Soulmate

Its not the menu

 

Once upon a time there was a couple who wanted to go to dinner.   “Let’s go to the new  seafood restaurant” the wife said.
“The one on main street?” the husband asked.  Affirmative.  “No, he replied.  “I’m tired, and don’t feel like driving that far.”

 

“I’ll drive,” she said.

 

“I Don’t like that part of town at night,” the husband said.

 

“O.K., we’ll go for lunch tomorrow” she replied.

 

“I don’t really like seafood,” the husband said.

 

“They have steak and chicken too,” she replied.  “I’ll order the seafood.”

 

“It’s a little expensive,” the husband said.

 

“I got a bonus,” the wife replied.

 

This went on and on, and then suddenly the husband blurted out: “my ex-wife owns it.  I won’t give that #$%% my money.”

 

###

 

This is most FB “Debates.”  While you’re arguing stuff on the surface, there is really a belief or value pattern deep underneath, and all the arguments are actually irrelevant to that core. You can expend all your time going from reason to reason, excuse to excuse, rationale to rationale, fact to fact, but unless you KNOW what the underlying b.s. is, you have wasted your time. Win every single “round” (and since there is no neutral judge, it is impossible to determine what “winning” is anyway. Routinely, both sides claim victory, or hadn’t you noticed?) and nothing changes.

 

Or…the opponent reluctantly agrees you are right, and within a week you can see they’ve “snapped” right back to their prior position as if their head is made out of memory plastic.  You can apply force and stretch it out of shape, but the instant you stop putting energy into it, it pops right back into its original form.

 

THIS is why the pattern goes as it does:

  1. Love yourself
  2. Love one other person
  3. Understand history without guilt, blame, or shame
  4. FIND AND PROTECT YOUR TRIBE.

 

Hear that?  It doesn’t say “beat people into submission with your brilliant rhetoric.”  That is a waste of life.   Better to nurture the people who already see your position, while being kind to others who are courteous but asleep (or simply see things differently, of course), and be ready to step on snakes and slay monsters if necessary.

 

Don’t waste your time.  It takes DYNAMITE to blast out belief patterns people were programmed with prior to puberty.  That stuff is like concrete. For instance, (and this is one I’ve had thousands of hours to think about) someone taught in childhood that blacks are inferior, by parents or a society that nurtures them, will see everything through that lens for the rest of their lives. They may be polite, may extend courtesy and respect, may even praise an individual who has “risen above” their roots…but under it all, they will “snap back” to that belief the instant they are under stress.  That’s the way the world makes sense to them.  They will not seriously entertain any facts that contradict that belief pattern because they would have to re-assess their entire world.

 

What’s another way we get these solid beliefs?   Pain. Survival.   Abuse victims can have “I am worthless” wired in so deeply that no surface actions can have lasting impact.   Conversely, they can also create a global negative for the entire class of people who hurt them: whites, blacks, men, women, Muslims, Christians, whatever.

 

It keeps them safe. Makes sense of the world.

 

And keeps them from having to look deeply within themselves, through the pain and doubt and fear and anger, into the Universal Humanity that demands we see our own imperfections AND beauty, understand both, forgive ourselves, love ourselves, and extend that to the rest of the world…because they are US.

 

So much easier to believe your group, however defined, is superior. Then of course to cover that up with polite obfuscation. And only debate the things that are acceptable to discuss in polite company.

 

Debate with a Young Earth person? Why, when the underlying belief is that The Bible says the world is only 6000 years old, and if they lost that belief, it would crack the entire cosmology they use to hold back their fear of death, or deep sense of guilt?

 

Debate with a sexist, whether male or female?  Why, when the underlying belief is that THEY are in control, stealing your life energy, dominating or manipulating you so that your emotions are spinning out of control?

 

Debate with a racist, black or white? Why, when both are careful to define the term so that it doesn’t include them, so that they don’t have to look at their beliefs, and can blame their personal pain on The Other without grasping the way history impacted the tribal conflicts?

 

And on and on.   All of this would make me sick to my stomach, if I didn’t daily deal with the conflicts, resentments, pains, fears, and angers in my own heart?   I can’t look down on any of these people…they are ME. And I love me. So I have to find a way to see that people do this to protect themselves. Anger is fear.  Ask yourself what the fear is, and suddenly you are no longer struggling with them.  You are honest enough to look back over your own life and realize that you didn’t change when people argued with you.  You changed when it became safe to change. When you could drop your guard, discard that habit, when it no longer provided more pleasure and less pain.

 

All you have to do is extend that to The Other, whether defined by gender, race, religion, or politics, and you will see everything there is to be seen of human history.

 

Most of the bullshit is just fear, or people who are asleep to the humanity of others.

Most of what remains are the snakes, people who are weak or hold a radically different view of humanity but won’t speak the truth.

And a tiny fraction of what remains after you avoid (or step on) the snakes are monsters, those who really see themselves as separate from humanity, have no love in their hearts, and take pleasure in your pain.

 

 

Focus on supporting your tribe, while being kind the sleepers, and mindful of the fact that you’ve been wrong in the past, and may be wrong again. A polite “opponent” can help to wake YOU up.   But it isnt’ likely to happen in a “debate.” Maybe 1% of the time, yes. But most of that talk is just air. If you really have the time and energy to do that…be my guest.

 

But don’t lie and say you don’t have the time to exercise, to finish that novel, to meditate. You’ve chosen to invest yourself in mutual  intellectual masturbation, mistaking it for the creation of life.

 

 

Namaste,

Steve

 

(how to pierce this veil?   Blow out those obstructions?  Simple, but tough: commit to growth in all four major arenas of life: body, relationships, career, finances.  It is damned tough to do without an increasingly accurate map of reality, without digging deep into who and what you really are.  The 101 Program is designed to do just that, starting with just five minutes and seven days.  The core is simple: can you trust yourself?  Do you keep your word? Do you tell yourself the truth?

 

If you don’t, the problem with your life is not outside somewhere.     It isn’t the location, the time, the cost, or the menu. It is a broken heart.)

 

The free 7-day program is at:    www.fiveminutelifehacks.com

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Wedges and Webs

Tananarive boggles me, really. She just does what she does, and it can often look like nothing is happening, and then BANG, everyone from Entertainment Weekly and TMZ and BET are talking about her UCLA class, and opportunities are coming from unexpected directions.   Powerful.    Unpredictable.   It fits into the M.A.G.I.C. formula, but because its coming from my peripheral vision, it just stuns me.  I think there is a primary difference between “male” and “female” energies in this sense, and I talked to her about “wedges” and “webs” this morning.  I need to think about this more, but there may be something important.

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The “RPM” “Rapid Planning Method” also calls itself a “Results focused, Purpose driven, Massive Action plan”.    And it is in the “Five Minute Life Hacks” system because I think we can produce an adult version of the “Five Minute Achievement Plan” for students.

