slavery of fear

Slavery of Fear that Traps Us All

Slavery of Fear

“The most common, yet most unknown, form of slavery is that where you are ruled by the thought around you. You may be in the employ of another person. You do your best to earn your money. You are conscientious, and desire to earn your wages. Yet you are troubled by a continual fear that you do not give full satisfaction, or that you may be discharged. You live in continual fear of coming to want, if so discharged, or of being obliged to continue this mere struggle for the body’s existence under still harder conditions.

“The reason for these unpleasant thoughts is that some other mind is acting on your own. Some one is hostile to you. You feel that hostile thought. It is not on your part a ‘notion’. There are many persons today living under control of undecided minds, and dependent on them, as they think, for a livelihood. They may give that undecided mind much of their own inspiration, plan device, invention, and fertility of thought. They may give this unconsciously because it is worth repeating many times.

“The person so ruled may have the superior mind. Such a person may be indispensable to the fickle, and possible unjust and tyrannical employer. … Yet the superior mind may go on, year after year, in slavery; giving to the other’s idea, and seeing it but half carried out. No shackles are as heavy as these.” ~Prentice Mulford

Most Common Slavery

Living in fear is indeed the most common form of slavery. It is also, as Mulford notes, the most “unknown”, by which he means that those living in fear are either unaware that they are doing so, or do not think that doing so is slavery. That is, in many ways, the worst kind of slavery, because you put it on yourself to some degree, yet are unaware of it. Mr. Mulford is concentrating on one particular form of fear controlling the lives of people, but there are many others. Sadly, we have seen in the past few years, politicians in the United States and a few other countries using and promoting fear as a way to control and manipulate people. But let’s first look at the situation Mulford is concentrating on.

Fear of Losing a Job

The slavery of fear is common in the job market. In some cases, it is deliberately promoted by companies and managers. They want people to fear losing their jobs. They want people to fear that they won’t get a raise next year because they don’t rate among the top employees in the department. They want people to fear that the boss might hire a new person fresh out of college who will get paid less. Now they even have to fear that the company will start bringing in guest workers from other countries who will work for significantly less money. Some of these fears are well-founded, yet we still shouldn’t let them control our lives. Some of such fears are simply not valid because in many cases, we wouldn’t have the job if the company didn’t need us and our unique skills. Continue reading “Slavery of Fear that Traps Us All”

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fear change

Fear Change and You Fear Life

“Is any man so foolish as to fear change, to which all things that once were not owe their beings? And what is it that is more pleasing and more familiar to the nature of the universe? How could thou thyself use the ordinary hot baths, should not the wood that heats them first be changes? How could thou receive any nourishment from those things that thou has eaten, if they should not be changed? Can anything els almost (that is useful and profitable) be brought to pass without change? How then do you not perceive that for them also, by death, to come to change, is a thing of the very same nature, and as necessary for the nature of the universe?” ~Marcus Aurelius

Fearing Change

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future”. ~John F. Kennedy

It is really odd that so many people fear change when change is entirely the way of existence in the physical universe. Change is happening every second of every day. Some change is obvious, some is subtle, but there is always change happening. And change comes in many shapes and forms, lets look at a few of them.

Aging is Change

Aging is one of the most common forms of change. Nearly everything, whether living on not ages. When scientists talk about the half-life of radioactive elements, they are talking about a form of aging. When stone is gradually ground down into sand, that too is a form of aging and a form of change. Such change is inevitable so fearing it is pointless. To fear change is to fear life. On the physical plane, there can be no life without change.

Growing is Change

While it is related to aging, growing is not quite the same thing. Aging is about a gradual deterioration while growing is about improvement. When we are born into this world as a tiny baby, it isn’t a state we would want to remain in forever, so this is one case where very few people fear change. We want to change from being a baby to an infant, a child, and an adult. We want to change from knowing nothing about the world to have a mind full of facts, beliefs, and opinions.

