Леонид Шох
Author: Leonid Shokh
InterviewLiberal Arts
10 minutes for reading

PEOPLE OF THE WORLD: how to break the pyramid of fears, renounce violence and find purpose

PEOPLE OF THE WORLD: how to break the pyramid of fears, renounce violence and find purpose
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Photo source: wikipedia.org


Geoff Thompson — is an iconic figure: writer, director, screenwriter, follower of Sri Aurobindo, martial artist, and founder of the British Combat Association (BCA). He was once invited by Chuck Norris himself to conduct joint seminars in the United States.

However, Thompson considers his main achievement to be the spiritual experience he gained in confrontation with his fears. For thousands of people, meeting Geoff was the starting point from which their lives changed for the better.

Today, Geoff Thompson is 63 years old. Since childhood, he has been practicing martial arts and has achieved outstanding success in this field. Despite this, for many years, he felt fear of violent conflict, which he could not get rid of, practicing karate. And then Geoff got a job as a bouncer in a nightclub. Subsequently, based on the book, a script was written and filmed in a movie in which the leading actor, Ray Winston, was nominated for the BAFTA award.

In addition, having summarized the experience of real-life street skirmishes, Thompson created his own self-defense concept, «The Wall», which brought him worldwide fame.

The unique real-life defense technique involved holding his hands out in front of him in a non-threatening manner to defend himself if the situation escalated, but without provoking further violence.

Over time, Geoff’s interest shifted from physical self-defense to spiritual self-defense. He has over 60 books to his credit in which he summarizes his experiences of changing consciousness and dealing with fears.

Thompson is a recognized spiritual leader and trainer who teaches psychological self-help techniques.

In a special interview, Geoff shares his unique experience of learning wisdom and forgiveness, overcoming fears, and finding purpose with the readers of Huxleў.




From the outside, I may have appeared confident, strong, and even violent. However, the truth was that my outward aggression helped me hide the fear and insecurity I had inside. I genuinely believed that the whole world was against me. I was surrounded by violence everywhere, I didn’t notice anything else.

But one day, I wondered: why is this happening? And then I realized that the reason was not in the outside world — it was in me. That was the beginning of a lot of hard work on myself. First of all, I tried to isolate myself from everything that cultivated violence.


I stopped reading violent books, stopped watching violent movies, stopped supporting conversations about violence. I purposefully began to form a completely different level of perception of myself and the surrounding reality. And in this way, I gradually began to get rid of insecurities and fears




We are what we perceive the world to be. Our perception is alive and creative. And our life is a direct reflection of it.

Today, there is no more room for violence in my life because there is no room for it in my mindset. When you begin to treat the world with love and compassion, your reality changes. As your thinking changes for the better, so does the world around you.

I often hear objections to my thinking. Some people point out to me that violence objectively exists in the world. Even if you work on yourself and are not prone to violence, it is still possible that someone will attack you. And then you will still have to show aggression in order to defend yourself.

Of course, that can happen in life. But the whole trick is to never allow even the thought of the possibility of such a situation, not to visualize it, not to form an image of it in your mind.

I never allow myself to be carried away by thinking about violence and conflict. Because as soon as I think about something like that, the reality that corresponds to this mindset will start to emerge around me.




I firmly believe that the world should be viewed with a fair amount of detachment — like a movie in a theater! You are an ordinary spectator and just watch what is happening on the screen


Is there anything you can do to change what is happening on the screen? At the level of the screen — definitely not! You would have to re-shoot the whole movie, but we don’t have the ability to «re-shoot» the world.

Well, or you could probably try to do something with the projector… In any case, you should realize one crucial thing — the light coming through the projector can only project what is on the film onto the screen. Nothing else can appear on it!

You may be dissatisfied or, on the contrary, attracted by something in the world around you. But there is only one way to change this — start changing yourself.


You must fight for yourself with your fears and prejudices. Step by step, reclaiming your own inner territory from them. This is what Prophet Muhammad called «inner jihad» or «jihad of the heart», Fighting your vices and spiritual imperfection is the only possible way to harmony with yourself and the world around you


My life has changed radically, not because I changed the world, but because I changed myself.




As a child, I was sexually abused by my teacher. I had to live with that trauma for many years. Then, one day, as an adult, I accidentally met this man in a café. I once again felt weak and completely defenseless in front of him. What should I do? Should I take revenge on him for all the pain he had caused me?

I had every physical ability to do so. But uncertainty and fear shackled me psychologically. I couldn’t bring myself to stand up and approach him. We were side by side, but it felt like there were a million miles between me and my offender that could not be bridged. So what to do?

