How to remove human suffering

What is the willingness to take by force? Well, it is a psychological poison. It has several elements. It actually springs from all of the poisons, from ignorance to lust, cravings, greed, because to this consciousness that is willing to take by force, it is never enough. What do people who are willing to take by force generate? They generate suffering, often for other people as well, but they always generate suffering for themselves. Those who are the instigators of war for example cannot fail to generate an agitation in their own minds and four lower bodies that can quickly become unbearable. That is why you have seen some leaders who started wars and who literally became insane, going into a completely delusional state of mind, losing touch with reality. So, can you really say that when a person has stepped into this consciousness of wanting or being willing to take by force, that this person still has free will? Is it not rather so that this person has surrendered its free will to these collective vortexes or manipulators who want to create chaos or have an agenda of proving God wrong? Do such people actually have free will? They have a will but it is not free. 

What is it that happens in the psychology of people that go into this consciousness of being willing to take by force? They are of course going into the duality consciousness. This means that they can use the dualistic reasoning process to justify their actions, but only from a certain perspective. You see the upward force of the collective consciousness bringing everything closer and closer to oneness. Surely, oneness is difficult to fathom for people in embodiment on a dense matter planet like earth but nevertheless, there is an upward movement in the universe. When you go into the consciousness of taking by force you cannot be in oneness. For if you are in oneness you realize that if you take by force from others you are also taking from yourself, and who would be insane enough to do that? 

The state of non-peace and non-freedom

These people go against the upward force of the universe and they cannot fail to feel it. Often, they do not feel this consciously. They are not aware of why they feel what they feel, but they feel an agitation. They are in this constant state of non-peace, of unrest. They cannot be at peace in their own minds. This can ultimately cause them to become insane by any definition of that word, but on an intermediate stage it causes them to go into a state of delusion where they cannot see the consequences of their actions. They cannot acknowledge the consequences of their actions. Why is this so? Because in order to be able to survive psychologically in this state of non-peace, they must find some argumentation that in their minds justifies their aggression, their taking through force. They cannot acknowledge the consequences of their actions because these consequences would invalidate their justification. They must go into a state of delusion and denial of reality in order to survive psychologically. 

What does this mean? This means that they now go into a state of mind that is the ultimate state of non-freedom. What freedom do they have left when they have taken physical actions by force that cannot be taken back, when they have created physical consequences for other people that cannot be nullified or whisked away? And if they acknowledged these consequences, even consequences for their own people and for themselves, they would have to admit that their justification was not sufficient. 

This means in their minds they would have to admit they had made a mistake, but if you are in this state of the extreme willingness to take by force, you see yourself as a superior being because that is what gives you the desire to have ultimate power that causes you to take by force. And if you are a superior being you cannot be wrong. Or rather, you cannot bear being wrong, and so you cannot acknowledge that you were wrong. You cannot acknowledge reality of what is actually happening in the world, and therefore you are completely un-free. You cannot change your mind because by changing your mind or changing your actions, you would have to admit that your first actions were wrong and the justification of those actions was wrong and therefore, you were wrong, and you as a superior being cannot bear to be wrong so you must deny. But in that total denial you lose all freedom in your mind. 

It may seem as if the manipulators have freedom to do whatever they want without considering the consequences for others that normal people would consider. It may seem they can often get away with doing things because they cause the people who follow them. But when you look inside the minds of the manipulators, you see that they are the least free beings at the level of the mind. They may seem to be free at the level of physical actions but they are the least free beings at the level of the mind. 

The leaders who cannot bear to be wrong 

Some of the more aware people have looked at history and wondered why there is this type of leader on earth that has no empathy, no consideration for the suffering of others.  After the invasion of Ukraine, there is a shift in the collective consciousness where many more people see and acknowledge the need to understand why we have these kinds of leaders even in the modern world, leaders who will take actions that are clearly based on force, that create severe consequences for their own people and for other people. And yet, they are not willing to acknowledge the consequences, change their actions, change their minds. They have no empathy. They will disregard the consequences of their actions, and why? Well, because they cannot bear to be wrong, and this is what many people are ready to see: the complete inflexibility, inability, unwillingness to admit that one was wrong or that one’s actions were not the best and were not actually in one’s own interest. 

The inflexibility of dictatorships

This leads towards the realization that democracies are societies that can afford to have leaders that are wrong. They are societies where the people can afford to be wrong. They can afford to admit that they have been wrong and change their outlook and their actions accordingly. This is one of the essential differences between a dictatorship and a democracy. The leader in a dictatorship cannot admit that he is wrong and the people cannot admit that they were wrong about the dictator, and this creates a fundamental inflexibility, meaning that a dictatorship cannot adapt to changing circumstances. They must continue to do the same thing while expecting different results, which Einstein said is a form of insanity. 

