By Judith Gayle | Political Waves
A loved one and I were speaking recently about a person she'd put on the prayer list; a dear friend who has MS, unemployed for almost two years and at the mercy of state aid. She is able to get some medication for her debilitating condition but only that which assists her with the most basic and outlying symptoms: Xanax and Vicodin. The actual medication that might change her circumstances and improve her body function is not included on the list of meds available to her; or affordable. When we think about healthcare reform, we must remember that this woman's dilemma is replicated by as many as 50 million citizens in our nation, going without the basic care they need for their wellbeing. Additionally, we can consider this the prototype for medicine in America -- treating symptoms while rarely eliminating cause; a self-sustaining, and quite deliberate, money pit.
As the healthcare "debate" grinds on -- in quotes because it's not really much of one; we are shouting at one another over a stone wall of immense proportions, built of money and greed and old paradigm perception -- the opposition seems to be wallowing in, and promoting, the most dangerous psychic symptom humans display: fear. We all know that fear is epidemic in this century, turning reason to mush. Those that point to 9/11 as the turning point in which the American psyche collectively began to tremble probably have it right; but it is not to our credit. Britain, for instance, was blitzed into rubble during WWII,
sustaining a death toll of over 51,000 souls before the Nazis were beaten back by international forces, and they came out the other side of that dark tunnel stronger and more determined; first among its reconstruction necessities was a national healthcare system for its battered citizens.
Those who point to cause of fear as national insecurity, economic instability, immigration issues or matters of dysfunctional society are misdiagnosing; this viral symptom is ancient, systemic, built into our cellular memory and as lethal as cancer to our common good. It has been used to control us since the dawn of recorded history; in fact, the entirety of the Judeo/Christian concept is based on fear, guilt and punishment. When I speak of patriarchy, this is where my mind settles; it is male energy, but not specific to males. It is authoritarianism, and we have a global delusion that we need its heavy hand in order to sustain civilization. This is our oldest error of perception, born in the Book of Genesis, delivered by a used car salesman of a snake with a proffered apple and an invitation to history to blame and misinterpret the Divine Feminine -- her soft diplomacy, her sophistication of thought and her nurture as preservation of the species -- for all the world's ills. Another reminder, I'd add, that the old paradigm rule is to conquer and silence the threat of what we don't choose to value or understand. To quote Mencken, "The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear -- fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety."
I've spoken before about James Michener's novel, The Source,
which relates the history of evolving God-thought through the centuries including that point when man discovered agriculture and needed the cooperation of weather in order to sustain a yield; the notion that someone outside of self could offer boon or bust may or may not have been humankind's nod to a Godhead, but it certainly began a series of superstitious attempts to curry favor and blessing from the unseen forces of the Universe. At the basis of this proposition was fear; our oldest malady and our most ruthless foe. In 1833, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear."
I read a recent bit of channeled information that illustrates this dilemma, and might have been written millennia ago -- fear still drives this paradigm:
I think if I was standing in the presence of God and he would grant me 'one' request as I fulfill my days on the earth, I would ask, "Lord, grant me the ability to live my life free from fear.
Fear of failure
Fear of loss
Fear of looking stupid
Fear of saying the wrong thing
Fear of taking risks
Fear of lack or poverty
Fear of disease or bad health
Fear of accidents or injury
Fear of making the wrong decision
Fear of the future
Fear of losing loved ones
Fear of not getting my needs met
Fear of ANYTHING that robs me of living with PEACE, JOY, and CONTENTMENT every minute of every day."
If 9/11 was our tipping point in terms of psychic destabilization, it's holographic. The truth is we lost 3,000-plus citizens to geopolitical violence and that shook our confidence that we were protected from assault by our topography and the coastlines that create a clear and neighborless boundary. We were late to the party; the majority of countries have had to deal with terrorism in similarly visceral ways for decades. And yet in our usual self-absorbed center-of-the-Universe manner, we projected our fears out on the world and declared a 'War on Terror' as if we were capable of taking authority over any and all acts of violence. Naturally, this grew violence across the globe, including our own. The world is not better off, nor is our nation, for having considered our wounds more egregious than any other or our misunderstanding of the opportunity that was presented to us. But perhaps we are more aware now, at long last; if so, this has all been grist for the mill of the Gods.
