On the Subject of Existence
Master and Disciple are walking down the path towards the river.
Upon hearing this, the Disciple's face lights up and smiles.
- Master, I have a problem. There is a person in my group who
is constantly attacking others either verbally or physically.
I tried to reason with him, but to no avail. It bothers me
- Why does it bother you?
- Well, I don't understand why the hostility. It gets everyone
agitated, and we end up having arguments and no peace.
- What would happen if this person did not exist?
- Then I guess everything would be smoother. We won't have to
constantly argue and attack and defend. More harmony I would say.
- If this person were to have never spoke or attacked, since the first
time you met him, would you have noticed him?
- I do not know. Viewing him in that way is contradictory to his
behavior now. Maybe I won't pay as much attention to him as I do
- Most behaviors have a purpose. There must be something positive
that person gets from his behavior, or else he would not continue
- Perhaps attention? Perhaps this person lacked attention as a
child and was ignored? And this person found that attacking
was a way to get people's attention? Maybe this person found
out at an early age that creating havoc and getting all the
subsequent attention distracts from the loneliness of being
alone or ignored? Maybe this person lacked love as a child and
this was the only way he could reach out to people.
And this behavior continued with this person as an adult.
- Perhaps. Many people have a need and drive to exist. They
can verify it through others, or they can verify it through
the SELF. Although you are a participant in his desire
for existence, he is also a participant in your own.
- How is that so? I am just trying to keep the peace.
- In order for you (or others) to be agitated, you must have some
beliefs that you are holding on to. You are validating your
own existence by defending your view and opinions. Otherwise,
no arguments would exist in the first place. Perhaps that person
knows he exists by getting attention. Perhaps you know you exist
by the views and opinions that you hold.