Love …or what?
It’s pretty simple this life: Love or fear.
“Oh,” they’ll scoff, “One can’t break it down to such simplistic terms. What about the pressures of rates of interest verses the inflation on tax credits on one’s annual expenditure? How is one supposed to exist properly without the anxiety of paying one’s bills on time?”
“Ok,” I’ll be forced to concede, “You’ve got me there.”
But other than this exception, it really is that simple. The training we’ve had throughout life is to be scared. Shit scared. So familiarly afraid that it becomes a numbing anxiety that’s so enmeshed with one’s personality that it’s tough to notice. Take the clock for example. It rules you and you daren’t even consider the consequences of ignoring it. They are too horrific to consider – imagine what would happen if you were half an hour late for work every day – in your land that champions freedom. It’s too harrowing to even contemplate!
As a kid it was pretty pronounced, and regularly uncomfortable. Kids can easily shit themselves. But as adulthood arrives the fear becomes more subtle. Strain, stress, insecurity, etc, are spin-offs from the main trunk road. And as the monotonous grip of being scared – in all its various guises – gets people down; they also get increasingly angry (for sub-conscious shits n kicks); for a change of emotional scene; if you will.
And although we are as a species designed to love (i.e. appreciate, en-joy, laugh, explore, empathise, tolerate, value, repair, create, etc, etc) we are culturally invited to fear (in terms of being anxious, nervous, worried, suspicious, regretful, scathing, dismissive, etc, etc, etc).
Seems strange really, if you’re coming at it from a people perspective, to install fear into a population. Surely we should educate for love…?
Let’s drill down some more: There are gender differences too, with this emotional incarceration of societal fear.
Publicly males are permitted to be masculine and show distain, which leads to butch anger and intolerance, therefore, ultimately, hate. “But hang on!” I hear you cry. “Hate and anger aren’t fear!” Yes they are. Anger arrives through worry, which is another word for insecurity (e.g. of environment or company). And that’s fear.
Look at Cain and Abel for example. Abel was secure in love. I don’t mean that Disney, commercially marketed, ‘in love’ where he might bat his eyelids and co-dependently hope that someone else would take away all his troubles and anxieties so he could live happily ever after in a castle made of Haribo. No. I mean proper love, where he was secure in his life and wasn’t anxious about anything. Not even death. He lived for each moment in the secure knowledge that death, as Dylan Thomas so rightly surmises, “has no dominion.” Yes his material self would one day morph into other shapes. But his Spirit is eternal. No fuckin worries.
Whereas Cain was nervous and insecure about the future; and so toiled like a nutter to secure himself away from all the perceived dangers of the carnal world. And then, when knackered and pissed off that his hoe had failed him, etc, he saw this cocky brother of his, happy as Larry David, chilling out will a belly full of wild berries, in a cosy cave, probably with an intelligent and sexually-enlightened girlfriend; being comfortably looked after through merely circumstantial and unshakeable faith in the Universe.
“Bastard,” thought Cain. “Why’s he so fucking happy and blessed? This ain’t fair. I must be cursed or something, because I can’t even get my hoe to work. [Insecurity: Fear]. I’m going to kill him to end my jealous suffering.” [Fear = Anger & Hate].
You could even bring ignorance into my emotional maths equation too, because Cain’s insecurity arrived through a lack of understanding of Life: Ignorance = fear = hate. (I didn’t think up that sequence btw, I just borrowed it from Gandhi or some other cat down the road).
And women? Well they are also both 50% feminine and masculine too, just like men. The only real difference is in secondary sexual characteristics of anatomy (give or take the alleged tidal exchange of oestrogen and progesterone).
But, conversely, females are only permitted, in our culture, to exhibit extreme femininity. At a very early age we are penned into fundamental gender stables. (This is a generalisation of course – I just watched a Youtube clip of two female cage fighters kicking seven shades of shit out of each other!).
But, in our world of indoctrinated mass-media culture of either Disney princes or princesses, Western females are implored to pretend that they are nothing but sweetness and light – with no shadow-side – and therefore have only impotent sorrow as outlet for any emotional glitches in their ability to love. No anger – they’re just too fragile, gentile and meek (except for Rhonda Rousey and her pals obviously).
Like the nursery rhyme confirms little girls are: “sugar and spice and all things nice.” It’s interesting how the anomaly of ‘Tom-boys’ has arrived. Their dismissal of the princess philosophy generally wears down after puberty when they subconsciously realise that they’re never going to hook up with a mate and procreate wearing a combat trousers and a utility belt, while smeared in animal droppings for camouflage.
