August 10, 2010

The last Tenacity Notes brought up some questions and comments. In fact, there are a few questions I’ve been asked over the months that are waiting for issues of their own: What do I mean when I say resolve your history? I talk a lot about being defended, what do I mean by that? I’m working on it.

By the way, do you see that this is issue #54? We began Tenacity Notes on July 13, 2009. Over a year of weekly Notes. Did you know they come out every Tuesday morning? Did you know that I’d like to have more subscribers? Please: refer others to Tenacity Notes. All anyone has to do to subscribe is email me — either via my Web site, or by replying to this email. Thanks.

As to the last issue, one subscriber wrote:
I don’t think all the emotional difficulties we have are always reducible to the individual. We’re also beings that are oriented toward each other, and we sense and feel what’s going on socially as well as what’s going on within our individual psyches. To my mind, we miss some of the picture if we ignore the social aspect of emotions like fear, [especially] the deliberate whipping up and maintaining of fear in the population that makes for a more docile electorate. Though I reject their phony and cynical manipulation of my psyche, I think it does have real effects on me, and on everyone.

Yes indeed, I agree — we are beings that are oriented toward each other, and we do sense and feel what’s going on socially, and it does have real effects on us. But if we respond to the deliberate whipping up of fear by wringing our hands and reciting our Litanies, we only participate in making that fear feel like the truth; we spread it, like the plague.

We are oriented toward each other, and we are affected by the cultural climate. But that works the other way too — others are affected by us, by the quality of our energy; we can influence the cultural climate with our own energy. Said another way, the reciting of your Unsafe Litany not only brings you down, it brings others down as well.

The subscriber goes on to say:
We must be even more committed than ever to personal practices that calm us and reduce stress, like breathing, yoga, meditation, etc. [I insert: the practices of the Breath and Water Club] We must continue to do our personal work, just as you remind us in Tenacity Notes. And we also need to remain aware of how our fears are being manipulated for political purposes. I don’t think we can avoid the impact entirely, but we can endeavor to stay a half-step away from it, to keep it in view rather than letting it completely overtake us. And talk about this with others. Of course, being politically engaged in trying to create a society that isn’t based on fear also helps in personal and social ways.

In other words, we can find ways to respond to fear other than by being fearful. Just as we can find ways to respond to actual danger other than by being fearful. As another subscriber said a few issues ago, quoting “a Tibetan Buddhist guy,” Your job is to come to a place of fearlessness.

Reciting your Unsafe Litany keeps you bound to fear.

P.S. I am currently living 15 miles north and west of downtown Duluth. I can see the Milky Way here. It’s a long time since I’ve seen the Milky Way, and it gives me a unique, which is to say Uncommon, perspective.