I’ve posted in before about the importance of recovering a sense of spiritual safety and of recovering a sense of safety about our own subconscious minds. Today I’d like to share a little about recovering a sense of physical safety.
What if I were to tell you that 99% of people are perfectly safe 99% of the time?
Does that sound a little weird and uncomfortable to you? It certainly did to me, when I first stumbled over the idea. After all, we KNOW that the world is a terribly dangerous place. Just look at all of the earthquakes and floods and tsunamis and GIGANTIC FUCKING ICEBERGS that are dropping off of the polar caps like fleas! Not to mention the wars and famine and terrorists and horrible car accidents and planes full of terrorists flying into towers full of innocent people.
In fact, double yikes or even yikes to the fourth power, which is a pretty big YIKES!
But . . . stop and think about it for a few minutes. How long has it been since you were smack in the middle of a 7.5 earthquake? Or a massive flood? Or you got swept away by a tsunami? Or had an iceberg collide with the ocean liner you were on?
The astounding truth of the matter is that – by far and away – MOST of us get up in the morning, drive to work or take care of our homes, raise our children, plan for our retirements, take vacations, go about our lives and . . . NOTHING BAD HAPPENS. Nothing. We’re perfectly safe 99% of the time.
So why do we all have this creepy feeling of impending doom, of something horrible that’s going to happen to us right around the corner? And why does it matter?
The Empress card in the Tarot shows someone who is absolutely, perfectly at ease in her world. She reclines gracefully on her beautiful couch, surrounded by natural abundance. Her head is crowned with stars and she grasps a scepter of power, but holds it very casually. Her legs are slightly parted, as if she might welcome a little company on her couch, and her face radiates a quiet, peace. She is the Goddess in Paradise.
That is EXACTLY the vibration that we should have in our world, here on the beautiful Earth Mother. We have evolved here over hundreds of thousands of years and this is our home. In the words of the Desiderata:
“You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.”
We might find a clue as to why so many of us don’t feel safe in our Magical Earth Home hiding in our brain structure. The limbic system of our brain is set up to trigger massive amounts of stress hormones when our fight or flight reaction is activated. Nick Ortner,in his book The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living, posits what he calls a, “negative brain bias.” His thinking is that our ancestors who were the most frightened were also the ones who were most likely to survive. To use his example, the caveman who thought the rustling in the bushes might be a tiger was more likely to live than the one who assumed it was a harmless squirrel. And so, the more frightened, constantly freaked-out cavemen and cavewomen would have been the most likely to pass on their genes and – shazam! – we all have, “Holy crap is that a tiger in the bushes?” reactions built into our brains, even if we’re actually surrounded by harmless squirrels.
Maybe. Maybe not.
Psychological studies suggest that conservatives have a negative brain bias, but liberals do not. In a nutshell, if you show a bunch of pictures of gardens to both conservatives and liberals, conservatives will pick out the creepy spiders and snakes in the pictures and liberals will pick out the pretty butterflies and flowers. In other words, conservative cavemen were the ones who heard tigers in the bushes and liberal cavemen were the ones who heard squirrels.
And, if Ortner’s hypothesis were true, all of the liberals should have been eaten by tigers, but there are still a bunch of us around watching the butterflies and smelling the flowers.
Which suggests that a negativity bias really isn’t built into our brains. It was acquired. Where did it come from, then?
A lot of it comes from social programming, of course. It has long been a part of Judeo-Christian philosophy that the Earth was, “given to man,” by God and we’re supposed to control it and everything in it. We have to, “conquer mother-nature,” in order to survive and build more hamburger stands and condos and parking lots and Walmart Super Stores. God wants us to. When you view nature as something to be conquered, then nature – earth itself – becomes an enemy, rather than our Mother and home.
Then there’s politics. Think of what we’ve been hearing from our politicians for the last four years. BE AFRAID! Be very, very, very, very afraid of Mexicans and Knee-Grows, and Arabs and Jews and Chinese and lesbians and socialists and feminists and communists and . . . well . . . pretty much anyone who looks or sounds or thinks differently than we do. Every single one of them wants to Destroy Our Way of Life, rape our daughter, and steal our dog.
A certain amount of the fear comes from the globalization of information. We see things on the internet and our televisions that we would have been totally unaware of a short evolutionary time ago. If there are riots in Portland, train crashes in Pakistan, or bombings in Yemen, we are aware of that now. It’s all become a part of our daily lives. The work that’s being done with mirror neurons suggests that human beings are highly empathetic. If we see other people in pain or distress, we internalize that pain as our own, and we are being exposed to a LOT more people in pain than has ever been normal for the human race.
All of these factors – plus a lot more than could be covered in a blog post – have combined to create a massive illusion, a sort of a group hypnosis, where the world is perceived as a horribly dangerous place that could kill us at any moment. And, really, it’s not.
99% of the time, it’s perfectly safe for 99% of us.
Hopefully we can begin to stop the insanity and start EXPANDING that safety and peace to as many other humans as we can. Stop the wars, feed the hungry, eliminate corruption and greed, declare AS A SPECIES that racism and religious fanaticism will no longer be tolerated.
But first we need to recover that sense of safety in our own hearts and heads. We need to return to our home in the magical garden and become The Empress again.
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