Gregg Braden, author of books on quantum physics in regard to spiritual intent, has written a new book called Fractal Time: The Secret of 2012 and a New World Age
. In a Daily Om posting
(and highly recommended read) we are introduced to his concepts:
Marrying the modern laws of fractal patterns to the ancient concept of cycles, he demonstrates how everything from the war and peace between nations to our most joyous relationships and personal crises are the returning patterns of our past. As each pattern returns, it carries the same conditions of previous cycles -- fractal patterns that can be known, measured and predicted!
What makes this model so important today is that the returning cycles also carry a window of opportunity -- a choice point -- that allows us to choose a new outcome for the cycle. Braden suggests that if we can see time from this perspective, the patterns will show us what’s in store for the future, and perhaps how to avoid the mistakes of our past.
In Fractal Time: The Secret of 2012 and a New World Age, bestselling author Gregg Braden merges the modern discoveries of nature's patterns (fractals) with the ancient view of a cyclic universe.
Holographic; it's where we are now, nothing new under the Sun but the opportunity to remediate what has happened before, and likely before that and before that. A chance to get it right and change the trajectory of the future; a tipping point where, as A Course In Miracles
tells us, we can "choose again." We are nearing that point that Braden speaks of in considering the past Ages of Humankind: "Every 5,125 years, the earth and our solar system reach a place in their journey through the heavens that marks the end of precisely such a cycle. With that end, a new world age begins." The sobering, and exciting, importance of our choices are highlighted by this statement: "Only five generations in the last 26,000 years have experienced the shift of world ages. We will be the sixth."
ACIM tells us that there is only love and fear; that fear, anger, hatred and all negative thoughts are the antithesis of love, a misunderstanding of our purpose, and further, that judgment, shame, punishment and guilt are not only unworthy of us but the very attitudes that keep us from understanding our true estate as children of God/dess, momentarily lost in the illusion of density. While some might argue the point, I believe it's clear enough that love is a higher octave of human response and extraordinary in its capacity; without it, everything else is a self-perpetuating loop of downward spiral, multiplying dark emotions like bunnies in Spring and providing justification that humans need models of authority to keep them from murdering one another. There is a choice to be made between what helps and what hinders; we seldom make the worthy one. Startlingly, Obama made that worthy one this week in an event being called Picnic Table Diplomacy; and please consider the paradigm-shifting implications of his leadership. Calling combatants together over a beer
to discover their mutuality -- it turns out they are distant relatives
-- is rightly known as peacemaking.
The authoritarian conflict
that occurred between African-American professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and police Sergeant Jim Crowley has become a soap opera, and fulcrum for racial slurs and Conservative fears in this last week. Rightly but without precedent, Obama questioned the wisdom of arresting a respected elder not because of wrongdoing but because he was snippy with a cop; arguably, if it isn't the President's responsibility to point to areas of social construct that need improvement, whose is it? The Elephant In The Room is the obvious; this president knows the problem of racial profiling first-hand. For that he's being criticized by the Right, much as they pound Michelle for her wardrobe, as responding inappropriately; Barack Obama is not white -- nothing but traditionally white, subdued and politically vague will serve the Presidential model Republicans demand.
While some say it was Gates' race that provoked this situation, declaring that the police would not have hassled this man if he'd been white, I would suggest a bit of nuance -- he would probably not have been hassled had he been wearing a suit. Gates lives in a highly regarded and toney neighborhood; class is the silent issue that steals a bit of thunder from race in this instance. During the Bush years, the Department of Homeland Security (and couldn't we puh-leeeeez
change this to National Security or Home Defense or something that doesn't sound so disturbingly Germanic?) barraged police departments with 'new' instructions for how to deal with a suspect population, effectively pitting local authority against the people it was designed to protect and serve. This hyper-vigilance has created a good deal of abuse in the last years.
We have become numb to articles about police brutality, tragic incidents of tasering
and aggressive behavior; if Bush was the poster child for Authority Gone Rogue, he has left us with a legacy of local Authority Gone Touchy and it must be dealt with. The old saw, "Everything works to good for those who love God," might be rewritten as everything works to good for those who look for it; the entire Gates affair has shifted our attention to examine what is obviously not working to the public benefit within the law enforcement community. And to be sure, we are just skimming the surface of that imbalance.
