The Harder I Try, the Worse Things Get
Believe it or not, it is because of a spiritual principle. When we struggle with anything, we give it power. It is the struggle that gives the other the power to evolve. It is also strengthened by our grappling with it. Unless we win outright, it takes our energy and then uses it against us.
That is why germs grow stronger, as in the appearance of MRSA bacteria. That is why when we argue with someone (or when neighbors, political parties, or nations have hostilities), each side continues to evolve and the fighting escalates.
If you get mad at a chair you trip on, you might kick the chair. Notice that your angry animal nature comes to the fore. Believe it or not, you might even give some energy to the chair or to whoever or whatever is nearby to absorb it.
Does this mean that we cannot oppose things? Of course not. Evil needs to be opposed. Wrong ideas need to be opposed. Wrong behavior needs to be opposed.
But you must learn how to oppose wrong or error properly. The wrong way of opposing it is with resentment and hostility. Resentment and hostility lead to the evolution of wrong. At best, you become more animal (but less human). More likely, your angry and hostile opposition strengthens the other in its stance, makes you drained and tired, and often ultimately leads to your defeat.
Many times, for example, parents argue, becoming angry and resentful toward their rebellious kids. The parents do not realize that it is their willfulness and impatience that evolves rebellion, resentment and opposition in the child. The parent is wrong (for the impatience, hostility or resentment). The child becomes wrong for evolving its own brand of opposition, but don't forget, the child is, after all, just a child. It is the parent's job to teach, tutor, and guide the children with patience, kindness and wisdom.
Sooner or later the child senses that the parent's willfulness is somehow making him or her (the child) wrong too. And this leads to resenting the parent.
The parent must learn to be firm but fair, to set boundaries without emotion, to remind the child without impatience or hostility. The parent must be kind, reasonable, calm, and patient. The parent's authority is thus the authority of kind, firm goodness. And when the parent is kind and principled, there is really nothing to rebel against. When things are just, there is no need to rebel.
When we argue with our kids, fight with our neighbor, get irritated at our employees, resent out boss and so on--we start to become tired and drained from our resentful opposition. We also become guilty, because we are becoming more animal that human in our anger and secret hostility. Soon the tired resentful authority begins to throw in the towel, and resort to appeasing. This of course favors the other side.
If the other side is just, fair, and basically right, then I suppose the appeasement is not so bad. But often the others side does need to be opposed, and our appeasement helps the error grow stronger.
Of course, sometimes appeasement can be a strategy meant to weaken the other side. The appeased side rests on its laurels and through the service of the other side becomes weak. In this way, the tables can eventually be turned, and the underdog suddenly causes the now weak one to react to it.
But as you can see, the game of one-upsmanship, draining and being drained, fighting and appeasing is the lower animal way--definitely not the human way. It tempts everyone to be willful and angry. And it makes everyone into tyrants and wimps.
True good does not tempt. True good does not evolve opposing camps.
Right, reason, justice, freedom, and the good must prevail. But in order to represent what is right, you must learn how to oppose wrong and error in a right way. Not with hostility and resentment; not with manipulation and appeasement; but with conviction, resolve, and the power of good.
So here is the first thing you need to learn: let go of resentment. Learn not to resent your opponent, your weakness, or anything. What resentment does is cut you off from your rapport with the inner light. This inner light is form God and as such, it is the source of truth and good. learn to stand back, get your ego out of the way and see reality. Do not do battle with the opponent in the usually sense of getting angry and resentful. Don't seek to dredge up cleaver or cruel replies.
When you become resentful, you are cut off from the good. All you have left is animal emotion and your imagination, which is the no man's land with which evil confers. Any notion, reply, or vicious response that comes from your imagination is likely to be either some predigested idea that someone else gave you. It is not fresh or timely, and thus even if technically correct, it will lack the freshness of a truly enlightened response. The other person will sense that it is false and perhaps pre planned. They will sense that you do not have love or the power of good--that you are an ego trying to come up with some response that will put you down or build them up.
Worse yet, any response that comes to you from the imagination could be a notion implanted by the presence of evil. It may sound weird or far out. Laugh if you will. But there is such a thing as evil. You can't see it, taste it or touch it. But it suggests ideas to the mind when you are looking for something to save your pride.
Just notice, next time you are very resentful, how vicious and cruelly creative the ideas that come to mind are. What powers these imaginings is the animal emotions of violence or lust.
So it comes to pass that we are troubled by our rabid thoughts and animal emotions. We might come to fear any conflict, because of what it makes us think and feel. Many of us become repressed wimps, fearing another round of escalation. But this favors the unreasonable ones, who know that when they up the pressure, you will eventually capitulate.
Therefore, it is critically important that you learn how to oppose wrong without anger and upset. Your first line of defense is to stand back and observe and not become resentful.
Resentment activates the ego and leads to animal changes. it also leads us into the rabid imagination where we hide from the reality we didn't have the grace to face with poise and equanimity and courage.
But when you are not resentful, you can observe, ask questions, and perhaps come up with a solution that is not to your disadvantage. When the issue involves right and wrong, the wrong side will see your resolve, and when you get the ego out of the way, the unreasonable opponent will come face to face with the invisible power of good which is wielded into play when you do not try to deal with the enemy yourself.
And when the other side is not wrong or unreasonable, just in error or in need of a little correction (such as our kids), then your calm, kind firmness does not power their will. And your quiet rightness is a wet blanket on their error. They are thrown back on themselves, the see their own error, and become self correcting. Their error is stopped in its tracks. The one in whom the error had been growing will be better off, will have a chance to recover from their error, and will respect you.
Remember, whatever you are facing: don't resent it. And don't resent yourself, the other person, or anything else.