Ahimsa – Food for Thought

Today I saw a video an ex-pupil posted online. It was about how people are paying to get themselves tortured and filmed in the process. The video showed actors slapping and insulting the customers, tying them up and subjecting them to various kinds of torture, shaving their heads and eyebrows off while taunting them, simulating beheading and drowning, frightening them out of their wits, and the parting line at the end of the video was, “In a desensitised society, some people need to come close to death in order to feel alive.”. *cue screams

My first thoughts were: why do people pay to be tortured? What a waste of money! There is a long waiting list to the Haunted Mansion to witness a simulated beheading? What is wrong with these people?!

The actors, first and foremost, are getting paid to be cruel. They slap, kick, shove, restrain, gag, insult and basically be evil to people for a living. I don’t know about them, but I can’t bring myself to do these, even if I were paid. (Well. If the sum was right, maybe I can do a slap. But that’s besides the point.) To quote the parting shot in the video, indeed these actors will get ‘desensitised’ to beating others up, since they do it day in, day out!

The paying customers, where do I even begin? Life is hard enough, the way it already is. Is there really a need to be subjected to physical pain, mental torture, brutality and fear in order to feel alive? Really?

The parting line in the video gave me the creeps too. How do you feel alive after paying someone to threaten your very being? I don’t get it at all. It’s like, “Here, stab me. Thanks, here’s $500. By the way, thanks for stitching me back up. You saved my life!” Seriously… whaaaaat?

I had condensed my understanding of Ahimsa to be “Love and all is coming”. In order to love, one must have respect. When one respects one’s body, one loves the body bestowed upon him/ her. When one respects life, one loves life with it ups and downs. When one loves, one is non-violent, whether to self, others, animate or inanimate.

The actors, although trying to earn a living, obviously are not at the level of ahimsa. Without basic respect for people, even though they were paid to disrespect, how can they love others, love themselves? How does that make them feel alive then? Does being alive equate to just getting by, living life like zombies, ‘desensitised’ and void of love?

The paying customers obviously do not respect themselves enough to allow others to treat them that way (and pay them in the process! *exasperation). If they loved themselves, and the friends they went with, they would never allow another person to treat their bodies (and mind) that way (and pay the aggressors still! What nincompoops! I’m being judgmental again, and that is not ahimsa. Oops.)

What do you think? Would you pay to be tortured in order to feel alive?


Charlene (The Difficult-to-talk-to One)