Friday, June 19, 2009

The Deadly Viruses

Today, as we stroll, rush, or crawl through life, frequently too burden down by the weight of our problems, let's take the time to enjoy life without the burdens. Actually, to do this is quite simple.

We begin to release ourselves from ourselves by changing our beliefs, especially the foundational beliefs we rely on to interpret conditions in the world. This process is analogous to cleaning your computer by removing the unnecessary programs, viruses, and so forth. Afterwards, your computer should function quicker and more efficiently.

For some of us, our minds are slowed and corrupted by the viruses (victim beliefs) responsible for our pain and suffering. And like our computers, whenever we visit certain sites (places, people, and things) we subject our minds to unwanted viruses.

By talking or gossiping with people about others, we expose ourselves to ideas and opinions that may be harmful to our development. In these particular type of situations, by participating in conversations that are deleterious to our enlightenment, we wreck havoc on our personal growth progress.

And, unfortunately for us, one victim belief affects our efforts to overcome other beliefs. The viruses created by victim consciousness are pernicious. Even one untreated virus can cause us to explode with anger, jealousy, fear, doubt, dogma and, on some occasions, cause us to become violent with others. Yet it is not uncommon for us to ignore the victim virus because, after all, we muse, "it takes too long to get rid of a virus (belief).

Similarly, most of us are unwilling to acknowledge we are infected by the victim virus. It's easier to overlook certain beliefs, especially the ones we don't want to take the time to overcome. Nevertheless, over time, we discover that by ignoring any victim belief has deleterious consequences on our commitment to change the way we think and live. It is these consequences that make us unable to face life with a joyous attitude.

Sometimes, it's difficult for us to face life with a joyous attitude because our present circumstances are filled with too much pain and suffering. For many of us, it's easier to find joy in some past event. "Oh, how great my life used to be," we recall. "I was so happy working for...." We continue ad nauseam reminiscing about the "good ole days." This type of behavior is caused by hidden viruses (victim beliefs).

Nevertheless, whenever the pain and suffering becomes too intense to bear, it feels good to travel in time and recall happy moments. The realness of recalling joyful times is a wonderful refuge for those who struggle to face each day with a joyous attitude toward our lives.

This time travel frees our minds temporarily of everything causing us to think of ourselves as victims. In other words, when we seek refuge in the past or, if we desire, the future, we confirm our illness from the viruses.

And when we stop and ask: What pleasures do we get from reminiscing with friends about the past?Are these the only pleasurable experiences we have with them? As victims of our beliefs, are we so tied to our past experiences with our friends that we don't relate well with them on current experiences?

When you think about it for a moment, there's very little joy in attending a high school reunion or one with former employees, unless you can interact with individuals based on where they are in life now.

For some of us, after we talk and laugh with our "old friends" for a couple of hours about the good old days, we suddenly realize we don't really have much in common with them anymore. Our memories of them don't correlate with who they are now. It's as if, we never knew them at all.

Whenever we take a mind journey into the past to relive a joyous moment, we limit our potential to grow. We victimize ourselves by clinging to people and ideas that no longer exist. For change to happen in our lives, we must live with who we are now, not who we thought we were in the past.

The physical changes of recognizing that you are no longer the youngest, the finest, or most desirable person in the restaurant, reminds us of the times when we were. Unfortunately, this virus-driven epiphany of not having people showering us with complimentary stares, and flirtatious gestures, plunges us into a wishful longing for the "good ole days."

Meanwhile, as we move forward working to clean and remove the beliefs causing us to dislike who we are now, we must remain focused on our vision to achieve enlightenment. We must remain cognizant, and not become sidetracked by intellectual fantasies of our joyous past. The past is dead and so is everyone in it, including us.

We are alive only in the present. Everything else is created by the viruses (victim beliefs) corrupting our database (consciousness). In the present, we must learn to love and enjoy this new person we are creating. And we must be mindful that this person is so much more enlightened than the one we fantasize about.

This new person, who is virus-free, stretches our minds to go beyond self-imposed obstacles. We are now able to face life with joyous attitudes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Overcoming the Anger from Victim Consciousness

On the enlightenment road, anger is an elusive emotional depressant that appears in our lives without warning. It just happens. Even after months, years, of working to improve ourselves, we still find it's difficult not to become angry in certain situations.

For many of us, we treat anger as a controlled substance. As long as we keep it under control, we can maintain our aura of spiritual superiority, which separates us from the truly angry people: those who commit horrific crimes and mayhem against others. Moreover, by working to control our anger, we are less threatening, frightening to employers, potential lovers, and so forth.

