Posts Tagged fear

Living Life When Your Thoughts Don’t Matter (from my new book The Way of Liberation)


We are like a person treading water in a dangerous sea – always scrambling for a lifesaver to drift our way. Whether it be anxiety or depression (the proverbial Scylla and Charybdis of the human psychology), we become firmly attached to the belief is in an external condition that will, temporarily, free of us of our distress. Anytime this belief is prominent, and let’s be honest with ourselves – it is true for most of us, we will live our lives in fear and anxiety. When we live our life this way we will never have the opportunity to express our authentic self. This is the life of the invalidation triad. We are puppets of a heartless, all-powerful world. All the power resides outside of us and we are helpless.
It is to this very desperate, deeply conflict person that religion and patriotism extend their very “helpful” hands. In our moments of deepest vulnerability, they inform us that they will answer our questions, they will become our partners in this ever-threatening world. Thus we learn to take sides in this life. It’s either for us or against us. It’s survival of the fittest. To the most powerful go the riches and all the rest. Here is one of the sources of deep violence, hatred, and division. This is the answer for so many millions of us.

Contrast this relationship with that of the hunter/gatherer. Unlike those who are identified with fear and hopelessness, he is made alive by and through life. He is one with life, flowing with its infinite changes. He is life.

His trust relationship with this world is never severed. The power of life is shared with all, from the tiniest insects to the towering redwoods. He lives in the vast web of connection, as life. The apparent separation of all of life and his body is merely an artifact of sight. They are truly one and the same. The beating of his heart is the beating of life itself. He has no interest in life ‘working out for him’. The external elements of life do matter for him, because he is this very life in this moment.
What would it be like to live a life where, literally, nothing mattered? What would it be like to live life as life? What would your life be like if you saw the whole energy sucking hope that life give you a “break” ended right now?

End that person now and see what happens.

Try it out and see for yourself. Let’s say that I’m walking down a street and see someone grabs another person’s purse. What happens then? If it is at all reasonable, I would intervene and try to help!
You then ask, “well, if nothing mattered, why do anything?” That certainly sounds like a reasonable question, but is it true? When I say live your life as if nothing matters, what that means is that we stop believing the many voices in our mind that tell us what matters, those thoughts that generate and sustain the toxic fear that governs our everyday existence. Instead, when nothing matters, we live in the immediacy of the present moment. Thus, when I see the woman’s purse taken away from her, I intervene, if it is, at all, possible and try to help. If nothing else, I offer my assistance after the crime has taken place.

When we live life as if nothing matters, we are true to our own self and not to the mass of fear-based thoughts the circulate in our consciousness. We are, finally, true to ourselves.
We find the strength and loving power that lives in the core of our authentic being.

This is Liberation.

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Living Life When Your Thoughts Don't Matter (from my new book The Way of Liberation)


We are like a person treading water in a dangerous sea – always scrambling for a lifesaver to drift our way. Whether it be anxiety or depression (the proverbial Scylla and Charybdis of the human psychology), we become firmly attached to the belief is in an external condition that will, temporarily, free of us of our distress. Anytime this belief is prominent, and let’s be honest with ourselves – it is true for most of us, we will live our lives in fear and anxiety. When we live our life this way we will never have the opportunity to express our authentic self. This is the life of the invalidation triad. We are puppets of a heartless, all-powerful world. All the power resides outside of us and we are helpless.
It is to this very desperate, deeply conflict person that religion and patriotism extend their very “helpful” hands. In our moments of deepest vulnerability, they inform us that they will answer our questions, they will become our partners in this ever-threatening world. Thus we learn to take sides in this life. It’s either for us or against us. It’s survival of the fittest. To the most powerful go the riches and all the rest. Here is one of the sources of deep violence, hatred, and division. This is the answer for so many millions of us.

Contrast this relationship with that of the hunter/gatherer. Unlike those who are identified with fear and hopelessness, he is made alive by and through life. He is one with life, flowing with its infinite changes. He is life.

His trust relationship with this world is never severed. The power of life is shared with all, from the tiniest insects to the towering redwoods. He lives in the vast web of connection, as life. The apparent separation of all of life and his body is merely an artifact of sight. They are truly one and the same. The beating of his heart is the beating of life itself. He has no interest in life ‘working out for him’. The external elements of life do matter for him, because he is this very life in this moment.
What would it be like to live a life where, literally, nothing mattered? What would it be like to live life as life? What would your life be like if you saw the whole energy sucking hope that life give you a “break” ended right now?

