Finding and Maintaining Peace While Under Great Duress

As America continues its devolution into a kleptocratic authoritarian fascist wasteland, psychological suffering has begun overwhelming many people.  Anti-depressant usage by the adult population has increased by over 400% since 1988.  Self-medication with marijuana, which acts as an anti-depressant, has also increased to its highest recorded point across practically every metric since 2002.  For example, the population of 50-59 year olds self-medicating with marijuana has doubled since 2002.  The increases in prescription anti-depressant and marijuana usage indicate that increasing numbers of people are being overwhelmed by the world around them.

There is only one institution in our society that is capable of creating a mass increase in depression.  A systemic increase in anti-depressant drug use across the entire population is indicative of state policy being at the root of the issues that many people are being overwhelmed by.  On an individual level, people suffering from depression may not recognize the state as being the root cause of their depression, but when taken in aggregate, it becomes clear that there is no other possible cause for a widespread uptick in anti-depressant usage other than the state.  Depression isn’t an airborne disease that can spread with the wind.  A systemic increase in anti-depressant usage can only be triggered by systemic increases in the problems people are having to cope with.  Only one institution is capable of creating a systemic increase in the problems people are having to cope with, the state.

As an anarcho-capitalist student of Austrian School economics, I feel the burden of knowledge weigh heavily on my shoulders.  I can see all that could be if people simply followed the golden rule.  I can see all that we stand to lose because society continues to reject the golden rule.   I can see what kind of world the children who are being born today will grow up in if things continue on the way they have been.  This foreknowledge can, at times, be extremely overwhelming to me.  I know what the end result of our violent ways will be, and it is not something that I want to live through, yet I have no choice in the matter.  I am here, and I must learn to cope with with the violently imposed destruction of civilized society right along with everyone else.

Seen in a perverse light, this has been a blessing to me because it has caused me to become a much more spiritual person.  I want to share some of the spiritual insights that I have acquired over the years with you all in the hope that they may help you better deal with any particular problem you may be feeling overwhelmed by.

First, I want to make it clear that if you feel like you have chronic depression, you should seek professional counseling.  Whether or not you chose to use any anti-depressant medication that may be prescribed to you is obviously your choice, but you should inform yourself as to the effects (there are no such thing as side-effects as far as I am concerned) of the drugs you may be prescribed.  For example, some of the effects of Prozac are

  • Anxiety — up to 15 percent
  • Nervousness — up to 14 percent
  • Shakiness (tremor) — up to 13 percent
  • Decreased sex drive — up to 11 percent (see Prozac Sexual Side Effects)
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior (see Prozac and Suicide)
  • Hostility or aggressiveness
  • Confusion or other mental changes
  • Hallucinations
  • and Coma

That said, let us take a closer look at the root causes of anxiety and depression.  All feelings of depression and anxiety stem from a lack of acceptance, as does all conflict.  Consider that it is impossible to have an argument with someone if you accept whatever their position is.  When I say “acceptance”, I’m not implying agreement with or advocacy for, but merely acceptance of.  For example, many people accept illicit drug use and feel it should be legalized, but they do not condone or advocate the use of illegal drugs.  Acceptance is an art unto itself.  To accept things as they are is extraordinarily difficult for most people.  Yet, if one wishes to achieve any real and lasting peace in one’s life, the only way this can be accomplished is to accept the world as it is.

We find this lesson of acceptance reiterated to us in the golden rule.  Consider that strict adherence to the golden rule results in a pacifist philosophy.  If I love my neighbor as myself, I would not want to harm him no matter what he may do to me.  Even if my neighbor were to beat me, murder me, kill my family, lock me in a cage for smoking dried flowers or take 50% of my income through taxation, loving my neighbor as myself means accepting their actions and responding only with kindness.

Of course, if you hate yourself, this kind of philosophy isn’t going to make much sense to you at all.  Thus, self-hate is an issue that must be identified and corrected if one is achieve a state of peacefulness.  A peaceful response to hostility is necessary if your goal is to maintain a peaceful state of mind.  If you become hostile in response to a hostile action, obviously you are not going to be feeling very peaceful or content at that moment.  Feeling peace and contentment vs. feeling anger or want is a choice that we have the power to make at any time in any given circumstance.

Responding with hostility to the hostile actions of others is a natural result of being consumed by the ego and the world of form.  Because the ego identifies itself with the physical form, and because the physical form has physical needs and endures physical pain, the ego naturally responds with hostility to violations of our physical body and to violations of the material goods we need to maintain our physical form.  The ego always seeks to protect the physical form that it embodies.  Death of the physical form means death for the ego.

To move beyond the ego, which is to fully embrace the essence of the golden rule and achieve a total state of peace, requires an acknowledgement of the spiritual self.  The spiritual self is separate from the ego.  The ego is that little voice inside your head that is mentally verbalizing the words you are reading at this very moment.  The spiritual self is the awareness that makes that mental verbalization possible.  The spiritual self is the eternal soul that most religions identify with.  The spiritual self is the awareness of your consciousness.  Repeat after me, “I am not aware because random chemicals are reacting in my brain.”