 

What can I see happening in that program for Jason?

 

##

This morning, he woke up early, took his shower,and got dressed. All perfection. Then…he “crashed” just before we were starting our Five Minute ritual at 8:00.  Why? I don’t know, but it is reasonable to assume that he is dealing with massive fear, inertia, doubt.   And this isn’t even factoring the reality that some days you just regress.

 

It is simply impossible to progress toward a life-changing goal in a straight line.  There are ALWAYS set-backs.

 

But what I had to do was keep my own fear (for his future, for his “flaunting my authority”) and keep my voice mild, my expression pleasant, my words loving even as he curled up on the couch and refused to come to the table.    Fear. Fatigue.  Confusion.

 

If he had defined himself partially as someone with behaviors and capacities “X” (bad student, independent and blasé), and I am asking him to be “Y” (open, honest, good student, trusting) there will be chaos. Fear.   He KNOWS who he is now. But…who is this other person? And if he starts to care, and fails, won’t that hurt more?

 

I see the precise same thing with any number of other human issues: poverty, ignorance, obesity, loneliness, personal safety, and more.   “If I take personal responsibility, won’t it just hurt more if I fail?”

 

Yeah, it will. But if you DON’T  care you are 100% certain to fail.  Your only hope is to take action, and for that, you have to have more POSITVE emotions associated with action than NEGATIVE emotions.  Otherwise you won’t act.

 

You have to have…faith.

 

CHALLENGE: To be a good student.

CONFLICT: He looks at his past, and it says he is not.

ACCEPTANCE:  He is presented with a challenge: for five minutes a day, to have hope. To trust.

THE ROAD OF TRIALS: Five days a week, he spends this five minutes.

ALLIES AND POWERS: His own intelligence and energy. His parents. Teachers.  Any co-students with ambition and clarity.

CONFRONT EVIL-FAIL: Bad test results reinforce the negative self-image.  He falls back on “I need to do it my way!” even if “my way” doesn’t work, because anything else is mysterious and dangerous.

DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL: Curling up on the couch.  Not wanting to face the negative test.

LEAP OF FAITH: Loving parents gently encourage him to spend just five minutes looking at the test.

CONFRONT EVIL-SUCCEED: He needed to split his attention between an Iphone  game and the morning work, but came to see that he had made a consistent mistake, and once identified, he could solve any of the problems.

STUDENT BECOMES THE TEACHER:  He MUST become his own teacher.  One day, he will be able to teach others. But right now, the development of “executive function”, things like syntax, and emotional control, and realistic expectations.

 

This will take many, many repetitions of the basic program.    I’d say that he shouldn’t expect any visible change for 6 weeks, any real change for 100 days, or any lasting imprinted results for a year.   So WE have to be the “Executive Function” for him. We have to have the faith that he don’t have.

 

And that, of course, is assuming that we’re on the right track. If not, we’ll try something else, and then something else, and then something else…until we succeed.

 

His greatest danger, then, is EXCESSIVE OPTIMISM.  Such that when something goes wrong (bad test results) he then crashes into despair.  This is EXACTLY like the obese, or poor, or lonely person who tries a “quick fix” for a lifelong problem.  “I TRIED a diet.  It didn’t work!”  “I TRIED to get a job/save money.  It didn’t work.”  “I TRIED a date.  It didn’t work!”

 

All of these issues yield to slow, careful movement over time. But the part of you that doesn’t want to change will trick you: you can lose because you have NO faith, or because you are OVERLY OPTIMISTIC, setting yourself up for failure, which then “proves” that you can’t do it…

 

Man, our egos are sneaky.

 

The point of the “101 Five Minute Life Hacks” is to take very simple steps like the “Five Minute Achievement Check”, and “The Five Minute Miracle” and “A sentence a day” and “The Ancient Child” and say…wait a #$%% minute.  Can it really be boiled down that far?  What if it can?

 

What is the shortest period that might actually help?    I say…a week.  6-7 days.  Thirty minutes minimum.    If I’m right (and I’m betting I am, based on ten years of research) then anyone who is willing to trust me for just 30 minutes CAN LEARN FOR THEMSELVES if I’m bluffing.

 

And if I’m not…if the hundreds of people who have tried this approach are correct…then all that has happened is that fifty years of research has finally opened a new door.  I can’t push you through it.

 

With Jason, I need to take all the love, all the trust, all the faith that he has and get him to give me just five minutes every morning.  He WILL backslide. It is inevitable. But I believe in him.

 

As I believe in you.  In US. That there really are small secrets and investments of time that can make massive differences.

 

Can you spend just thirty minutes to find out if I’m for real?  Pretty please?   I’ve made the first step as easy as I can: A free seven-day version of the 101 day program.   Free, guys.

 

www.fiveminutelifehacks.com

 

 

The next step is yours.

 

 

Namaste,

Steve

Should I go Forward? Part Deux

So…earlier/yesterday I laid down the foundation for believing I have a breakthrough in my lifetime’s work.  It is the fact that marketing genius Eugene M. Schwartz’s HOW TO DOUBLE YOUR CHILD’S GRADES IN SCHOOL seems to be making a phenomenal difference in Jason’s life in only five minutes a day.  No bullshit.

(in a spirit of total disclosure, his basic program is that you spend five minutes every day, in a totally positive frame of mind, focusing all that positivity and love on your child while doing the following, in the following order:

  1. “Examine the work he or she is going to turn in the next morning. See that handwritten work is neat and has no misspellings.”
  2. “See that work done on a word processor has been spell-checked and proofread.”
  3. Question what is not clear to you, and have your child explain it to you until you are sure he or she understands it.
  4. “Hear memory work.”
  5. Check Mathematics work for obvious errors
  6. Check the assignment book to be sure the student has completed all work
  7. Now check the work received back from teachers.  If it has errors on it, turn the paper over and ask your child to rework the problems on its back until he or she gets the correct answers. Every error must be redone correctly the same day it is handed back.

 

As I’ve mentioned, the changes in three weeks have been amazing. Should I wait another 80 days before I speak?  Would that be more responsible?

Or should I trust that you can judge for yourselves, and move forward.  I’m choosing the latter.

##

My realization that the core of my Lifewriting teaching, the most basic applications, are the “Ancient Child” and the “Five Minute Miracle”.   Coincidence?  Synchronicity?     What if, I whispered to myself this morning, I assumed that I now had everything I need to accomplish my most important lifetime goal:

 

Creating ONE MILLION AWAKE, AWARE, ADULT human beings

 

What if it was even possible..?

 

Oh my God, did the “pretender voices” in my head ever try to tell me to shut up.

 

But…here I go.

