Fear or Trust....?
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An Ozark E-Zine

We live today in a fear-based society. Say what you will, this is fact. Whether foreign policy or public education, the environment or economics, the blind-date Saturday night or the ultimate demise of our bodies to dust, fear is a hugely operative component of every decision we make from morn til night.

Still, as I have long asserted, we declare (of our own free will) the boundaries within which we permit the dynamics of life to flourish. We select and enable the definitions which limit the dimensions of the reality in which we live. Thus we are, as consenting adults, duty bound to ask: Are the limits we self-ordain and apply to our own unique version of 'how life works' grounded in fear or trust?

Of course if we enjoy living in a state of ever-increasing-fear it really matters not which way we choose. But if our preference and desire are to reside in a space of time where the integrity of earnest goodwill abounds, well... then there is only one choice.

We (have been taught to) fear failure in love, war, academic achievement, financial success (you fill in the blank) -- all the while waving the banner that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. As a friend said last night, fear has become "invisible by familiarity." We also agreed that this is not good because it is (both personally and culturally) unhealthy.

That is, it is important to be cautions and discerning. It is unwise to rush headlong into things. It is prudent, always, to pause and reflect, deliberating the probably course of one's potential actions and the likely ramifications thereto. Still, none of this requisites fear. Optimally, such wise and prudent conduct necessitates the deliberate and pragmatic building of trust.

Interestingly, however, we (as a society) seem not to associate trust with fear. That is, we seem to tend to think of fear as the opposite of courage. I assert, however, that this is not true and that believing same distorts our awareness which in turn convolutes our perception of reality which consequently sets the stage to get us more and more of whatever we've chosen to expect.

Thus I assert that trust (not courage) is the ONLY opposite of fear; the only (magnetic) force in the universe with enough 'contrary polarity' to annihilate fear (and all of its destructive and debilitating consequences) from the face of the earth.

Courage, on the other hand, is the active demonstration of personal mettle to stand accountable for one's (freely chosen) convictions, with same being whatever 'truth' we (choose to) 'hold self-evident' and proclaim -- be that truth built on trust or grounded in fear.

So, in the interest of forwarding the cause of trust throughout every dimension of the Universe (starting within the circumference of each of our personal lives) I point your attention to this PDF by Albert Einstein, Physics and Reality -and- (for those faint of heart at the mention of scientific complexity) note that the spiritual dimension of such things is admirably explored in The Writings of Florence Scovel Shinn starting with The Game of Life and How To Play It", first published in 1925.

Trust or fear? Choose ye wisely. At baseline, it is only the day-to-day quality of your own personal life that's at stake.

V.F.W. Kemp-Bradford Post 4764
Commander Scott Bramlett of V.F.W. Kemp-Bradford Post 4764 in Clinton, Arkansas, extends the invitation to visit the Post's Website where you will find a calendar of upcoming events, the kitchen menu, and a locater map -- all of which looks really great!!! Wanna meet there for a burger sometime?

Local (State) News...
The Green Party
will hold it's State Meeting this Saturday, May 20, 12noon, at the Community Center in Clinton. Longtime civic activist Glen Schwarz will announce his candidacy for the U.S. Congressional seat in Arkansas District #2. For details, including a map of Arkansas Congressional District #2 and directions to the meeting, click here.

Here's the deal...
There is a lot of 'shuffling' going on in the Universe. I think of it as winnowing. Culling the wheat from the chaff, resultant of which the wheat shall be milled and prepared as delectably nutritious treats and the chaff shall fuel the flame which bakes the bread.

No waste. That's how the universe works. Everything that goes around does eventually come around to serve a useful purpose.... IF we allow --- er, ah, whoops... scratch that. Because we do not 'allow'... we 'cause.' We are and cannot help being our own most causative forces.

That is, in every act of 'allowing' we are actually 'causing' something to happen, because we are making a choice... and once we connect with this kernel of accountability and step up to the plate... well, the dimension of time and space commonly labeled as 'victimization' shall end.