Hot Baths

Aurelius makes the point that change is necessary with the example of a hot bath in a Roman bathhouse. You could not get a hot bath if you did not change cold water into hot by heating it with fire. This process makes two major changes. Not only is the water changed from cold to hot, but the wood is changed into ashes, smoke, and heat energy. While this example is not a bad one, there is a similar one that is far more important. The energy of the sun heats our planet. While we may say that isn’t change because it happens every day, it is changing because the temperature varies throughout the day and throughout the year. It is this heating of the spinning planet that creates the wind, ocean currents, and just about everything else having to do with the weather. No one fears change when they are caught in a severe snowstorm, instead, they are rooting for it, praying for it.

Food

Aurelius gives a better example when he talks about the food we eat. If the seed didn’t change into a tree, we would have no fruit. If the tree didn’t change by producing blossoms at the appropriate time, we would get no fruit. And if the blossoms didn’t change into tiny fruit buds that grow and change every day until they become mature fruit, we wouldn’t have any fruit. A whole chain of changes must happen to get fruit. And the same is true of nuts, vegetables, and even meat. If cattle don’t change and get pregnant, there goes the beef industry. Another good reason to not fear change.

Why We Fear Change

Of course, there are many types of change we don’t fear and largely ignore, such as those already mentioned. But when we do fear change, it is usually because the change is not clear and well defined. We fear moving to a new place because we don’t know exactly what living in a new place will be like. We fear changing jobs for much the same reason. But most of all, we fear death because, as far as most of us are concerned, we have no idea what awaits us on the other side of the veil. That is the reason why there are such things as mystics and spiritual adepts. They don’t fear death because they visit the other side, or at least the most advanced ones do. They don’t fear the future because they know God’s Plan. So mystics and real spiritual students don’t fear change, instead, they use it for personal growth. A wise choice.

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good and evil

Good and Evil, Positive and Nagative

“Life on Earth is a combination of good and evil, happiness and suffering, love and hate. The life of a man contains contains great lessons about good, bad, love, and hatred, for which he pays dearly. Be glad when you come across evil, be glad when you come across good. Be glad that people die, and be glad that people are born. Death comes to changes one’s old and worn-down cloth with a new one. Evil comes to teach you a lesson.

“Holding on to evil thoughts and negative feelings in you will surely bring you a disaster or disease. By holding on to negative thoughts and negative feelings, you attract the negative powers of the world.

“One achieves good results when he works in good disposition of his spirit. Divine consciousness works in man when he is in good disposition.

“A thousand years is not enough to achieve something, if you ever achieve anything without working with love. … Act with love. There is no other power that can soften a man’s pride.” ~Biensa Douno

Good and Evil

Some people, and apparently some spiritual schools, believe that duality doesn’t exist. They say there is no good or evil. Everything is equal, everything is as it should be. This is the philosophy of sheep and fools. But it doesn’t surprise me that it is popular. Many governments, and their corporate sponsors, love nothing more than turning people into contented sheep. But believing this is saying that rape, murder, theft, etc. are acceptable. Sorry, but I have no respect whatsoever for anyone who accepts that as true.

Douno, like most sensible spiritual teachers, does accept that we live in a world of duality and good and evil coexist in it. But accepting that both exist, doesn’t mean we accept that both are equal, or that both should be embraced. There is no evil in heaven. We don’t create a heaven on earth by accepting it here. We don’t rise to higher levels of consciousness by allowing the lowest levels to control us.

Great Lessons

There is some value in evil deeds. Sometimes, the evil-doers of the world serve as excellent agents for karmic debt. That doesn’t excuse the evil they do. As Douno mentions, another way that evil serves a purpose is to teach us a lesson. How successfully it does that varies depending on the individual. Others say that good and evil must both exist in order for us to have free-choice. It also gives us a contrast between the two sides. This still does not make evil deeds and thoughts acceptable. We can’t pretend they don’t exist, but neither can we embrace them.

Birth and Death

Douno advises us to be glad that death happens, saying that death replaces the old with the new. While this is true, death of the old and worn out is necessary only in a realm where things and beings age and decay. That happens only in the material world, the realm of the Demiurge. Aging and decay don’t happen in spiritual realms. Thus there is no reason for death to exist there, so it doesn’t. So in the world of matter where good and evil both exist, we accept that death is necessary. Yet we also accept that it shouldn’t be that way and when this world is transformed back into spirit, all death will end.

