"Doesn't he see that passing me makes no sense! I should have taught him a lesson and not let him overtake me!"
The car was passing me in high speed at 100km/h -- just 200m before the speed limit sign of 50km/h. There was a part inside me that felt wronged and wanted to lash out. This part felt made inferior through the mindless maneuver of the driver.
I felt an emotion of resentment and retribution.
The fact that I've been on the path of "awakening" or "enlightenment" and written a book about it, doesn't mean that I don't experience these emotions or thoughts anymore. It means that I become aware of them in the moment they arise, that is to say, disidentify with them, and they no longer have the power to make me unconscious or "take me over."
This awareness allows me to consciously choose my reaction or non-reaction towards such a situation. And, it allows me to let go of the situation after it is over and not to spend the rest of the day carrying out possible scenarios in my head about what I should have shouted at this driver or how I should have made him experience that what he did was wrong and I was right.
The more I practice this acceptance, the less frequently and with less intensity these thoughts and emotions arise. They only arise because of my inner resistance to the events or people that appear in the present moment.
These reactive patterns are no different or separate from the terrorists who orchestrated the attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015.
It's also no different or separate from the leaders of the nations who call for vengeance, justice or war. It is exactly the same pattern just "filled" with a different, more violent content. For the terrorists, it's retribution and for the people in the government it's retribution too. Both regard themselves as victims. Who is right? Both and none.
This reactive pattern could only survive on such a large scale and for such a long time because it existed unobserved in you and me. The mere existence is not the problem, but the unawareness of it can make it very destructive.
The story that the terrorists have been telling themselves when they bombed Paris and the story I have been telling myself as the driver overtook me, runs on the same reactive structures:
"You bombed me. I bomb back." Or "You overtook me. I overtake you."
Do victims have the right to bomb back? To determine who has the right to bomb back, one would need to determine who bombed first. With so many bombings that is not possible anymore.
You can also become a "silent" victim: A person who expresses the resentment through ignoring what happens, not allowing people associated with the religion of the terrorists into the country, funding acts of retribution, or through fine but empty rhetoric.
Or you can stay "awake." You can observe the reactive pattern in yourself and experience that it has no power over you once you become aware of it. It's a manifestation of the collective unconsciousness inside you. You can choose to not nurture that pattern by observing it without judgment or denial and accepting that it is there inside you. Stay present and alert whenever it arises and don't try to escape what you feel.
Realize that the "terrorist", the "peacemaker", your husband, your child, your friends carry this unconscious pattern as well. Most of them are living it out. It seems as if they were sleepwalkers nurturing this dysfunction, making themselves and others suffer to conserve the collective unconscious pattern.
Don't dread the pattern, but see it as a treasure.
The Universe has given it to you so you can become conscious of your unconsciousness and learn about who you really are. It has given you an opportunity to wake up out of humanity's deep slumber. The slumber is the short-lived play with the forms of the world. The person that you appear to be is not the dreamer, but also a part of these forms. The dreamer is the screen on which the dream is projected. The dreamer is who you are on your deepest level -- pure consciousness.
Only the light of your pure consciousness can heal your reactivity and the madness of the world. You may think, "I am just a small person. I can't do anything big to change the world for the better." Whenever you become conscious of your unconscious patterns, some of this awareness will serve as an agent of transformation for other human beings and the collective victim identity loses a bit of its momentum.
When unconsciousness is gone, peace is left. You didn't add that peace to you, that peace has been there inside of you for all your life. It is your true nature. So, be it.