Saturday, January 28, 2012

Some thoughts on fear and forgiveness

What is needed is a sort of catharsis. We must wash ourselves of all the ecologically and humanistically debasing things that pervade our culture. What we must seek instead is, as Tim DeChristopher has said,
...a humane world...[a] world that values humanity...a world where we meet our emotional needs not through the consumption of material goods, but through human relationships...[a] world where we measure our progress not through how much stuff we produce, but through our quality of life—whether or not we’re actually promoting a higher quality of life for human beings.
And such a world can only come from a deeply changed ethic that values (not monetarily) Earth and everything that resides in and on it. But how do we overcome the fear that can be paralysing when taking new, bold steps? I don't claim to know about this in any great depth or detail, but it is apparent to me that any meaningful, positive steps that will lead to a more holistic future must be hopeful, be courageous, and come with an acceptance of newness and the unchartered.

Fear is a powerful controlling force. (But hope and courage are liberating.) Fear is primal, and is the fear that is tapped into to convince us that the "enemies" are "planning to attack our way of life," allowing those with power to use our "consent" to act violently. At the same time, fear prevents us from presenting ourselves as whole before the world because it prevents us from admitting defeat or apologising for our mistakes; we are fearful of vengeance and retaliation. I wonder, do those that engage in ecologically degrading activities, and know that they are, not come clean because they are scared of the consequences of doing so? Possibly, for many companies and people try to hide their mistakes and disasters by not confessing or owning up to them. How has the way we've structured adjudication and law made people scared? If we are able to forgive, will we live in a less fearful world? I think so. How might fear look in an ecologically holistic world? For now, I'll leave you with these words from Conversations on Forgiveness)
Forgiveness is an opportunity for transformation, both individually and collectively. It not only helps relieve mental and emotional anguish, but it offers the possibility for change, for redemption, for restoration—for hope and even love to blossom from pain and suffering. It can stop a cycle of hurt and create opportunity where there seemed to be none. Most of all, it has the potential to heal and open our hearts to love again and more fully, strengthening and building our capacity for compassion and understanding.

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