Dueling Duality

Not all cases of duality can truly be considered as good and evil. Male and female are both necessary for the reproduction of humans and most other lifeforms on Earth. Yet such reproduction is only necessary because life in the material universe is temporary, and therefore might be considered mildly evil. And bathing in extremely hot water is uncomfortable, if not dangerous. The same for very cold water. So we mix some cold with the hot to get a good temperature for bathing. So male and female, hot and cold, might be considered examples of duality that are not a good and evil pairing.

Negative Thoughts

Douno advises that clinging to negative thoughts and feelings leads to disaster or disease. While that may be an extreme version of it, there can be little doubt that negative thoughts and feelings lead to irrational decisions. And irrational decisions are rarely good ones.

Worrying

While some might argue that sometimes worry can be a positive emotion, there is little doubt that it is usually a negative one. On the scale of good and evil, it definitely falls on the evil side. I’ve known people who would worry so much about things that were not true, and over which they had no control anyway, that they made themselves physically ill. I know in my own case, my blood pressure always goes up when I go to the doctors because I worry that the doctor will find something seriously wrong. If I could go into the doctor’s office with an attitude that I will be congratulated for doing such a good job of maintaining my health, my blood pressure would stay low.

Fear

Fear is another negative emotion that is very common and incredibly harmful. Not only can fear, like worry, raise your blood pressure, affect your digestion, or otherwise harm your physical health, It will cause many irrational decisions. Sadly, in the United States now, we are witnessing this with a president and his staff that encourage fear to divide and conquer. This puts fear way over to the evil side of the good and evil scale. For more on fear, check this older post about Fear of Death.

Change for Good

The good news is that we do have the ability to rid ourselves of negative feelings and thoughts. There are many methods of doing this, and I’m not going to go deeply into any of them. There are plenty of books that can help if needed.

Visualizing is one popular way of making a change. That can include getting your attitudes over to the good side of the good and evil scale. If you find yourself worrying about something, you simply close your eyes and visualize a solution. For example, if you are worried about being able to pay a bill, visualize yourself making the payment without thinking about where the money will come from. That may or may not work, but it is worth a try. But you can’t just visualize it, you have to believe it when you do.

Spiritual Good and Evil

Yes, there is good and evil involved in spiritual growth. First, there are evil spirits. Whether you call them demons, devils, or negative forces doesn’t matter. That they exist and like to encourage us to do evil does matter. So we have to be on guard for this and be sure we are not making decisions based on negative thoughts or suggestions from those evil spirits. And at the end of each day, consider everything we did that day and consider how we could have done better. Even if we are already on the good side of the good and evil scale, we can always do better.

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cravings

Cravings and Attachments Come From Fear

“If we have fear, we can’t be completely happy. If we’re still running after the object of our desire, then we still have fear. Fear goes together with craving. We want to be safe and happy, so we begin to crave a particular person or object or idea (such as wealth or fame) that we think will guarantee our well-being. We can never fully satisfy our craving, so we keep running and we stay scared. If you stop running after the object of your craving—whether it’s a person, a thing, or an idea—your fear will dissipate. Having no fear, you can be peaceful. With peace in your body and mind, you aren’t beset by worries, and in fact you have fewer accidents. … Fear spoils our lives and makes us miserable. We cling to objects and people, like a drowning person clings to any object that floats by. By practicing nonattachment and sharing this wisdom with others, we give the gift of nonfear. Everything is impermanent. This moment passes. The object of our craving walks away, but we can know happiness is always possible.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Cravings

We generally don’t relate cravings to fear, with a few exception. A craving for peace relates to a fear of war. Craving health relates to a fear of illness and death. But we don’t think of most cravings as being about fear.

But any craving can be connected to a fear, either directly or indirectly. A craving for chocolate may have developed out of a craving for food which comes from a fear of starvation. A craving for expensive clothing may come from a fear of poverty. A constant desire for entertainments like concerts and movies may be hiding a fear of facing reality.

Legitimate Cravings

There are cravings that are good. When your body craves water, for example. Or when you realize that materialism is empty and start to crave something more. Craving something your body actually needs isn’t wrong. Craving those things we don’t need, and which often harm us, is wrong. We all have cravings though. Continue reading “Cravings and Attachments Come From Fear”

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