April 28, 2014 at 5:06 am #11320
I know I have the heart from some violent encounters in my teenage years with weapons involved. Back then there was this “barrier” one had to break through to hurt people and I remember how weird it felt to punch someone in the face and hear their nose break or hit them with some weapon the first time. If you are with others who encourage this violent behavior, peer pressure works wonders unfortunately. Once that barrier to commit violence is gone it seems to stay gone forever.
I did not feel guilt but life has its ways to get back at you so I did have my share of dark episodes that were related to my lifestyle and Im happy to have left this behind me and learned to manage my demons. I do believe in something that some might call “karma” and that being an honest and good person is not only good for people around you but also for yourself. I really poisoned myself with all the hate and anger I cultivated when I was a teenager and it took some years to get rid of these negative mental habits.
I also believe if some things have to be done and I know other people in my group would suffer more from it than I would do, I would volunteer to do them.
If the things that have to be done would be regular things, I would make sure everyone is capable of doing them and handling the consequences. There is a danger if you are too protective of some people, because one day you might just stumble and fall and break your neck and they might have a hard time to get by without you.
Selco, would you please tell the story about the guy with the gun getting killed by the guy with the knife?
Here is the story on the blog Robin.
Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")April 28, 2014 at 12:20 pm #11378
Jay, Every person will have some problems handling the consequences in a SHTF. Even if you do not feel guilt it will be back later in your life. This is why we have to make sure of what we are doing. But you are right that you need to teach the others in your group on how to handle the hard times without you.April 29, 2014 at 6:16 am #11595
At the end of the day, there will be plenty of messy decisions that have to be made. Not only about hurting others, but also distributing resources and similar. No doubt this will leave some marks / scars.
Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")April 29, 2014 at 9:48 pm #11762
I really poisoned myself with all the hate and anger I cultivated when I was a teenager and it took some years to get rid of these negative mental habits.
Hate and anger were part of my life, and they almost ruled with me in some period. Being trough war, hunger, insecurity, fighting every day for resources put lot of hate in me.
I must say that I have use hate in some situations to help me in coping with some stuff, hate can give you reason for living, it can give you strength to survive, but it is temporary, and later you pay for that.
Just like rage, and fear, it is much better if you control it, instead let it control you.
Sometimes they are still here.April 30, 2014 at 12:43 am #11781
A Buddhist might conclude you didn’t end a life. You gave someone a new beginning.May 1, 2014 at 4:46 am #11972
Thanks for the input. For a while, I did question my actions. However, I reacted according to my training and the situation. Everyone I spoke with said I made the right call. If the same situation was to present itself, I now possess the strength to make the right call again. Some never recover from a scenario where lethal force is involved. My oldest was a Lion King fan, and a quote from Rafiki sums it up.
“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.”
I chose to learn from it.
Never challenge a man who has nothing left to lose.May 1, 2014 at 5:23 pm #12031
Yes Lone Eagle, at the end it is actually either you or him, you did the right thing, and you saved some lives there. Many times doing right things can hurt, but still they are right things, and that s it.May 2, 2014 at 2:53 am #12092
Okay I just tried to paste something in and it went horribly wrong. Sorry.May 2, 2014 at 3:22 am #12097
You can use the edit button and fix it.May 2, 2014 at 10:41 am #12111
Yes Phoenix, and no need to be sorry, just use edit button on top of the post and fix it, or I can remove it.May 5, 2014 at 5:54 am #12371
I just thought of something.
In another post on the forum I stated that I don’t like killing my own chickens. Since I raised them and took care of them I feel a bit bad. Like shooting your own dog…
On the other hand, I don’t have the smallest hint of that feeling when killing rats. Perhaps it will work to see a criminal as a pest…August 22, 2014 at 7:25 am #22948
The act of killing crosses a psychological threshold that cannot be undone. An individual may be quite capable of extreme violence, engaging in all manner of physical conflicts, and yet the act of actually killing another human being is a psychological event outside of that mindset. It may be easy to imagine killing someone in self-defense, or to eliminate someone whose behavior is considered especially heinous. Yet, we tend to imagine such situations where we become angry, or by assuming that there is some emotional element that will push us to such an act. The notion of being emotionally disconnected and still kill is something that is beyond most people’s ability to comprehend.
What is important to note is that, these are situations in which killing is not merely condoned, but expected. It has the full approval of the social group and yet it still creates numerous psychological problems for those that engage in such activities.
There fore “Karma” is actually your own conscience struggling to absorb what you have done, rationalization.
On anger, it is also another mechanism you need to protect yourself, us it to fight and live, rationalize later, get scared later.
Rationalization is a process of not perceiving reality, but of attempting to make reality fit one’s emotions.”
― Ayn Rand
It is the human’s self defense mechanism, but the only way to cope.August 22, 2014 at 4:05 pm #22977
” You are looking down the sights at another human being hell-bent on ending your life. Do you have “the warrior’s heart” to pull the trigger? Could you live with yourself knowing you’d ended another person’s life? “
I have heard different military men say that one doesn’t know if a particular person has what it takes to pull the trigger, and that only facing the actual experience will show the answer. A lot of people talk big but can’t do it for real, while others can. I’ve also heard that many soldiers in a firefight freeze and can’t shoot, or deliberately aim to miss and hope someone else will get the target. I don’t know f these things are true, but I’ve heard them.
I suspect that whether one can pull that trigger also depends on the nature of the situation, whether it’s kill or be killed and no real choice, or if it’s more indefinite and the right choice uncertain. Also whether there’s time to think and contemplate or if it’s immediate with not time to think. I can imagine some people being able to shoot in some situations but not in others.
