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From the self-mastery class--the victim/accountability model--how does this process fit into the situation of, say, a hate crime towards someone who is gay, or say, a major scapegoating incident where the "victim" is innocently standing there and wham!! bam!! violence and harm has happened. Is there such a thing as innocence in this situation? How does one come to terms with owning or allowing such treatment to oneself when group mind and major ignorance is at play? The only thing I can think of is being in touch with one's intuition that should be loud and clear about where to be and when to get the heck out of wherever you are. Doesn't seem quite satisfactory. The crux of the matter is in the innocence, or feeling of innocence. Would you comment on what it means to be innocent and vulnerable without being a victim to others who have no permission to allow this innocence or vulnerability? Thanks for considering this anyway...
Yes I think that innocence is all there is really. And that does not mean that injustices don’t happen. I was standing on Fourth Street one evening waiting for a dinner date to arrive when a youngish man rushed towards me and lifted his fist as if he was going to punch my face. For some reason, at the last moment something in him changed and he stopped in mid stream, looked at me and then ran off in another direction.
My heart beat very fast and in that moment I felt I had narrowly escaped being the victim of violence. Later on I lost track of the feeling of relief of avoiding violence and got stuck in dark feelings about the almost-attacker. I started to hate him and every time I revisited the situation my heart raced again and my jaws clenched. It wasn’t until I started to ask myself the questions: What did I do to create, allow or promote this situation that I began to feel relief from the mental stress I was going through.
After review I could see that standing alone on Fourth Street quite late at night near a bar was something to consider. I can see that earlier on I didn’t communicate clearly when I had the opportunity to choose an earlier time and a better location; I caved to the needs of my dinner date. Slowly I pieced together the parts of my life that led up to this moment. I still don’t relish the prospect of being punched in the face and I don’t wish it on anyone. And I don’t like where I go in mind and body when I start to make it all his fault and paint him as an enemy figure.
There is another way to consider the situation too. On a social level, punching people in the face or any other violence is against the rules that allow for societies to function well. If I drive haphazardly through every traffic signal paying no attention to the governing rules or agreements I will either be dangerously harmed or harm someone else. And, beyond the social level, there are other ways of describing reality in which the ordinary rules of right and wrong cannot apply. These ways of describing reality assume that there is nothing out of place in the experience of being and so my understanding of what happened on Fourth Street has to call upon something more complex than innocence and guilt, or right or wrong.