As we know, it's very difficult to control our anger, even when we know we should. So, when we lose control and become angry, what happens to our enlightenment progress. How does this make us feel?

For me, it's quite disturbing, frustrating. I mean, after all my work, praying, meditating, reading, listening, and believing in what I'm doing, it's hard, downright depressing, to realize I'm still attached to the actions of others.

Whenever we take the time to examine the moments when we are angry, we nearly always discover it's based on someone doing something we dislike. This is particularly true with family members. The closer the relationship, the quicker, the more intense, our anger.

With our children, we snap, holler, and threaten them with all sorts of punishments if they don't improve their grades, or change their behavior in school and at home. Unfortunately, when we see visual images of others' anger toward their children, we find it appalling, despicable, an affront to our moral principles.

On the hand, with our spouses, we snap, holler, criticize for driving too fast, not parking the car in the right space, leaving clothes on the floor, spilling popcorn on the sofa and carpet, or for not mentioning something important. They feel the brunt of our frustrations, because in some respects, we hold them responsible for being a part of our anger.

Our anger with spouses, children, and family members is different from the anger we have toward strangers, or individuals with whom we have limited emotional attachments. With those close to us emotionally, we have a built-in rationalization mechanism that allows us to perpetuate our anger without remorseful considerations.

For some of us, with those close to us, it's, "I can talk about you like a dog, but I don't want anyone else to do it." It's like I'm the only one who can berate you, because I love you, while others who do so, do not love you like I do.

Perhaps at the victim level, this makes some sense. When we stop and think about it for a moment, with strangers the anger is much deeper, more dangerous, more close to violence than with loved ones.

This behavior is illustrated whenever we give passing motorists the finger, curse them incessantly for being stupid drivers. When we explode with anger whenever someone of a different race says something to us that's inconsistent with our racial tolerance. Then we become angry enough to hurt them.

When we reach these moments, we are truly functioning at a victim's level of consciousness. From this lower level of enlightened awareness, we even find it acceptable behavior when we explode with a jealous rage whenever someone accomplishes something we believe we should have done, or we believe we can do just as well. Mind you, these are usually people we have never met before.

This behavior is deleterious to our enlightenment pursuits.

With employers and coworkers, we seethe with anger at just the sight of some of them. As soon as we see them, we become angry. We chasten with anger whenever our supervisors offer criticism on our performances. We boil with anger whenever a coworker is promoted, gets a new outfit, automobile, takes an exotic vacation, or talks about their happy relationships.

Now, if we add all this additional anger to our own personal frustrations, we are truly in trouble. We feel overwhelmed by these seemingly out-of-control things causing us so much anger. And it seems the more work we do, the more we continue to struggle with the anger.

This behavior is deleterious to our enlightenment pursuits.

One of the most important things to remember as enlightenment-seekers is to know that anger is an illusion. It is something we attach great importance to, because it's a mechanism to protect our fragile egos from outsiders.

Whenever we feel powerless or victimized by our circumstances, we frequently return our focus to victim consciousness. And whenever we do, we return to the anger that nurtures the victims' behavior. In other words, victims have conditioned themselves to live with anger.

As we move beyond victim consciousness, we have momentarily flashes of its power reflecting itself in our anger. This is not permanent. It is not something we should judge ourselves too harshly. We are simply waking up to perceive life beyond the intense pain suffering that's choking the life out of us.

Here are some suggestions to assist us with moving beyond the anger:

1. We must understand that anger only exists within the minds of victims -- individuals who feel powerless to control the way they think and live.
2. Anger is a temporary emotion to protect our egos.
3. As we awaken from victim consciousness, the victim in us becomes angry.
4. We must remain committed to achieving enlightenment even during those moments when we express great anger toward others.
5. After an angry outburst, stop and evaluate why we became angry.
6. Take the time to love ourselves for being who we are now, even if we think we are not doing what we believe we should be doing.
7. Take every moment of anger as a blessing from the enlightenment consciousness we are seeking.
8. We must recognize that change doesn't come without overcoming the emotional beliefs causing us pain and suffering.
9. We must learn to tell others we regret the anger we directed toward them.
10. We must learn to forgive those whose anger have contributed to our own pain and suffering.

This behavior is empowering to enlightenment pursuits.

The journey continues with "Seeds from the Ashes" coming soon to your local bookseller.