 

###

 

Today is a stunningly important day. For thirty years I’ve been testing LIFEWRITING.   This is the notion that the Hero’s Journey and the Chakras contain all the information you need to evolve and succeed as a balanced, awake, aware, happy human being.  Thousands of students later, I’m more convinced than ever that this is a valid approach.

 

But the HJ was both a technique, a perspective, and a means of organizing other technologies.   A SYNTAX.  You could take ANY success principles you loved, and organize them on this pattern to achieve ANY definable goal with greater efficiency and effectiveness.  The first “Lifewriting” workshops I clustered techniques about increasing energy, finding aliveness and creativity, focus, healing, and love.

 

Dear God, I’d traveled a lot of roads and collected that stack of stuff. Useful stuff.  Stuff that helped me find the love of my life, build a successful writing career, and earn three black belts.   Master fear and focus. Create an unshakably powerful positive attitude toward life, what the late Saint Ed Bryant called “Obnoxiously Exuberant”.

I can own that.

##

How could I winnow the thousands of ideas learned from the best, strongest, most successful and interesting, evolved and creative human beings it has been my honor to meet?  From Ray Bradbury  and Elon Musk to Sijo Steve Muhammad and Sri Chinmoy?

Back in 2008 I did this with the best  101 notions, and that was the 101 PROGRAM.  101 Days to personal excellence was the goal.

 

I gave it away FREE to hundreds of people, then sat back and watched. What did they use? How did they use it?  What did they ignore?  What worked? What failed?

 

About nine years ago, Scott Sonnon’s “Flow State Performance Spiral” combined with Pavel Tsatsouline’s “Grease the Groove” to suggest that just a “Five Minute Miracle” could evolve your body/minds reactions to stress.  Dr. Steven Sideroff was so impressed by the concept that he invited me to practice these techniques at the ultra high-end Moonview stress clinic, where for years I was paid absurdly well to help wealthy, powerful, no b.s. ultra-high performers who had access to the best of the best coaches and doctors.   And…on the sly, the man who scheduled the sessions told me that the clients preferred me to any other expert at the clinic.  Most of whom had Doctorates or formal degrees in psychology, psychiatry, stress physiology, or more.

That little old Life-Hacker, me.

What in the hell was I doing, he asked..? Hell, all I did was walk in, teach them to breathe, and share an hour or two of honest time with them. Moving, laughing, talking, having fun, sometimes crying together.  Just honest time, being healthy animals together.

I wish I could spend an hour like that with each and every one of the hundreds of thousands of people I want to help.  I can’t.  What the hell CAN I do..?

##

About six years ago I finally nailed down a useful definition of “Mastery”.

 

Five years ago the concept of Spiritual Autolysis by “Jed Mckenna” simplified a library of books on spiritual evolution until the core could fit onto a post card.

 

Four years ago, a comment from the Dalai Lama in a printed interview opened my eyes. To a simple, workable Meaning of Life.

 

For the last three years, the Ancient Child and Daily Ritual emerged as the most basic steps.

 

And for the last year, been looking at what can be accomplished in just five minutes. The recent breakthrough with Jason convinces me that the RIGHT five minutes can transform a child…and that means you can transform an adult as well.

 

This morning I realized that this just might be,  for all practical purposes, the point where my entire life’s work just came together.

 

How simple can it get? What is the seed? What is the MINIMUM I can offer?   It has seemed like an impossible task, but it’s what I’ve been doing for my entire life.  I’m now 65.  Not going to be 64 next year.  If I’m ever going to put it all together…this is the time.

 

I woke up this morning, and Little Stevie told me I was ready.

 

 

  • The Goal:   One million awake, aware, adult human beings
  • The Method: a 101 day/Five minutes a day program
  • Time investment:  One week (sample) 90- days  to One Year (core program)
  • Venue: Internet: email, web-based.  Home study, on their own schedule.  Add a web-based mastermind if possible, and a social media group.
  • Intent: physical, mental, emotional mastery for adults and their children.

 

 

Is this possible?  Depends on definitions.  If the greatest masters of life I’ve ever known seem to agree on the following statement (primary synthesis: Steve Muhammad and George Leonard):

 

Mastery is a verb, not a noun. A vector, not a position.  Once you have the basics committed to unconscious competence, and have committed to a daily path for a lifetime, you are on the Path of Mastery as much as anyone else on that path, even those horizons ahead.”

 

Then the question of

  1. Commitment for 5 minutes for 7 days, mastering some small piece of the puzzle to convince your inner and outer selves that the method works.  OFFER THIS PIECE FREE, TO ANYONE, AS A WAY OF SAYING “THANK YOU” TO THE UNIVERSE.

 

Then for those who wish more guidance:

 

  1. Commitment to balance
  2. Daily practice of at least five minutes for at least 101 Days
  3. Develop the intuition to self-guide from that point onward.

 

Does that make sense? Who is this going to be for?  There is only one answer that can be made with 100% integrity:

 

My Avatar, my perfect student, is ME, from childhood onward.   THAT guy. That kid who once stood crying in the street knowing he’d rather die than let others define him, beat him, break him, even if he saw no way to accomplish his dreams.

That means it has to be PERFECT for people who want  mastery in:

 

Martial Arts

Writing

Relationships

 

In other words, anyone who  wants to be a black belt married to his/her soulmate and enjoy a successful writing career.  Does that make sense? PERFECT for him.

 

But it also had to be  EXCELLENT AND INVALUABLE for a woman who wants those things.  Or  anyone who wants any one  of them.

And if it is, it would also be WONDERFUL for anyone who wants one or all of:

Body: Health and fitness

Mind: How to make a living doing something that gives you pleasure.  How to help yourself or a loved one  succeed in just 5 minutes a day

Spirit: How to be at peace within yourself, love yourself, love others.  Be HAPPY.

 

The rest is just specific application.

 

Five Minutes.   101 Days.  The path to mastery.

 

I have my own “pretender voices” screaming at me.  How DARE I think I can do this? Who the hell do I think I am?

 

And yet…

 

If not me, who?

If not now, when?

And why should I indulge the weakest, palest, most frightened and angry voices in my head?

 

How about I  let YOU guys be the judge, tell ME if this is of value, and not let either the positive or negative ego voices twist my tail?  What about that?

 

I tell you what…if YOU guys tell me that what I’ve been doing is worth while…that this sounds like coolness…that  you would like me to move forward, and clearly deleniate this path, to stop dancing around it and go right to the heart…I will.  But if you don’t think I’ve been saying anything of value over the last years…I won’t.  Honestly.  It’s up to you.

 

Would this be a good thing?

 

FIRST LAW:   The most basic information will be given FREE.  Say, a “Seven Day” Jumpstart” program.  Totally free.   Covering, say, the Daily Ritual applied to adults and children.  Body, Mind, Spirit.

