A new José Stevens Article

Eradicating The Bully  

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Bullying has been around for tens of thousands of years. In other words, there is nothing new about bullying. What is it? Bullying is mistreating another by belittling, harming, hurting, and inflicting pain psychologically, emotionally, mentally, physically, and all the ways pain can be inflicted. The purpose of bullying is to torture someone in order to gain control over them in a variety of ways. This process is sadistic in the sense that it provides a limited pleasure through witnessing the other person writhe and subjected to pain. It is all the more enjoyable when it causes more than pain, when it causes intense suffering. The perpetrator or bully feels a lightening of stress and relief from the successful results of bullying. That relief is related to the subconscious belief that the other is the one suffering now, not me. Like all projections this relief is very temporary and requires ongoing repetitions to be somewhat effective. So, when someone is suffering at the hands of a bully, the fear is that it will go on and on and one will never escape the bully. This is what leads many children and teenagers to commit suicide rather than face what seems like a never-ending threat. The reality is something different. Bullying can be eradicated.

If a person is a successful bully, they can control a great number of people by making an example of one victim. Everyone else is so horrified that they do not want to suffer a similar fate. They either join the bully to avoid being a victim or hide to avoid the focus of the bully’s threat. You can see this process being played out in schools, offices, organizations, families, and is very evident in politics. The process can even play out on the international stage as can readily be seen currently in the threat to Ukraine by a certain dictator or by the threat towards a certain group of people currently in Asia.  The process frequently plays out at the hands of a dictator toward their own people, those who disagree with the dictator’s policies as currently is taking place in Nicaragua, Venezuela, Syria and a host of other nations.

The baffling thing is that bullying never actually produces any kind of lasting happiness for the bully. It is a short-term solution with no lasting results so the bully can never rest, never relax, never let go of the reigns of control. This is why the most lasting dictators are usually bullies and anyone who is attempting to take over this way may well last a long time if they are successful until they are taken down by force.

Younger souls are particularly prone to play the bully game for a number of reasons. For one, no self-respecting older souls can engage in it because they are too aware of their impact on others and for the most part have already learned the hard lessons of bullying in earlier lifetimes. Since younger souls have not embarked upon the mastery of relationships and are terrified of losing, they are particularly prone to the attraction of controlling through bullying. After all they are enamored by playing king of the mountain and are interested in the high-stakes games of winning at all costs. They do not play this game out of evilness although it would be tempting to come to this conclusion. They come to it because they are unable to recognize who and what they are, that they are expressions of spirit. They also are unable to recognize who others are other than pawns or objects of their game of control.

Bullies are almost always products of having been bullied themselves. Do unto others as they have done unto you. That is the law of the jungle. So, bullies are prone to throw people under the bus right and left. The problem with this strategy is that by being willing to do this means that they are automatically thrown under the busy themselves meaning that they must live in constant fear that a bigger bully will come along and do this to them. As long as they live under the umbrella of fear, they cannot taste freedom and can never realize that they are loved until they give up the game.

So, that is the nature of bullying but not the end of the story. Actually, it is only the beginning. This entire discussion of bullies has been designed to lead us to another investigation entirely, a more personal one. Most likely as you have been reading this you have been nodding your head agreeing that these are observations that you yourself have made over the years. Perhaps you yourself have suffered at the hands of a bully in school or elsewhere and this has caused you some pain and suffering. Perhaps you might even feel that it has ruined your life in many ways. Perhaps there was a time that you were the bully and so you know all of its hidden ally ways and secret hideouts.

As we have been gradually becoming aware in these times, we cannot necessarily fix external events by taking specific measures or actions against them. This often only compounds the problem. In fact, we will never ever solve the problem of bullying by trying to make external changes. This would be like fixing your broken arm by repairing your reflection in the mirror. In these new times we are living in, the only solution is to look within for the source of what we see out there in the so-called world we seem to be experiencing with our senses. So, the quest here is to look within at the source of bullying in ourselves. Most of us do bully ourselves without actually realizing it. We compare ourselves unfavorably to others, attack ourselves for being stupid, for being a loser, a fake, an imposter and so on. We lose our neutrality on a regular basis and then beat ourselves up for it. We behave in self destructive ways and punish ourselves for persisting at these behaviors. We attack ourselves for lacking compassion and kindness, for seeking revenge, for feeling envy and jealousy. We wonder why we suffer so much when things so often don’t go our way or when we have repeated failures. We lie out of fear and judge others and ourselves fiercely.

