical monks who seized this revered teacher in the street and stoned her to death.
In the most notorious period of modern history, the rise and fall of the Nazi Party, it’s clear to see how its leaders used intimidation, propaganda and their chief weapon of destruction, fear, to conquer and divide first Germany and then the world. Would you dare to declare that their policies and activities were abhorrent to humanity? Would you speak out against the treatment of the Jewish people, as you saw one by one those who did speak up ’disappear’ into the night? Surely the implication is clear? Keep quiet or you will be next.
I could go on with examples from history of atrocities carried out by men and women alike, examples such as the Klu Klux Klan. Today we may well think to ourselves, ‘thank God we are clear and free from this extreme abuse’. But is that actually true to say?
Consider for a moment. If a bully wins a fight and controls other people by fear, what kind of world is it we live in then? When a bullying infected society comes to write its history, will it write the facts? Will the bully allow the scribe to lay down the truth? Or will we record a version for posterity that is safe, plausible and convenient to hear but does not reveal those responsible for the real events? If you are a dictator who has murdered many of your political opponents to maintain power, do you publish this and welcome free press? Or do you present a picture you prefer and let it be known that whatever you do, don’t mess up or you will be next in line? Surely the answer is just common sense. The threat is implicit and unmistakably clear. If you want to live and be safe in this life, there are certain lines that you better not cross. Is this not the largest unwritten rule to rule them all?
Looking back over time it may be easy to see how this energy of bullying plays out with despotic regimes in far off countries; past dictators who have since been incarcerated or gone to the grave. But what if we look closer to home?
Growing up, my family would religiously tune in to the news every night to know what was going on in the world. Yet over time it became clear to me that these ‘news items’ were falling short of the full picture of reality. What has been revealed about the likes of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire or even Facebook’s fact checking’ in recent times is surely but a slight insight into the way our society, life and media works. If a group or organisation has a vested interest in controlling and having power over others, will they openly say so? Will they candidly publish news of their own corruption? Or will they, as in days gone by, censor and reduce, doctor and eliminate the part of the truth that they don’t like? Will they silence, humiliate, discredit or shame those that step forward with any evidence that’s to the contrary? Everything points to the fact that they will indeed.
So, what is the quality of the life we lead today? What is the quality of the news we read? What is the quality of the government we have? What about our law courts and Police? What is the quality of what we think and say? Are we truly as free and safe as we like to believe? Or have we made a deal on another level, to be silent, to stay quiet about corruption and abuse? What we know as history may be questionable but what seems to be a universal theme is that those who live and tell the truth end up being attacked, imprisoned and often killed for this act. And isn’t this the ultimate game and aim of the bully? There may be 5 of them and 4,000 of you but if they can get you to fear and cower and play small, then they have free reign to control and manipulate power. Yet are these bullies ever satisfied – or are they addicted to and controlled too by their own games and lies?
This rampant and relentless bullying seems to stem from a view of life as a one-off event. But if you consider the possibility that we re-incarnate then how does that change our part in all that takes place? If we stay quiet and silent and let bullies win, what kind of future awaits us and our kids when we come back again? Does a quiet or comfortable life this time around actually achieve anything?
From attending the workshops and presentations of Serge Benhayon I have come to understand that life at its core is the result of two types of energy: Fire and Prana. What is love and that which is not. All life as we know it then is a physical outplay of these two forces that are unseen. While this might sound weird at first, or like something so fundamental it’s too absurd to be true, my experience is it is indeed very accurate, tangible and real if you are willing to stop and feel.
Serge also presents there are two distinct parts to us all: the Spirit and the Soul, which are fuelled by this energy. The Spirit is that part of us that is not enough, constantly running ‘to get ahead’: it will be nice and polite, or harsh and mean, anything that manipulates life to bring it the recognition, accolades or dramas that it seeks. The Soul on the other hand is simple, still, beholding and naturally complete – in perfect harmony with the everything the universe is.
The dictator, the mafia boss, the kids at school, the mob I saw that night, you and me, we all are no different underneath. The only distinction is the extent we let our Spirit and its ill energy run rampant in our life. The more we give emphasis to this aspect of us, the more the Pranic consciousness – the pool of energy that feeds this behaviour – grows and becomes more prevalent in this world.
This energetic understanding of how life works is the key humanity has been in need of down the ages. When we see the forces of separation and selfishness for what they truly are – a temporary pollution of our true state – they’re revealed as being ever so small and weak. So, what happens when we see abuse in our lives but turn a blind eye? What happens when we accept this Spirit and its waywardness as who we truly are inside? What if in allowing this, we contribute to all the bullying, corruption and lies that we are surrounded by?
There are currently just under 8 billion people on this planet, 1% of whom own 82% the wealth. This statement is not just about economic gain – for does this situation not show the absolute ridiculousness of how far we have let this separative energy reign?
"Telling ourselves lies about how we truly live has led to us accepting what is not acceptable but far worse, it has led to the convenient truths we not only call truths but champion and defend."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations Volume I, ed 1, p 448
The way we have lived for millions of years need not be how we go forward. We do have a choice; there is another way. No human being need accept abuse. I now see that the fight that I witnessed that night was just a metaphor for the internal war raging in us all. The Spirit vs The Soul. The question is how do we stop the Spirit continuing to dominate?