Of course, I could have just walked away; no one would have noticed it, and no one would have seen my fear. However, some underlying feelings still prevented me from doing so. An inner voice said: «Be brave, don’t be afraid!» I approached him, but at first, he did not recognize me. Then I said: «When I was a child, you raped me». He jumped up abruptly, and his face reflected a storm of emotions: anger, fear, denial…


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I could have easily physically destroyed the man who once caused me terrible pain. But by this time, I had learned the language of violence too well and realized that I could not use it to exorcise the demon that lived inside me. The only thing that could free me from fear forever was forgiveness!


So I told him to sit down and continued: «You ruined me when I was a child. But I want you to know that I have forgiven you». My words came as a complete surprise to him. I could see that he was somehow «broken». And he even wanted me to shake his hand… A few years later, I came across a news report that said that this man had hanged himself in a hotel.

What did I feel when I heard what had happened? Sympathy, deep sympathy… This story helped me realize that fear is an illusion. The only breath it has is the one we give it. Wayne Dyer summed it up beautifully:


Fear knocked at the door. Love answered, and no one was there




Our existence on planet Earth has a purpose. We come into the world to evolve and learn. It is said that in our world, the destiny of the sentient being is so difficult and harsh that even Buddhas come here to improve themselves. Therefore, when we are in the epicenter of the most difficult trials, we should not forget what their purpose is.

Our problems are much more than just part of the process of life. I am not here on Earth to be in a constant search for happiness. I am here to learn and grow spiritually.

The feeling of happiness is a natural side effect of this process: darkness turns into light, ignorance into knowledge, fear into awareness… The joy of fullness of existence comes after realizing this truth and putting it into practice. Many times, I have been convinced of this through personal experience.




Everything in the world is interconnected, so each of us is responsible for what happens. Everyone who gossips, harasses, condemns others, or behaves aggressively bears this responsibility. You can justify yourself, your seemingly harmless gossip, your hidden vices… But if you realize how our reality and its immutable laws really work, you will understand that everything has consequences.


All our thoughts, words, and deeds are added to the general karmic account, which, sooner or later, everyone has to pay. It is essential to realize that karma operates not only at the individual level but also at the collective level


Therefore, none of us can be excluded from this karmic law.

If just one villager decides to poison the well from which the villagers drink, everyone will die. If one person starts cleaning that well, it will benefit all the people – they will drink cleaner water. That is why I try to do good with my thoughts, words, and deeds.




Many people make the mistake, thinking that being kind means being weak


An example that kindness is not incompatible with firmness and inflexibility was shown by Gandhi. He formulated the principles of non-violent resistance, of refusing to participate in anything that is unjust. And in this way, he succeeded in forcing the British Empire out of India without resorting to brutality and violence.

Along the way, Gandhi demonstrated a remarkable combination of wisdom, belief in his rightness, and immense courage. He reminded the British that they were playing host in foreign lands. The colonial administration had about 100,000 civil servants in all of India against 350 million people in India.

And if insubordination to the colonizers was non-violent but total, there was nothing they could do about it. As a result, Gandhi was able to bring the most powerful empire in the world at that time to its knees.




I am glad that I can honestly admit my weaknesses and mobilize my willpower to fight them. Of course, like all humans, I fall down frequently. But fortunately, it happens less and less often and the duration of each fall is getting shorter. I try to be kind, love people, and show compassion to them. This has taken me a lot of effort and self-discipline. I read a huge number of books and realized that our soul reads them like a barcode.

It’s okay if you don’t understand everything when you study spiritual literature. Its light and wisdom will still work within you. In the same way, you may not understand the mechanism of action of penicillin, but your disease will understand it perfectly.

Thomas Aquinas said that the root of evil is the corruption of spirit and freedom.


The degree of your freedom is determined by how much you are able to rise above evil, above negative perceptions, and act in harmony with wisdom and love




From a young age, I suffered from depression. But every time I tried to overcome it, to go beyond the usual limits, fear stood in front of me as an insurmountable wall. I was simply afraid to live… As a result, for years, I was accumulating some unrealized thirst for miracles, a vast creative energy that had no way out. Until one day, I decided to confront it. At that moment, I got an idea from somewhere above: to write down all my fears and make a pyramid out of them.

At the base of the pyramid are the smallest fears, and at the top are the biggest ones. I rebelled against fears, and over time, I accumulated some experience of irreconcilable war with them. And then I realized that I was not alone, that there are probably many people in the world who are depressed.

I thought, «When I can find a solution to my own suffering, I’ll be sure to tell others about it». And since then, that’s what I’ve dedicated my life to. I write books and movie scripts about it. But I don’t consider myself a source of wisdom.


I am a mailman who merely delivers a message to the world and believes that it has reached the right place


Interview by Leonid Shokh


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