They literally go into a downward spiral that can only stop when an event is so shocking to them that it breaks their denial. It might be a total defeat like you saw with the defeat of Nazi Germany. It might be the exposure of a shocking inhumanity as you also saw with Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Or it might be the threat of a complete economic breakdown as you saw with the Soviet Union. 

You have seen that sometimes dictatorships can change course and come into an upward spiral. You saw how the British Empire was brought to look at itself by the example of Gandhi and the non-violence movement, and therefore changed from being a dictatorship in its behavior towards India, to realizing that you cannot claim to be a democracy at home and behave like a dictator abroad. You saw Germany go from being a dictatorship under Hitler to becoming a democratic nation. You have seen Germany recently admit that their policy towards Russia and Putin was a mistake and they have been willing to change. You have seen other democracies admit that they misjudged Putin and the situation in Russia, and they have been willing to change accordingly. You have seen some democratic nations who have not been willing to do this, yet. 

Flexibility Equals Survival

What is survivable and what is not survivable in terms of societies? The only thing that is survivable is adaptability, flexibility, the willingness to change. Not just changing horizontally but changing vertically in terms of transcending one’s former level of consciousness.

Anyone who takes the long view can see that progression is the absolute requirement for survival. Transcendence of a former state, progressing to a higher state, that is the foundation for survivability. This you can also see by looking at history and how societies have come and gone. You can look at animal species and the evolution. Why did the dinosaurs become extinct? Because they could not adapt. This is actually a natural law. It is, of course, also a spiritual law but you can look at it completely neutrally and call it a natural law. When societies become rigid and inflexible and refuse to adapt, they cannot be sustained over time. There is a time limit, an expiration date. What causes societies to become inflexible? They cannot admit, not necessarily that they are wrong, but they cannot admit that they could do better than what they are doing now.

The downfall of civilizations and the upward pull of the of the universe

The progression towards something better is a law, a natural law of progressive self-transcendence. Going against this has caused the downfall of civilizations, the destruction of civilizations. There came a point where the downward spiral had hit rock bottom and there was no lower place to go. Then the upward pull of the rest of the universe started pulling the earth up, and gradually people responded and built an upward momentum. There are forces that are working against such an upward momentum, and they can have some success in creating these empires that can stop growth on a temporary basis. And even though they sometimes may last for a thousand years, they cannot last indefinitely. 

The time span of such empires is clearly becoming shorter and shorter. The Roman empire survived for quite some time. The Catholic Roman empire survived for some time. The czarist empire in Russia, the kings of Europe, the kingdoms of Europe, survived for some time. But you see that it became shortened. And then you had these leaders that had the ambition of conquering the entire world, like Napoleon, who had success for time, but not a very long time. You had Hitler who had success for a time, but not a very long time. You see that the more violent actions leaders take, the shorter their lifespan will be. The Soviet Union survived for as long as it did because it avoided the cold war becoming hot. Putin has survived for as long as he has survived because he avoided crossing that line. But now it has been crossed and there is no way back.

New awareness in the non-democratic nations 

This is something that many people can grasp not only in democratic nations but also in non-democratic nations. There is a momentum building in the collective consciousness where many, many people in non-democratic nations are suddenly, without any particular forethought, becoming aware of these weaknesses in their nations and in their former government and in dictatorial regimes. They are beginning to see that they are in a self-destructive spiral that cannot be maintained. And if their societies are to avoid some kind of breakdown, there needs to be change. 

There are people in China who can see that an invasion of Taiwan would be suicidal for the communist party and the current power elite of China. There are people in the Arab nations who can see that the current situation with Islam having such an influence on the government is not sustainable. There are people in other nations who can see that the attempt by some leaders to subvert and undermine democracy, and give themselves unconstitutional powers, is not sustainable. Turkey is one obvious example of this. It is not enough to change your name, you need to change your game. Which means changing the man at the top.

There is this underlying and yet mostly unseen and unrecognized momentum that is building, and it is building towards this recognition that suffering is not unavoidable. Suffering is for the most part created by human beings, and it is created by the human beings who are taking through force, the human beings who justify force and who will not admit that they are wrong. This inflexibility, this unwillingness to adapt and change, is the real cause of most of the suffering seen on earth. It is so to speak the driving force that stirs up what the Buddha called the Sea of Samsara.

