Illustration from the coloring book "Cosmic Wonders" by Srimati Arya
Ahimsa is a beautiful philosophy that I hold very dear to my heart.
As a person who sometimes takes part in destruction, I recognize that Ahimsa has many layers, and violence absolutely has more to do with the energy through which one engages--the consciousness that is--more than the action.
The action itself matters. But much like how form follows function and how essence is contained in form, Ahimsa's potency exists in the essence of the intent; the permeating energetic driving the action. Action is the form, and the essence from which that action came is the intent.
If the intent is violent, it creates tangible violence in the physical.
If the intent was pure, from a space of true love, it creates more tangible love in the physical.
What is violence exactly? Violence as far as Ahimsa is concerned is the quality of sin and betrayal. It is the essence contained in that quality where one is betraying the Self to a lie. The lie is a distortion where one views them self and others from the lens of limitation and smallness. Fear, anger, pain, and victimization are all qualities of violence because they cause us to forget ourselves and can be triggers for violent outburst, thought, and action.
Consider, for example, that perpetrators of violence were at one point victimized and they allowed that victimization to fester to the point that victimizing others was the only way to quail the pain.
Violence stems from limitation and ignorance. From blindness and shadow. It is only when we bring our pain, anger, and fear into the light that we can make it whole and transmute it; we allow the golden rays of light that already exist to break through that fear, pain, and anger. That is how we follow Ahimsa.
Violence absolutely starts in the mind. If you possess violent thoughts and then get angry at others for being outwardly violent, are you any better? You are still sending that energy of violence out into the world and contributing to a fear based society.
One can correct a person without violence and this is the art we must learn if we are to transform our society.
Hold others in nothing but Divinity and watch this truth blossom in your life.