Why do We Have Wars and What is the Meaning of Violence?

In part 10 of our spirituality series that talks about life and some of the hardest questions one can ask – we will explore the meaning of wars and violence.

We have wars to explore warfare. This adds to our collective exploration.

If our reality could be reduced to a single word, I’d say that the nature of this reality is exploration.


  • Some individuals choose to explore warfare.
  • Others choose to explore peace.
  • And still others are exploring being subjects of war, while some explore being subjects of peace.

Aren’t some people victims of war while preferring not to be? Yes, many individuals receive such assignments. Others are victims of peace.

We’re exploring attracting what we desire and not getting what we desire.

Collectively we’re exploring all of this – violence and nonviolence alike.

If you’re concerned about which side you’d like to explore, then put your attention on which aspect you’d like to explore.

  • If you want to help and comfort victims of war, then put your attention there.
  • If you want to complain about war and proclaim, “someone should do something about this,” then put your attention on that.

What calls to you? What would you like to explore? Decide, and then go explore it.

  • I feel a strong resonance with exploring nonviolence towards living beings, so I’ve been exploring a vegan lifestyle for most of my adult life.
  • I also choose not to own any guns.
  • I meditate almost daily, and in many of my meditations, I focus on forgiveness, so I can dissipate any negative feelings towards others.
  • On top of that, I imagine sending happiness, peace, and love around the world.

Does that make a difference? It makes a difference in how I feel about the world, and since I influence the world, it probably does affect the ripples I create in the world.

One reason I choose to explore in this manner is that it helps strengthen my personality and my ability to channel energy

. As a vegan living in a non-vegan world, I’ve learned to make my own decisions and carve out my own path. That is how I protect and keep my energy.

Due to this decision, the world is constantly reminding me that I’m consciously creating my experience of life. Even the seemingly mundane experience of walking into a coffee shop exposes me to an abundance of reminders that I’m a unique individual with his own values, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, and that I’ve chosen my own path.

I find this to be excellent training for conscious creation.

I also regard crime, violence, victimhood, abuse, and outrage against the preceding as equally valid explorations.

  • I’ve talked to people who’ve been victimized by war, rape, and other forms of violence.
  • I’ve talked to people who’ve committed violent acts.
  • I’ve talked to people who’ve founded charities.

I think that all of these explorations exist because they all add value to this reality.

You may have strong judgments against violence. I’ve had such feelings too.

In fact, I’ve explored those feelings a lot. Presently I don’t feel that condemning violence is adding much value to this reality. I’d rather explore other ways to channel energy, so I don’t want to waste energy on condemnation right now.

At this time in my life, I’m finding a lot of value in exploring universal acceptance and surrender. So far that’s been pretty interesting.

If we don’t pay attention to violence, could we still be victims of it?

I think we could still be victims of violence even if we choose to focus on peace and nonresistance to violence. I see no special immunity there. Lots of people get hurt and killed.

I do think we lower our chances of being subjected to violence if we’re not actively involved in fighting and if we don’t wallow in the powerless mindset of victimhood. But I wouldn’t say that we’d entirely eliminate such possibilities.

Just as this reality is exploring reasonableness, it’s also exploring unreasonableness. As ironic as it may seem, doesn’t it make sense that reality should wish to explore all aspects of existence, not just the reasonable ones?

  • Fairness is being explored, and so is unfairness.
  • Order is being explored, and so is chaos.
  • Violence is being explored, and so is nonviolence.

Do you want to make peace with this? Or would you rather resist it? Either option is valid.

From the individual perspective, this might bother you. It’s understandable that you’d prefer not to be a victim of violence, and you may prefer that other people don’t have to go through this either.

But also look at it from the foil’s (universe’s) perspective. How could this reality ever be complete if it never explored violence. It has to explore violence. It has to explore nonviolence. Ignorance isn’t in its nature.

I think the best we can do here as individuals is to consciously decide which aspects of this broad exploration we’d like to attend to personally.

  • Do you want to grab a gun and play Rambo?
  • Do you want to be a peacemaker?
  • Do you want to complain about politicians on social media?
  • Do you want to feel fear and be scared?
  • Do you want to feed, clothe, and comfort refugees?
  • Do you want to ignore all of this and focus on something else?

What’s your role in this picture?

Written by Steve Pavlina. Steve Pavlina is a human alarm clock – he wakes up people who are sleeping through life. Steve has a personal development blog for smart people, which you can follow here: stevepavlina.com/blog/

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