The key to overcome human suffering

This momentum has partly been built partly by the more aware people of today, partly by many Buddhists over the past 2,500 years who have attempted to embody the teachings, partly by many Christians who have attempted to embody the teachings of Jesus and partly by many people in democratic nations and even in non-democratic nations who had considered the difference between dictatorships and democracies. They have considered: “Why is there human suffering? What is the cause? What could be done to alleviate, perhaps even remove, human suffering? Would it be possible to remove human suffering?” Many have asked. Some have concluded that it would not because they could not see how. Others have contemplated that it must be possible. They sense intuitively that it is possible to alleviate, to remove, to resolve human suffering.

Is it not after all what the Buddha said? Is it not what Jesus said? Is it not what many other religions and spiritual movements have said? It is possible to overcome suffering. Some say it is possible only after you pass from this world. But many, especially in the modern age, have started to ask: “Should it not be possible to achieve, even in this world, the freedom from suffering?” What many of these people have begun to suspect is that freedom from suffering can be achieved not in an outer way, not by creating an ideal utopian society. After all, where does suffering take place? You may say that if you fall off a horse and break your leg there is a physical pain that causes you suffering. But where is the pain experienced? In your mind. When you are given an anesthetic that dulls the pain, does that anesthetic affect your broken leg? Or does it affect your brain that senses the physical pain? 

Beyond the physical pain is of course the psychological experience of the pain, and this is suffering. Pain, physical pain, even when it is experienced by the brain, is not actually suffering, because suffering is not the same as pain. Pain can cause or trigger suffering but the pain itself is not the suffering. The suffering is an experience in the mind. And it can have various elements, but there is always that element: “I should not be feeling this pain. I should not be experiencing this condition. These people should not be doing this to me.” There is always a sense in the mind: this should not be happening. But since this is happening, and since you cannot make it go away, this then is what causes the suffering.

Many people have begun to at least suspect and sense that suffering takes place in the mind, which means that even though it can be triggered by external factors, the real cause of suffering must be internal. This means that the only way to remove suffering is to work directly with the mind. Surely democratic societies have attempted to create a situation where the citizens of those societies are not experiencing many of these external conditions that have traditionally triggered suffering. There are many people in democratic societies who have grown up and lived their entire lives without experiencing these severe physical circumstances. But still many people suffer. They suffer even though they have no physical reason to suffer, but they have a psychological reason that causes suffering. 

The democracies have proven that even giving people ideal material conditions does not remove their suffering. It is now clear that the only way to remove suffering is to work with the mind. Which, as it so happens, was what the Buddha said 2,500 years ago, and what Jesus said 2,000 years ago and what Confucius and Lao Tzu and other spiritual messengers have said at many different times in many different contexts. They have often not been heard because even though people could hear the outer teaching, they could not fully internalize it. But we are now approaching an age where more and more people will be able to grasp the teaching, to grasp what is actually being said: that the key to overcome suffering is in the human mind.

You may attempt to create a utopia, and you may attempt to create an ideal society, but it will never alleviate suffering. What is it that you see in a force-based society where the government is based on force? You see that such a society has a high degree of suffering. The people of the Soviet Union clearly suffered more than the people in Western Europe at the time. The people in Russia before the invasion were clearly suffering more than the people in Western Europe at the time. The people in Russia after the invasion are clearly suffering more than the people in Western Europe. 

You see that in a force-based society, a force-based government, the people suffer more. In a democratic nation the people suffer less, but they still suffer. And their suffering is different. They are not suffering as a result of outer conditions, but now, to a greater and greater extent they are suffering because of psychological conditions. The reason for this is that people who have experienced trauma in past lives will tend to want to embody, if at all possible, in a democratic nation where they have a better opportunity to resolve their traumatized psychology.

You cannot remove suffering through force

You need to ask yourself, primarily in democracies but also in other nations, what is the purpose for our society? You can look at a dictatorship and see that the purpose of a dictatorship is to give the dictator and the power elite that supports him whatever they crave in terms of a sense of power, a sense of being superior, a sense of being special, a sense of being rich and privileged, whatever it may be. But the entire society is based on this small power elite taking by force from the population. 

It is clear that when you have a force-based society where the majority of the population are virtually slaves of a small elite, the population will suffer. There will be plenty of external circumstances that cause the population to suffer because they feel this is not right, they should be having a better life, they should not be limited so much, they should not be persecuted and so forth. Nobody actually suffers more than the dictator and his henchmen. They are the ones who are suffering most. 

A force-based society is not a society that has the goal of ending or even minimizing human suffering, and it could never achieve that goal even if it wanted to. You cannot remove suffering through force. Force will only generate more suffering. And of course, suffering also generates more force because people in this mindset think that if they are suffering, there must be an outer cause, and if they use force to destroy that cause, they will not be suffering. But their attempt to destroy the cause will only cause more suffering and therefore they are in this never-ending spiral that builds in intensity until they can no longer survive it psychologically, or even physically.

