Tuesday, November 26, 2013

If We Were Only More Aware of Ourselves...

My "boss" (well, he prefers to call us partners in ministry), Rick Luoni, posted this brief reflection based on some reading that he is doing in Emotional Intimacy: A Comprehensive Guide for Connecting With the Power of Your Emotions by Robert Augustus Masters, PhD. 

I offer this as a seed for new personal awareness. Pretty good seed.

Rick LuoniRick Luoni, Rector of St. George's Episcopal Church, Summerville, SC

I was reading my new book, Emotional Intimacy, early this morning. 

The chapter was COLLECTIVE FEAR.

COLLECTIVE FEAR is what he called “our” fear and “the” fear, infiltrating us with its energies and core message: “we are threatened, we are in danger, and we are at the mercy of far-from-benign forces.”
He says such fear is amplified by political/religious leaders. 

One can easily see how harmful and destructive COLLECTIVE FEAR can be to the soul of a nation, the soul of the Church, and the soul of a person. “We must fear those who are different!” “We must be cautious of those who do not believe like us!” It was COLLECTIVE FEAR that screamed "Crucify him!"

Masters writes, "When we are in our COLLECTIVE FEAR we may find ourselves sidestepping it, rising above it, withdrawing, and disassociating from it as much as we can."

He adds:
we avoid through numbing
we fight with aggression-- words and actions.
we flee by disassociating
we transmute the energy of fear into the energy of unhealthy anger.
we “righteously target” the shortcomings of those “we” fear.
And then we become (and I found this extremely interesting) "we become obsessed with sexuality"…. What??????
In laboratory studies, the more afraid an overcrowded collection of rats is the more hyper-sexual they become.

Hmmm. That’s strange. Rats obsessed with sex? Apparently some fear-based people become obsessed with sex, according to this doctor.

I wonder how many wars and divisions among people could have been avoided if leaders had done their inner work? Faced their fear rather than avoiding, fighting, fleeing and projecting it on to others? What if they had the courage and faith to explore beneath the surface of the souls, to examine and sit with their fear? “When you are disconnected from your deepest Being, you’re in sin.” (r.rohr) “You or your group cannot be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature (disconnected from one’s deeper self and emotions.) (P. Scazzero)

1 John “Perfect love (what we practice; action) casts out fear (what we believe or think). There is no fear in love.”

We don’t THINK ourselves into a new way of living; but we LIVE ourselves into a new way of thinking.

Sadly many or most "leaders" can't or won't hear this... they are too fearful.

I need to be with this for a while.


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