What is cruelty and can we heal it?
Victims of cruelty and abuse often become tremendous students of inner-growth, and individuals who dedicate their lives to be of service to the whole. Human cruelty leaves little compromise and the antidote is often to stand for the purest expressions of humanity. Yet a field of dread remains. What is this cruelty we share among us? Can it be healed?
What is Cruelty?
Cruelty is a feeling of potent rejection – a rejection so pure that it allows only enough existence to facilitate an object to reject. Beyond the refusal to honor the existence of an individual, it actively projects demonic form in the areas where the individual expresses his or her qualities.
It seeps through wounds of abandonment, betrayal and isolation. It is experienced as an energy of senselessness and as such is closely linked to despair.
The one experiencing the cruelty is not always in direct connection with the perpetrator. That is, cruelty can be experienced as a result of blind systems lacking individual responsibility – such as governments or institutions. It can also be felt when the one initiating the cruelty might actually be innocent and unaware of the pain inflicted.
Cruelty is an attack on the manifestation of form – on your expression of human qualities as a human being, and on the fact that you take the form and space of human. It strikes like a baton against the freedom that emanates from the purity of living, and as such, can have a subtle agenda of control and domination.
Cruelty would seem to be best defined in those areas where simple humanity is lost. It is found in those situations where collectively or individually, our behavior becomes less than human. As such, cruelty can not be healed by another human being. When one person has trashed the very principle of humanity, a human cannot restore him to his self.
How to heal it?
The movement of healing cruelty is a one of self-forgiveness or divine forgiveness of the energy, wherever it manifests. Embedded in the word “forgiveness” is given before. By allowing ourselves to experience the energy of cruelty, we realize that we (that which is able to experience) are much bigger than the cruelty itself. It does not define who we are. We return to the existential source which is so much more powerful than any misguided agenda for short-term domination.
Both the perpetrator and the one violated need this affirmation of the existential self – quite independently of the personal entanglement. That is to say, even if the man who raped you repents, the energy of cruelty will still be present in your universe. Even if he is dead, dead, dead, the horror lives on. Its imprint is still there on the form of the victim, and only the victim can process this energy through the allowing power of awareness.
As healers, we are often confronted with the energy of cruelty – not only from our clients but also from our colleagues. To take full responsibility from a space beyond judgment for the experience of cruelty in our universe is necessary for the healing promise to be opened – on behalf of ourselves and others. In the first instance, this is movement beyond fear and judgement.
Why we are cruel
Our behavior moves into the perpetuation of cruelty when we lose the connection with the depths of who we are and become lost in projection.
Unaffirmed in our own right to exist and exposed to the collective cruelty which we know to be there, we follow an agenda to avoid it – or to survive. This survival, fear-based agenda, which can only exist when there is a deep loss of self connection, creates polarities of either-or, us or them, me or you. In the world of cruelty, this formulates as “Kill or be killed.”
Unfortunately, the nature of fear is to place restrictions on freedom. So what could have once been a broad motto for times of war, can spread to the neighborhood, to the work-place, to the family and even to within the individual psyche.
As an individual restricts his or her world out of fear, a jealousy is born towards the freedom of others. When the success or beauty of another is seen, it can be experienced as an existential threat. Kill or be killed.
Jealousy, either hidden or explicit, is a first red flag that we should be vigilant in the area of cruelty. The second flag is in those spaces where we find we are dehumanizing others. When we do this, our own human form is being sabotaged.
Suffering and Passion
Suffering is part of the pleasure and service of a human lifetime. It is unavoidable. We confront the suffering of physical growth, injury, illness and old age; we suffer when we bump up against others; we suffer in processes of learning and taking form; and above all, we suffer because we cannot help but perceive the suffering of others. When suffering penetrates our experience, it tends to dissolve illusions. Our plans, hopes and fantasies collapse. When a loved one dies, we find the collapse of a future we assumed we would have.
In suffering, we fall into a deeper incarnation of human.
In the gut of authentic suffering, in the sea of emptiness in which many illusions of who we thought we were are exposed, there comes a stage in which this pain is no longer seen as personal. This is partly because many of the structures of ego that create the belief that we are separate from others are broken down.
In this apprehension of unity, suffering can transmute to passion. This is passion to make it better, for ourselves and others, which draws directly on the perception of suffering. In this, we begin to be reborn in human form, with a much more evolved wisdom of the inter-being of all forms. It is no longer kill or be killed, but the prerogatives of a passion to be of service to the whole.
Taming the inner psychopath
Between severe suffering and the transformation to the passion of service, there are places we get caught. When we refuse to allow suffering into our experience, and are unable to surrender to it, then we begin to take the form of war.
This involves a sharp polarity between abuser and abused, criminal and victim. Hooking into the “good”, weaker party, we throw the other side into the emptiness – banishing it from human form. But in the moment of cruelty and abuse, both sides of the polarity exist. In this movement – based on an inability to allow suffering – a shadow is born – that of the inner psychopath.
With the sad mask of victim, this player can feel justified in the most horrendous acts of cruelty. Self-pity is always a close partner in narcissistic personality disorder. This can be hard to swallow when every instinct dictates we burn the witch and rip off the balls of the neighborhood rapist.
Yet. for all the beauty and good feelings in the world of inner-growth and enlightenment, the inner psychopath remains. He or she is actually ready to be of service for sake of the whole. But for that, she needs to be realized, acknowledged and given instructions. He is not absolute, not the boss, and in no way represents any reality which determines your right to take form now and to express your beautiful and unique qualities as a human being.
The passion of humanity will always, always, outlive the illusory agenda of cruelty which is based on the poverty of disconnection from the shared power source of the universe.