 

Does that sound fair?  Would you be interested?

 

 

Namaste

Steve

Having a Happy Childhood

Parents, please be careful with your children. They only get one childhood, and damage that occurs therein lasts a lifetime. I recently spoke with a client who has had a confused personal history: broken relationships, distorted body image, an inability to meditate, career chaos that is confusing (given her brilliance), an oddly infantalized parental relationship, and other things that have troubled me for some time.

And just recently, during an intense session, several things clicked into place: she was prematurely sexual (horrifically young), was never able to tell her mother about it, and the guilt and shame, the resentment at not being protected in combination with a fear that, were the truth known it would deny maternal love, has lead to a lifetime of pain, lies, and finally last week the admission: “I hate myself.”

Oh, God. Where to begin? If you don’t start with love for yourself, you will spend your entire existence trying to get that love from outside yourself. If you must lie to others to protect some “dirty” secret, you lose the capacity to know what is true, and what is false. The map you navigate is distorted by your need to justify, and you swing from grandiose feelings of entitlement to deep and horrific despair.

I suspect that many of the religious organizations that offer healing change the names of their adherents to create a new identity–that it is possible to do such damage to ourselves that there is almost no way to heal it while clinging to the old. I don’t know. I know that damage that takes place on the sexual level is secondary ONLY to damage that involves mortality itself. The scars go so insanely deep. Fifteen years ago I dealt with an incident that involved sexual and emotional issues in my own life. The incident lasted only a couple of months, but it took almost a year of meditation to shovel out the shit in my mental basement. Someone who is damaged in childhood, who doesn’t become fully aware of it until adulthood might have DECADES of emotional filth to wade through to get to purity. Few have the patience to shovel for so long. Most wall the damage off (explaining a lot of emotion-based obesity) and pretend it isn’t there. Stay in denial, until the pain and poison builds to the point that their bodies break down, almost as if they’re playing a game: “Can I avoid dealing with this altogether? Can I arrange to die physically before I have to deal with the fact that I am a twisted, evil thing?”

Of course they are not, and never were, twisted evil things. They were beautiful children who should have been protected and guided and told every day that they were as precious as the stars. No one should have to spend a life shoveling shit out of their emotional basements, or denying they live atop a cesspool, until they die from the vermin crawling up to bite them. And their dreams. And their children.

Parents, shelter your children. And remember always that your most important child sleeps still within your own heart. And needs, more than roses need rain, to know that you love her. Or him. No matter what.

It’s never too late to have a sheltered childhood.

-Steve Barnes

Its been Twenty Years!

Today we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of MY SOUL TO KEEP, still Tananarive’s most popular book. We’ll discuss its origins, impact, and future…as well as tell you how you can get a free autographed copy!

Tonight at 6pm Pacific on AFROFUTURISM: LIVE!

https://www.facebook.com/steven.barnes.7127

 

 

write with passion, live with purpose!

Steve

How to heal a blind spot

My goal is One Million Awake, Aware, Adult human beings. The way to this is to support thousands of “Lifewriters” who grasp the connection between myth and consciousness. Their specific path of awakening is that five-step process:

  1. Love yourself
  2. Love at least one other person
  3. Understand history without guilt, blame, or shame.
  4. Support your tribe
  5. Win with integrity and compassion

###

What about attacking your enemies?   Very sparingly, and in defense of your tribe.   I’m not saying that you NEVER  strike first: there are situations where the overall context is one of aggression (say, the occupation of a country) such that an individual act of violence against an occupying soldier is considered justified by most.  The morality here is tricky, and to me the simplest way to determine if you are in the right is to ask if you are willing to accept punishment for your action.   This is in alignment with MLK’s passive resistance: you are prepared to go to jail.  This isn’t enough to guarantee morality, but I’m not sure anything is.

But we all know that active resistance is a very real factor, and determining the morality involved in an action against another human being is one of the core questions every civilization has struggled with.

##

My position is that EVEN IF YOU ARE CORRECT, most of the people who will oppose you are not “bad”, or “stupid”–they are asleep, in a very specific sense.  And that “sleeping” behavior is incredibly powerful, and I think one of the major factors in human history and society.  And it is why I have more emphasis on supporting the people who are “awake” than flogging those who are “asleep.”

 

We’re ALL asleep one way or another.  We need to be kind to each other, if we wish to be treated kindly.

 

##

 

I recently had a conversation, the precise content of which I don’t want to go into.  Let’s just say that I saw a tremendous amount of denial-based “sleeping”  going on.    Dishonesty?  Perhaps.  But I come to think that what I was seeing was a human tendency that hits us in many different arenas in many aspects of life.  I wanted to get my thoughts out without undo polarization, so I’ll go forward without specific reference to the conversation.

##

  1. The entire thing makes sense if I merely strengthen a pre-existing assumption:   Logic and memory function to support underlying beliefs and the powerful emotions connected with them.  The illusion is that they generally CREATE our most basic beliefs.  Those, I increasingly suspect, are given to us in the crib.  It is VERY rare for them to function to question and revise them.  If facts are contrary to beliefs, you must change the underlying belief FIRST before the average person can evaluate the data.
  2. Contrary to common sense, this is not contrary to survival, as there are multi-year, multi-generational patterns where if you cannot see the complete cycle, the average information is rarely indicative of the overall pattern. Cultural wisdom (often contained in myth and tradition) over generations is therefore often at variance with individual current  human experience and observation.  So we are evolved (genetically?  Socially?  Both, I’m sure) to bend observed facts to our inculcated personal and (especially) cultural beliefs, rather than changing beliefs to match current observations.
  3. Combine this with the notion that we are set up, from the simplest neurological level, to avoid pain and seek pleasure.  Way deeper than logic.  And so important that I suspect the standard unconscious instructions are: DELETE INFORMATION THAT WOULD CREATE PAIN.
  4. For instance: Arguing about evolution is absurd if the person you are arguing with stands to lose something (metaphysical certainty, for instance) if evolution is “real.” You would first need to see if  the following question would be answered “yes”:    “if evolution is true, would this effect your belief in God?”
  5.  If the answer is yes, this is not an argument you can win.  If on the other hand, you FIRST get them to question whether it is necessary to reject evolution to believe in God, and they agree that they are not incompatible beliefs, NOW you can have the next conversation–because you are not asking them to lose something precious. Now they can look at the facts.
  6. How many arenas would this effect operate in?  I’d say weight, politics, relationships, history, current events.  When you are dealing with someone who seems to be deleting information or distorting reality, back up and find out if they can afford to change their minds: what would be the pain of admitting that X is true?  If you cannot demonstrate that there is greater pleasure than pain associated with absorbing the information, your likelihood of success is greatly reduced.
  7. To make this useful, you have to use it on yourself.  What beliefs have you held onto in the face of current information?  How long did you hold onto it?  What did you have to delete to hold onto it?
  8. For instance: Belief: I am not deserving of a good relationship.  My Mommy and Daddy told me/demonstrated this.  This wars with the urge for intimacy.  So you find relationships with people where the initial passion is great, but they blow up after a while. To change the pattern would require
    1. Believing you are worth it
    2. Admitting Mom and Dad were wrong/dysfunctional
    3. Admitting it is possible to find a loving relationship
    4. Being willing to destroy your current self image to take a new one. This means accepting death, and believing in rebirth (“Can people change?”)
  9. See what a mess this is, if accurate? We form beliefs, the beliefs filter our reality (we don’t believe there are better relationships than Mommy and Daddy had), if confronted with better relationships, we simply don’t absorb the information: they are shams.  If they AREN’T shams, we have to deal with the possibility that we don’t deserve one of them.  Or that Mommy and Daddy were wrong.
  10. Easier to believe that such relationships simply don’t exist, that the “good” men/women/loving sheep just aren’t out there any more.  And, of course, you can easily find “pity parties” wiling to support you in your blindness.
  11. I’m not sure where I’m going with this.  I just think that if you are discussing any subject that touches underlying survival  or pleasure/pain  drives, if the person you are speaking to  would suffer if they said “yes” to your question, they will say “no” about 99% of the time.

