This is an extremely difficult record to assess. A gunman walked into a LBGTQIA+ club in Colorado, and opened fire on the human beings inside. He suffered from a fear confused by hate. I discovered, during my freshmen year at college, that some people move through the world with a feeling of persecution. And having grown up always willing to speak to different people. It prevented me from digesting the disguised homophobia or misogyny pervading the country. I supposed these beliefs only existed within rebellion or nationalistic circles that wouldn’t have any consequences on the world. Lessons on Love encourages us to embrace our fellow man as a brother.
But I am beginning to understand that ideas have no morality, I have come to understand that if my brother is in danger then I must act. And since we are all brothers, we must learn to stake our identities on new balance beams. I see, all around me, people that place their identity on the position of other people; it had not occurred to me how pervasive and vile these ideas can become.
An irrational premise leads to an irrational conclusion. In a country where politicians entice isolated people with ideas that encourage heinous acts creates a dangerous situation. However, we are still responsible for what we believe. Any idea that doesn’t encourage loving our brother is flawed by a system that values the individual over the community. Lessons on Love, found in A Course On Miracles, aims at redirecting our mind to the importance of love. Releasing our projections and insecurity saying:
The relationship of anger to attack is obvious, but the relationship of anger to fear is not always so apparent. Anger always involves projection of separation, which must ultimately be accepted as one’s own responsibility, rather than being blamed on others. Anger cannot occur unless you believe that you have been attacked, that your attack is justified in return, and that you are in no way responsible for it. Given these three wholly irrational premises, the equally irrational conclusion that a brother is worthy of attack rather than of love must follow. What can be expected from insane premises except an insane conclusion?
The way to undo an insane conclusion is to consider the sanity of the premises on which it rests. Everyone teaches, and teaches all the time. This is a responsibility you inevitably assume the moment you accept any premise at all, and no one can organize his life without some thought system. Once you have developed a thought system of any kind, you live by it and teach it.
There is much fear in shifting our relationship to the world, for the fear that we often hear spatted refers to the fear that prevents individual success. But the one to which I refer is often disguised as our many forms of hate. Our many identities, our blackness, our manhood, our sexuality began to take on new definitions once we recognize the many people living outside us. The world is more diverse, complicated, and varied than masculine and feminine, gay or straight, and rich or poor; people respond to movement from identity groups outside the ones they cling to like they are being crucified.
There are times, as we all know, where we must establish a system of morals and values outside the dominant culture, but humanity is complex and demands people working towards realization of diversity. The promotion of fear is fostering a world where assault becomes the response to the anger created from projection. The moral barrier separating people with radical ideas of projections, hate, and fear from committing heinous acts are so tenuous to be nonexistent. A course in miracles aids us in becoming people that can love our brother without all those stipulations saying:
You have probably reacted for years as if you were being crucified. This is a marked tendency of the separated, who always refuse to consider what they have done to themselves. Projection means anger, anger fosters assault, and assault promotes fear. The real meaning of the crucifixion lies in the apparent intensity of the assault of some of the Sons of God upon another. This, of course, is impossible, and must be fully understood as impossible. Otherwise, I cannot serve as a model for learning.
We can not allow self-centered egomaniacal leaders to define freedom for us; every person on this planet must reach a point where there individual growth is for the benefit of the community. Many people still contain aspects of classism and racism even through they preach black capitalistic ideologies, or advocate for queer rights and representation in politics, but a person that does not aim to teach, inspire, or cultivate love serves a malicious agenda. We become the ideas we hold, and every idea can take us closer or further away from wholeness. The foundation for Inner Peace closes the Lessons On Love essay with a beautiful remark about gratefulness and love saying:
I do not need gratitude, but you need to develop your weakened ability to be grateful, or you cannot appreciate God. He does not need your appreciation, but you do. You cannot love what you do not appreciate, for fear makes appreciation impossible. When you are afraid of what you are you do not appreciate it, and will therefore reject it. As a result, you will teach rejection. Perfect love casts out fear. If fear exists, Then there is not perfect love. But: Only perfect love exists. If there is fear, It produces a state that does not exist. Believe this and you will be free. Only God can establish this solution, and this faith is His gift.
Continue reading Alain De Botton On Happiness.