On the Way from Svādhyāya to Ahimsa—Part 2: A random walk takes longer

[The first part of the post is here.]

So we’re on the way from here to Nirvana. Practicing Svādhyāya, we study ourselves to find out where we’re on our way. We walk a little and then stop and study where we are, how it looks like there, how it feels like there. And then we decide on the next direction and go a few steps farther. Our walk is not very straightforward. Because we don’t know the right direction. Because we don’t have a map. If we had a map, we could be much faster on our way to Nirvana… No, there is no map. Just a small road sign here and there if we look properly. But no map. We need to find our way to Nirvana by ourselves…

Let’s go back to the labels. We study ourselves and give labels. To us and to others. Good labels and bad labels, and labels of all shades in between. Marshall Rosenberg, a peacemaker and the author of Nonviolent Communication, calls these labels a violent language, or Jackal language. He sees them as the origin of violence. The Jackal in us is excellent at giving labels. Excellent at telling what’s good and wrong about us and others. And excellent at diagnosing why it is so (e.g., because you’re like your mother). Even the positive labels are violent. They are a form of manipulation, believing that having nice labels will win us the love of others. There is a beautiful video on Youtube worth watching.

In this video, Marshall Rosenberg also says that to resolve any conflict he needed less than 20 minutes from the point in which both parties understood what their own needs and the needs of the other conflict party had been. Even conflicts lasting long years. Even conflicts which had cost many lives.

The thing is that it can take hours or even days to get to the point of understanding of the needs. There is another, 8 hours long, video from another Marshall Rosenberg’s workshop which beautifully demonstrates how difficult it is even for intelligent and eager people to dig deep enough to understand their needs, or even to distinguish what a need is and what not.

The first videos was a small road sign on my Svādhyāya path.

Understanding our own needs goes much deeper and farther than the shallow labels. Understanding of our needs is the hard part of Svādhyāya. But it’s the part which dispels violence. Violence against our selves and violence against others.

Ahimsa is the first yama and means nonviolence or non-harming.
… “suddenly love arises from the abandonment of violence”.