 

You must first clear the way to them feeling LESS pain if they say “yes” to your question. Think THAT through first…and you can create an ally.

 

Namaste,

Steve

 

(for extra credit: as a mental exercise, Make a list of the apparently intractable social/political arguments, or personal problems that make sense when viewed through this lens.  It scary enough that I don’t want to tilt the conversation)

The implications of this idea to Afrofuturism should be rather obvious.  www.afrofuturismwebinar.com.

Seeking Magic

Some fifty years ago, when I attended Mount Vernon Junior High school, I was just a gentle, poetry-reading pot-bellied little four-eyed nerd.   And Rudy, the toughest bully in the school decided that I had narked on him, and that he would beat the hell out of me after school.

 

Rudy, his brother Oliver and two or three of his friends followed me home, punching and spitting on me as I hunched over my books, praying that one of the cars driving past would stop, that a driver would see what was happening and save me.

 

No one saved me.  No help was coming.  But it was killing me inside, that sense of utter helplessness.

 

If I didn’t fight, he’d shatter what little sense of being a “Man” I had.

 

If I did fight, he’d beat me up worse.

 

If by some miracle I beat him, I’d have to fight his big brother and his friends.

 

There was no way to win.  But something cracked inside me, and I put my books down and walked out into the middle of Washington Boulevard and stood on the double yellow lines with cars whizzing past on both sides, drivers who hadn’t stopped to help now screaming at this small, crying boy to get the hell out of the street.

 

Rudy and his friends looked at me without comprehending. And I looked at him, and I said:   “come out here and do that.”

 

If he’d come out, I was going to push him in front of a car.  I was going to do my level best to kill him, or die trying.

 

And he looked at me, and I looked at him, and he said: “aw man…that nigger’s crazy.”  And walked away.

 

And never bothered me again.  Because he had pushed me beyond social rules.   This wasn’t a game any more.    He blinked first.

 

I walked back to the sidewalk, picked up my books, and went home, in a strange kind of fugue state.  I knew I had found something extraordinary. Something I’d seen in movies, a place from which heroes can do amazing things. I’d thought it was a myth.

 

And knew I had to do anything, ANYTHING to learn how to enter that space at will.  Because there…you are ready to die, and ready to take your tormentor with you. And in that space…?

 

The one least willing to die will lose.

 

The next twenty years were filled with both wonder and frustration, realizing that the martial arts were the closest analogue I could find, but that the American version of it never seemed to have EVERYTHING–the physical AND the mental AND the emotional/spiritual techniques.  That I was going to have to seek out the pieces of the puzzle and fit them together in a way that would work for me.

 

What did I want?  To be happy, and healthy, and loved, and successful, and capable of helping the people around me.

 

The fear I felt there at thirteen was physical,  but it’s the same stuff I had to deal with in my career, in learning to trust my own instinct, in believing that there was a place for me somewhere in the world.

 

It took TWENTY MORE YEARS to learn the first technique that really opened my mind and heart.  And when I learned it, it was so simple that it blew my mind. There really are secrets. There really are hidden “Magics” so effective that if you don’t know them, you can batter at the walls of your heart like someone pushing on a door marked “pull.”

 

One whisper, from the right person, at the right time, can make all the difference.

 

Fear is the root of most of the negative experiences in your life. Learning to master it, or at least not to be ashamed of it, is critical for any adult human being, but artists can face it without ever being forced to admit that it is a factor in their creative blocks, their inability to create, finish, submit, or market their work.

 

None of that for Lifewriters!  This is the reason we included the Emotional Mastery tools with the AFROFUTURISM class. And why I’m working so hard to bring every tool I can, so that you can rise as far as your heart can lift you.

 

One tool was simply too powerful for me to teach. Its taken me years to get the man who taught it to me to share it in a format anyone can understand and use.

 

##

 

 

Yesterday I recorded a lecture for the “Spiritual Entrepreneur” mini-course with Mushtaq Ali Al Ansari, my Sufi friend and mentor.   The intent is to help break the negative beliefs around money and marketing, but also to show how, if you BEGIN with the intent to help, heal, transform, that sales and marketing are a public service. How else will people learn about your art, your skills, the effort and genius you’ve put into creating your  offers?

 

We’re using the Enneagram, a “paper computer” that shows the actual structure inside a process.  Genius stuff, and the Western world understands about 1% of it: the “personality”.  In other words, the part of it that resembles a horoscope.

 

I plan to change that.  Knowledge is easy, but  WISDOM is hard.  I think we might give away some free copies of this amazing technology this Saturday on AFROFUTURISM: LIVE.   Maybe.   Got to think about it…

 

This is powerful stuff.  Hidden wisdom.

 

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic…

 

 

Namaste

Steve

Everything I ever say leads to a single thought: Fear and Lies separate you from everything you desire in life, everything you need and deserve.

I believe that with all my heart.  THAT’S the path out of the  trap life will try to put you in.

###

I had a dear friend we’ll call Eric.    White guy from Texas.   We met in college, and his sense of humor and wide-ranging mind, and basic decency as a human being made him someone I loved to hang with.

Eric had a wonderful scholarly air, knew something about everything, and I can’t ever remember him losing his temper.   Very cool, very fun.

There was also something wrong in Eric’s life.  He was morbidly obese, never had a sustained relationship with a woman, never had a job someone couldn’t have wrangled in their teens, and, to be frank…had a hygiene issue.  Serious.   I mean that if you gave him a lift in your car, two days later someone else would know he’d been there.