We tend to dismiss accidents, illnesses, and other misfortunes as random, or bad luck but subconsciously we actually do know that many of these incidents are a result of self-inflicted punishment for being guilty of a wide variety of so-called bad behaviors, for attitudes that we carry, for not having a good and strong relationship with Spirit or with the planet that provides for us. We bully ourselves relentlessly and the voice of the critic, the attacker, the disciplinarian is cold, ruthless, a punisher. Everything mentioned in the earlier part of this article applies to the inner bully – the real actual bully in most of our lives – and it is this bully that we need to contend with if we want bullying to stop. This inner bully is young, not the wise experienced soul we may identify as. It is a sadist and it is seeking relief from the fear that motivates it. It attempts to control us out of fear, out of a desire to be in control, to feel powerful. But the more control and power it seeks the weaker we become because that part of ourselves is only affirming how fearful we are. In this game no one wins. And who is this arrogant voice of the bully and who is the target of the bullying? What part of ourselves gets badgered, fears for its well-being under the dominance of this unsavory dictator. Everything that seems to happen out there in the world is taking place within. The dictator is seeking the top of the heap, to be the ultimate power and oppressor of the people. The oppressed who suffer, lack freedom, experience insults to their dignity, and sometimes seek the relief of physical death to escape. How many of us die of heart attacks, cancer, overdoses, car accidents, covid, and the many other things that kill us in droves, these causes of death masking our desire not to live anymore because of inner bullying? The answer is more than people would like to think. Why is it that so many people embrace death by refusing help and support that is readily available? Could it be that so many of us actually welcome an end that we can control vs one that is a mystery, an early death that is a relief from the whip of the inner bully. Why else would people be so careless that they won’t take even simple precautions to safeguard their lives?

Is this not a form of inner dictatorship and slavery that we have failed to identify? Have we really freed ourselves at all from the curse of slavery that accompanied the birth of this nation? Isn’t it still present not only in our outer lives but in our internal lives? Have we accomplished what we set out to do, to live in a nation of equals and to pursue happiness? How can we accomplish these things if there are actually programs and systems, applications within, enslaving us, bullying us, demolishing the opportunities for happiness within? How can we have a nation of equals if we do not behave as equals internally? Externally the problems are clearly racial, age related, gender related, immigrant related. Internally they cross these lines and no one is spared. The enslavers are us and have always been. The bullies are us and have always been. Perhaps by looking within and prioritizing the elimination of these programs, we can one day soon see a different outcome in the world around us.

The first order of business is to identify the bully within. The next order of business is to observe with neutrality how it operates, what its expectations are, what motivates it, how it seeks to promote itself and perpetuate its behaviors. The next step is to rechoose. Rechoosing can only happen by realizing that there is an alternative. The alternative comes from a little more self-observation, to understand that Spirit is everywhere in everything. We do not stand outside of everything, so that means Spirit is in us and we are in Spirit. Would Spirit ever attack itself? Would it ever demean itself? Would it ever attempt to intimidate, control, attack, harm, and cause to suffer? Would Spirit ever intimidate and try to make anything fearful of it. No! Despite what all the seriously mistaken preachers may say. No! As soon as we can see this and know it, our lives can change, dramatically and comprehensively.

All of this is in our hands. All of this is choice. All of this is based on ideas, good ideas and terrible ideas. Ideas make up the universe we seem to live in. In this universe like attracts like. Unfortunate ideas like control, bullying, enslaving, and fear-mongering attract other like ideas and flow in great rivers enveloping all that agree to succumb to them. Other ideas like love and kindness and compassion also flow in great rivers and envelop all that choose them. In the end it is as simple as this.: Rechoose the rivers you have joined. The minute that happens the great rivers supporting the truth of what Spirit is, immediately come your way and the lying ideas supporting fear and suffering release you because you are no longer in resonance with them. The moment you begin to walk within the light of these radiant ideas, you create it all around you, and for you and those you impact, the river of lies vanishes to be replaced by the truth. When this happens enough there is no one left afraid, thus no bullies left, no abusers, no victims, no internal warfare, no conflict within or without. All that is left is no-thing, emptiness, just the glove that encloses the supreme intelligence of the universe, pure awareness, pure consciousness, pure I am-ness. Lest you think this is not possible, it is already upon us and is growing as a light begins to shine in a dark room, shadows falling away, everything revealed to be just so, just right, perfect the way it is. To tap into this, you need some stamina and perseverance to get past the doubt and the habit of believing in fear. Then all you need to do is remember and remember frequently that within you there is awareness, aliveness, and consciousness in this moment, here, growing and radiating, and that is all there is, quite literally eternally all there is.

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José Stevens

José Luis Stevens, PhD is the president and co-founder (with wife Lena) of Power Path Seminars, an international school and consulting firm dedicated to the study and application of shamanism and indigenous wisdom to business and everyday life. José completed a ten-year apprenticeship with a Huichol (Wixarika) Maracame (Huichol shaman) in the Sierras of Central Mexico. In addition, he is studying with Shipibo shamans in the Peruvian Amazon and with Paqos (shamans) in the Andes in Peru. In 1983 he completed his doctoral dissertation at the California Institute of Integral Studies focusing on the interface between shamanism and western psychological counseling. Since then, he has studied cross-cultural shamanism around the world to distill the core elements of shamanic healing and practice. He is the author of twenty books and numerous articles including Encounters With Power, Awaken The Inner Shaman, The Power Path, Secrets of Shamanism, Transforming Your Dragons and How To Pray The Shaman's Way.