End that person now and see what happens.

Try it out and see for yourself. Let’s say that I’m walking down a street and see someone grabs another person’s purse. What happens then? If it is at all reasonable, I would intervene and try to help!
You then ask, “well, if nothing mattered, why do anything?” That certainly sounds like a reasonable question, but is it true? When I say live your life as if nothing matters, what that means is that we stop believing the many voices in our mind that tell us what matters, those thoughts that generate and sustain the toxic fear that governs our everyday existence. Instead, when nothing matters, we live in the immediacy of the present moment. Thus, when I see the woman’s purse taken away from her, I intervene, if it is, at all, possible and try to help. If nothing else, I offer my assistance after the crime has taken place.

When we live life as if nothing matters, we are true to our own self and not to the mass of fear-based thoughts the circulate in our consciousness. We are, finally, true to ourselves.
We find the strength and loving power that lives in the core of our authentic being.

This is Liberation.

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4 Comments

How to Be Insecure


Isn’t insecurity something we do really well? Who among is isn’t insecure anytime there is some perceived threat to his sense of self? We can imagine a universe of threats that keep us worried, uptight, and wakeful at night.

But what are we insecure about? What is it that we believe is threatened?

Let’s say I believe in a heaven and a hell. Then I will be insecure that the way I’m living my life might result in an eternity in hell. The same beliefs that created heaven and hell in the first place, we’ll tell us how to live a life where we can avoid hell and gain, instead, an eternity in heaven. As a result we become Christians or Muslims or Hindus. We follow the rules as they were set down centuries ago. We abandon our Authentic Self and become an imitator. Because I really am a sinner and I really crave sex, booze, sloth, and all the rest, I learn to distrust my Authentic Being and become a good little Muslim or good little Christian or good little Hindu.

But we can never be sure we’re good enough. We are haunted by the fear that we’re not getting it exactly right. We know, down deep, that our inner devil just needs to be expressed. Or, maybe we are so secure in being right, that we lord our superiority over all the sinners and ne’er do wells that fill our world. We become superior beings, smug in our self-righteousness.

But then we risk the sin of pride and we’re back where we started, just another miserable sinner, full with our self-contempt and misery.

Or if I am a pious jew, then I must obey a mere 613 commandments. Of course, from the very start it’s hopeless. I am condemned to be the failure that I know in my heart I am. And if I dutifully manage to stay kosher, well then I can feel superior to all those other jews that eat bacon with their eggs in the morning. We can learn to really resent each other with our competing beliefs.

If I believe that abortion is wrong, then I am enabled to feel different than those people who support it. I can feel superior or I can feel sorry for those horrible people who believe that women have a right to abortion. But then I hear about someone who gets knocked up by her father and suddenly I don’t know what I believe – but I gotta believe in something!

Actually you don’t.

Or, if I believe that life is sacred then I will be racked by guilt anytime I eat a hamburger or a tuna sandwich. If I choose to be a vegetarian out of the conviction of my superior beliefs, then I can feel good when I eat my plate of brown rice. But then I attend a talk given by an eminent Buddhist lama from Tibet (as I did) who asks his audience if they feel good about eating their plates of brown rice and when they wag their heads in confident agreement, he bitterly informs them of the tens of thousands of sentient beings who die in each and every rice harvest.

So we’re back where we started. Stricken by the knowledge of our inherent inadequacy.

Let’s go back to our original question. What is it, exactly, that experiences insecurity? Is this “thing” real? Or are we just defending phantoms – fantasies? If we can understand this question, really understand it, then insecurity become a problem that no longer haunts our existence.

Notice that everything we’ve talked about in this post is a belief. I believe in heaven and hell. I believe I am a jew. I believe in the sacredness of life. Each of these is a belief. But these beliefs, in themselves, are really quite harmless.

They are an overlay to a much bigger belief; the belief that this self that I label with the pronoun me is real. This me is not a belief. And because we believe it is real, then the beliefs it holds to be true are also real.

Okay – now let’s step back for a moment and take a deep breath.

We know that the earth revolves around the sun, even though our senses would seem to indicate that it’s really the sun that revolves around the earth as it rises in the morning and sets in the evening. But we know that that isn’t true. It’s an apparition of the senses. And because we know it isn’t true, then the belief no longer has the power to hold us in its trance.