 

Eric lived a fairly marginal existence most of the time, and I tried to help him many times, in many ways.  I know, I know…it wasn’t my responsibility.  But I loved him, and tried anyway.

 

He always maintained that he was just stuck at his weight, that he could eat very little, and exercise, and still not lose.  And I believed it. Some people were just “big boned”.

 

Then years after college, Eric   fell on hard times.   I had an unused apartment behind my house, and let him move there.  I ran an extension cord back there so he’d have power, and noticed that he just sat up there  watching television at night.  He agreed to try to make some progress on his weight, and we struggled week after week after week, and when he seemed to be losing weight I had the nasty suspicion that he was rigging the scales.

 

Then he lost his job, and had no money at all.  I got him onto the Carnation Diet Plan, buying all of his food for him.   And, miraculously…the weight started coming off.   Huzzah!  Eighth wonder of the world.  He dropped pounds and pant sizes, and it was really remarkable to watch.

 

Then…he found a job.  And again had his own income stream. And…the weight started coming back on.

 

Ummm…he swore he wasn’t doing anything different, but by now I could make an assumption about things.

 

Something, SOMETHING in Eric’s past had horribly damaged his ability to love himself. He could give love and support to anyone else, but not keep promises to himself, or see a way out of his emotional funks.

 

And he lied.  Massively.  To us, and probably to himself.  He didn’t want a relationship. He didn’t care about money. And he lived “the life of the mind” and the body was irrelevant.

Except of course that in other moods he confessed to deep loneliness. And a wish for the ability to do things that become easy with money.

He moved to his own apartment soon after, and as you can probably imagine, the rest of the weight slammed back on.

I never gave up on him, always helped him if I could, but when he called me years later and confessed that he was homeless, I saw this as a continuation of a pattern that had begun long before.  I rescued him again, got him into a group home, and helped support him until he got a job.  And he found one (he wasn’t lazy by any means) and he continued to live that marginal existence.

 

He never had a driver’s license, or a car.  Never owned a home.  Never married or had a real, significant relationship.

 

Never lost the weight.  He DID clean himself up, some. Some.

 

His health eventually collapsed, and his friends helped him move  to a facility, where he was bedridden. And, ironically,  finally lost the weight.  A shrunken version of himself, with great dewlaps of flesh hanging on the body he was no longer strong enough to support on his own.  But he made the best of things, as Eric did, reaching out over the internet to make friends, and learning to use photographic software to enhance pictures of flowers and sunsets and simple things of nature, creating what beauty he coudl.

 

Although he laughed, and I would take him, in his wheelchair, to movies or just OUT into the world, and we talked of old times and enjoyed our time together, there was something terrified in his eyes. Some knowledge that somehow, somewhere, he had taken the wrong path.  Something.

 

Dammit, I wish I knew. I can tell you that I spoke to his brothers once.  His family was from Texas, grew up poor.  When they found out he was living behind my house , their laughter was nasty.   I had a feeling that it had something to do with the fact that I was black. Can’t prove it, but my Spidey sense was tingling.  They ENJOYED his ill fortune.

 

 

I had this terrible sense that SOMETHING had happened in that family. Had he been mocked for his intellect? Had he mocked THEM for their lack of same, creating antipathy?   Had the entire family been shunned for poverty?  Had they made fun of him and his dreams to go to college in California and make something of himself?

 

Could any of that explain why he treated his body like a garbage dump?  What if…what if something REALLY bad had happened, back in childhood.  The Hawaiian Huna have a saying that the body is like a black bag, where you store your unprocessed emotions.

 

What the hell had happened?  I’ll probably never know.

But…

##

 

Some thirty years ago I was GOH at a convention, and was teaching Tai Chi.  To be blunt, when I’m in that energetic space, my intuition goes through the ceiling.   I can feel things about the people in the workshop.  And see more clearly. There was a woman in the workshop, doing her best, despite the fact that, to be blunt and clear, she looked like one really fat person pushed into the middle of a second really fat person, huge bumpers of excess tissue surrounding a sweet little face with beautiful blue eyes.  Her teeth were almost completely rotted out.

 

I took one look at her, and KNEW what I was dealing with. This woman had been horribly sexually abused in childhood, probably by someone  entrusted with her care. Repeatedly. A total violation. With no one to trust, and blaming herself, she had taken it upon herself to destroy anything that might be considered “attractive”.   But…those eyes. They looked out at the world and said: “see me.  I’m in here.  Won’t someone see me..?

 

And I lost it.   Fled back to my room and curled up in a knot and cried for that little girl.  If I hadn’t been GOH I’d have left that convention THEN.  Too much pain.   And convinced myself that I was wrong about her, so I could leave the room.

 

And a day later, she shyly approached  and asked if she could speak to me.  I said yes. She said that she had an intuition that I might understand, and that she needed to share her story with someone. Anyone. Would I be that person..?

 

I would.  And she spilled her guts. And it was exactly what my intuition had said.

 

All I had to give her that day was love.  And I hugged her, and let her know that I saw her, SAW her, and wanted more than anything that she escape the prison some loathsome predator sentenced her to for life.

Damn him.  Damn him to hell.

 

##

 

I spent years asking myself what could be done for someone like her.  Like Eric.  And that search took me a lot of strange places, and finally to the development of the ANCIENT CHILD technique, and the belief that there were two things necessary for healing:

 

  1. Love yourself
  2. Tell the truth.

 

If you love yourself, REALLY love that child within you, you can take the self-loathing and ill regard and turn it into acidic rage at the abuser.  A total commitment to PROTECT that child. A mother who steps into that space will hold it against a tiger, even unto death, if it gives that child a prayer of escape.

 

Find THAT space, and everything changes.  And the “child” does not necessarily expect you to win, she expects you to TRY WITH EVERYTHING YOU HAVE.

 

Do that, and she will reward you with love.  The love you always thought you needed from others.  No, you didn’t.  As a child, perhaps.  But as an adult?  You need yourself.

 

And if you can touch that place of total commitment and love, you turn on a light. You will heal.  And then…you might, just MIGHT be able to feel love for those around you, and even compassion for those who hurt you.   But that is entirely secondary.  FIRST LOVE YOURSELF AND BE SAFE.  FIRST.    FIRST.

 

YOU OWE THE ABUSERS NOTHING.  You owe that child within you EVERYTHING.

 

And if you can find that space, you will move beyond the need for lies, and see the power of truth.  The lie is that if you look deeply, you will find something ugly. The truth is that within you is the spark of something so unimaginably beautiful that your conscious mind cannot contain the reality.

 

And if you can then SHARE that beauty with the world, you begin to transform those around you.  And trust me, there are people DESPERATE to hear and see the direction of healing. And if you can tell your truth clearly, and courageously, you can save hearts and lives.

