Friday, April 14, 2017

A Note on Understanding

I am easily frightened by unknown things. I doubt that this is unique to me. When I was small I was terrified of our house burning down but, with experience and education, I learned that fire prevention is a powerful institution and statistically there was a greater chance of me being in an automobile accident. Why blunt-force trauma is less scary to me than being burned alive, I don't know, but I could see that the necessity and benefits of car travel outweighed the risks of being a passenger, and I trusted my parents as safe drivers. At any rate, my fear of immolation dissipated once I gained some understanding.

The same holds true today. I am frightened by unknown things, and understanding makes them less scary. However, even this usually reliable practice of acquiring knowledge as an antidote for fear sometimes does not work. This is twofold: the availability of sought information, and my own resistance to actually seeking it out. Read: sometimes I am scared that I won't find any answers, and sometimes I am scared that what I find out will be worse than what I already know.

As I breathe, work, study, and commune with people every day, I am aware that I am enjoying a truly golden period of my lifetime. Family is happy and safe; my son is coming in to his own and his life is squarely ahead of him. My relationships with others are flourishing. I do work that is mentally, emotionally, and spiritually fulfilling and my career is only just beginning! How wonderful for me, what tremendous blessings and good fortune. This is not something that happened overnight. Careful cultivation, right action, and hard work got me here. I value life on earth as I never have.

This state of appreciation and gratitude is so rich and pleasant that I've formed an attachment to it. It feels good and I don't like feeling bad. I am of greatest use to God and others now, therefore, I don't want it to end. I'm just beginning.

This is why I am more scared of unknown things today: such as missile raids, sub-nuclear detonations, domestic terrorism and shadow governments. First of all, what is accurate and truthful that will help me to understand? Second of all, I am scared that a deeper look will prove what I already suspect: that good, action-minded people like me are impotent in the fight for truth, peace, and equality. Learning that it is all for naught might be too great a burden to bear. So, I keep on, calling my reps and saying my piece even if they don't listen and vote the contrary. What other power do I have if understanding eludes me?

Perhaps as a human being I am missing a bigger picture-- that the planet cannot sustain technology as we've established it. Perhaps, as George Carlin said, we humans are just a surface nuisance to be shaken off this planet like a bad case of fleas. Perhaps consciousness-- that thing that makes us different from animals-- has made us too self-important and it's time for an evolutionary reset. Is a cataclysm impending? I do not know and I cannot assuage your fear of it if you have that. Just be brave, do your best and choose love, and I will too.

Beyond general knowledge and understanding, I've learned that it is having a soft and loving heart that is the greatest freedom from fear. At any given moment, I must remember God is my governor and therein is deep deliverance.

Edit; 1155pm. I wrote this instead of the piece I wanted to write, which might have turned out melodramatic and hopeless. There is always hope, which is why I wrote this instead. Even in these strange and uncertain times, we have each other.