Ha!!! (I hear you thinking.) Double ha-ha!!! (You mutter under your breath.) This woman is nutz. (And let me assure you, you're not the first.)

I say: You may be correct. I may have gone 'over the edge'. I may be teetering on the brink of grandiose delusion. Or, I may simply be sharing an aspect of truth that you have not contemplated before and perhaps are not open to receive.

Hm-m-m-m-m-m..... (I hear you wondering).... And just how would one know the difference?

The answer, my friend (as the song almost goes) is NOT blowing in the wind. The answer is in your (and my) heart and head.

Does it ever feel to you, for example, like 'the road only runs one way' in the context of, for example, you 'do something' someone has asked of you... you do it with love... you are glad and joyful to do it and thus you do it expecting nothing in return.

You do it (whatever it is) happily because it makes you feel good to 'give' someone you care about something of value... something requested by them... something that will (hopefully) make them feel good, too. And then, essentially, you forget about having done it and life moves on.

A ways down the road something comes up and you think... Oh, I know who to ask for some input on this!!! And you feel good about asking --- even though asking is something you seldom do because most stuff you really can handle all by yourself. But you feel good about asking because you feel like you've 'paid your dos' -- and no, that's not a misspelling.

It literally means that you've 'done' everything you've known how to accommodate and enable the well-being of this other person every time they have asked, and that you are certain that they would be put-off if, in this particular instance, you failed to request this small favor from them. 

Thus full of a confident glow, wrapped up in the warm-fuzzies of (what you define as) friendship, you gently and respectfully put the question to your compadre... and guess what? Their answer is an unabridged 'no' oft followed by a plethora of perfectly logical (yet ultra-rationalized) excuses.

I am called to recount a personal story about my first husband (now deceased) and our first trip to Hawaii. I was in my mid-20s at the time. We had been married for several years, had a young daughter (she was 3 or 4), had hit several bumps on the roadway of matrimonial bliss and having NOT had a honeymoon immediately subsequent to our nuptials, this vacation was to be the consummation of that long awaited moment in time.  

Our plane landed just at dusk. Debarking, we were greeted by a bevy of beautifully young honey-skinned and ebony-haired women with hula skirts swishing in the balmy breeze. They bestowed orchid leis upon us as the sun was swallowed by the sea.

Shuttled by cab to our accommodations, we checked in and inspected our room which was lush with sensory indulgence. From the balcony the sound of waves rolling onto the beach flooded in. The mix of twilight with electricity wrapped the star-studded vista in a shimmering deep-purple haze.

Antsy and excited to 'do something' (as all young people are), I cajoled my hubby (who said he was pooped and wanted to go to sleep) into taking just a short walk with me, around the boutique promenade of the hotel. He (not too happily) acquiesced.

In this particular hotel, the name of which now evades my recollection, the promenade (we learned from the directory on the nightstand) was located on sub-level 1. We took the elevator down.

The showcase windows of the shops, though closed at this semi-late hour (about 11pm local time, as I recall), were dazzling. Hawaiian print shirts, drawstring pants and flamboyant 'mumu' dresses, lavish with bright floral prints in vividly contrasting bold brilliance and delicate pastels, saturated the eye. Puku-shell necklaces and rose-hued coral earrings twinkled beneath display lights. The whole scene, devoid of people other than hubby and me, was a wonderment (as would say Ule Brenner, King of Siam, in the "The King and I"). And I, personally, was in a near delusional state of unabashed joy.

That's when I heard it... that gentle pulse of waves lapping a sandy beach. The same sound that I'd heard -- for the very first time, mind you -- when we'd opened the door to the balcony from our hotel room. It was the sound of the ocean making love to the shoreline, only it sounded much closer now. It sounded nearby.

Entranced I blindly followed the sound, dear hubby tagging along (I am now inclined to say) like a begrudging hound being led to a rabies shot. I, however, was lost in the moment. Swept away, if you will, by the awesome and abundant audio/visual spectacle in which I was immersed.

