2 Bullies on the Bus.

Dear unknown friend,

I was talking about scapegoating in my last letter, and a memory came up afterwards.

 

One day of last autumn, I was on a bus in London, on my way back from a gardening job. Two seats in front of me were three boys in their school uniforms. Two of them were sitting and one was standing in front of them, in the area near the bus doors. The two sitting ones were playing with him.

 

The game was not friendly. He let them do, though. He didn't try to put any distance between himself and them. One grabbed him by the tie and pulled, throwing him out of balance... but they kept talking together, like school mates do. Then the other sitting boy grabbed his hands and twisted them, until the poor boy asked, in a low voice... "please...."

Later, the first bully took the boy's hat. He tried to get it back but the bully didn't let him. He claimed he would throw the hat through the window at the next stop to see the boy getting off the bus, picking his hat and getting back on the bus before the doors closed...if he had time. The bully kept pretending he would do it.... but didn't. When a bully plays with a scapegoat, you know, they play with their emotions.

 

I was observing, feeling spiky butterflies in my stomach. I was wondering if it would be a good thing to intervene. The scapegoat looked so familiar with his bullies, so accepting...

 

But then I saw him take a fifty pence coin out of his pocket, offering to pay to get his hat back. The bully pretended to throw it through the window again. I grabbed the hat from behind. -Surprise! I threw it to the boy who said "thank you" without looking at me.

 

I said out loud:

"You look like bullies!"

The little bully answered:

"Oh shut up!"

I insisted. I said:

"You heard me!"

 

He told me to shut up again, I repeated he had heard what I had to say again, and I let him utter the last useless word.

 

This stopped the bullying anyway.

 

A bit later, he told me: "We know each other!..." as if this justified anything. We, human beings, have a tendency to believe that more is permitted with those we are familiar with. In a sense, it's true, familiar ways are ways we can't use with anyone. Does that justifies violence? Of course not.

 

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I answered, a bit stupidly "I hope so!" as if things would have been worse if they didn't. Never mind. I had named the behavior. Naming is like switching on the light in the shadow...Shaming is not necessary.

 

Nobody else, on that bus, had said anything. I don't blame them. In our world, we are blaming far too much, and not understanding enough. Maybe on that day I did the right thing. I don't always do. If I took advantage of this one right thing I did to point my finger at others in an accusatory manner, I would just perpetuate this habit of putting others down to feel better than them...

 

We need to be kind with ourselves and with others. We don't do spontaneously the "right things". We need to become aware, we need to overcome fears, we need to fail quite a few times before one day, we do or just say the right thing for once... and it's OK. It's life such as it is. We're learning...

 

May we all be happy!

 

I wish you to feel good as often and intensely as possible!

Take care.

1 Antivenom for the soul

Dear unknown friend, 

a long time ago, I found a big book in an esoteric bookshop; the title was "Meditation sur les 22 Arcanes du Tarot". The chapters were 22 letters addressed to an unknown friend. 

 When I was reading these letters, I was fighting a lonely battle. I was suffering from soul poisoning. 
I enjoyed this friendship very much. It helped me through difficult times. Dear unknown friend, now I am writing to you. 

 Do you how antivenom is made? Venom is collected from snakes;  horses are injected with it. The horses fight the venom.  Then the human draw  blood from the horses, the antivenom is in it.  

 This is literally true, and this is also a metaphor. Dear friend, maybe you are a "horse" as well... It's our job to be poisoned and fight within our own souls. Whether we know it or not, we are useful. The suffering is more bearable when it makes sense though. We are making antivenom for ourselves and others... 


   A famous verse of the Emerald Table goes like this: 

 "That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing"

    A way to understand what it means is to see anything that exists in the material world as a reflection of something that exists in the invisible planes, that is the psychological and spiritual planes... 
 If some beings, in our case horses, do make antivenom in their own bodies for the benefit of weaker beings, then the same process must exist "above", in the psychic and spiritual dimensions. 

 Another way to look at it is to compare humanity as a whole to a body. Some individuals belong to the immune system.    We are "white cells". Our job is the meet the poisons, absorb them so that they do not spread, and recycle them. We become the antidote. We are filters in the psychic world... 
 
Our whole humanity is poisoned. Guilt, shame, fears, excessive pride, illusions.....as a species we are really mad. We have fever! We do terrible things. We are putting our own life and the life of other species at risk. We spread suffering. This is very strange. How could we have expected Mother Nature to give rise to such a mad species as ourselves? 
 But, as Buddha mentioned, what is important for now is not to find out about the causes, but to heal! We will wonder how it all happened later. 

 Many people seem to cope with the poison well and live "normal" lives. They work, they have families, they pay their bills... we, the black sheep,  could feel very bad about ourselves by comparison. I don't know what color we are when we are horses, but when we are sheep, we are black. 

 On the physical plane, there is no confusion: my arms are mine, my neighbor's legs are his, he can't go about walking with my legs without asking for  permission...

 However, at the level of psychic energies, we are not as separated. It is possible to be a sponge and absorb emotions that we have not created. It is also possible to squeeze some of our own feelings out of ourselves... for any passing sponge to absorb! 
 We are all doing it all the time...


 At this level of reality, we, the white cells looking like black sheep, keep absorbing the poisons others squeeze out. 
Jumping form one metaphor to another, we are the ones who have to walk with the bad legs, and be blamed. 
 Blaming is one among many ways to squeeze feelings of guilt, shame or other poisons out of oneself and project them onto others.. 

 Sometimes we absorb the poisons simply by being sensitive, and too open. Sometimes, the poisons are violently forced upon us, like when we are blamed or have to endure all kind of violence. The process is called "scapegoating". In some ancient civilizations, animal or even human sacrifices were practiced. 

 The people believed they were offering lives to please God or the gods, when they were actually offering the blood of the victims to themselves, as a way to be relieved from their own violence.

 A scapegoat can be tempted to become a bully at the first opportunity. Many people switch from one role to the other, submissive at work, obnoxious in private...

And there are the ultimate scapegoats. The weakest one who can't pass the rubbish onto others, and the strongest, who do not want to inflict onto others what was inflicted onto them. 

I have learned a lot about the poison and how to fight it within. 
 Dear unknown friend, I am here to tell you about it...