The same applies to the precious self (“me lovely precious”). This self is a belief. But this is something that needs to be seen directly. That is why the question, who am I, is so key.

Yes we ARE, but we are not the belief in this body and mind based me. This body/mind, this cluster of beliefs with beliefs about its past and beliefs about its future, and its judgments and identities – all of it is just a belief.

The believer of the beliefs keeps the illusion alive.

But the only belief who’s seeing through assures our liberation in this very moment is the core belief. And this core belief will always relate to the concept and sensation of lack. And lack is always inadequacy and because it’s linked to inadequacy it needs a whole mass of other beliefs to make it real, to give it substance. We lack. We are empty. In our emptiness we are agonizingly vulnerable. So Lack creates a Bible and a Koran and a Bhagavad Gita – these books are full of rules designed to cover over the underlying Lack. These books have just enough connection with authentic being to give them staying power, but they are founded on a fiction and it’s a toxic fiction because it sustains a belief in what isn’t real. It sustains the belief in what keeps us mired in insecurity and misery.

Religious zealots are simply those people so wrapped up in their holy books that they are entirely disembodied phantasms. Their misery is so gut wrenchingly great that they MUST have these books to keep them safe from the terrifying torment that hides just under the surface.

And because inadequacy feels shitty, we engineer a whole plethora of beliefs that are designed to make us feel superior or just give us some sense of substance. So we spout nonsense about the sacredness of life as a belief without looking further. We are married to a belief rather than to the far more variegated textures happening in this very moment. Because we are identified with lack, we will consistently substitute our unexamined thought (beliefs) for reality.

You are not any belief, but as long as you’re identified with beliefs you won’t understand that statement – as long as you need beliefs to make you feel real, you won’t understand this statement.

Waking up means waking up to the only truth in the universe – the only thing that isn’t a belief. Every single thought is a belief. The thought of the sun isn’t the sun. The thought of hunger is not hunger. They are closer to the truth of beingness than far more far-fetched beliefs like heaven and hell, but they are still unreal.

This is why these posts are so important. You are not a belief.

So let’s return to our primary theme; insecurity. Everything we are insecure about is an illusion. They are just beliefs about beliefs. And the core belief is the false-self – that enduring cluster of thoughts linked so closely with lack and inadequacy. They are ways of avoiding the misery of lack and identification with inadequacy.

Beliefs are strategies designed to deal with lack. Lack creates its own immensely powerful slumber. It is hidden under a hundred self-protecting beliefs. So why waste another day supporting beliefs that are no different from a wall designed to keep you safe from illusions? No matter how high and strong your wall is, it can never protect you from illusions. Those fears – those beliefs, will overcome any defense. Misery and hopelessness can’t be kept away forever.

Those walls we construct around ourselves, around our group identities, around our perceived gender, around our countries, they are all prisons and we are both the prisoners and their wardens. The higher and stronger our psyche builds these walls the harder it will be to escape our own self-made prison.

How vast are the constructs of belief? They are vast indeed. We will do anything to protect us from the descent into lack.

That is the path we must take if we ever want to be really free. Lack is the primal echo of an ancient Wound and it created the false-self. It is a story drawn from experience, retained by the hardened and fearful heart – but it’s just not true. It’s a belief – a belief system and you are not that.

There is a way out*, but it takes commitment to the truth. It takes the courage of a warrior. It takes the insight of a philosopher.

It takes only you.

*There are many good books out there and many wonderful teachers and friends out there, but I can only speak from my own direct experience.

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Fear. Hate, Division, and Ignorance – Yeah, We’re Talking about Republicans and the Tea Party


Buddha said that the difference between the awakened and unawakened is ignorance. Buddha was right.

Right now, America is in a love affair with ignorance. It’s not a beautiful thing.

The Republicans rail against the new healthcare law, which they disdainfully call Obamacare. They say, “get the government off our backs.”

Yet they just love Medicare, an entirely government run program providing health care for the elderly.

Do you want to know the difference between the new Healthcare law and Medicare? Medicare, unlike the new law, is a lot more radical. It’s a single payer system and the single payer is the government. The only problem with the new law is that it is a Republican program. It keeps the power in the hands in the private sector and they couldn’t care less about our health. They care only about one thing and that’s their bottom line. They have shareholders they are legally bound to serve. As a result the new law if full of loop holes that work against the needs nearly all of us.

