October 02-B, 2022

Leaving Peggy’s Cove 10/03/2008 Oil Paint Rendered — Nova Scotia
Fear is our base emotion.
Everything falls into place around fear.

Fascism is Fear and Denial.
Its grounding premise is,
"If we kill our enemies, we will be safe."

Judaism and Christianity are Fear and Denial.
Their grounding premise is,
"If we keep God happy, 
and do as we are told,
God will take care of us,
and we will be safe."

Hinduism is Fear and Denial.
Its grounding premise is,
"If we abide by the dharma
and stay where we belong, we will be safe."

Buddhism is Fear and Courage.
Its grounding premise is,
"If we don't kid ourselves about what's what,
live in right relationship
with ourselves and one another,
and let things be as they are,
we will be safe."

Taoism is Fear and Courage.
Its grounding premise is,
"If we are true to our essential nature
and our innate virtues,
live with integrity and sincerity
with one another, 
and let nature take its course,
we will be safe."

All the heroes, gods and goddesses
of Greek and Roman mythology
are about Fear and Denial,
or Fear and Courage.

Odysseus, Prometheus, Sisyphus, etc.
are about doing what is right
and having the courage
to not worry about being safe.

Others are about denial and compromise
in the service of being safe.

Of them all, Taoism is my choice
for a grounding orientation to life.

We live with Fear and Denial,
or with Fear and Courage.

Living with Fear and Courage
means facing what's what
and doing what needs to be done about it
and letting that be that.

Doing what needs to be done about it
means, among other things,
the continuing practice
of reflection and realization.
Reflection leads to realization,
and realization leads to more reflection,
and that produces/maintains
balance and harmony,
yin with yang,
and a life in accord with the Tao,
the Way,
and everything falls out around that.

How we come to terms with our fear,
and build a life around that,
tells the tale.

Denial, distraction, dismissal, diversion
(Via sex, drugs, alcohol, entertainment and money)
are popular ways of dealing with our fear.
What do we spend our time thinking about/doing?
What does that keep us from thinking about/doing?
How conscious are we of our fear
and its influence upon what we think about/do?

Our relationship with fear
is reflected in what we think about/do,
and how well or poorly we live our life.
The more conscious we can be of our fear
and what we do in response to it,
the better chance we have of living well
in proper relationship with fear.

This is the central work of being alive,
coming to terms with fear
and living in proper relationship with it.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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