Saturday, November 21, 2015

Be Afraid... there is a monster under your bed...

© Jay Johnson - Jaysons Imagination, Inc. 
The power of Fear is not in the actions of violence, it is in the anticipation of some violence.  Fear is an assumed condition of the future. Fear is the erroneous idea that we are not able to handle a situation which might come to pass in our lives. It is a quantum conundrum . The future is an infinite set of possible outcomes to any current action, and our imagination can attach fear to any of those imagined realities. 
Fear does not exist in the present. That is because it becomes something else in the present. It can become pain, it can become suppression, it can become violence, but it is no longer fear.  I don't know the statistic but it must be a large percentage of our fears which never become anything but stressful anticipation.  I can remember people who were afraid to fly in a plane New Years Eve in anticipation of what they feared Y2K would bring about. None of the things they told us to fear came to pass. Roosevelt said it best when he said, "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."  It is a complicated truism. 
I have lived in Southern California for 40 years.  From before the time I arrived there was a communal fear of "the big one", a massive earthquake that would kill thousands and destroy a lot of property. Scientist's can't predict it, but claim with scientific certainty that eventually it will happen.  I own property here,  my family is here.  It would certainly be easy to live in fear of that day when the San Andreas slips and the crust of the earth will shake us off like water from dog fur.  
If I lived in that anticipation, that fear, of a quake that is a cosmic certainty, my life would not be worth living.  I would sleep in a tent pitched in the yard far away from any utility pole, electric wires, or trees. I would never drive a car through an under pass nor over an elevated freeway and I would avoid buildings of any kind.  Why would I make my life so complicated? Because I would be living in fear. There is no way to know when the "big one" is coming so I would need to be always fearful 24/7. 
Since living in a tent is not an option for me there is nothing to do but avoid the "what if" game of fear.  If the big one hits I know that I will be able to deal with the situation the quake causes.  We prepare as best we can and live with the assurance that the present moment brings with it the solution to moving forward. 
We lived through the Northridge quake in 1994 and it was not considered a "great quake" (it is actually the term they use for a quake of magnitude 8 or greater. ) It did a lot of damage to our property, and disrupted our lives for a while. But we dealt with the problems caused by a 6.7 quake at 4:30 am one step at a time.  We got through it like we get through everything, doing whats needed to be done at the moment. I am perhaps a little less fearful because of that experience, since none of the worst fears I could imagine about an earthquake came to pass. 
So the world fears ISIS now. ISIS says it is going to strike the US. They want to turn the Whitehouse black with smoke.  Why they want to do that is a tough explanation wrapped up in belief that a vengeful Deity wants it that way.  It is not based on the idea that they are trying to gain the favor of the Deity, they are motivated by the fear of what the Deity might do to them if they don't blindly obey.  
The amount of coverage and exposition ISIS has received in the last few weeks is way out of proportion to their power. ISIS is to Islam as the KKK is to Christianity. We do not judge all Christians with the bench mark of the KKK, why do we fear all Muslims because of the actions of a gang of young thugs? The only reason we would do that is because we have fear. 
If we live with fear and do not try to overcome it, we will make bad decisions based upon that fear. Political candidates have suggested we need to issue an ID to all Muslims, round them up, put them in a camp where they can be watched closely or keep them from coming here at all. That is the same fear that allowed Jews to be rounded up in Germany, and the Japanese in America.  Two countries of people accepted this notion because they were told constantly to be afraid of an ethnic group. 
The USA was led into the Iraqi war with the fear that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.  They did not. Thirteen years later we are still being told to fear some of the people in Iraq. 
Although we call them mass shootings here in America, most of our mass domestic killings have been done at the hands of young white American males.  Should we fear another attack like that so much that we put every young American male on a watch list? 
Statistically speaking everyone in America has a greater chance of dying in a car accident, or being struck by lighting than being killed by a terrorist. The crowded freeways of LA would suggest that drivers here are not fearful of that fact.  
There is no way to make sense of the killings in Europe and Africa over the last week. We all feel the loss of people who were not participating in a conflict, but were killed simply for going about their lives.  But let us mourn, let us raise our consciousness to embrace love not hate but certainly let us not live in fear.  We know what happened, we know what France is trying to do about it... there is no more to the story. Right now there is only the trumpet of fear 24/7. It is not news, it is the call to believe in that which has not happened.  
As you were,


Lloyd Lebow said...

There has been a lot of eye opening discourse happening on social media. It's unsettling to read that people you have admired and respected for so long are expressing those fear based opinions that are so extreme, you wonder how you ever had common ground. It feels like starting over in some ways.

P. Grecian said...

I'm more afraid of some of my crazy relatives than I am of Isis.

Margaret A. Flanagan said...

Thank you for this well thought out and terrific entry in your wonderful blog. Amazing and spot on! take care, Margaret

Dave Robison said...

"ISIS is to Islam as the KKK is to Christianity." A similar quote is from The West Wing one shot episode that appeared after 9/11.

One of the best episodes. "Isaac and Ishmael" presented terrorism and our reactions to it in a simple and easy to understand way as only Aaron Sorkin can. I often re-watch it in times like these.