What Obama should have worked for was a single payer option that would allow people to choose between the government program and the private programs. After all, the Republicans can’t stop extolling the virtues of a free market and this would provide a free market choice for all of us. But they knew that the private sector could not compete against a government program. Thus the well-being of massive corporations won out against the well-being of people. And that is the true mission of the Republican party and their millions of flunkies – known as ordinary Americans who refuse to think, refuse to explore, and refuse to open themselves up to truth.

They are ignorant. They are slaves of their hackneyed beliefs. They love a hateful and wrathful god. In effect, they love to hate. People like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachman are their haters in chief. They lie, distort, and demean virtually everything that is good and decent in our world.

For the Republicans, this new Republican program isn’t greedy enough. They don’t want to force private health insurers to provide for pre-existing conditions or healthcare for chronically ill children. They would prefer if these non-rich people people would just die and stop bothering their corporate overlords.

When it’s all said and done, the Republicans really stand for the glorification of their ultra-rich masters and the exploitation of everyone and everything else. It’s not beautiful. It’s really very ugly.

The Republicans say that only the private sector can save our sick economy. Yet it was this same private sector that is the root cause of our economic decline, as well as the millions and millions of foreclosures based, initially, on their legions of snake-oil salesman and then on the assault of millions of vulnerable customers who they breezily and illegally drove from their homes – the very symbol of the American Dream.

They are thugs and criminals and deserve to be treated as such.

They claim that they are for the ordinary, hard-working Americans. Then how could we ever explain that their financial supporters are some of the richest and most powerful people in the world, like the Koch Brothers and other billionaires? How could you explain that they insist to keep their financial supporters a secret? They must remain a secret, otherwise, you would realize the truth – the truth that you are being used and exploited – that you are dupes of the wealthy – you will realize that your ignorance makes their power possible. The more compliant you are, the more exploited you will be.

The Republicans deny global climate change. This is just a small part of their universal contempt for science in general. For they also reject the whole field of modern biology, which is based on evolution. Sarah Palin and many others claim they are not monkeys. I agree they are not monkeys – they are something infinitely worse; they are ignorant, ambitious entertainers who express their hatred through their all but limitless personal ambitions. And what is their ambition based on? It’s based on nurturing hate and division. They deny their deep-seated racism, but they have much more in common with their Nazi – Black and Brown shirted predecessors than they would ever admit.

There are 20 Republicans currently running for the Senate. Not one of them links the actions of people with global climate change. This is earth-killing ignorance of the first order. We are called to reject this agonizing ignorance and celebrate the truth.

Income inequality is more extreme in the US than any other time in our history. The top 2% of Americans own and control about half of the capital in this country. The mission of the Republicans is to make this group even richer. For they are nothing but whores and the super-rich are their Johns. Those that support these enemies of everyone and everything (except the super-rich) are in love with their own rapists. This is the social Fear-Self in action on a massive scale (see Liberation from the Lie to learn much more about Fear-Selves). They express their shared self-invalidation through supporting groups and policies that assure their continued debasement.

They wrap themselves in the tawdry costumes of god and country and besmirch both. This is a white, Christian country. We are open to Blacks and Hispanics as long as they don’t challenge that fundamental truth. They love to draw the line between us (Christains, the ignorant, the phony patriots) and them (Muslims, progressives, those concerned with the well-being of our communities and the earth itself). They love to mock those who love what is true. They love to demean and disparage. They are smug in their self-confidence and certain in their underlying self-hatred.

They love power more than anything else. For they know, down deep, that they lack the power the believe they need to build their edifice of hate and division. In seeking all of the power, they are driven to deprive every one and everything else of the power they might already possess. Thus this is truly a conflict and we need to stand up to the challenge.

We do that by being open and embracing of the truth that is everywhere and in everything. Where there is division, we must seek to bring connection. Where there is hate, we must dedicate ourselves to connection. Where there is ignorance founded on division, we must commit ourselves to connection. But getting to connection may require us to make the division between them and us even wider. Just as Krishna advises Arjuna to accept his responsibility as a killing warrior and the battlefield of life, we must now assume the weapons of conflict and dedicate ourselves to victory.

It’s all part of the cyclical nature of existence. We are living in the darkest of times. We bring the light by embracing that same light. Let the progression to light happen through our collective energies and bring all that is false to the light of what is true.

