There's a wonderful book out there called The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by the same author who wrote Weekends With Morrie. I was thinking about that tonight, along with Conversations with God and The Reluctant Messiah, the writings of Deepak Chopra, all the near death experiences I've hunted down and read about. They were the beginning of my desire to try and understand a sliver of my own existence, and I say my existence, because there's no way I can speak for anyone else. I'd have no right to insist that anybody draw the same conclusions. But, I can say that these readings really stirred a feeling of truth in me that a childhood of traditional religious ideologies hadn't granted. Aside from the whole 'what are we and why are we here' business, I wanted to know what caused anger, strife, pain, war, envy, misery. Is it chance? What causes us to feel negative emotion? What's the root of unhappiness? That leads me to my New Year's Resolution.
I've had an amazing 2010. I've experienced things I never thought I would and I've shared myself with the world in the most vulnerable way. Holding back my heart is not something I do well, and I find that I am too passionate to let anyone trample my resolve. That doesn't mean that I don't struggle, but I combat my doubts by reminding myself of the ideals that speak to me most, the ones that suggest that the universe is made of two dueling perceptions, or rather, one reality and one illusion. Love and fear.
From what I understand, love is reality, it is true matter, even while the illusion of fear is the root of all suffering. If you reject fear, you'll manifest peace.
So, if God/Spirit/The Universe/however you want to put it sources our consciousness, then it seems that he/she/it does so with a particular plan to know itself through the human form. And if God/Spirit/The Universe/however you want to put it knows all, understands universally and perfectly and naturally, then his/her/its love must be infinitesimal. God (for the sake of ease of typing) must be pure, perfect, omnipotent... love. So how would love come to know itself best?
If we're going to know what we are, it's imperative that we know what we are not, so, if the universe is perfection, then what creates every struggle known to man? Why do we harm and kill and war against each other? Why do we gossip and bully and cheat? Why do we steal and lie and take advantage of each other? Is it because we're evil at heart? No way, Jose. It's because we're scared.
If you want to get to the bottom of suffering, blame fear. We're scared of what we don't understand so we bully it away, or blow it up, or tease it, or talk about it behind its back. We're scared of lack, so we steal or we try to destroy the gains of others. Greed, envy, tyranny, war... it all equals a fear of something. We're scared of losing what we have or we're scared of never having what we want. We refuse to give of ourselves because we're afraid that we won't have enough left over, even though there is always enough... there will always be enough. When you give without expecting a thing in return, when the only thing you take from a loving act is joy, what do you think you'll get in return? You'll get what you gave, you'll be loved as you loved. I've seen it again and again. The more you extend your light, your energy into the world, sharing and giving of your heart without wanting or expecting repayment... the more you receive, because people will reflect it back to you. You can't be slighted by love. We do, however, slight ourselves with fear, because fear causes people to hold back, it limits the expansion of your mind and spirit. It is a wound that is, sadly, too often prodded, salted, and never allowed to heal over. The illusion--the LIE-- of fear is the root of unhappiness, but recognizing it is probably essential to understanding ourselves better, to living more fully and being truly aware of what is real.
So all our lives are an effort to beat back the demon of fear and exist in a state of love. If we're all linked together by the same great energy that governs the particles and bits of this unfathomable space, then to love your neighbor is to love yourself. To fear your neighbor is to fear yourself. Our lives and our experiences are a ripple in the pond.
For 2011, I take up the challenge and I offer it to you as well, to live in a way motivated by love and purpose without fear. Let's see how we do...