"To shut down from harm does not ever protect you. The only form of everlasting protection is to be love."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations Volume I, ed 1, p 464
We may not like to feel the forces that are at play around us every day. The fact that this yukky energy of abuse can come through anyone, anytime, can be hard to face. And after all these forces of bullying have effectively been at us every day, the whole time we’ve been alive. That’s a lot to take.
But by staying quiet and turning a blind eye, making ourselves numb to reality, we effectively join in with this energy of being less. If we fight back against the rot and strike out – we just lose ourselves and fuel the abuse with more of the same.
We may have our comforts, familiar treats and quiet life. But no matter the size of our TV, house or bank balance, we are not as secure as we like to think. It might seem we protect our family from attack by keeping shtum and playing along with lies. But when we put our head in the sand, the energetic reality is we are all impacted anyway, pummelled by the bullying energy – just like the man I saw being smashed that night.
This applies not just externally, but also internally. When we turn a blind eye to the quality in which we operate, we let lies pass unchecked and effectively present a counterfeit version of ourselves.
"We are capable of harm because we choose not to feel the fact we harm ourselves first before we harm another."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations Volume I, ed 1, p 109
Beyond the placards, and conspiracy theories, the truth is the Spirit and the abusive energy is given power by you and me, in the small seemingly humdrum moments every day when we escape.
We are naturally designed to be connected and fully aware of everything all the time. We are made to be the President of our every move, the Editor in Chief of energy we let through and eminent observer of everything that takes place.
"You can be made to do anything if you are not with yourself in full. Understand that through contraction arises the empty vessel, which much dominating force can work through."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations Volume I, ed 1, p 454
It’s our job to develop our connection to our body and through that know true Love and be guided by our Soul. When we check out, escape (on any level) and exist on auto pilot, we let an energy that isn’t us come in and do what it likes. It’s not just in every step but even each breath we take. If this is not fully connected to, we have already withdrawn and taken our hands off the steering wheel – hence the car crash of ill events that we see play out in life.
Seen this way it’s not the abusers, the mob, the gang, the evil dictators or social media barons at all who are fuelling bullying, but each of us and the way we choose to live.
The level of responsibility may be hard to fathom and even read. It is the antithesis to the waywardness our Spirit instinctively drives us to live. It gets off on its adventures and knows implicitly that when true connection comes its days of irresponsibility are numbered – so it resists.
Every moment we’re alive there’s a pull to do things that aren’t quite correct. Start to observe this more closely in yourself and you will see your Spirit clearly at work. Move towards the truth and you will feel it try to squirm away.
In reality, we have all contributed to the mess and caused others hurt. But we must not let the forces use this to bully us into thinking there’s no way out, or that we ourselves are dark; we each have the power to make a change in the world with each breath we take – a real ‘butterfly effect’.
We can focus on life’s complexities and solving all our difficulties. We can do ‘all the right things’ and tick every box we like, but if there’s no connection inside of us to our natural inner warmth then it’s all done in an emptiness void of our true light. Through this emptiness can come seeming order and politeness one day and violence and abuse the next: for this state of being on autopilot is not as benign as we prefer to think.
Ultimately the spirit uses its own atrocities to bully us into giving up – providing it free reign to wreak havoc again and again. All along it was the perpetrator of the mess so never ever will it provide us with a true rest and understanding of what is taking place. We don’t like to feel that we’ve separated from who we truly are. But like washing your clothes in mud – continuing to let the Spirit dominate us is just bound to make this worse.
If we are willing to surrender to our body, it lets us know clearly what’s harmonious to us and what’s not – and highlights the Spirit’s waywardness. Yes, pushing on and ignoring may provide a temporary relief from our awareness and everything it brings, but ultimately it simply perpetuates the corruption that we hate.
Yes, it is a high degree of responsibility, but is it not powerful at last to understand that each of us contributes to the harmony of this world with our every move? For after all, if everyone in that restaurant had stood as one, with or without their phones, unafraid of what would come, would the bullying really ‘win’? Surely now we can see it’s time we all rise together and say no to abuse, separatism and bullying in every aspect of our lives.
Deep down we intimately know that if we start to stand up to the forces we don’t like, that those near to us are bound to be made into a target for this bullying force’s attack. And if we live the truth we show up everybody else who subscribes to lies who’d rather turn on us rather than face their own waywardness. But these attacks are just a trick to get us to submit instead of playing big.
Whether you are young or old, male or female, big or small, this applies to us all. It is the bully in us that makes us step away from what we know to be true. By bringing focus to our every move, to presence and connection with our body and honouring what we know feels right, we can finally choose to live with love and stop polluting the world and our bodies with lies.
"If you want to change your life to the true you, start with self-loving and then allow the self-love to take you into your inner-heart, where there is no self-love but love itself. If many do this society will change. If we want to change the world, do all of the above, and then, apply it to our children."Serge Benhayon The Way of Initiation, ed 1, p 531