Turning the corner around one of the shops, there ahead of me was a short half-flight of stairs, leading upwards to somewhere... (I walked closer) Leading upwards to what certainly seemed to be the open beach. I remember now my amazement, standing there at the bottom of it, that there was no 'barrier' between me and dip into 'dream come true'. No 'closed door' to permit or deny ingress and egress from this semi-subterranean cacophony of retailism to the bounty of famed Waikiki Beach. My heart fluttered. I was taken aback so resoundingly that I had to stop for a moment to catch my breath.

And in that instant it dawned on me, that I was at long last and right at that moment for the very first time ever in my short-lived life close enough to this great body of water to sense it reaching out to me, eager to caress my feet...

Thus with eyes all dewy and visions of a Kodak Moment dancing in my head, feeling that I and we were just a heartbeat away from an enchanting stroll along the Blue Pacific, I blithely turned to that hubby of mine and, with the glisten of a 3-year-old on Christmas, asked please if could we go for a quick little moonlit stroll and "touch the ocean."

My dear husband -- owner of the deed to my passion -- abruptly, sternly and emphatically said (yup, you guessed it) NO.

Then he grumbled something about not wanting to get sand in his shoes, to which I (crestfallen) muttered back something about "we could just take our shoes off..." but he never heard me as he turned his back without a word and regressed to our suite.

At the time this happened I was dumbfounded. What had I done wrong? Why did I expect 'so much more' from my husband than he, obviously, was willing to give? Why couldn't I simply be happy with the conditions imposed upon my life by the conventions of his? What in the bloody-blue-blazes, I wondered summarily, was wrong with me?

Now, these 30-odd years later, I'm here to tell you that there was nothing wrong with me or my request. In fact, if there is or was any 'blame' to be laid for 'wrongness' I say emphatically now that in this particular scenario the predominantly causative force of this emotional injustice lays firmly at my former-and-now-deceased husband's feet.

He was in idiot and a louse. A selfish, arrogant, rude and ugly American to whom I played the fool... mainly because I was too insecure in myself to see these fact of life clearly at that time, thus I let him get away with it. That is, I failed to stand up for myself and so, in the round-about way of the Universe, I 'innocently' played a significant role in 'causing' this horrific imbalance to (continue to) exist.

And that, as I have become critically aware over the course of the ensuing years, is the ONLY thing that has ever been 'wrong' with me, this reluctance to be true to my own sense of purpose, destiny and self... sacrificing same at the altar of someone else's pleasure ... even in simple things like craving a moonlight stroll WITH MY HUSBAND -- the man who was foresworn to 'be one' with me. Because for years and decades my pre-disposed agenda in any circumstance such as this was simply to cave to another's (uncaring) behavior in the namesake of 'keeping the peace.'

Thus I did not touch the ocean that evening, and in every way possible this decision (as do all decisions) changed the course of my life.

Diligently then I followed this man that I'd married back to our room that evening, feeling the whole time like a half-drowned cat. Of course I don't actually know what a half-drowned cat feels like, but somehow the image fits.

The rest of the 'dream' vacation was a horror of nightmares, repetitious of themes lauded above, as were the ensuing years of our doomed marriage right up until the day we divorced. And the moral to this story, I am now aware, is that my only 'fault' then was that of unabashedly 'allowing' (and thereby enabling) jerks like this to get away with that kind of unconscionable crap...

Because I mean really, if a person vows a covenant of trusting friendship with another human being, and given said person is diligent and dutiful in fulfilling the random wishes of that other soul, then when a small and reasonable favor is requested, the party of the second part *must* (no fooling around) DO as the party of the first part asks.

No excuses. No exceptions. And -- by my standards today -- no 'second chances' my friend. The name of the game is cut bait or fish. In other words, no 'getting in the way of your partner's dreams.' Just do what is asked and do it gladly. Choose, with a song in your heart, to do what they want you to do.

And this is the code of conduct I believe we all must cleave more dearly to. Cut bait, fish, or get off the boat. Hoist the sail, haul the anchor, man the tiller, or swim. Clean the galley, cook the food, chart the course, do the laundry or heave-ho your butt outa here. No middle ground. Do it cheerfully and mean it or die to the cause. That is the name of the only game in my town.

