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Lions Roar : Nov 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2007 55 they’re responsible for everything, so of course I want to settle the score. It’s only natural. We all do this. But in so doing we become mired in what the Buddhist teachings refer to as samsara. We use a method to relate to our pain. We use a method to relate to the underlying ground- lessness and feelings of insecurity. We feel that things are out of control, that they are definitely not going the way we want them to go. But our method to heal the anguish of things not going the way we want them to is what Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche calls pouring kerosene on the fire to put it out. We bite the hook and escalate the emotional reactivity. We speak out and we act out. The terrorists blow up the bus and then the army comes in to settle the score. It might be better to pause and reflect on how the terrorists got to the place where they were so full of hatred that they wanted to blow up a bus of innocent people. Is the score really settled? Or is the very thing that caused the bus to be blown up in the first place now escalating? Look at this cycle in your own life and in your own experience. See if it is happening: Are you trying to settle the score? His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said that he promotes the non-violent, non-aggressive approach to the Chinese occupa- tion of Tibet, despite the fact that things thing are getting much worse. He takes this approach because he sees that violence is bound to create long-term resentment in others. This is basic intelligence shining through. Basic intelligence recognizes that the resentment caused by a violent response, by a score-settling action, will be the source of future conflict. We can use our intelligence to exploit other people’s capacity to get hooked. Look at advertisements. The advertisers have figured us out a bit. They know how to get us hooked so that we buy some- thing. If you wanted to be really smart and conniving, you could exploit your adversaries’ propensity to settle the score. You could en- courage them to start retaliating all over the place, so that they will have more and more enemies. You could cause people to hate them Splitting in two is the moment when peace turns into war. It is a very common experience. NOV 52-57.indd 55 NOV 52-57.indd 55 8/29/07 2:14:40 PM 8/29/07 2:14:40 PM