Bryant McGillBryant McGill WritingsPostsSociety

The True Nature of Violence

We live in a culture of violence. We are all agents of passive violence.

To understand what a more sane world may look like, it is important to understand the insanity of violence, and the true nature of violence, which is seldom discussed. That is because any honest exploration of the nature of real violence has deep implications upon the foundations of the society in which we live, and this impacts how we judge ourselves. Modern society, the political body, the legal and judiciary system, the state of governance, capitalism and the very fabric of the society itself, including our religions and so-called morals and values, are institutions steeped in traditions of absolute and total violence.

It is will that endows the animal with weapons of defense and with the means of obtaining its food; it is will too that endows the animal with consciousness and man with intellect, for these are weapons like any other contrivance for escaping from the enemy or securing prey. Indeed, intellect is the most perfect of all the weapons with which will has endowed creatures, for as the ink sac of the cuttlefish serves to conceal the animal’s flight or approach, so intellect serves to hide the intent of the will and thus to insure its success.
William Turner on Schopenhauer

Like in the animal kingdom, where every creature has its defenses and weapons, humans also possess powerful instruments for camouflage, defense, and attack. For example, the tiger has its claws and teeth, the eagle has its talons, the bee has its stinger, and the ant has its powerful mandibles. What then is the weapon of man? Is it his lumpy fists or fragile fingernails? No. The chief weapon of all human beings is the mind. The human mind is the most powerful force on the face of the earth. It is the human mind that allows human beings to maintain domination over all creatures on the earth, though many are equipped with very powerful systems for predation and defense. Since the human mind is the primary weapon of the human being, it is also therefore the primary and most significant instrument of violence. Sadly, most of the weak discussions and inane posturing over violence in the human world is focused on physical acts of brutality, and the inanimate objects with which people commit these physical acts. Physical violence, however, represents only a minority of true violence in human affairs. To understand the true nature of violence, one must only look at the primary weapon, the mind. It is when we look into the institutions of the human mind that the vast world of human violence begins to emerge as an endless tapestry of cruelty.

The mind is like a gun and our words are like bullets. When one understands that the mind and words represent the weapons, it is then that we can begin to understand that the legal arena is literally a bloodbath, which by common sense we always knew was true. People use words to do battle and to hurt one another terribly, tragically and even mortally. Stress-related death is well documented. Walking into any office building, corporation, trading floor, boardroom, government department, or courthouse can be like walking onto a blood-soaked battlefield. There are bodies everywhere and all you see and hear are the streaks of bullets racing by your head. You look over to the left and see your friend holding her neck as blood shoots from a clipped wound in her jugular vein. Everywhere you look you see empty cartridges falling to the ground as bullets fly in every direction. The bullets are the words. The words in the contracts, the words in your employment agreements, the words in the cheating fine print, the slanted words in your newspapers and on your television screens, the words of the insurance companies and the actuaries, the words in the courtrooms and the laws. The words coming out of the mouths of treacherous co-workers, gossiping neighbors, and capitalist storekeepers hawking their cheap dubious wares, without allegiance to anything beyond the bottom line of profit.

Each person has terrible acts of violence being perpetrated against them in nearly every aspect of their lives

Once you understand that the master weapon of the human being is the mind, you will then see that violence is everywhere — true violence. Each person has terrible acts of violence being perpetrated against them in nearly every aspect of their lives. Pitted against the soul of every flesh and blood human are endless institutions, all enabled, organized and operating on the exacting and absolute definitive and deadly word. Words represent the thoughts of people and thoughts represent the will of the mind. The same violence that we see in the animal kingdom in the form of competition is what plays out day-to-day between individuals and institutions through the mind and the word. Yet, what happens in nature is no justification for our behavior, because we are animals of consciousness with the ability of moral choice.