Tony Robbins, the gasoline-swigging life coach, talks of the ‘Crazy 8’. He leans the figure ‘8’ onto its side (like the symbol for infinity, but more lyrically appealing) and pulls in ‘anger’ into one aperture and ‘sorrow’ into the other. Like so (see image):
And it’s a loop of hell, especially if you don’t know you’re in it. Because it’s what fills the void of Love.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re feeling great shame about something. Say… for example… that you got busted with your genitalia somewhere socially inappropriate. Well first you might feel very sorrowful that everyone is being nasty and not loving you like you want them to (those of you paying attention won’t need reminding that this insecurity is, of course, fear again!) So you mope and sulk yourself into an inert hole …as it were. And you become wracked by a self-loathing depression. Well, physiologically there’s other internal ‘motors’ at play which are also suffering through your emotional turmoil. They need exercising. And it’s not just the muscles either. There are neurological requirements too. These urges get bored – so to speak – and want you to switch away from this constant ‘receiving’ of (negative) energy to doing something, or ‘asserting’ oneself (negatively, positively, anything – who gives a shit) …just bloody-well do something! ANYTHING! The astute amongst you may notice at this point the clear parallels with masculinity and femininity in terms of assertive and receptive headsets.
So, at the Crazy 8’s intersection, the psyche switches from inaction to action. Sorrow to anger. “Come on! Bollocks to ‘em! What’s wrong with a shag! Their relationship was fucked anyway! It was bound to happen! If it wasn’t me it would’ve been someone else! Fuck ‘em all! I’m alive!” And – like the Hulk – the fury builds to the point where the subject crescendos with something destructive and usually self-destructive. It might be an irate email; a brick through a window; killing your brother for chilling out on the lawn enjoying the Creator’s glorious creations; or global thermo-nuclear warfare. It all comes from the same emotional feedback loop. The result (assuming you’re still alive): Back to sorrow, via shame and self-depreciation, because of the anti-social, aggressive, oh-so-intolerable, urges.
There may also be an aspect of exhaustion – following the anger – through the hyper-tension that hate incurs; with all it’s exuberant fury and shallow breathing.
There’s a wonderful film by that hugely talented and culturally despicable individual, Mel Gibson. It’s called Apocalypto and in it a tribe of native Central-American forest dwellers are out on their daily wild-boar hunt when they come across another tribe of humans fleeing to escape the horrors inflicted by the imperially dominant Aztecs, who – with all their scientific achievements, aka weapons and religions – have decided to treat the less technologically advanced indigenous population as sub-human slaves, or sacrificial offerings to their Gods.
Obviously the escapee families were not keen to be removed from their homeland; enslaved, and/or butchered, so they ran away. And they were excusably very scared.
The protagonists, thus far unadulterated by such injuries and horrors, see and hear the fear on the faces and in the voices of these poor wretches; and are adversely affected through loving empathy. On their way back to their own merry village and families and homes the empathy turns to fear, which has infected them too. Like a psychological tumour. Even though nothing has happened to them or their kin …as yet.
They are disturbed through their empathy with the fearful refugees. And it is contagious. The wise tribal elder of our clan recognises the problem: Not that they should stay fearful; tell their friends and families back at the village; and spend the rest of their days building fortifications and weapons through perpetual insecurity, but to change their headsets. To conquer the fear!
The elder’s son (who is the father of a young family) is confused and anxious. He quizzes his Dad with his facial expression, as if to say, “What!? Do nothing except not be scared??” The father, with his sage resonance calms him. And helps him understand that the worst thing that can happen is to live in fear. Worse than anything else. “Do not bring fear back to our village,” he instructs his son.
The son spends the rest of the trek to the village considering his father’s decree, and does enough inner work on his spiritual, emotional and mental illness to fulfil his father’s wishes. He rights his mind and soul en route; maintains the hunting party’s secret, and reaps all the joys of the freedom of his family’s gay innocence [old definition] on his return.
A few scenes later the elder – who insisted on Love instead of fear – is bound and gagged by the bad guys, as he watches his village and the people he loves decimated through the predicted conquest of the imperial forces. He stands tall and proud as he awaits to have his throat cut by the leader of the bad guys. He catches he son’s eye as they are all rounded up for slavery. Without words he maintains his communication with his son: “No fear.”
He then bleeds to death and passes on to the Spirit world, his soul wonderfully unpolluted by the poison of fear through loving composure, comprehension and nobility.
This isn’t smudgy, flakey, wishy-washy, shandy, nervous, soap-opera Disney, light-weight, cosmetic, romantic love. This is strong, uncompromising, courageous, conscious, true, meaty, epic Love. And it’s powerful shit.
“Christ,” one might be excused for exclaiming, “But what a twat! Why didn’t he take precautions and protect all that was dear to him when he had the chance!? The writing was on the wall! They knew there was danger in the vicinity! He could have stayed alive!”
But the unspoken point of this film is that there is far more to being alive than remaining alive. There are realms of existence – as wise sages have confirmed in unison thought the ages – that are closed off to those living in fear. Universal Powers that confirm that the Spirit of the Source of Life is eternal and offers guidance and unquantifiable fortitude, even in the valley of death.
The rest of the film validates this point admirably.
Fear creates a life of stifled illusion. The power of Love is a well trodden cliche, but our world is only just beginning to access the full authority, faculty and potential of its collective and individual fruits.
It might take some time to align, but it’s a very simple choice: Fear or Love? Choose your corner…
[…btw if you choose wrong you’re _____. ;O) ]