,

5 Comments

Fear. Hate, Division, and Ignorance – Yeah, We're Talking about Republicans and the Tea Party


Buddha said that the difference between the awakened and unawakened is ignorance. Buddha was right.

Right now, America is in a love affair with ignorance. It’s not a beautiful thing.

The Republicans rail against the new healthcare law, which they disdainfully call Obamacare. They say, “get the government off our backs.”

Yet they just love Medicare, an entirely government run program providing health care for the elderly.

Do you want to know the difference between the new Healthcare law and Medicare? Medicare, unlike the new law, is a lot more radical. It’s a single payer system and the single payer is the government. The only problem with the new law is that it is a Republican program. It keeps the power in the hands in the private sector and they couldn’t care less about our health. They care only about one thing and that’s their bottom line. They have shareholders they are legally bound to serve. As a result the new law if full of loop holes that work against the needs nearly all of us.

What Obama should have worked for was a single payer option that would allow people to choose between the government program and the private programs. After all, the Republicans can’t stop extolling the virtues of a free market and this would provide a free market choice for all of us. But they knew that the private sector could not compete against a government program. Thus the well-being of massive corporations won out against the well-being of people. And that is the true mission of the Republican party and their millions of flunkies – known as ordinary Americans who refuse to think, refuse to explore, and refuse to open themselves up to truth.

They are ignorant. They are slaves of their hackneyed beliefs. They love a hateful and wrathful god. In effect, they love to hate. People like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachman are their haters in chief. They lie, distort, and demean virtually everything that is good and decent in our world.

For the Republicans, this new Republican program isn’t greedy enough. They don’t want to force private health insurers to provide for pre-existing conditions or healthcare for chronically ill children. They would prefer if these non-rich people people would just die and stop bothering their corporate overlords.

When it’s all said and done, the Republicans really stand for the glorification of their ultra-rich masters and the exploitation of everyone and everything else. It’s not beautiful. It’s really very ugly.

The Republicans say that only the private sector can save our sick economy. Yet it was this same private sector that is the root cause of our economic decline, as well as the millions and millions of foreclosures based, initially, on their legions of snake-oil salesman and then on the assault of millions of vulnerable customers who they breezily and illegally drove from their homes – the very symbol of the American Dream.

They are thugs and criminals and deserve to be treated as such.

They claim that they are for the ordinary, hard-working Americans. Then how could we ever explain that their financial supporters are some of the richest and most powerful people in the world, like the Koch Brothers and other billionaires? How could you explain that they insist to keep their financial supporters a secret? They must remain a secret, otherwise, you would realize the truth – the truth that you are being used and exploited – that you are dupes of the wealthy – you will realize that your ignorance makes their power possible. The more compliant you are, the more exploited you will be.

The Republicans deny global climate change. This is just a small part of their universal contempt for science in general. For they also reject the whole field of modern biology, which is based on evolution. Sarah Palin and many others claim they are not monkeys. I agree they are not monkeys – they are something infinitely worse; they are ignorant, ambitious entertainers who express their hatred through their all but limitless personal ambitions. And what is their ambition based on? It’s based on nurturing hate and division. They deny their deep-seated racism, but they have much more in common with their Nazi – Black and Brown shirted predecessors than they would ever admit.

There are 20 Republicans currently running for the Senate. Not one of them links the actions of people with global climate change. This is earth-killing ignorance of the first order. We are called to reject this agonizing ignorance and celebrate the truth.

Income inequality is more extreme in the US than any other time in our history. The top 2% of Americans own and control about half of the capital in this country. The mission of the Republicans is to make this group even richer. For they are nothing but whores and the super-rich are their Johns. Those that support these enemies of everyone and everything (except the super-rich) are in love with their own rapists. This is the social Fear-Self in action on a massive scale (see Liberation from the Lie to learn much more about Fear-Selves). They express their shared self-invalidation through supporting groups and policies that assure their continued debasement.

They wrap themselves in the tawdry costumes of god and country and besmirch both. This is a white, Christian country. We are open to Blacks and Hispanics as long as they don’t challenge that fundamental truth. They love to draw the line between us (Christains, the ignorant, the phony patriots) and them (Muslims, progressives, those concerned with the well-being of our communities and the earth itself). They love to mock those who love what is true. They love to demean and disparage. They are smug in their self-confidence and certain in their underlying self-hatred.