The total objective of the violent system is to take a free human being, and convert that human being’s speculative gross lifetime output into controllable revenue. Human beings and their gross lifetime product, are practically traded like super-commodities — a pseudo, and perhaps even literal preferred stock of the corporation of the United States. The path of the common citizen is voluntary serfdom as a speculative commodity. This sophisticated nouveau slavery represents the supreme form of usury. Our quality life, in the most significant and meaningful ways, have been devastated by placing people in stressful and artificial environments away from their families and communities. But ultimately, the current social contract we have accepted represents a supreme form of usury, because we use everything and everyone in the process. America and other “developed” industrialized nations have become like the executive hands, or middle-management orchestrators for a large international conglomerate, that could be called Rape the Natural World, Inc. (RNW). At RNW, Inc. nothing is off the table, from irresponsible genetic manipulation and patenting of plants, to copyrighting DNA, the molecular assault on the biosphere, and using every natural resource and human hand, no matter the cost to create and concentrate wealth. If children’s tears could be made into diamonds, corporate thugs would indenture children and force them to cry. This is what happens presently to children in the diamond mines and the electronic assembly sweatshops. How many people have to die before we are rich enough? The endless victims of the system exist in a perpetual tsunami of violence in the form of this economic enslavement. The violence inherent in our common institutions, corporations, and governments is without competition.

The homeless, street gangs, “thugs” and other mostly powerless people with legitimate anger concerning poverty and class, are commonly media and police targeted, and portrayed as dangerous, menacing undesirables. Young revolutionaries, students, activists, and protesters are similarly portrayed as misanthropic juveniles and lazy ne’er-do-wells vandalizing public spaces. But too little attention is given to truly dangerous and powerful political and corporate thugs who loot, vandalize and burn communities to the ground every day, with the mighty stroke of a pen. The boardroom is the ultimate war-room, where history’s most destructive acts of violence and aggression against human dignity, safety, and justice have been strategically orchestrated.

Acts of economic war and violence in the deepest sense are commonly perpetrated against people with a “gentleman’s” handshake and a smile. These villains hide behind a mask of legitimacy and integrity. Part of their illusion of legitimacy is achieved through the custom of costume, by wearing the official uniform of competitive business, the euro war-dress called a suit. These extreme fiscal bloodsport competitors are the top predator savages of the concrete jungle. These predators eat people’s dreams, vitality and youth, along with their 401ks, retirements, savings and security; they eat their lives and their hopes for living a beautiful life. Executive savages who eat human resource energy and soul-joy, by feeding on life-force in these ways, are discomfortingly similar to cannibals, minus the flesh.

Governments potentially represent instruments of tremendous violence, both physically and by the word, or law.

Governments potentially represent instruments of tremendous violence, both physically and by the word, or law. As far as physical violence is concerned, governments have historically shown themselves to be the most effective and deadly terrorist organizations that have ever existed, at least this is true if body count means anything. Corporate capitalism, unchecked by restraint and morality, quickly becomes a steady source of passive violence, which extends as far as its greedy reach can grope what it covets. Capitalism places individuals into direct competition with one another, with their minds and words as their weapons. The objective of life under capitalism is to capitalize or realize a gain — materially or socially — over your competitors. To realize this gain one uses the primary weapon of assault against his environment and competitors — the mind. The mind is an awesomely powerful pattern recognition, problem-solving and strategizing computer, which is highly specialized at inventing clever ways in which one may achieve dominance and gain over those in the field of competition. It is in the ways that people are employed, levied against by bond, lured into borrowing money from so-called reputable financial institutions, educated, sold goods, and peer pressured, that violence is perpetrated against the common person at every step of life. In essence, modern consumer life is a form of extreme passive violence against all people. The problem of people not understanding the inherent power of their own minds, and not understanding the true nature of violence, combined with the irresponsible institutions of unchecked capitalism create the conditions allowing enormous injustices to occur. We find ourselves lost in a perfect storm of consumption, greed, fear, suspicion, treachery and violence in the deepest and most meaningful sense, to thinking and feeling creatures such as the human.

