Conflict is the very nature of this material world. Even cells within our bodies are in conflict.
The subtlest of all elements of creation is the false ego. And all other elements are both evolving as well as resting upon the false ego. What is the false ego? It is the false sense of identity.
The Bhagavad Gita explains that besides these eight gross and subtle elements there is another nature, a spiritual nature which is the source of consciousness, the source of life. And that is our real identity: that we are spirit souls. We are conscious beings.
“I am this body and all the designations of this body are me. I am man or woman, I am black or red or yellow. I am American, or Indian, or Pakistani or Russian. I am Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Christian, and Buddhist. I am rich, I am poor”.
These are all temporary designations. They are not really the self, because they all change.
The body is constantly changing. When you were an infant baby, you looked completely different. In your youth your body grew and as an adult you saw further change.
Our spiritual master used to say that if you throw a stone in a pond it creates circles that expand to the end of the pond. If every stone is thrown in the same central place, all the circles will flow out harmoniously. If you throw many stones in different parts of the pond, each will have their center. Therefore all the circles will collide. The water will become chaotic.
Unless human beings understand our common relationship with one another there must be conflict – It is inevitable. What is it that we all have in common? In every great religious scripture God is the father and the mother. In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna says that I am the seed giving father of all living beings.
The absolute truth has unlimited variegated ness that according to our perception, the ego, the false ego, pollutes our consciousness and creates conflict. If you are taught two plus two is four, and I am taught three plus one is four, we could declare war on each other on that basis. We could terrorize each other on that basis. We could create systematic education for our children to hate and to despise the heretics that think that you can get to four through two plus two. But if you have higher knowledge, you can understand that they are both ways of approaching four. The false ego keeps our consciousness very small minded, in an isolated condition. So it is no wonder that historically there has always been conflict in this world.
Conflict on the basis of Ego:
And how much conflict is there within families today. I am giving some examples from America, simply because I know that many of you college students are very much looking to America simply because for your future and you are importing so much of America. I first came to India in 1970 and I thought that I escaped that competitive, materialistic, egocentric culture. And now I come back and I see – I won’t give too many examples—America is everywhere. There is nothing wrong in taking the wealth of America as long as you maintain your integrity and character. But the problem is – it is hard to separate one side of the coin from another.
Conflict between Individuals
And then there is conflict between individuals, within each person. The mind is filled with such conflict. And actually this is the basis of all conflict – the conflict in a person’s mind. We find people like Hitler, was a troubled, abused child. And he took it out on the world. Having power is very dangerous if it is in the wrong hands.
Conflict within the mind
Let us examine the conflict within the mind. According the World Health Organization the number three worst disease that causes suffering in death is mental illness. And according to the World Health Organization, within the next 30 years, mental illness will be the number 1 disease causing pain, suffering and death in the world; worst than the death of Herpes or hepatitis C or cancer or heart disease. People’s minds are disturbed. They are in conflict. Conflict between good and evil. Conflict between what should be done and what shouldn’t be done.
How do we resolve conflicts?
Unless we spiritually clean our hearts of lust, envy, anger, greed, pride and illusion, there will be conflict within us and we will be tuned in to all the conflict around us. When people become intoxicated, they are tuning to all the vibrations that are floating around the atmosphere, they are in ignorance. And they become influenced in a both subtle and gross ways because they become they become tuned in to that intoxicated condition. It is very important that we associate with people and associate with activities and words that help us to tune in to those vibrations that will enlighten us rather than degrade us.