They love power more than anything else. For they know, down deep, that they lack the power the believe they need to build their edifice of hate and division. In seeking all of the power, they are driven to deprive every one and everything else of the power they might already possess. Thus this is truly a conflict and we need to stand up to the challenge.

We do that by being open and embracing of the truth that is everywhere and in everything. Where there is division, we must seek to bring connection. Where there is hate, we must dedicate ourselves to connection. Where there is ignorance founded on division, we must commit ourselves to connection. But getting to connection may require us to make the division between them and us even wider. Just as Krishna advises Arjuna to accept his responsibility as a killing warrior and the battlefield of life, we must now assume the weapons of conflict and dedicate ourselves to victory.

It’s all part of the cyclical nature of existence. We are living in the darkest of times. We bring the light by embracing that same light. Let the progression to light happen through our collective energies and bring all that is false to the light of what is true.

,

5 Comments

Loving Yourself Commentary 1: The Negation of the Self


The Negation of the Self

The negation of the self is a belief that arose along with the emergence of the world’s great civilizations. When people began depending on intensive farming to survive, as opposed to gardening supplemented by hunting and gathering, seven new social conditions were required:

  • Masses of labor were required to tend the fields;
  • Therefore, families needed to produce more children as labor and as soldiers;
  • Social order was now essential to control and command labor;
  • Organized religion needed to establish itself as part of the command structure;
  • Priests became the mediators between Heaven and Earth;
  • The trust relationship with nature needed to be severed; and
  • The social classes of Ruler and Ruled became clearly defined.

Obedience and forced labor were built on the philosophy that the self of this world, the mortal self, had to be a subject of the ruler and was no longer allowed to live a life independent of the command structure. Civilization, as we know it, requires that nearly all people be laborers. This mass of labor is motivated by several factors:

  • A life in heaven after death which will be blissful if, and only if, the person was obedient in this life, otherwise the soul will live an eternity in unending torment and suffering;
  • The rulers would distribute food to support the family;
  • Women needed to become “baby makers” to supply the Rulers with more laborers and soldiers (the average pre-civilization mother had two children and the average post-civilization mother had 5-8 children); and
  • Disobedience is responded to with severe punishment – thus FEAR becomes the primary, over-arching motivator.

The negation of the self becomes a tool that offers transcendence to the unending drudgery of everyday life. In this way it became a core belief in the earliest Upanishads. But it appears in all religious philosophy that speaks of salvation and reward for obedience. It is fully incorporated in modern forms of Advaita and some schools of Buddhism. It is a toxic belief that we really need to challenge in our moment-to-moment existence. Notice how most religion teaches transcendence and thus it too negates this very world.

But the belief in negation is so deeply rooted in our cultural psychology that most of us unwittingly “agree” with it. We thus become our most intimate self-negators. You might want to explore Ruiz’ Four Agreements to see how we unconsciously sustain beliefs that not only fail to contribute to our liberation, but keep us as fearful and obedient slaves to authority, whether comes in the form of law or of religious doctrine.

The message of Liberation from the Lie is freedom from self-negation. This is the fundamental sickness of our time. We can have a form of civilization free of this belief, but this is a world we have yet to create. The Scandinavian countries are evolving to this world.

Civilization today relies on the same approach to control. The primary motivator continues to be fear. But since our invalidation begins so early in our life and because our social institutions are accepted as “normal”, only very few of us ever seriously question the social conditions of our life, even though our way of life is, literally, killing the planet and right now represents a very credible threat to our survival as a species. This is, clearly, not normative. It is a mass sickness. Modern human beings have lived on earth for over 100,000 years. The social controls of civilization have effected a majority of people for less than 2,000 of those years. This current way of life is the aberration.

The decisive invalidation is our earliest one, that one that occurred shortly after our birth. This primal event paves the way for a life of obedience and self-alienation. Few of us escape this fate. While we cannot change this aspect of our life, we can become awake to it. The two most direct methods to do this is to explore the works of Stephen Wolinsky and my book, LIberation from the Lie. Wolinsky’s work, along with Morris Berman’s, were an important influence to my own self-exploration. They are both strongly recommended. I also strongly recommend reading the wonderful works of Alice Walker.

We can wake up from the trance of fear, but it takes clear seeing. Self-negation is like wearing blinders over our eyes. We cannot truly know ourselves until we can see who we are and see and feel this energy clearly.