Destroying the miracle of humanity

The character Arthur Edens of the movie Michael Clayton spoke about his epiphany, where he realized the inherent violence of the system as an organism that is destroying the miracle of humanity:

Two weeks ago I came out of the building, okay, I’m running across Sixth Avenue, there’s a car waiting, I got exactly 38 minutes to get to the airport and I’m dictating. There’s this, this panicked associate sprinting along beside me, scribbling in a notepad, and suddenly she starts screaming, and I realize we’re standing in the middle of the street, the light’s changed, there’s this wall of traffic, serious traffic speeding towards us, and I… I-I freeze, I can’t move, and I’m suddenly consumed with the overwhelming sensation that I’m covered with some sort of film. It’s in my hair, my face… it’s like a glaze… like a… a coating, and… at first I thought, oh my god, I know what this is, this is some sort of amniotic — embryonic — fluid. I’m drenched in afterbirth, I’ve-I’ve breached the chrysalis, I’ve been reborn. But then the traffic, the stampede, the cars, the trucks, the horns, the screaming and I’m thinking no-no-no-no, reset, this is not rebirth, this is some kind of giddy illusion of renewal that happens in the final moment before death. And then I realize no-no-no, this is completely wrong because I look back at the building and I had the most stunning moment of clarity. I… I… I… I realized, Michael, that I had emerged not from the doors of Kenner, Bach, and Ledeen, not through the portals of our vast and powerful law firm, but from the asshole of an organism whose sole function is to excrete the… the-the-the poison, the ammo, the defoliant necessary for other, larger, more powerful organisms to destroy the miracle of humanity. And that I had been coated in this patina of shit for the best part of my life. The stench of it and the stain of it would in all likelihood take the rest of my life to undo.

We live in a culture of violence. We have been trained by a culture of violence and we are all agents of passive violence. This is because all of our relationships are based on self-interest, discrimination and a perverse need for gain. The need for gain, and advantage over others, is one of the chief driving forces behind all human misery. We are always being forced to achieve some gain from others in order to meet our basic needs, or to vampirically feed our lifestyle excesses and greed. People have always had preoccupations with vampires because the concept has energetic roots in reality. The vampire is a cultural articulation of a creature or process we know exists in actuality, but we cannot fully describe or perceive. It exists just outside of our perceptive reach, but we know it is there, real and feeding on us and our energy. In nature, most prey cannot see their predator’s attack until it is too late, and this is why we cannot see that which feeds on our fears and energy. Man’s super-predator is camouflaged and hidden in plain sight. It is the system itself that is the invisible mega-predator which feeds on our life force. The passive violence permeates the ambient environment of human life in toto, and we pass our progenitors’ dark traditions of enslavement forward to our progeny. We are almost carriers of the disease of our own servitude.

We cannot trust our own minds, traditions and beliefs.

Violence is that which causes harm or forces unnatural change upon its victims. We are all artificial and have been unnaturally changed by violence and unwholesome conditioning. We all know there is something wrong with our culture, the state of our world, and with ourselves. Humanity has been institutionalized and we are all the products of commercial and institutional life. We are now born in institutions called hospitals. We are raised in institutions called schools. We are trained for institutional corporate life in institutions called universities. We serve in institutions called corporations. We exist under the master institutions of military and government. We die in institutions called hospitals or nursing homes. From birth to the grave, mankind is an institutional creature. These institutions have processes favoring efficiency over loss, and process over people. As children of the institution, we have all learned various processes and ways of behaving, consuming and producing. We have been made in the image and likeness of that into which we were born and raised. We are violence. Our children are bullies in school, because they are our children. We cannot trust our own minds, traditions and beliefs. We must reevaluate our needs and addictions to see that we have been unnaturally developed in the likeness of our cultural creator, and are predators. We eat life. Drunken consumption of unnatural goods, whether it be food, media, the environment, or other people and companies through “deals and acquisitions,” accumulates within you, until you eventually become what you feed on. Rather than the limited concept of, “you are what you eat,” consider that you are what you consume, and as an organism and consciousness, you in fact become a commodity and predator yourself. We become prisoners through unnatural consumption, because we must continue to feed to live. In contrast to this, consuming what is natural, good and untainted frees you, protects you, and realigns you with what is natural, peaceful and safe. By consuming what is good and pure, and rejecting what is artificial, you free yourself from being a commodity, and you then transform from a predator, to a producer and creator.

