Saving Ourselves from Ourselves

“We have met the enemy and he is us!” – Pogo (an old comic strip character)

There are two types of fear. There is natural fear, which is life giving and unnatural fear, which is life destroying. Natural fear is how we react to an immediate threat, like removing our hand from a hot stove. Unnatural fear results when we fail to face up to fearful thoughts and emotions that have no basis in our immediate reality. One popular definition of unnatural “fear” is “False Evidence Appearing Real.” In the Middle East, fear is turning into anger and hate.

As we think, we create. We know this intuitively so when we imagine a frightening event growing out of something we’ve done or something we’re doing, we fear it might become real (what we give is what we get), especially when we feel guilt or shame as a result of our own actions or inactions.

For example, when we habitually eat more food than our bodies need, drink too much alcohol, take too many drugs, smoke, or refuse to exercise and develop skills that give us value to others, we know we’ll suffer somehow and at some point in our lives as a result of our own actions or inactions.

The same holds true when someone far away threatens to kill us and we don’t ask why. How can we resolve this situation peacefully by reacting to it with violence? Why would we choose to react this way unless we’re afraid to know why this person wants to kill us? Are we afraid to admit we’re doing something to piss this person off or that we’re too insensitive and uncaring to want to know what’s making him or her feel that way?

If we allow ourselves to live in a state of unnatural fear too long, we’ll become polarized and insane; oops, too late! We become dysfunctional. Eventually, dis-ease turns into disease and worse, as we can see.

The more we fear something, the more we give it power. To remove the source of unnatural fear from our lives and keep ourselves from stewing in our own juices, we need to face our unnatural fears, understand them, embrace them and move through them back to love and understanding. There are reasons why everything happens and we know that. Too often we don’t want to know what those reasons are because we may have to do something about them, like change how we think, what we do, and how we live.

There are two types of aggression in the world as well, “destructive” aggression and “constructive” aggression. What we see in our government today is destructive aggression. One of my old college physics instructors used to call this the “Brute Strength and Ignorance method” of solving problems. He discouraged us from using this method in solving physics problems. I suspect it was a shrewd way of telling us to find better ways to solve life’s problems as well.

The Bush administration falls into the Brute Strength and Ignorance category of solving problems and it scares us all because we know unpleasant consequences grow out of contempt and violent confrontation. When our own government tries to blind us with fear and invade our privacy, while shrouding their own in greater and greater secrecy; when it builds private armies to defend itself against us; when it uses our collective wealth and credit to build detention centers in our own country to disappear dissenters, we’re in grave trouble. We have become our own worst enemy and it’s time to save ourselves from ourselves.

As humans, we know we’re all going to die some day, some how. Why not focus on creating a pleasing reality so we can go out with dignity, knowing we’ve done the best job we can in creating it? Which self, which world do we want to create, and leave behind for our children?

Which Self

http://diaryofamystic.com

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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The Brave One?

Last week Sandra, our granddaughter, Justina, and I went to see the movie The Brave One starring Jody Foster. It’s patterned after the Charles Bronson Death Wish, vigilante movies. In The Brave One, Jody’s character is severely beaten along with her fiance who dies from his beating. Overcoming her fear of leaving her apartment building, she buys a gun and starts putting “bad guys” away, including the three Mexican Americans who killed her fiance. Her behavior is even aided and sanctioned by the detective investigating the “Vigilante” murders.Like the post I wrote earlier, Divorce from Reality, this genre of films seems to treat events as if they’re disconnected too. We can easily see why Jody’s character feels wronged and why she and the detective think her violent behavior should be excused. What gets lost in this equation is the slowly evolving affect of social discrimination. Like cigarettes, overeating and alcohol can slowly subtract days and years from our lives, social discrimination can slowly eat away at our self-esteem and sense of hope. If we let hopelessness turn into enough frustration and anger, it can quickly turn into justification for retaliation.

Why are we so blind to the effects of discrimination? We’ve all felt the sting of discrimination at one time or another, in one way or another. In that state of mind, haven’t you ever felt like whacking someone when you’ve felt wronged? We can’t justify that kind of behavior but we can certainly understand it.

Ultimately, to have sanity in the world, we all need to see the oneness and separation of all things, stop competing with and discriminating against one another, and accept full responsibility for our actions. Until we see our dynamic interconnectedness and realize we create our reality from what we choose to believe, it will be too easy to think of ourselves as the victims of reality and not the creators of it.

 everything

Pete

http://diaryofamystic.com

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Visit The LifeSong Store where the world comes to shop for inspirational and life-changing ideas on T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, hoodies and more. Change the world for the better with POTS! (Philosophy On T-Shirts)