The mind killer

A guest post by Daniel Miller

In Frank Herbert’s Dune series, the Bene Gesserit had a mantra:
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Frank Herbert was a Zen Buddhist, which is reflected in this mantra. I wonder what his reaction would be to the mantra of so many these days?
I am fearful.
Fear fills my mind.
Fear has obliterated my reality.
I will turn my fear into anger.
All my eyes can see is the fear and anger I project.
Where my fear and anger have gone there will be nothing.
Only desolation will remain.

Throughout the history of man, it is possible to see how the pendulum swings from one mantra to another. My father told me that the current swing of the pendulum to the “I am fearful” mantra began just after World War Two. More men had access to a college education than at any other time in history. Women entered the workforce in droves. The roles of men and women changed. It used to be that the man was the provider and the protector. Women took care of the family and the home and provided comfort. Both parents taught and raised the children.

Then men became obsessed with materialism. They wanted to give their families everything and ended up depriving their families of what they needed most. A protector and provider. Women became obsessed with proving that they could be both mother and father. Working full time and trying to raise kids while taking care of the house, they ended up depriving their families of what they needed most. A caregiver and comforter.

More and more, kids raised themselves. There wasn’t any father there to protect them from what they feared. There was no mom to help them learn right from wrong. Sorry, but one hour out of twenty-four does not a parent make. And the kids got angry. That fear and anger was channeled into many things. Some were productive like the civil rights movement, but most were socially destructive. Men were no longer expected to participate in family life and after reproducing moved on. Women shouldered the entire role of raising the family. A job that was meant for two people, a man and a woman, was now being attempted by one.

Now boys are raised by women and no longer learn what it is to be a responsible man. Indeed, they are now taught that testosterone is a toxin. Boys are given drugs for their attention deficit disorder so that they behave more like the girls. So they grow up in fear, and that fear turns into anger.

Now girls are raised thinking they have to be everything. Their mothers are tired and are angry that men do not participate in the family and believe men should behave like women. Men are bad, and women are their equals (if that dichotomy doesn’t mess with a girl’s mind…). So they grow up in fear, and that fear turns into anger.

The civil rights movement made segregation illegal, but due to fear and anger, everybody is supposed to be divided up into little groups under the label of diversity. To associate with a different group is now called appropriation, racism or… pick a label that leads to self-deprecation. Each type of a person is supposed to have a “safe space.” As children they never felt safe because there was no dad. Mom was working and shopping and taking the children to activities that don’t require a parent. So now as adults they seek safety from their fears and throw anger at people for being wealthy or white or male or Christian or… pick a label, because they simply do not know of any other way to express themselves.

In the safety of online social networking the anger streams feed each other. This side, that side, everyone is on a side, and all sides are angry. People rant about how terrible bullying in the schools is and then turn around and pummel anyone and everyone who sees things differently than they do and wonder why things don’t get better.

Politicians feed the fear and anger in hopes of driving people to vote a certain way. The media slings hate like David swung his sling. The media finds any giant and tries to slay it no matter if the giant is doing evil or good.

A society based on fear and anger cannot survive. It rots from the roots up and eventually is destroyed. Even as society rots, individuals can choose not to be fearful and not to be angry all the time. Individuals can learn to be angry only at the right person, at the right time and in the right way. Individuals who learn how to be productive instead of destructive in the guise of doing good can save a society. But civilizations come and go because it is in the nature of people to destroy those who are smarter, wealthier or in some other way different.

Do I fear? Not like most people. But I know the pendulum swings back and forth. It will continue to do so until the second coming. I know God, and even when my earthly father is gone, my heavenly father will be there to provide and protect. The Holy Spirit will continue to teach me and comfort me. The Son of God will lead me to heaven when my work is done.

For all of you who are addicted to fear and anger. For those of you who cannot find a productive life. I will pray that you open your hearts to God. I pray that when you get married, one of you (doesn’t matter which) will stay home with the kids and, no matter what, work together to raise them. Raise them to be more than fearful and angry.

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