We must all strive to self-reflect and to reject violence in all forms, from the subtle to the overt.

We must all strive to self-reflect and to reject violence in all forms, from the subtle to the overt. We must all seek to unravel the deeply-rooted conditioning which has perverted us, and attempt to heal ourselves and set our inner-truth free. Love heals violence and all its sources. Love only serves and does not calculate. Love gives without expectation, while hate carries an endless tally of debts. Hate controls everything it touches, but love sets everything it touches free. To end violence we must only look within ourselves, understand ourselves and evolve ourselves. Innocence still lives within our hearts and the child within each of us knows right from wrong. All violence demands reform, and all violence desperately begs to be healed.

How can the cycles of violence be stopped when there are endless incentives to continue forward as things are, and endless deterrents and penalties for rocking the boat and not participating in business as usual? Most people can be and are controlled energetically, and physical violence is not needed. It is as though there is a static charge of oppression in the air. People know how to behave if they wish to be promoted up the ladder in society. They not only know what to say and do, but they are especially aware of what not to say, and what not to do. And this is how they live their obedient, oppressed and fearful lives.

The world is not fair, and often fools, cowards, liars and the selfish hide in high places.

What happens when people are not careful and obedient? What happens to those who live dangerously by being true to who they are? What would happen if one day you decided not to play along? Are there situations where you would be socially penalized or economically penalized if you did not suppress your true self? Are there consequences for your honesty? We all know that this type of opportunism and careerism is commonplace; we have all seen it or even capitulated to it. The world is not fair, and often fools, cowards, liars and the selfish hide in high places. If there are consequences for honesty and defiance, then what does this say about society? What type of society uses coercion — which means persuading an unwilling person to do something by using force or threats; for example, the threat of homelessness, poverty, shame, no health insurance, or “losing everything,” — to suppress a person’s true nature?

This is of course a form of passive violence; the threat of losing everything if you don’t play along. If you tell the truth to your boss, will you be fired? If you speak your mind to your neighbors, will you be ostracized? Should you just sit down and shut up? If you are honest and free, will you lose everything? By being a free soul, will a perverse society attempt to execute your energy stream? Will you be punished materially, socially and mentally?

A prison is a place where a person is remanded as punishment for not following society’s rules. It is a penitentiary where its members are not allowed to advance until they are fully penitent. These penal institutions are not just brick-and-mortar buildings, they are also invisible, energetic, idea-institutions, which have been built on every corner and into the very fabric of the society of mind. You must bow on your knees at all times before the ruling-class norms to show you are submissive. The penalty for not obeying, or being a submissive spirit to the ruling-class authority is applied in these invisible penal institutions. The penalty for not playing along is you will be socially-jailed from moving up the ladder, financially penalized, or whatever measure of control is necessary, commensurate with your defiance and disloyalty.

As beings who have been raised, educated and trained in violence, we are violence.

As beings who have been raised, educated and trained in violence, we are violence. This means we also self-inflict violence, because violence is our only way of relating to the world, to others and to ourselves. You keep yourself in check through violence, and that is how the invisible prison works. It is a form of self hate. The mind is the first level of the control prison, where your own thoughts are like a jailer, guard or a violent captor, which through time you have come to know and protect in a perverse paradox of self-imposed Stockholm syndrome. Society itself, including the marketplace of commerce is the second level of the prison yard, and the socioeconomic pecking order of the other prisoners governs the majority, keeping most people obediently submissive and in check. The third level is the system itself, which wears a mask of civility, yet will quickly reveal its true nature in the form of raw, unadulterated and magnificently-purposed force of violence when needed to suppress any threat to its true grip of absolute control.