At the base of our national model -- albeit one of the potentially best systems in the world -- is the patriarchy, authority and punishment mode comfortable with lower forms of vengeance and retribution, cozy with power-grabbing and elitist superiority and built on the bones of a public unaware of the scope of its influence over its every movement. If that sounds vaguely religious, it's because everything has been interpreted through a harsh filter of Original Sin, the common link of our traditional Protestant religions; we are all made unworthy -- this has been pounded into us for generations. Until we see ourselves differently, it will be difficult to change the specifics of our policies. I'm not sure, for instance, that we can even have a productive conversation about criminal justice until we've had an epiphany on capital punishment. We are currently struggling with an economic system that simply refuses to surrender to demands that it behave ethically. Our religious institutions continue to use their political clout to cloud the policies of a secular society. Our military system is driven forward on the fumes of the vast wealth achieved through weapons trade and imperialism. Our leadership model is comfortable exhibiting the vices of Church Hierarchies without displaying the virtue of the Church, itself; we suffer a kind of dour Calvinism.
The fears that are currently driving some in this nation are the equivalent of herd instinct, baseless in fact and driven forward by those who would profit from them. Seniors who are enjoying a form of socialized medicine themselves are being conned into denying the same to their grandchildren and great-grands, because they're being whipped into frenzy with tales of horror and deprivation soon to be delivered at the hands of an 'angry black man' who is not even an American citizen. Congressional support for a Public Option
is beginning to wither; and in my estimation, if we are unable to get this necessary piece in place, we should look carefully at supporting the remaining changes, most specifically mandatory coverage. It would be cruel indeed if those leaving the planet most quickly deprived those who remain simply because they haven't 'sight' enough to perceive a future unlike their past.
I had thought the increasingly surrealistic dialogue of the Bush years would close with the changing of the guard; alas, I think it's even worse. But, as Dylan said, "I accept chaos. I am not sure whether it accepts me. I know some people are terrified of the bomb. But then some people are terrified to be seen carrying a modern screen magazine. Experience teaches us that silence terrifies people the most." At least, thanks to the forward-motion of our new President, we're able to talk about these things, even if we get the full spectrum of neurosis along with it; something uniquely American about that, and I'm glad to see it back in style. There are those who say Obama put his foot in the Gates issue; I say -- God bless his size 13's. Keep stepping, Mr. O.
If we are to perform the psychic surgery required to eliminate acceptance of abuse of authority as we go forward, we must delve deeply into our own psyche, conditioning, peer pressure and willingness to make change for healing of our social contract. There is Higher authority that we must step into if we are to create from love; there is Picnic Table Diplomacy to attend to. This is big work. This is the choice we make now, as we create a new era; if it is not, we will be creating another 5,125-year era in unlovingness and surrender of power -- and I doubt we'll survive it.
It is our authenticity that inspires the end to fear; it is our self-revelation that allows us to find our internal poise and discover that those who would lead through fear are the author of it in our experience. Our ascendency into the spiritual aspects of our own lives puts to rest so many of the fears we hold close; including death. Yet those who are accustomed to being led by others often fear the awakening power within them, awaiting discovery. Don Miguel Ruiz put it this way: "Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive -- the risk to be alive and express what we really are."
Because these issues -- fear, punishment, projected guilt and internalized shame -- are at the crux of who we perceive ourselves to be, I will be exploring this topic in a series of coming articles. The more we understand these hidden traps in our psyche, the more we can prepare ourselves to confront their influence on us and determine to make worthy choices. Until next time, then, let's remember that fear is a shadow-thing; once a fear-domino is pushed over, there can either be a cascade of escalating fear -- or we can stop the energy by standing still, coming to center and observing ourselves. Stop it just once, and you will understand that it is not your master. The choice is always yours.
I'll leave you this week with a favorite, from Frank Herbert's Dune
. This is the Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear
"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
Write this down and keep it close. Practice it when you feel fear enter your mind, attempting to steal your power and render you reactive; you will begin to get a handle on what is and isn't real. If you are being stampeded by a herd of elephants, your adrenal system will tell you to move; if you are being drawn into fear-tapes and unproductive anxiety, do not allow the little-death to consume you. You are in charge of this; do not be afraid of your own power to create your reality.
If the ultimate reality is love, then fear is no-thing. The more we can banish the shadows from within ourselves, the freer, the happier and the more loving we will become. And if, as Braden suggests, there have only been five generations before us to set the standard for an Age -- tag! You're it
. No worries, dearhearts. You can't seriously imagine you would have been allowed to incarnate if you didn't have everything you need to play your part in bringing us into Light at the Great Turning, can you? That is not possible in a loving Universe -- and there's the crux of it. Is this a hellish place of testing and punishment? Or a loving place of discovery and growth? The choice is yours; make it from heart.