#30: Mass Shootings

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

Hi Folks,


I am trying to think about what I can say about the two recent mass shootings. It is hard to wrap my mind around it. I kid with my wife that I am going to die in a mass shooting because a person got upset by a B instead of an A. I know such people trash me online and I worry about how this plays out in the future.


Why are so many young white guys doing these shootings? Why such rage?


One thing I believe is that someone stuck in their ego are slaves to whatever emotions come up. Many can’t reason or demonstrate self-control and thus act on impulse. My hope comes from the idea that we have egos, but we are not our egos.


Instead, we have a deeper self, often referred to as our True Selves. Finding your True Self requires effort to live in this very present moment. If you get quiet and stay present, this deeper, truer part of yourself emerges. When that happens you don’t have to identify with your ego.


Our True Self is always there, because it is who we were when we were born. Our "false self" or ego develops over time and is probably firmly in place by the time we are 6 or 7 years old. The ego, however, is not the real problem. We need an ego to operate in the world.


The dangerous part is that we forget our true self and become identified with our ego as who we are when it is only a vehicle.


So it is helpful if you can find other people that share in this interest of a true search for one’s Self and Reality. Some books I have found helpful are The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, Loving What Is by Byron Katie and The Way of Liberation by Adyashanti.


If you know these angry, young, white men try to mentor them into seeing the world through the eyes of love. Without love there is no hope. With love there is nothing that can stop us from doing the right thing.


I can’t remember where I found this quote, but it says: “Quiet reflection is often the mother of deep understanding. Maintain that peaceful nursery, enabling stillness to speak.” Stillness speaks to our true self. The ego is too loud to hear.


I encourage you to protest, write letters, and do whatever you can to put a stop to these mass shootings. But keep in mind that your greatest gift to the world is to allow your True Self to manifest and transform your consciousness so that it is full of compassion and wisdom, “the two wings of love” as the Persian poet Rumi said.


May we move past these horrible events,


Apophat


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