In spiritual terms, non-violence can be defined as the state where one takes full responsibility for their own life and manifestation and thus does not purposefully interfere in the lives of others. It is a prerequisite for walking the spiritual path that one is established in non-violence, because It is only in a non-violent state that it is possible to perceive the content equanimous being and refine and work on oneself through that being.
To become non-violent is to start the process of pulling one’s awareness within. If one is initially engaged in blaming others, wondering about others, comparing and engaging in games of superiority/ inferiority with others, then how can one expect to pull one’s awareness back within? A violent state is one in which one’s awareness and conscious power is tremendously scattered and dissipated outwards. In this state, one still does perceive themselves, even on a distorted level, but rather only perceives themselves through the reflection of others.
The distorted qualitities and subconscious tendencies that would be revealed to one during the refinement process are, if one is not established in non-violence, simply projected outwards onto other beings. That is why the cultivation of non-violence is the first step and a prerequisite for beginning the refinement process. One must, before one even starts to work on oneself, collect one’s awareness and withdraw one’s projections and actually see oneself as the cause and creator of one’s own reality, life situation and circumstances.
When one enters the state of non-violence, one may also notice that one receives less interference from the world. The nature of this reality is reflective, so when one projects a certain tendency onto the world it usually flows back right into one’s face. When one is unable or refuses to see one’s own distorted tendencies within then these tendencies tend to push one into a certain type of action in the world. This reality will then respond to that action in a way that pushes one back to see the tendency that is at the root of that action. Thus, if one finds constant dissonance, troubles and issues in one’s life, then one must see what life is trying to tell one and what it is trying to point one to see within oneself. That is why it is so important, if one feels somehow dissatisfied or as a victim in life, to ask oneself, ‘What have I contributed to it?’.
By asking oneself, ‘What have I contributed?’, one begins to make the transition from a violent to a non-violent approach; one begins to bring awareness back to self and back to the roots of whatever one perceives as an issue in one’s life. The more one does this, and the more one begins to take responsibility and internalise one’s awareness back into one’s own being, the more one will begin to see movement and progress within life.
Violence is based on an illusion. It is based on the idea that ‘the world out there’ can somehow cause one a problem and is also a threat. Therefore one, in one form or another, attacks the world. But the world is self, the world is one’s reflection; violence to the world and others is violence to self.
To be non-violent does not mean that one ceases to have boundaries, and it doesn’t mean that others will stop trying to violate one’s boundaries. To be non-violent means that one maintains one’s own space and being and operates in the world through that space. One does not shut down, nor does one behave in a way that invites the violation of one’s boundaries. One simply lives and acts in the world independently and courageously, taking responsibility for self in each and every moment.
Non-violence is not just a means to begin evolving spiritually, it is also the key to developing harmonious relationships and succeeding in life on a mundane level too. Ultimately, to become non-violent is the first step to becoming a responsible, wholesome, free, successful and content being – a full human being.