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Religion of Fear – Part 2

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“Fearful thinking does not fit with the universal law of cause and effect.”

Recently a student asked me to elaborate on what this means and on how the law of  cause and effect works.

When we’re seized by a fearful thought, we go into fight-or-flight mode. We become reactive. We short-circuit our own good common sense. ”Our own good common sense” is another way of saying that we have a fundamental appreciation of the law of cause and effect. When we’re unafraid, we make our best effort to follow the law of cause and effect — because it just makes good sense!

The law of cause and effect is very simple in one respect: causes produce like effects. You get apple trees, then apples, from apple seeds. You never get lemons from apple seeds. In the moment when your lover is calling you names, however, the law can seem mysterious. “Why is this happening to me?! What could possibly have caused this horrible outburst? I’m such a nice person!”

What makes the law of cause and effect mysterious? At any given moment, multiple causes interact with each other in myriad ways. Due to this complexity, it’s not always easy to predict the effect of a given cause. Have you ever said something you thought would make your beloved happy, only to have them get angry? It may have been something you had said to her many times before, something that had gotten a positive response every other time you said it: “You look great, honey.” This time, however, you didn’t realize that her best friend had told her earlier in the day that her outfit was unbecoming. You didn’t know that she was still feeling hurt about her friend’s comment. So when you said, “You look great, honey,” and she said, “You liar! You always tell me that!” you were utterly dismayed and confused.

This is a classic demonstration of the intended cause not being limited only to producing its intended effect. This is  why the wise ones warn us to consider the “unintended effects” of our thoughts and actions.

When unintended effects arise, it doesn’t mean something has gone wrong with the law of cause and effect. It just means you didn’t consider, or couldn’t have known, all the causes and effects surrounding your effort.

The Religion of Fear (ROF) takes great delight in the complexity and mystery surrounding the Law of Cause and Effect (LCE). The ROF is very lenient about the LCE. The ROF doctrine says it’s okay to pursue what you want simply because you want it, regardless of how it may affect others. Its only goal is to keep you worshipping fear.

Mystery and complexity make it easy to make excuses, to act impulsively according to short term desires just because we want things to work out the way we want them to. Then, when things don’t go as expected, the ROF encourages blaming someone else.

The ROF (aka fearful thinking) encourages you to make up your own version of the Law of Cause and Effect as you go along. If you don’t like the results you get for your actions, the ROF does not ask you to contemplate your actions and any possible errors in your assumptions and beliefs. The ROF does not want you to learn any lessons that might enhance your clarity about how life really works — that too often causes members to leave the ROF Church.

Not only does the ROF not ask you to contemplate, it encourages you to apply the 4 Virtues of the ROF: blaming, whining, complaining, and resenting. The 4 Virtues keep members loyal, and they are excellent recruiting tools because they are easy for anyone to practice. It is far simpler to practice the 4 Virtues of the ROF than to inquire as to possible errors in your intentions and beliefs.

As an experiment, watch how often you practice the 4 Virtues — blaming, whining, complaining, or resenting.  Notice also when you reject these hallmarks of the Religion of Fear, allowing the Law of Cause and Effect to educate you about what you are doing and what is really going on in your life.

May we all prosper with enhanced compassion and wisdom!

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Jack Elias, CHT is the founder and director of The Institute for ftm-front-cover-final
Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West. Jack offers private sessions as well as live trainings and distance learning trainings for hypnotherapy certification.

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