I don't know where to begin with this one. I don't even know in which direction to go, or in which category to put it. I only know that it is a subject that is very important to me at this time.
This last few days is an excellent case in point. I wrote and researched "Appreciation" from several different angles, only to find at their completion that I had not dealt with the problem I was struggling with. In fact, I didn't even know I was struggling, or that the problem involved me.
The story to which I am referring is The Rollercoaster.
The more I wrote about the rollercoaster, the more I realized that I was the one who needed to let go of the steering wheel and take my foot off the brake. That I was the one who's vehicle was trailing behind all the others.
Me, the one who has a reputation of sorts for boldly going where only fools dared. Me, who in my own opinion was one who breaks down walls of fear. Me, who could clearly see that very problem in others, and is always ready to point it out. Me, who writes, and has written many stories about that very subject.
I had the answers, I had the understanding to a degree, and I had the awareness of the problem - in other people.
What I did not have is any insight into the fact that I was the one with the problem.
And to make bad things worse, I not only thought I had risen above it, but believed that I still was above it - and going higher!
Are they fools? Are they self-destructive? Do they just not care? Or could it be some thousand other reasons that I don't even have a name for?
I am not one to hide from truth. I seek it out. I question and challenge it. I even doubt it at times. But I would like to believe that I never deny it once it has been proven to me. I present as evidence of this my response to the Rollercoaster.
And here the question dies an untimely and unwelcome death.
From my own experience it seems to me that I am allowed to blindly charge into a situation that I would avoid with all my might were I to recognize the dangers in it. And at this point I must differentiate between situations I have gotten myself into because of blindness of one sort or another; and those I blinded myself to because of my own selfish desires. There are some which were my own doing (of course they all were, but some truly blindly), and some that seemed to have strong overtones of external manipulation, and still others I just can't say for sure what happened.
And had I done so, that is, had I not taken those false routes, I would have missed two thing in particular, and one other very important experience.
I would have missed an opportunity to experience what I try to avoid in myself, which would have meant that I would have missed understanding a bit of what other people are like, and what motivates them.
And I would have missed the opportunity to discover that the problem lies in me as well, and just how deeply embedded the problem really is. And along with that, I would have missed learning that I can also clear myself of the problem, and discover the method(s) I must use to do so.
And the thing that is especially important; I would have missed out on learning how poorly I function when I am in control, and how much freer I feel when I have released control, that is, opened my hands.
* * *
I was tired. There are other reasons I'm sure, but I'll settle for this one. It's safer.
And that is a key to the problem, that is, the lies (or at least misinformation) we use to conceal the truth. Whether it is Satan who tells them to us, or our own mind or ego that we hear; it is us, you and me, that listens to and believes them.
So we hear one little lie, believe it - which sets our direction of thought, and build upon it. Like the cornerstone of a building.
Jesus said He, as Truth, is the Cornerstone of the building. I understand this to mean that if we set Truth as the cornerstone of our thinking that we will build a structure of Truth. Conversely, if our cornerstone is a Lie....?
The above could explain how we can blindly go into a situation, and become more blind to it the farther we go. And this is true whether or not we give credit to the devil for our dilemma, or take the responsibility ourself. (And who would want to do that?)
The above creates two more questions:
Supposing that there is no Satanic influence on our blindness, that is, our cornerstone lie; How do we possibly learn to see Truth when we have engulfed ourself with more and more, bigger and bigger, and more sophisticated Lies? I think of someone with agoraphobia, that is the fear of open or public places. It may begin with that person staying home, but may well end with them huddled in a dark closet.
At this final stage, how is that person to see their blindness? Of course you could say that what they need to do is get out of the house and overcome the problem. A reasonable suggestion, especially so when the problem first began and was small. But if the problem wasn't seen or dealt with when it was small, how then could it be seen and dealt with when it is huge?
Outside influence, of course, may help. But for this study we will assume that there is none, and if there was, our self-deceptive lies have covered up the fact that the problem even exists. In fact, it may have advanced to such a degree that we believe that anyone not huddled in their dark closet is a fool and is blindly running around in the deadly sunshine.
The first option supposes that Satan is mighty and powerful, that he is a force in opposition to God. That we are important pawns in his game that he must win or destroy.
"The Devil made me do it!" we cry as an excuse for our poor behavior. Can the devil in fact make any of us do what is against our will? If that is so, and he has us in his clutches - how then could we ever expect to get free? And if we can't get free, how then could we ever learn from the experience?
Satan is also called a Liar from the beginning, and the Bible tends to portray him as such. (However, he used the deaths of many in his efforts to dissuade Job).
If he in fact is this subtle creature (which the Bible also describes him as being), that all he does is whisper in our ear and points us in the wrong direction - then we must accept the responsibility for what we choose to do. We must accept that such a problem lies deep within us, and all that Satan did was tempt us to act out on it.
And if we acted according to our own will, then we can also take credit for having changed our direction once we have "seen the light, the error of our ways."
In this second option we then learn something about ourself that we would have never known. In this scenario we could even thank the devil for having taught us something that we can utilize in our relationship to ourself, to others, and to God. I doubt the devil would be happy for that, but then, who cares?
[For myself, I don't give the devil any credit at all. I assume that my own failings have nothing to do with the devil, that I am not important enough for him to even bother with, and that my own problems are brought about by my own failings and weakness. So when I finally see the light, I give thanks to God for having revealed my blindness, and for having lifted it. And I thank Him for the lessons I had learned while stumbling about in that blind state.]