It seems much easier to say “yes” to holding on to anger and judgment versus observing our thoughts and feelings (where we’ll find understanding and love). Or how about how it’s much easier it is to choose pizza over a salad. Each time we make these decisions, it strengthens those neuropathways in our brain.
Why do we find ourselves choosing fear over love?
Probably because it’s the easy route. Our society has been strengthening and conditioning our egos with fear.
Fear keeps us from our kind mind. It keeps us from love.
How did we get here?
The external world caters to the ego. Our materialistic society has built a hamster wheel of consumerism that lures so many of us to keep up with the Kardashians.
I went to the mall recently to use some Christmas gift cards (just a tad overdue) and I almost couldn’t handle it. Everything was screaming at me. The colors, the videos, the crap! So much crap. What the hell. Who buys this shit?
The ego mind goes something like this: Hey, you aren’t happy? That’s right, you are not enough. You need to buy this. Look at these ads. Those people are happy. MORE MORE MORE! Look at these Victoria’s Secret models. That could be you! And yea, your living room needs to look like a Crate and Barrel ad. Fill those shelves with little knick-knacks! Of course, you need another bird statue.
And when that buzz wears off, don’t worry we have MORE. You definitely need to slather these fake smelling chemicals on your body to be sexy. And you need, like, 51 different scents. Just in case. One day you may feel more like Sensual Amber and another day you’re more like Hello Beautiful. Seriously, Bath & Body Works? (They are certainly not the only company pouncing on our insecurities with silly fake fragrance names).
Eckhart Tolle discusses this phenomenon in his book, A New Earth:
“Paradoxically, what keeps the so-called consumer society going is the fact that trying to find yourself through things doesn’t work: The ego satisfaction is short-lived and so you keep looking for more, keep buying, keep consuming.
Of course, in this physical dimension that our surface selves inhabit, things are a necessary and inescapable part of our lives. We need housing, clothes, furniture, tools, transportation. There may also be things in our lives that we value because of their beauty or inherent quality. We need to honor the world of things, not despise it. Each thing has Beingness, is a temporary form that has its origin within the formless one Life, the source of all things, all bodies, all forms. In most ancient cultures, people believed that everything, even so-called inanimate objects, had an indwelling spirit, and in this respect they were closer to the truth than we are today. When you live in a world deadened by mental abstraction, you don’t sense the aliveness of the universe anymore. Most people don’t inhabit a living reality, but a conceptualized one.
But we cannot really honor things if we use them as a means to self-enhancement, that is to say, if we try to find ourselves through them. This is exactly what the ego does. Ego-identification with things creates attachment to things, obsession with things, which in turn creates our consumer society and economic structures where the only measure of progress is always more. The unchecked striving for more, for endless growth, is a dysfunction and a disease. It is the same dysfunction the cancerous cell manifests, whose only goal is to multiply itself, unaware that it is bringing about its own destruction by destroying the organism of which it is a part.”
Our suffering is caused by this desire. This disease.
How do we find the opposite of disease — ease?
Instead of being infected by the external world, we defect. And that begins with deconditioning our minds, shifting our awareness.
Duncan Trussel recently discussed this on his podcast. The fact that beneath all of the negativity in the news and what seems to be “real,” there are people who believe in making and living in a better world (cue The Age of Aquarius <some goooood stuff on this page).
These individuals have, according to Duncan, “Defected from the paradigm. They’ve defected from the reality tunnel that these corporatist lunatics are trying to suck us all into. There’s a lot of defectors out there right now friends. They are defecting from a world of pain…suffering…greed…and pessimism and cynicism. And that’s called being healed, really. Being healed. You’ve defected. That’s what it is. You’ve defected from the infection of fear.”