Any individual will quickly incur energetic, and even physical entanglements with the system, if they become too disruptive to the status quo, or to the existing state of affairs of the power structure. The power structure, which has an emergence quality of complex systems, where the sum is greater than the parts, arguably exhibits an intelligence of its own. This intelligent organism wishes to preserve its dominance and existence, and “consciously” understands that the real venue of control is the venue of ideas. People who do not test boundaries unknowingly live under the constant threat of violence as suppressed beings. There is a gun pointing at every person’s head and they do not know it, because they are obedient and submissive. But many have discovered that if you step just outside of the lines of expected behavior through protest or even espousing ideas — men with guns and nightsticks will quickly appear. The truth is they have always been there at all times, with their guns drawn and pointing at you. This is how we live at all times, with the barrel of a gun pointing at us. Step too far out of line, and they will materialize like phantoms before your eyes. These phantoms are energy assassins, who come to arrest the energy stream of your creative emissions, and neutralize you as a threat to the establishment of control. They metaphorically murder your energy.

The machinery of government and its war apparatus acts as a double-edged blade, with one side sharpened for outer enemies and the other honed for inner enemies. The government holds its self-preservation as its highest imperative. The system loves to make public examples out of so-called “troublemakers” to teach everyone important lessons. A personified system can almost be seen sneering at its subjects and ordering them to keep their heads down, and to not make eye contact, or else! But we must look intimidation in the eye, and stand defiantly against what we know is not just. Nothing is more beautiful than freedom, and nothing more grotesque than its molestation.

A person is not solely their body; a person is also the unique consciousness within. The greatest crimes in the world are not committed against the body, but against the freedom of the consciousness. In this regard, the world is full of murderers, assassins and energy thugs. Since you are not solely your body, they do not come to kill your body, but rather they come to kill your name, energy, and output. They kill your energy with audits, legal fees, politically-motivated arrests or propaganda against your credibility, character or morality. They understand the tribal mob mentality, and know how to let the mob do the dirty work of social stoning, through condemnation and ostracism. This type of murder is completely legal, but is nonetheless a great crime. To murder a soul’s freedom and essence of being because someone does not agree with their ideas is barbaric, and yet this is business as usual on planet Earth. This is the name of the game — control.

There is nothing more powerful and nothing more dangerously beautiful than a free mind.

The truth is that no vile usurper of freedom can harm you if you have nothing to lose. True freedom and power only comes when one is free of attachments, including the attachments of attempting to control outcomes. There is nothing more powerful and nothing more dangerously beautiful than a free mind. This is why so many great defiant spirits, who continued to advance their beliefs in spite of energetic attempts to silence them, were eventually physically murdered. But even in the shadows of physical violence, the real battlefield is the realm of ideas. The real violence is committed in the writing of history, the records of the legal system, the reporting of news, through the manipulation of social contracts, and the control of information. The real violence is committed by each one of us when we choose promotions over justice and popularity over truth. We are all a part of a food chain of violence which will never end until we reassess what is truly profitable to a society, and until we redefine our very poor relationships with one another.

We must reassess what is truly profitable to a society, and redefine our very poor relationships with one another.

The war for freedom is an information war fought with words, misdirections, distractions and omissions. It is an information war because people are basically good, and when they are in possession of the full truth, they usually do the right things. That is the reason information is controlled — because the free flow of truth is not always expedient for those wishing to maintain control. Begin to see the violence around you; begin to see the violence within you. Turn towards love, and become love. In the new world to come, let us only consider a true profit to be that which is for the greater good of all.

Bryant McGill

Bryant McGill is a human potential thought leader, international bestselling author, activist, and social entrepreneur.

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