Within ourselves we find the source of what is reflected back to us by the world we create. If we would create a happier world we must face and resolve the fears that divide us and compel us to abuse and destroy. The issue is fear. Ignorance (which includes misunderstanding) may not be the only antecedent to fear, but if it could magically be eliminated the few remaining fears would be easily resolved. It is the choice of many who would help us all heal to discover and creatively share the light of self-knowledge and understanding which is the antidote to ignorance. The main challenge is often the long standing and fanatically held conglomerate of fear-driven beliefs and defense mechanisms that block or actively resist and attack any new ideas that appear to threaten their persistence. This is not a flaw in human nature—we create our defenses for very good reasons using whatever beliefs and resources we have to work with at the time.
"If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?"
The light bringers who have made it their quest to study deeply and understand the processes of early childhood development are discovering that the experiences of the earliest moments and years of physical existence frequently set a durable pattern for how a human being relates to the world. In particular, the success or failure of early maternal attachment appears to correlate strongly with the development of empathy, the success of relationships, confidence, ability, and general health and well being in later life. They have also correlated afflictions to this early process with the roots of violence. By the time a child is a troubled teen, the sometimes well meaning but misguided attempts to “scare them straight” or otherwise forcibly “help” them are not only useless, but exacerbate the problem. If you teach a child by force, the child learns force. The older the child, the more entrenched and intractable the afflictions and the more difficult the healing. The use of drugs to control unwanted behavior, highly profitable to their purveyors, is usually more for the benefit of those who want the behavior “corrected” or suppressed with no consideration whatever for the underlying causes. Again, the situation is only made worse.
"If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going."
—Professor Irwin Corey, World’s Foremost Authority
We can transform the world in a generation by transforming the lives of children. Meanwhile the world we are creating for them is in deep trouble. We have serious problems with the clearly fear-driven “leaders” we suffer to occupy the highest political offices world-wide. Those light bringers who study our planetary life support systems have discovered they are in serious and immediate jeopardy from greenhouse gases, and pollution of the air, water and food supplies by pesticides, herbicides, hormones used to fatten livestock, and toxic industrial wastes of all kinds. In combination with the destruction of the rainforests, coral reefs, and other essential habitats we are the direct cause of a mass extinction of species without precedent. Since we are ourselves a species dependent upon the planetary web of life for our food, water, and oxygen these issues, along with enlightened birthing and parenting should have top political priority. Instead we see the centuries old thread of war profiteering firmly ensconced in the highest offices with the wealth, the clout, and the will to fanatically pursue world domination and endless war, the environment be damned, the people be damned, and the dissidents be exterminated. For these twisted tormented fear-driven souls it's too late to intervene in their early childhood development. What are we to do?
"Either war is obsolete or humans are"
Historically tyrants always fall, often violently, and the masses, fear besotted themselves by design to keep them under control, tend to turn first to violent uprising to rid themselves of tyrants. The French revolution and our own, for example. But that which is achieved by violent means carries that violence forever in its heart and is doomed to fail sooner or later. We must find a better way—a way with peace and love at its heart.
We will have peace not when we conquer our enemies, but when we conquer our fears.
"Be the change that you want to see in the world."
It is important to keep in mind the connection between the microcosm and the macrocosm—between our inner processes and the outer world they individually and collectively create. The challenges of our personal growth and relationships as individuals are the same as the challenges in the world at large. The latter is a giant feedback system to show us the consequences of our beliefs, desires, and actions. This applies at every level, individual, family, community, state, national, and international. It means we can explore what works and what doesn’t in our personal lives and achieve thereby a greater understanding of and wiser participation in the wider world where the same dynamics apply. It means we need to explore how to resolve conflicts peacefully and lovingly and thus permanently at the personal level. It means we must deepen our understanding of the bully, the tyrant, the control addict, the sympathy hound, the prima-donna, the cry-baby, the crisis puppy, the drama queen, the [fill in the neurosis]—the “dark side” of ourselves and thus of others.
"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."
—Susan B Anthony
The “dark side” is only our accumulated unresolved repressed impulses. In a culture as dysfunctional and repressive as ours the pressure all too often builds up to explosive, violent releases all out of proportion to the triggering stimulus, and drives the choice of leaders who reflect, deliberately reinforce, pander to and exploit our fears and insecurities. It means we must face our fears head-on and do the work on ourselves to resolve them. This is never impossible and seldom as awful as we fear.
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face."
It helps to remember that in most cases the roots of a fear-based blockage were established by an infant or small child who felt, and was, relatively powerless and inexperienced compared to the adult you. He did the best he could with what he had to work with, but now those old limiting defensive beliefs and habits are outmoded and harmful—also usually buried and/or invisible without some deep self-examination. But you now have far more power and wit to replace/revise them beneficially and resolve once and for all the fear-driven emotional charges behind them. Intellectual memory fades. Emotional memory does not. This is where others who care can be helpful and cheer you on, but you must do the work yourself. Nobody but you can heal you.
