Monday, May 21, 2018
Love Or Fear
submitted 31 March, 2018
published 7 April 18
I write these opinion pieces from the perspective of non-dual reality. However, perspective is, by definition, dualistic, rooted in space and time. The written word is symbolic, therefore dualistic, and presents concepts, not experience. Recognizing these limitations, I suggest that while a map is not the territory, it can still be of value.
To embrace unity is to challenge the dominant culture, which assumes separate, meaningless, and isolated parts. Pitching divisiveness to gain power, or making money from conflict, while using fear to amplify the message, is not a new strategy.
Fear of God is especially popular. Religious fundamentalists of every stripe use a narrow definition of God to promote separation. Wars start by accentuating division and fear. Fear sells everything from guns to toothpaste. Fear keeps our inequitable economic structure intact, oppressing minorities, the poor, and women. Fear is the foundation of advertising, promoting dissatisfaction with our bodies, our lives, and our creative accomplishments, thus convincing us we aren't good enough the way we are.
In a holistic system, each part has meaning defined and nourished by the context of the larger system. Every part provides similar meaning for every piece of its own structure. For example, my liver gets function, meaning, and nourishment as part of my physiology, while providing structure and meaning for each of the cells within the liver.
An isolated individual is fearful, because it is cut off from its meaning within the larger context. The isolated individual acts without regard for the needs and limits of the larger system, thus disrupting the entire system. This describes a cancer, which eventually kills the host and therefore itself. Ignoring the connected context doesn't mean it isn't there, which explains why every problem on the planet seems to be building to a lethal crescendo.
Indigenous religions recognize the fundamental unity in life, as do mystic sects of every organized religion. Einstein said "either everything is sacred, or nothing is". He understood the unity of the world and the inherent importance of honoring everything. We can each relate to honoring something, but there seem to be limits. Thus, we are challenged to rise above our differences and recognize they are only relative, not absolute.
The unity of reality is eternal, transcending time and space. However, we can believe in separation, and the power of our belief makes separation true for us, even though it is not real. That is the nature of denial. The unity is there, but we are unaware of it. While nailed to the cross, Christ, a messenger for unity, asked forgiveness for his crucifiers, "for they know not what they do". Despite despicable actions by fearful, isolated individuals, they are part of the unity, offering a challenge to our compassion.
The good news is that a shift in perspective can lead us to re-experience unity, since it is always present. We each have the power to change our own perspective. This may be difficult, as we have to shift a life time of habits. We can choose to see the world as fundamentally separate and fearful, or we can choose to see the world as whole and loving, a magnificent system that nourishes everything. Our lives have meaning within that larger context.
Darkness is the absence of light, but light does not "conquer" darkness, it simply removes its reality. Similarly, fear is the absence of love, and love removes the belief in fear.
Reality is non-linear, with tipping points when abrupt change manifests and old conditions no longer prevail. These tipping points can manifest in physical, economic, or social expressions, including patterns of consciousness. Our species is experiencing a fundamental tipping point with regard to our embrace of separation. The expressions of separation seem to be increasing, as addicts of separation have risen to leadership positions in business, politics, and even religion, threatening all life on Earth. But they are the last gasp of a dying pattern. If we want to avoid that destruction, all of us who know the unity of life and love, must stand up and declare our commitment by how we live, speak, act, and vote! What future will you choose, fear or love?