As for living with one’s self, I suppose to some extent it would depend on how well one can compartmentalize one’s thinking; it’s possible to hold certain values in ordinary life but shunt that out to one side when there is an emergency and then do what one considers to be necessary. Some people feel no more about killing people than if they’d drunk a glass of water; ie, a life is worthless to them and they feel no guilt at all.
My thought on guilt is that it is a red flag produced by the soul [the deeper working of the mind] that something is wrong. Many people try to justify many things they have done in life but the guilt doesn’t go away but keeps carving out an empty, hollow space over time. That says to me that one is trying to talk oneself into believing something one knows isn’t true because the truth is painful and unendurable, or isn’t enough to answer all the feelings.
I’ve found that facing guilt and accepting it is better than trying to justify it; I admit that I was wrong, even if I can justify my actions, because I know a part of me isn’t buying the justification that I’m telling myself. Also, to continue to stifle the voice of conscience is to ultimately kill a part of oneself; one can burn out and destroy the conscience from working as it should. My action may have been the right one sometimes, but I still feel guilt. I try to accept how I feel and not try and tell myself I shouldn’t feel guilty. sometimes necessity provokes us into feeling we must take an action that violates our own standard. We may do it, but still feel guilty for it. Our guilt is telling us things are not okay,and action must be taken to reconcile that guilt with forgiveness.
Bugs Bunny: "I speak softly, but I carry a big stick."
Yosemite Sam: "Oh yeah? Well I speak LOUD! and I carry a BIGGER stick! and I use it, too!" BAM!August 22, 2014 at 4:25 pm #22979
Elijah you make a good point. Forgiveness is key and it is the forgiveness of self. If there is a way to reconcile with others involved then by all means do what makes you feel better but sometimes what’s done is done and no way to reconcile. Fact is nothing you can do can change the past. Learn from your mistakes and move on. Some things you will just have to carry the rest of your life. Explore options and run scenarios in your head now. There may not be time to mull it over when the event presents itself. Doesn’t necessarily make it easier later but helps you determine your moral compass and justification for your actions. Just do your best and pray a lot. It’s really all you’ve got.August 22, 2014 at 8:26 pm #22998
Much like Preparing, there is no cookie-cutter mindset each person will fit into when it comes to that final decision and their subsequent ability to rationalize it. Our experiences up until that point are what mold our reactions. This thread of conversation is a perfect example. Lone Eagle (and others in this conversation) you reacted the way most people hope they can after proper training: by doing what was necessary with only a split-second to make a decision. Others like Jay (and myself) had a rough upbringing that hardens you into being able to do it because you know exactly what will happen if you don’t.
“Training” can be anything from formal instruction to life experience. I grew up in a city where fighting was commonplace for both males and females, but my defining moment was the first time I had to TRULY fight for my life. I don’t need to go into specifics, but the clearest memory was the first second when I couldn’t believe someone wanted to kill me. Absurdly, the first thought in my head was “I’m a nice person, right? Why is this happening?” It’s that critical moment where the decision is made: Lone Eagle pulled the trigger in his moment. I decided I wasn’t going to die on a filthy floor in mine. I fought harder than I knew I was capable of, and I fought DIRTY, too: it had never really occurred to me before then how effective teeth and nails are, because even on a street level, there’s usually a tiny bit of respect involved in hand-to-hand (nobody wants to be known as the person who bites in a fight). By the time I broke free I was COVERED in blood, and most of it wasn’t mine. If there had been a gun or knife there I would absolutely have used it. I would have used ANYTHING to survive.
After this, I desperately wanted to be around what I thought was a different and better class of people. As soon as I was able to afford it I moved away from the old neighborhood into an affluent area, and in my youthful way of thinking, thought people would actually BE better in a better area. When I realized they were the same type of people (albeit in nicer clothing) I was ANGRY. Jay is absolutely right: when that “barrier” is crossed, it is crossed forever. How you live your life after is your choice, but there is usually an adjustment period after your first true life and/or death situation. Your view of the world is changed, and that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.
Small example: shortly after I moved out of my old neighborhood, a female acquaintance and I were walking to my car in a bar parking lot when a drunken man approached us and was desperately trying to get my phone number. I made it clear I wasn’t interested and figured it was just a case of alcohol bravery, until he approached again and this time put his arm aggressively around me, trying to feel me up (SERIOUSLY, bro?). I firmly pushed him away, nearly sending him on his ass, and went into a calculating mode where I determined which way would be the easiest to incapacitate him. I wasn’t upset, and didn’t utter a word. I knew in my heart if I reached for my boot knife I would use it. Even in his drunken haze he could see something in my face and posture that made him stop in his tracks as he approached me again, and he slowly backed away while mumbling “I’m sorry…”. I also saw that my acquaintance was now afraid of ME. People who have never encountered true violence have no idea how your view of the world is altered by it, and to her (she was very intoxicated) it was no big deal. It’s that same mentality that creates victims: you never think something is going to happen until it actually does.
It wasn’t until I actually felt REAL fear again (during an extended Blackout) that I realized there is absolutely nothing wrong with me. I am allowed to be angry occasionally, or look at the world with suspicious eyes: people can be good, but they can also be bad. This is who I am now, there is nothing “different” about me, and a healthy balance can be maintained between those two lives. I no longer feel helpless, and surround myself with only positive and trustworthy people. Looking back now I’m glad everything happened, because it made me who I am today: 100% NOT a victim.
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