Tomorrow I will continue with a discussion of this short video.

1 Comment

Aggression and Its Healing


A Key Post

People believe that they need to get somewhere, to become something. Realization means to allow what has been hidden to come to light. As long as our anger is hidden, as long as our fear is hidden, we will be driven to be positive and falsely loving. The only issue is the light, the light of clarity, of truth, of seeing.

My friends please believe when I say that you will rely on some expression of force to “get” what you believe you need until the day when you’re just plain exhausted by the constant need to “get”. On that day, when all the interest in force finally dissipates, if from nothing else than lack of interest, you will discover your Authentic Being.

Please notice how we use force to fill the vacuum caused by our inner sense of insufficiency. We need to get it, we need to be loved, we need to correct others of their ignorance, we need to show that we’re in control

We need to show the world how good we areWe need to show that are better because we love more – we care more.

We attack things because we are motivated by the need “to get” – to get even knowledge for the promise of knowledge is control. How I fell for this one!!! I plunged into every problem I could my mental hands on. I need to understand things – to get them, because in “getting them” I could be free of their weight on my false, fear-based self. This has been the journey that I needed to take in order to see the false as the false.

This is just how an identification with our own insufficiency manifests in the world. We need to show others just how great we are, because, down deep, we are convinced that we’re damaged goods.

As very young children we see, first-hand, how our parents got their way through some expression of force, whether it came in the form of promised rewards, manipulation, or just naked bullying, we learned the lesson of force and we learned it well.

Recently, I became involved in an acrimonious argument with my daughter. She accused me that down deep I believed she was a “fuck-up”. I denied her charge with passion. I told her how much I loved and believed in her. I begged her to check to see if this wasn’t true with several relatives – I asked her to see how I spoke about her ‘behind her back’.

But she is a clever person. In part, I was lying. For on one level I did believe she has been a fuck-up. On so many other ways, I profoundly admire her, I often quote her to friends and family in ways that express her acute insight, her uncanny ability to sniff out bullshit (especially my own!) – and, at least in this conversation, she failed to credit me with any of that. Instead she latched on only to her own self-invalidation and she experienced the same from me.

On one, decisive level, she touched on a profoundly disquieting truth.

Thus, on this level, I quietly expressed the “force” of my own unsaid judgment. She played out the toxicity in her own way and it made me terribly angry, frustrated, and more than anything else sad. This is real life.

But, in the last several days, a powerful revelation has come to me. I have seen the truth of my own insufficient self flail its way in the world, using my own eloquence to escape responsibility and my self-serving absence of full honesty to play the role of the superior person. God, it’s hard to be a parent.

Yesterday I complained to my wife about how some of the people I’m closest with treat me with such anger and dis-respect, even though I tend to be the person who can be depended to do the crap work that these same people depend on. My wife replied that I was an easy target and it was this statement that prompted a great soul searching.

I have come to realize that I have clung onto my own anger with these people, while playing the one-upmanship role as hard-working, if somewhat gruff, victim. I denied my own anger.

This is the great challenge of our individual and collective journey. Allow me to repeat it: As long as our anger is hidden, as long as our fear is hidden, we will be driven to be positive and falsely loving. The only issue is the light, the light of clarity, of truth, of seeing.

Life truly is beautiful. Life truly is generous. It will give us a million chances to see the truth. Life thrusts a mirror into our faces and nearly all of us look away, too scared to look into its depths (or as Herman Melville might have said, “into its deeps” (Moby Dick). Yesterday I looked. Understanding that I cannot control the behavior of others, I can see that my inadequate self clung onto its anger as an expression of intense self-righteousness. It needed the anger. The unfairness and anger I experienced from others has been, in large part, an expression of my own identification with insufficiency. And where there is identification with insufficiency, there will be force used as a psychological weapon. Their anger was my anger.

Last night I saw the anger and fear naked in the stories I have created. I present this rigorous self-honesty to you dear reader so that it may become your own mirror. Until you bring all of the fear and anger to the pure light of life and love, you will be compelled to live a life of false grandeur, of false love, of false caring. For we use what others admire to build our own edifice of the self. This is the great tragedy of the psychological construct we call you and me.

Thus, we are called to find our light and live in its radiance, unborn, vulnerable, open handed, empty handed. For the light shines on all with equal of care and compassion.

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