Friday, December 3, 2010
Fear is the Mind-Killer
I have been grappling with for quite sometime now several notions as to why our society seems to be on this crazy downwards trajectory. For the longest time I had been unable to pinpoint an exact reason and then I realized that one cannot look at a perceived collective mania as emanating from an absolute but rather as something that has been festering for decades. And I speak not just to the political lunacy but of an overall malaise that I have observed in my last year or so back in the land of the big PX. (military store reference where being back home means you can have everything you have missed materially or otherwise)
One thing is for certain however and I believe that this is true for just about anything we can encounter in life and that is the existence of the monster that is called "fear". All fear needs to sustain itself is more fear and in these days of uncertainty and rapid changes the monster called FEAR has an unlimited food supply and there seems to be no shortage of individuals willing to exploit this situation for their own gains, whatever they may be although I could hazard some damned good guesses as to what kinds of gains could be made.
I was cooking the other night at a local eatery, a "live" production of sorts and invariably after rambling on about some of my foreign food experiences, and yes a few had gathered around to hear my tales, one woman expressed the one word that makes me bristle when talking about travel to Mexico (or almost anywhere these days) and that is "safety". I knew that a frown crossed my face, perhaps too quickly, so I immediately apologized to her after uttering the phrase "what a bunch of shit!". She asked me why and I launched into a my diatribe regarding the fear-mongering of late that to me serves to discourage folks from leaving their immediate environs. After adding some sidebars as to other experiences in places like Bosnia, Kosovo and Guatemala she looked at me and said innocently, but seriously, "is there anything you are scared of?" Without hesitation I said "BEING POOR, truly poor but let us not discount being in constant FEAR for it is fear that I find so limiting and crippling these days and with so many folks, including you, in that fear is stopping you from engaging in an adventure that you so obviously have a desire to pursue."
Yes, that is more or less what I said.....but there are other fears too that can be just as insidious in their own right and these are unfounded fears based on lack of communication, low self-esteem - of being left out perhaps, misperceptions - many of these can be drawn to that one notion of EGO.....I ain't no buddhist philosopher but I do know that ego has been the downfall of many and yes, including myself at times.....having confidence is one thing but not recognizing that sometimes one has to shut up and just listen? Wow, that can be hard at times especially if one is fearful of the great whatevers being generated by some who should perhaps in their own right should shut up as well as they know not of what they speak.
Some games are not mere games - not when it comes to the often-times fragile human psyche. And these days there are just too many games being played and it leads me to ask the one question of why and more so what are the gains to be had in terms of generating and fostering a culture of fear?
Conspiracy Theory buffs would say that the notion of "control" is at the front and centre regarding a fear-based culture. Keep folks scared enough, keep them within sight toiling away and buying more crap for their homes that they seem reticent to leave and you have a willing set of pawns who will buy into whatever notions are being peddled by the power-brokers. Perhaps the present political climate in the United States would be a great example of this theory - connect the dots right? All connected dots lead to key individuals and groups that while they may look disparate on the outside philosophically there seems to be one agenda and that is one of unbridled profiteering. I believe the term these days is New World Order.
The cynic in me would rather not address or give credence to conspiracy theories but rather speak to other aspects of the fear malaise.
We are a superstitious bunch regardless as to how progressive we may believe ourselves to be compared to say certain tribal malcontents who still insist on murdering women because they are witches. And when I say "tribal" I do not mean the obvious inferences for what are we humans but a fractious bunch of "tribes" fighting over turf, assets and power. We, in our pampered and entitled society, we are a bunch of scared little children who would rather have our agenda for living dictated to us rather than us shaping an overall worldwide agenda that at the outset may seem daunting but if for just one moment there was an event or perhaps in a holistic way, a collective will to foment positive change - wow, that could be something incredible.
So there it is, my confession of unbridled idealism......yes, child-like sometimes on my part these desires to see "progress", foment dialogue open to all, eradicate suffering that should not exist in a modern world like the suffering that comes with not having clean water or a reliable food source.....it goes back to my initial expression of "real" poverty being my primary fear for I have witnessed it but by the same token I have seen far more dignity, honesty and spirit in the eyes of those whose daily struggles are usually swept aside by those whose fears do not even come close to being "real"....now that is a loaded statement to be sure but in the greater scheme of life as it exists on this planet what some in our privileged society deem as being worthy of being fearful of - sorry, but I am wont to yell out SNAP OUT OF IT!!! You/we have it good.
Or do we?
We live in a society where anxiety disorders are part and parcel of an active, worry-filled life. We worry about everything even if some of those worries will most likely never affect us. We are told, spoon-fed even, what to fear and that the great boogie-Man is lurking around every corner when in reality we are our own boogie-men......yes, we are our own worst "enemy" so to speak.
Fear is the mind-killer because unbridled, unjustified fear ( how can one justify a particular fear construct if they have never really experienced it?) stymies or retards those very thought processes that are key to problem-solving, discovering, exploring and yes, even living fully as not just a citizen of one microcosm but a citizen of this planet, the only one thus far that we can live on.
This is why above all else I truly fear the notion of such for it limits me from perhaps achieving great things, wonderful things and in turn being able to share those successes and foster intellectual and community growth.
Stop feeding the monsters people......they are more than sated, they are engorged and ready to implode.....