56 On Conflict

Beloved Peter,

To some who look at Masters in the past, it would seem that some have been "violent", and others "pacifist".

Krishna, in the Bhagavad Gita, is trying to convince Arjuna that it is his duty to go to war and kill thousands, when Arjuna is reluctant because of a wish not to do violence.
Mohammed fought a war to take defend Medina, and take Mecca.

However, it is not all as clear as that.
Mohammed said that the principle qualities of Allah are compassion and mercy.
Jesus drove the moneylenders out of the temple, and his followers were freedom fighters and assassins.

These teachers acted differently because they were in different times and different places, and that is the key.
You must act in accordance with the situation.

In truth, the answer to your question on how to deal with conflict is that one must be natural at all times.
Nature is such that we must recall that we are a part of everyone else and everything else in life.
If you strike someone, you are striking yourself.
If you kill, you are killing yourself.

But this does not mean not to strike someone, not to kill.
You must at times use force to bring about change in yourself, to stop what is unnatural.
Everything must be done as much in the flow of naturalness as possible.

But if someone is behaving unnaturally around you, if they are acting in a way that is not within that flow, you do not respond by going out of that flow.
You must stay true to what is natural.
Sometimes, that means refusing to act violently when someone else is doing so.
At other times, it requires you swiftly and strongly hitting the other person, literally or figuratively, in order to stop them from harming you, or others, or themselves.

When in doubt, it is better to be peaceful than to be forceful.
But when it is natural, and there is no other choice, you must stand up for righteousness, and do what is needed to do.