 

THAT is what gets me up in the morning.   For the Erics.  For the lady who trusted me. For the younger Stevie, who looked out at the world and said: “why do you tell me I’m ugly and stupid?  Don’t you see me?  Don’t you know me?  Don’t you want to?

 

I’ve never forgotten those people, strangers and life-long friends. And never forgotten that little boy inside me. And everything I write, one way or another, is saying the same things:

 

Love yourself. Tell the truth.  You are more amazing than you could believe, and only fear and lies separate you from your glory.

 

Everything.  100%.  That’s my message, and if it doesn’t speak to you, go with my blessing and find voices more pleasing to your heart.  But if you respond to this…this is the path.  Right here.

 

And if you are a writer, an artist?  You are needed. We can change the world, together.    The path is waiting for you, and you can take the first step for just a dollar.  A free copy of the ANCIENT CHILD visualization, just to give me a chance to show you where the rest of your creative life begins.  Just the first of the gifts I have for you, if you can trust me with a hundred pennies.

 

What is your life worth?  What is it worth to change the world?  Ask the child within you.  And let me know.

 

Write with passion, live with purpose

Steve

www.lifewritingpremium.com

 

What Wood Are You Chopping?

Once upon a time a monk was walking in the forest. Suddenly, a tiger springs at him. The monk fled, the tiger right behind.  He came to a cliff, and climbed down until he was out of reach of the tiger.  He heard a hiss, and looked down to see a cobra coiled and ready to strike on a rock beneath his heel. He tried to climb back up, and the tiger swiped at him, barely missing his head.   Below him, the cobra hissed and flared its hood.

 

Then the vine he was holding onto began to fray.  He looked far below, hundreds of feet to jagged rocks.

The monk looked to his left, and there in the crack of a rock grew a wild strawberry.   He plucked it and took a bite.  

“Delicious,” the monk said.

 

###

 

I’ve been blessed to know, or be in the close presence, of many extraordinary people, some famous, some known only to their friends.  But there is an amazing commonality to them.  If that extraordinary aspect is their single focus, they are “imbalanced” in a way, but playing a very different game–they are happy when they are in the flow of their skill, but sometimes unhappy in the other arenas.

 

But if they are at least relatively balanced, there is a common quality I can best call “sweetness” about them.   The deadliest martial artists or  wealthiest men melt  in the presence of their wives or children   or grandchildren. The most spiritual men and women break into toothy smiles thinking of an ice cream cone they ate fifty years ago. It really is amazing to see.

 

The ability to access joy at will is one of the most critical things in life, for ANYONE. The capacity to access joy, or calm, or passion under stress is one of the keys to  that thing called “Mastery.”   Why?

 

Because “Mastery” is a matter of focused daily actions.   Remember Steve Muhammad’s definition: once you have your basics at unconscious competence, and have committed to your path for a lifetime, you are on the path of Mastery.  A Master.   There will be others ahead of you, some horizons distant. And others behind you. But there is just the Path.

 

You find the Path by being specific about your goals, and finding men and women who have accomplished those goals with honor and dignity.  Then do what they did.   The more of them you study, the more you will be able to discount the trivial differences to see the common core.

 

They all walk the path. Their excellence is found in their daily rituals.  What is your real goal, the real meaning of your life?  To be happy.

 

What you do in the world to reach or express this happiness is up to you, but it should be both long and short term.   It should cover your survival, sexual needs, security and expression of power, emotion, and capacity to speak your truth without fear.  A model of the world that guides your actions and thoughts.  A commitment to align with BOTH your childhood dreams and ultimate deathbed values.

 

To be the micro of the macro.   To be the change you wish to see in the world.

 

Whew. Take a deep breath.  How can you stay on that path? Do you grasp that the world will do EVERYTHING in its power to keep you asleep? To force you to function from fear rather than love?

 

If you don’t make “Emotional Mastery” one of your arenas of mastery, you can commit to all the positive change you want, and you’ll be able to stick to the path AS LONG AS YOU CAN KEEP CONSCIOUS ATTENTION ON THE GOAL.  The instant you are overloaded, however, your core programming will take over.  You will “snap back” to your normal state.

 

Under stress, people:

 

Abandon diets

Start smoking again

Revert to tribal thinking

Break promises to themselves

Bark at their loved ones

Stop balancing their checkbook

Stop meditating

 

And on and on.  They focus on what is “imperative” rather than what is important and generative.

 

Show me your morning/daily ritual of action and emotion, and you’re showing me where you are going in life.  In “Hero’s Journey” terms, this is THE ROAD OF TRIALS.

 

What wood are you chopping? What water carrying?

 

The meaning of life is to be happy.   Even if the tiger is about to spring. Even if the cobra is about to bite.  When you have done all there is to do, best enjoy the moments left. And…if you stay positive, IF there is a way out, you are more likely to find it.  Remember the “Dark Night of the Soul”?  It is the time when it seems that all is lost.  And the way through it is Faith. The reason is that a stressed out mind sees only paleness, only hopelessness, only defeat.   Stay positive and you can make connections, attract allies, see new possibilities.

Eating that strawberry reminds you that life is worth living.

 

##

 

Under stress, we revert to core programming.  One is, as mentioned, tribalism.  “We” are better than “them.”  It is one of the most basic and protective mechanisms, but also capable of fantastic damage.   It is child-programming, “my dog is better, my mommy prettier, my daddy stronger.” 

 

It requires ENERGY to achieve escape velocity.   As people age or tire, if they have merely orbited this programming rather than escaping its gravity, they crash back down.  Joy is energy.

 

The most common Tribes are things like race, religion, country, gender.  The ones I focus on the most are race and gender, as they have affected those closest to me, those I love, the people who anchor me to the world.  Take care of what is right around you, with both love and strength,  and encourage others to do the same, and the world will heal.

 

That child self tells a story that places it as central to existence.  Perfectly natural. Cultures do it too: whites give Jesus blue eyes and blond hair, the Chinese make Buddha a chubby Chinese, blacks argue that Cleopatra VII Philopator  was sub-Saharan African.     Then, of course, they pretend that its everyone ELSE who does this shit.

That’s what humans do.

 

White people who haven’t achieved escape velocity are terrified that the world is browning.   Believing in the “Great Man/Great Race” hypothesis rather than the flowing forces of history, they see the world ending.   Men who are more attached to their masculinity than to their humanity fear the shifting gender roles.

 

Both are afraid of being treated as they’ve treated others, so if there is guilt and fear in their hearts, these changes feel like death.   The flip side is the poor souls so battered by guilt that they are ashamed of themselves or their tribe. That’s actually sicker than tribalism.  And bigots feed right into either imbalance, trust me.