You cannot remove suffering through material welfare

Democracies are societies aimed at minimizing human suffering, minimizing the suffering of the general population. You could even say that the higher goal of a democracy is to remove human suffering. This cannot be achieved, no matter how good of an outer society you create. No matter how good the material conditions are, how free people are, how easy of a life they have, it will not remove suffering because the cause of suffering is internal. The next logical step for the modern democracies, is to focus on psychological wellbeing, instead of material welfare. 

This is clearly another step up, another logical, natural progression of what the modern democracies have experienced, at least the ones that are most highly evolved in the democratic process. This does not mean they have to acknowledge a spiritual teaching, but they do need to discover certain universal principles about the human psyche, and implement them. 

The important thing for democracy is people, not ideas, not theories, not ideologies. The important thing for democracy is the population at large, not a small elite. But at another higher level up, the goal of a democracy is to alleviate suffering for the people. This of course is something that more and more people are beginning to lock in to, to grasp, to acknowledge and even to talk and write about. 

Creating the upward spiral for all people

Some of the more aware people need to feel that they alone are saving the world, but this is a naive view. It takes many, many, many people to change the world. The more aware people can be the forerunners, the tip of the spear, but you cannot do it alone. It would be naive to think so. Therefore, you need to make this shift where you are not doing what you are doing in order to elevate yourselves to be special because when you have this mindset, you can very easily open yourself to that psychological poison of envy and jealousy. What does this poison cause people to do? You actually want to be the only ones who are doing something positive. You do not want all of these people out there to tune in to new ideas and implement them because that would take credit away from you. There has been this kind of consciousness in many religious, spiritual or political movements. 

Many leaders or gurus still want to elevate themselves and they pass this on to their followers. The more aware people need to step up to a higher level of maturity, let this go and hold the vision that all of the people out there who have the potential to tune in to new ideas, implement them and change the world will do so. They will achieve maximum success that is in their Life plans. When you reach a higher level of awareness, you see as self-evident that other people having success in fulfilling their Life plans could not possibly detract from your Life plan. On the contrary, the more other people have success, the more you will have success, because you are part of the whole, and it is only by seeking to raise that whole, that you will have the maximum success of raising yourself. This is what you see as self-evident when you reach a certain level of discernment. You realize it is not about me as this separate being. It is about the greater me of all people who are in an upward spiral. Ultimately, even all of humanity, because all can be pulled up by the upward spiral, even if they are not yet activity locked in to it and accelerating it.

Peace coming from the come-what-may mindset 

Surely, the more aware people would have preferred that this war in Ukraine had not taken place. But now that it has taken place, we need to say: “How do we help people move on from here? How do we turn this into a positive and turn it into a growth opportunity that will actually bring growth and bring the planet and the societies that are willing, closer to the Age of Higher Awareness?”

Many people were shocked when the war happened, but you can change your mindset. You might be helped by the thought that when you look at the earth today, you can see that conditions on this planet are very far below where they will be in the Age of Higher Awareness. Cconditions on earth right now are very, very far below where they will be in the golden age. This means that tremendous changes need to take place before the Age of Higher Awareness can truly begin to manifest. 

Many more aware people have been hoping and wanting and holding the vision that these changes would happen gradually so there would not be these big shocks, such as a war, such as the corona pandemic, an economic collapse or other things like that. You are hoping for the kind of growth that most of you have seen for most of your lifetimes in the modern democratic world, this gradual steady progression without the big shocks. 

But if the changes, the tremendous changes that need to take place happen only gradually, would it not take a very long time before the Age of Higher Awareness could be manifest? You might then shift your mindset and say: “Well, I can accept that there will be some big shocks, some big dramatic events that will shift the mindset so that we can more quickly reach the manifestation of the Age of Higher Awareness.” This will actually speed up growth because you are not holding a vision that promotes slower growth, but you yourselves can attain a greater sense of peace when these events happen. 

This is not in any way discounting the suffering of people in Ukraine. But there are many of the more aware people who are living in more peaceful countries who can adopt a more peaceful state of mind, more of a “come-what-may” instead of this fear: “Oh, this must not happen, or that must not happen.” This means that when things do happen that are dramatic, then you will not lose your peace. You will not go into that state of agitation where you think: “Oh this should not have happened. How could this happen? This should not have happened.” You can instead adopt the mindset: “Well, now that it has happened, how do we make the best of it? How do we turn it into growth?” It will be easier for you to deal with the rest of your time in embodiment.