It‘s been almost two months since I stopped following the news, both mainstream and alternative news. It got too much, I think I‘m too sensitive for constant bad news. Instead, I’ve continued working on AHIMSA, my new documentary film about peace. The last couple of weeks I’ve been filming some really beautiful conversations and artistic delights. If you want to see more updates of the journey, visit me on Instagram.
When I worked on my first feature-long documentary about change seven years ago, I started to see change all around me. A Buddhist once said that when you really understand Anicca, ie impermanence, you will witness death all around you all the time. Everything is dying constantly, each moment ends and then a new one begins.
Focusing on the theme of AHIMSA, my attention is mainly going to all the different peaceful energies around me. Because despite all the wars and conflicts raging, peace still exists.
In MISS GOD, the book I wrote about two inspiring women, one young and the other unimaginably old, there is a chapter on peace too. I re-read it the other day and want to share an excerpt. It’s relevant today, on Easter Sunday, just as every day.
‘You know,’ Miss God continued in a sad voice, ‘unfortunately, all the slaughter and murder is only the tip of a huge iceberg, an iceberg called violence. Because people aren't only violent when they kill but also with lots of other things they do. They oppress, rob, insult and abuse. They exploit fellow human beings, torture animals and rape nature. They lash out with hands and words and don’t stop short at anything. Not only do they harm strangers but also their neighbours and even their own children.’
Olivia lowered her eyes to the ground.
‘So much violence ... I wonder where it comes from?’
‘Do you really want to know?’
Miss God calmly put down her cup.
‘Alright. The origin of violence lies right here.’
She pointed her finger at her chest.
‘In your heart?’
‘Yes. And in yours too.’
‘In mine?’ Olivia was slightly alarmed. ‘But why?’
‘Because everyone gets hurt in life.’
‘I don't think I was ever hurt by anyone.’
‘Are you sure? No one has ever insulted you? Your parents have never treated you unfairly and you've never felt great sadness seeing images of war?’
Miss God was met with silence.
‘Or when your grandfather died, and you felt disappointed by life, didn't that hurt?’
Olivia turned to the old woman, eyes wide open. How did she know about that?
‘All these painful feelings leave wounds in your heart. And if you don't heal these wounds, they get infected and cause more pain.’ The old woman paused for a moment. ‘That's why people are violent, because their pain screams for revenge and keeps them from being peaceful.’
‘And how can I heal the wounds in my heart?’
Miss God smiled at her affectionately.