What About Terrorism? by Eckhart Tolle
So, we see the terrorist that inflicts suffering on innocent people, kills thousands, blows himself up—how is it that he cannot see what he is doing?
He cannot see because he has reduced other human beings around him to a mental concept. He puts a mental label on other human beings or groups of humans or whatever he calls them—infidels, evil. Once you have conceptualized another human being, covering up their essential aliveness, you also do it to yourself. You become identified with your own self concepts of who you are, because you are right, you are the believer, you are in possession of the truth. You can then inflict acts of violence on other humans without feeling anymore because you’ve already desensitized yourself, you’ve deadened their aliveness. So, violence becomes very easy when you only operate from the level of thought. Thought plus very destructive emotion that accompanies those destructive thought patterns. That’s what drives the terrorist. He truly, as Jesus puts it on the cross, “They know not what they do.” In spiritual terms, they are completely unconscious. Unconscious means identified totally with thought. You reduce reality to a conceptual reality. A lot of violence arises in that way.