“Ain’t nothin’ gonna save you from a love that’s blind. When you slip to the dark side, you cross that line.” ~Eddie and the Cruisers*
Fear, anger, pain, and other negative experiences are ultimately expressions of divine Love.
On a basic, biological level, there are only two stimuli: pain and pleasure. Everything that we feel, either internally or externally, can be reduced to pain or pleasure.
Fear is nothing more than the anticipation of pain. When we think that a situation will cause us physical or emotional pain, our initial emotional response is fear. We don’t like pain, and we try to avoid it as much as possible.
Fear is an attempt to avoid pain, to avoid suffering. Unfortunately, fear can also cause us to lash out and hurt others. This is the root cause for all suffering in the world. One person, or one group of people, feels threatened by another person or another group, and lashes out at them from a place of fear and pain. Wars, genocide, murder, abuse, rape…all come from a place of fear.
It’s ironic that the very method that we (as humans) employ to avoid suffering is actually what causes it, but by attempting to avoid suffering, we cause it in ourselves and others.
The opposite of Love isn’t hate; it’s fear.
Fear is the root of all evil in the world. Just like Master Yoda taught us: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Fear is the root cause, all other negativity is just a reaction to fear.
Fear makes us feel weak and small. It makes us feel vulnerable, and “less than” the threat we perceive. Since these are all really unpleasant sensations, we try to get rid of them as quickly as possible. More often than not, we turn them into anger.
Anger is much more pleasant to us than fear, because it empowers us. Anger makes us bold and daring. Anger prepares us to fight, and so it pumps us full of adrenaline and hormones.
Instead of shrinking back, as we did with fear, now we allow ourselves to grow stronger, bigger. We become aggressive and confrontational. Our ego tells us that *now* we can face whatever scared us. *Now* we are strong, brave…we are not threatened, we *are* the threat.
Even fear and anger can be seen as divine Love.
When our fears are valid, they help protect us from danger. They help keep us safe, and prevent us from placing ourselves in harmful situations. Fear is another way that God expresses His/Her/Its Love for us. Likewise, anger can be used to awaken our passions. Anger isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Even Jesus (if you believe in the bible) got angry, and threw the moneylenders out of the temple. When held under control, and expressed properly, anger can be a great tool for changing the world. The civil rights movement is a perfect example of this. Without the anger of repressed populations, none of us would enjoy many of the freedoms that we take for granted today.
The problem with anger, and with fear, is that it can cloud our thinking and impair our judgment. When we react without thinking, we can hurt others and spread negative energy into the world. If we use our pain as an excuse to hurt others, then we make the world a worse place for everyone…we become agents of darkness. I know that sounds harsh, especially if you have ever unintentionally hurt someone because of your fear and anger, but it’s true.
If we are to evolve as individuals, we must learn to control our fear, and failing that, learn to control our anger. If we can take away the power of our fear, then we don’t risk hurting other people because of it. You have to be mindful of your fears, and determine which ones are valid (if your life or well-being are actually in any danger, then your fear is valid), and which ones are illusions.
Likewise, you have to be mindful of your anger. Anger is always, always, always a reaction to fear. If you are angry, it is only because something has scared you. I know, you probably don’t want to believe that. I can hear the arguments now. But if you’ll just sit with that assertion and let it marinate in your mind, you’ll see the truthfulness of it. Once you dig down and find the fear at the root of it, you can defuse your anger. Or, you can use your anger in a constructive manner to make the world a better place.
*The actual band that wrote and performed “On the Dark Side” was John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band. But where’s the fun in that? Eddie lives!