I’m prompted today by mail from a lady I know who lives on the west coast of Australia. As much as I know about Australia I know from some history, some photographs and from the temperament of my son who lives on the east coast. It feels very raw and rough cryptic and contemptuous especially in the tone and mind of those I have experienced. My lady sent me an inquiry today about meditation and so this article will be something about the fear she was experiencing when she was contemplating meditation. I am not sure what prompted her fear: was it the idea of meditation or of the source of the advice she was getting?
There are of course various points of view on the single issue of fear. I’m an old lady in a wheel chair and so I am mindful not to fall out of the bathtub or out of the chair while I am rolling in this season on wet pavement. That’s a different thing altogether from a generalized, pervading dripping fear oozing out of the walls of our rooms. Another kind of fear is the fear of expressing myself that comes from covert coercion or overt crushing repression. We can note this condition in various societies around the world and even into some community churches where it is worth a lot of shunning ridicule to question the dogma that prevails.
When I was a kid in the 40’s in Canada, I was without understanding while it was necessary to hold myself steady under the influence of the last bastion of Victorian chauvinism and an almost ritualistic coercion that lived in my home, at school and in the church environment that I was required to attend. I did not know at the time what it was all about because it was just “normal life”. It takes some distance in time and a deep personal searching to truly get a handle on what it was all about and, furthermore, what I might be doing for myself to be free from the conditioning that separated me from the best in myself. I was conditioned with self hate, contempt and fear; then around age 30 some of my friends supported me to inventory that conditioning.
I praise and remember with gratitude those very good people who stood on my foot until I got it, demanding that I process the rage they invoked in me when they told me the truth. It worked, don’t you know. I made it. It was all about grace, there were no fees!
I note in my maturity that only a small number of people will take a dive down that rabbit hole. Their choice is to take something else and paste a bandage over the messes. Sometimes this is called psychotherapy!
So, my dear lady sent me mail because something in her recognizes that I made it! She feels I might be a worthy voice to hear. And thank you very much!
FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real! Typically, what I notice is that those attempting to deny or bury the fears within them must perpetrate those very fears on others. They believe in the fear because they cannot separate themselves from it. It might be something in fact to actually confront the fear I feel, to understand and forgive those ones who conditioned that fear into me in the first place. A rare occurrence.
I call this courage. Do we understand this word: couer (in French, heart) so couer-rage is a rage of the heart? Hmmmm! Imagine that?
And I am here in the ghetto of Vancouver watching all kinds of people react to their inner pervasive and devastating fear by pushing needles into their arms many times of the day just to stay out of the muck that confrontation will show them. They are addicts but at some level all of us are – addicts. Our society is addicted; seems many of our world “leaders” are also addicted to money, sex and power perpetrating on humanity wars, crime gone global; disease made with profitable drugs and their agribusiness’ bad food; and poverty which is a failure of the systems that distribute the proper necessities of life. This situation addicts all of us to the very bad game we have come to accept as “normal life”. Isn’t this where I came into this very bad movie?
With all of this going on within the single mind bank of the whole of humanity, it is no wonder that addiction is rampant among us.
Those brave people who stood on my foot may very well have known something, didn’t they? Let’s take a dive down the rabbit hole to find a solution to our fear and a doorway out of our addictions.