And earnestly, I wish these 'rules' would be adamantly adopted by everyone else on this planet. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Because observing this simple (and highly respectful) 'behavior standard' (which is, as we all know, a universal truth of humankind) would surely make my life and the life of everyone else on this entire planet a whole lot easier, more meaningful and honest. Also at bottom line, we would know absolutely who our 'true friends' really are.

But NOT because we 'allowed' it... Because we CAUSED it to happen by compounding the virtues of our own free-will. FYI: this is called 'choosing' and it's the doorway to a 'victimless' world. Now, put that in your pipe and smoke on it for all time.

Incidental thoughts...
Exciting times abound... Not so much here, however. Things are pretty placid on our homefront and frankly I am rather enjoying it that way. Of course there are plenty of diversions, IF I choose to dally in that direction. PJE, for example, is still on one backburner of my mind (see: Gozarks April front page under the "Petit Jean" heading for more on this). One among many interesting diversions in the never-ending circle of life that you'll be hearing more from me about from time to time.

Incidental thought #1: "Insurance Companies Suck" --- this has been my mantra for as long as I can remember. It all (to me) boils down to 'a bet against God' and I subscribe to the system only under the 'render unto Caesar' heading. Thus if I am not legally obligated to carry a particular insurance -- despite the worldly (fear based) temptation to insure myself to the hilt -- I religiously pass.... But again, that's typical me.

Incidental thought #2: How do you feel about having 'the establishment' as your residential neighbor? Having, for example, an officer of the law 'assigned' to live in a house next door to you or down the block as a type of deterrent.

Surely, all the good law-abiding folks akin to our way of thinking would be thrilled about this, yes?

And I guess a version of heaven on earth could be imagined where there would be some type of "community constabulary" (aka: designated 'peacekeeper') in every neighborhood who would have some type of official potency and clout in circumstances such as those which typically seem to plague regular neighbors... ie: people burning trash or refuse when there's a 'burn ban' in effect, people trespassing, people stealing, people making excessive noise, etc., etc., and so on.

The question, of course, is "who" gets to choose "who" will wield that power and what constitutes justifiable cause for when that authority may intervene? And still, pandering to the higher ideal, wouldn't it be nicer to work for a world in which there was no need for peacekeepers to be employed....????

Incidental thought #3: "Peace Mom" Cindy Sheehan will be addressing the crowd next week, on Wednesday, May 10, at The Auditorium on 36 S. Main St. in Eureka Springs. The program starts at 7pm and runs through 9pm. The event is sponsored by Veterans for Peace. The program, which is free to the general public, includes films, poetry and refreshments. The seating capacity is 986 and the coordinators consensus is that it will be filled.

Related to this announcement, be advised that I enquired about the possibility of getting an interview with Ms. Sheehan and was advised that all her interview time had already been allotted. Had I been afforded the opportunity to pose a direct question to her, however, it would have gone something like this:

"What is the plan, Cindy? What is this 'movement' (that you are leading) heading for? What is the outcome 'we' seek? What does the world look like -- aka: what will you be doing; what will I be doing; what will any of us be doing with our personal lives -- the day after everything on planet earth is 'fixed and working fine.' In other words, what is the vision that 'we the people' are to accomplish and what are the step-by-step actions that will carry us to that future point in time?"

Anyway, the next edition of Gozarks Digest is just about ready for distribution -- if you'd like to subscribe, its free and you may sign-up here. Also, remember that our first WellAware: Women & Birthing program is happening Sunday. Hope we'll see you then!!! ~C


If the general conversation here is of interest to you I highly recommend the following books. Order here through Amazon and we at  Gozarks (aka: my kids and me) actually earn a few cents...!!!! Thanks!!!
 

A New Science of Life
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Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness
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Seven Experiments That Could Change the World: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Revolutionary Science (2nd Edition with Update on Results)
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Christine Beems [read my blog]
editor@gozarks.com

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