Last night I watched the movie, “The Stanford Prison Experiment”. I don’t usually watch movies that are highly emotional (in a negative way) because it gets my heart beating and my mind in a negative place.
However, I had no idea it was going to be so intense and I had studied the experiment in college so I was really interested in seeing the movie.
It is based on a psychological experiment that was conducted in the 70’s at Stanford. 20 college kids were hired to assimilate a prison environment for two weeks. Half of them were guards, the other half prisoners. Within the first two days the guards took charge and became aggressive and demeaning. Some of the prisoners began to go crazy, some insane and others conformed to the process. The experiment was shut down after 6 days.
I did not make it through the whole movie, I had to step away. It was too much for me to handle.
I kept thinking about how intense humanity can be and how suppressive and mean we can be to each other.
And yet, isn’t that part of life. Aren’t we oppressive and mean to each other and to ourselves. Isn’t it part of the world. I would not have been able to identify with the boys in the movie if I had not experienced a similar kind of pain. The sadness, the guilt, the insanity of feeling like we are bad.
Obviously there are different levels and I am fortunate to have been born into a place and a family where there is an amplitude of opportunity and love. And some people are born into places where oppression, pain and suffering exists more often than not.
But I bet we can all agree that we understand this kind of pain at some level.
I understood last night that I have NOT been accepting all that is, I have sheltered my world with goodness and positivity and enjoyment and peace. And while it has served me in many ways, I feel the desire to accept all that is. And that means seeing the good and the BAD. Feeling the good and the BAD.
I always say that sadness feels really good. But only when we accept it and allow it to be present. I was sad last night and it didn’t feel so good because I was denying it. I was denying the pain and the suffering of the world instead of wholly accepting it.
Spirituality is about accepting all that is, in all of it’s glory and in all of it’s pain.
What is one thing that you have a hard time accepting about the world? I would love to know. If you are willing, comment below.