 

Blacks are as racist as whites, they just don’t have the power to make it matter much. Women are as sexist and flawed as guys, and its entertaining watching them guilt-trip guys into being ashamed of their testicles.   Over-emphasizing the value of Yin is precisely as imbalanced as over-emphasizing the value of Yang.

 

The answer to all of this is joy, and love, combined with strength and balance.

 

While this illustration is about “White supremacy” in my own “Lion’s Blood” universe you’d be able to flip the script to “Black supremacy”  100%.  No problem.

whitesupremacy.jpg

It would be interesting to see someone do the same thing for “Toxic Masculinity.”  I’m sure such a thing is out there.   But the real trick would be doing one for “Toxic Femininity” because if you can’t, you’re caught in the Matrix, and the demons are dancing with joy.

 

##

 

Start with joy and you can deal with the stress without it becoming strain. Do that, and you connect to the love and strength within you, and stop needing other people’s approval.  Which frees you to ask “who am I?” without fearing that you’ll find something hideous within, or that you may have to walk alone for a while as you figure it out.

 

All it takes to get everything you want is everything you’ve got.  Being willing to abandon your illusions. To do that, you have to know you’ll be fine, no matter what, and you CANNOT do that if your emotional well-being is externally focused.

Control your story.  And teach others to do the same.

 

 

Namaste,

Steve

On Love and “Deathbed” Values

A gentleman named Rob Pray wrote: 

9 hrs ·

“Nothing to post this evening. Just a quick history. About a decade ago I went through one of those fun events in life, a heart attack. I had ignored symptoms and in doing so I complicated things. My ventricle was damaged and I underwent open heart surgery. It was amazing what they could do. There was one point when, well when I was more aware of the world we can’t see, and in that place for some moments that seemed like a very long time I saw, felt such great things, about us all, about how we should live, it was oddly a wondrous moment. This was not about learning new things, but it was about knowing what trials I had followed and believed correctly, and where I had wondered astray. I knew life was best not feared. I learned I could not help everybody. I was not told what I must do, what I must say. I just knew fear was my own invention. I had to learn that we need not fear trying to help people see that above all things, kindness and understanding were simply the right way to treat one another. They smiled at me. “It is not his time yet.” That was when I awoke. |

Still, despite all the feelings shared with me in those hours, I did not learn how to deal with people who could not see beyond the hate. I don’t know how to get my words across. I don’t know how to help people become stronger. I can not stop hate, not alone. I can only ask my friends to listen, to follow the path to tear down the hate, the bigotry, the false anger in so many hearts. We were not created to hate! We are all of the same family. Lets build our family, not tear it down.

Love you all. I am so glad I have such friends in my life, such a strong family, and I will do my best to enjoy this life. I do not fear the next, but sure don’t wish to miss any of what we have here. I will find something to post to make you all smile, at least those of you who stick around to watch. *bows*”

###

Yeah, Rob. Take a bow. That was lovely.

I had intended to speak about rituals to anchor states in your body…but that is the “how” of the equation.   More important (by far!) is the “what” and the “why.”

 

Remember: the Path is to live your adult life in alignment with BOTH your childhood dreams and your deathbed values.

The paragraphs above are totally typical of deathbed epiphanies, “what’s really important”-type revelations.

Let me unpack it just a tiny bit.

  1. Life is best not feared.    We have fears, that is normal human stuff. But when they stop you from loving, or manifest as anger that cannot be immediately expressed as action, that fear can poison your life.

 

Fear that is a primary emotion is one of the greatest allies you can have.  “I am afraid.  Why?”   Just yesterday there was a horrid example of this, a reference to a story about a transsexual who only revealed her truth after having sex “of a kind” with a man.    And that man erupted in rage, stabbed the transexual 119 times, including three throat slashings.  The murderer got forty years.

 

How much rage do you have to feel to stab someone 119 times?  ANGER IS A MASK OVER FEAR.   Do we really need to dive into how terrified of your own emotions and responses you’d have to be to respond like this?  I mean…back in the day, something like this would lead to someone getting the hell beaten out of them.  I can “get” that response, even if it is still assault.   But 119 stabs?  That is a level of existential terror that, had it never been specifically triggered, would still have poisoned the killer’s life.

 

That’s what fear does.  And fear is usually produced by anticipation of something to come.  In the moment, there is action. In the past, guilt or relief.  But fear is about what might happen NEXT.  A breakdown of ego-shells.  One suspects that “I really LIKED that” implying something about your being that is in massive conflict with an ego identity, the sense that “you killed me! (My self image).  I’ll destroy you! (The evidence of my disgrace, and my temptation to future actions).”

 

I cannot calculate the amount of human misery that has resulted from such reactions.

 

Life is best not feared.    The tiger crouching in the grass can rip us to shreds, so it is important to be aware. But it is AWARENESS and PREPAREDNESS that keeps us safe, not fear.  Fear keeps us safe if it increases awareness and capacity for action.   Love can do the same thing.  Enough love to protect yourself, to engage with your surroundings, to pay attention to your emotions.

 

Your childhood dreams evolved from and affect your core identity. When you can live your day-to-day adult life in alignment with them, this is happiness. But when you can align both with the deepest values, those you will hold when all ego has gone, all competition is meaningless, the “game” is over…THAT is the door to a different level of human existence.  Kind of a “human laser”.

 

Love and fear compete for the same place in your heart.

Fear protects you…until you have taken care of your basic needs, at which time fear begins to consume you: you must shift to love.

Anger is a mask over fear.

 

##

 

So…to evolve toward “Lasing”, start by

  1. Loving yourself.  Enough to be aware and safe, with permission to protect yourself.
  2. Love another person.  Enough to begin the process of opening your heart and expanding your identity.
  3. Understand history without guilt, blame, or shame.  This does NOT mean allowing people to hurt you, or accepting bad behavior. It is learning to ask “why are these people behaving so badly?  What are they afraid of?”  And then, understanding, to…
  4. Find and nurture your tribe.  Do NOT waste your time engaging with trolls, or trying to wake sleeping children.  While you do that, snakes will bite the children of your tribe.  Take care of the people who have opened their hearts to you.
  5. Win.   With honor, courtesy and compassion.  Treating others as you would wish to be treated.  But seek to live a life in alignment with both your childhood dreams and deathbed values. What does that mean for a society, by the way?   I’d say to seek long-term pleasure and happiness through positive actions and exchanges with your community that keeps your eye on the fact that we are building something to pass to future generations.  Ensure survival, and then make room for self-expression and growth.

 

Easy to say, hard to do.  But…it starts with you.  If you cannot see the humanity in the people around you, even those who oppose you, you lose the right to expect others to see it in you.  And that’s a world that will drown in blood.

 

 

Our children deserve better, and so do you.

 

Namaste,

Steve

www.lifewritingpremium.com