“You can lead an ass to wisdom, but you can't make him think.”
So, you have done the work of resolving some of your worst fears and freeing the energy used to defend and sustain them for more creative pursuits, like passing along what you have learned and helping others in situations now familiar to you. You may recall that before the light dawned you were most likely not very receptive to “help” from others who had the gall to accuse you of needing help. You felt misunderstood at least and attacked if they got too close to home.
Your wise and powerful inner self creates the circumstances and provides the impulses for healing at every moment. It is vital to attune to the inner messages, but you must listen quietly or you will miss them in the din. Without them you have only the outer ego to believe in as the sole protector of your body and soul and captain of your voyage through life, and a pitiful powerless clueless resource it is, and you know it, without faith in some portion of yourself which always acts in your larger interest and possesses the power and wisdom to do so effectively and reliably. The outer ego’s legitimate and vital role is to perceive the physical world and pass on its concerns and wishes to the inner self for processing. If faith in the inner self is denied or otherwise disconnected, the thus orphaned ego becomes fear-driven and ripe for control and exploitation by any fear-based individual or institution that promises protection from the big bad world.
"To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders."
The advocates of meditation and other relaxation/mind quieting/inner focusing techniques have brought the light of understanding how to connect with your inner self which can be more easily passed along without arousing defenses. The techniques are highly beneficial whether you “need help” or not. They refresh, rejuvenate, enlighten, and heal what ails you like daily exercise keeps your physical body healthy and strong.
Those of us who have taken on the challenge of trying to be of service in a badly afflicted world have the resources and wisdom of many light bringers modern and ancient to draw upon. Every word of this writing is informed by them and by my own experience of testing their wisdom and their techniques.
'The last proceeding of reason, is to recognize that there is an infinity of things beyond it."
But I still have very far to go—I once realized that it never ends—no matter how much you learn there is still an infinite universe of the unknown. I had no choice but to learn to live with uncertainty. It is most exhilarating to realize that there will always be something new and exciting to learn. In particular at this point, I am struggling with how best to interact with the fear-driven people I personally encounter. I have too often managed to threaten, enrage, frighten, and alienate in my attempts to be helpful. Maybe a thorn can’t be removed without seeming at first to drive it in deeper in the attempt. I don’t know. Everyone is different, and I have only my inner impulses at the moment to rely on—my ego based intellect sure can’t cut it alone. I have it in my head now days to just be direct and up front and immediately let someone know when I think they are acting out of blinding fear instead of illuminating inner wisdom, when they are seeking to protect or destroy or kill a perceived threat instead of to understand the real issues involved and act in good faith to try to resolve them. Nobody ever said acting instantly on your impulses would bring instant bliss, and it is at times a challenge to maintain my faith in the process when I get attacked for being so bloody blunt and insensitive as to point out what I perceive as a better way (engineers are really bad about that), which is perceived as a personal attack because usually you can’t show something is a better way without discussing what’s wrong with the old way. But the alternative is to repress those impulses—to gunny-sack them unexpressed and accumulate them to the bursting point with the even worse consequences already discussed. Failing instant understanding of my process by others, I would prefer to endure and process the distress of the moment in the moment than to bury it and let it fester. What better time to process an upset than here and now and directly with the upset person?
"We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are."
And what if I am wrong? What if I misunderstand someone and it is really me being driven by my fear? What better time to find out than here and now and in direct frank interchange with the other person? May I always admit and redeem my mistakes with care and grace and give thanks to those who help me out of my fears.
"The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization."
Meanwhile, I live with knowing that some of the people I love think I’m a heartless sumbitch, and the hope that someday they will know how I really feel.
"..it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority to set brush fires in people's minds."
Another view of the situation is the more intellectual argument that it is necessary to confront tyrants and tyranny wherever you find it, to remove the tacit support of being silent, to inspire other voices to assist, and just to feel like you are doing something worthwhile. Delivering loving therapy to twisted psychopaths in high political positions is a worthy aim, and may even transform a few of them into light bringers, but first you remove them from power, but not with violence. The violent removal of a tyrant does nothing to heal the mass consciousness that put him in power. The uproar and ridicule of his subjects is required to be effective. Thus, in principle, I am suggesting peaceful but serious confrontation of anyone who appears to be abusing their trust, beginning always with the considerate airing of grievencess and sincere efforts to reveal and correct any misunderstandings. The time for sterner measures will be obvious if they are necessary.
"Every life is precious. That's what distinguishes us from the enemy."
—George W. Bush
"With a heavy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects, I think we can convince people that we are here to help them."
—LT. COL. NATHAN SASSAMAN, whose unit oversaw the Iraqi village of Abu Hishma.