To believe that biochemical reactions are the cause of your awareness is to believe that you have no free will, since we know empirically that all biochemical reactions are deterministic in nature.  If your consciousness is the result of deterministic biochemical processes, then you didn’t chose to read this article.  You were simply predestined to read this article – and you were predestined to either accept or reject what I’m saying to you now.  If you are a believer in determinism, then you can stop wasting your time reading the rest of this article (not that you have a choice in doing so).  However, if you accept that your consciousness is not the product of deterministic  biochemical reactions, then there is only one alternative left, which is that your consciousness is a fundamental component of the universe that exists separate from our physical selves.

 The mental voice that you talk to yourself with, the mental voice that you read with, the mental voice that verbalizes all the problems in your life over and over and over again in your head is insane.  It lives in the temporary world of form.  It derives its entire existence from the temporary world of form.  It seeks to protect the physical body, and thus its existence, by any and all means at its disposal.   It is unaware of the spiritual self.  It is the embodiment of the ego.  Recognizing that the voice in your head is insane will help you to stop listening and reacting to it.

At this moment you might be thinking to yourself, “I’m not insane.  I don’t feel insane.  I make rational choices every day.  I live a peaceful life.  I’m a rational human being.”  Insanity need not be a condition of total irrational thought at all times, but rather it may be mostly rational thought interspersed with delusional thought.   The delusional thoughts being that you are your physical form; and all the things that stem from that line of thinking.  The reality is that you are not your physical form.  You are much greater than that.  Believing that you are your physical form is a delusion that can ultimately lead to violence!

When people engage in hostile actions against you, they do so from a state of insanity.  There is a reason why insanity is recognized by society as a legal defense; because if a person knows not what they are doing, they can hardly be held culpable for their actions.  Recognizing the insanity in yourself and others will allow you to be compassionate, rather than hostile, toward those who advocate violence against your physical form and property.  People who use violence or coercion to take resources for themselves or others do so because they are consumed with the world of form and the ego.  People who are filled with jealousy, greed, fear or envy do not know what they really are.  How can you be mad at a person who doesn’t know any better?  They are reacting to what they know, which is the scarcity of the physical world.  This is also true of those who respond to violence with violence.

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. - Luke 23:34

Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule. – (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)

Christ’s saying here could also be interpreted as, “forgive them; for they know not what they are.”  Christ looked at the violent men surrounding him as ignorant children, for that is what they were.  He did not hate them for their ignorance, he accepted it and loved them anyways.  It takes a true spiritual master to maintain a state of peace and love in the face of a painful death by crucifixion.  When you fully accept that you are not your physical form, such acts of love become possible.

Anxiety also has its foundations in the physical form.  The eternal self cannot be anxious because it faces no scarcity.  The eternal self is not lacking in anything.  The eternal self does not fear for life or property because the eternal self is life and needs no property.  The eternal self cannot be greedy or envious because the eternal self does not need, it simply is.

Now let us consider the purpose of life in the physical form.  You can learn about fishing by reading a book on fishing.  You can learn how to cast a line, how to tie knots, how to fillet a fish, and all the other intricacies of fishing from books or videos – but you cannot know what the experience of fishing is like unless you actually fish!  You cannot experience being compassionate unless you are in a physical form.  You cannot experience compassion unless someone else is suffering!  You cannot experience loss unless you have something to lose!  You cannot experience fear unless there is a reason to be fearful!  You can learn what all of these things are but you cannot experience them without having form in a physical world of scarcity.  And that my friends is why you are here.  To experience all the things you already know about – to see if you can walk the walk when it really matters.  As they say, everything else is just talk.  Life is a school, where we test our mettle to see if we can be what we know we should be.

What should we be?  Violent?  Hostile?  Fearful?  Resentful?  – I think not.

We should relish the pain as well as the pleasure.  We should view the ignorance of others with compassion, rather than hostility.  We should meet hate with kindness.  We should look at physical pain as a reminder of why we are alive.  We should view scarcity as a blessing that allows us to test our mettle.  We should recognize fear, jealousy and envy for what they are, the crazed insanity of the ego – in ourselves as well as others.  And then my friends, you will know the peace that has eluded you for so long.

All this is easier said than done – I am faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar from perfect.  But that doesn’t matter.  What matters is that we recognize where we are and what we need to be, and simply keep moving forward toward that goal.  One foot after another.  One thought after the next.  As with all things in life, it takes work to become more than we are now.

 

If you found this line of thinking to be inspiring or helpful, please check out the works of the following authors:

  • The Gospel of Christ
  • A Buddhist Bible – Dwight Goddard (1st ed.) [1932]
  • Eckhart Tolle
  • Neale Donald Walsch
  • Dr.  Jeffrey Long
  • Dr. Pim van Lommel
  • P.M.H. Atwater
  • Dr. Kenneth Ring
  • Dr. Raymond Moody

 

  • Throughthewire

    Hummm, nice try but simple acceptance of the way things are will only get more of the same: the same fascist policies that put us in the funk in the first place. People who love freedom and liberty know, consciously or unconsciously, that those are two virtues worth fighting for. So, those of us that love freedom and liberty know what are challenges are and understand we must suck it up and fight. We can find some occasional relief in mysticism, alcohol, pot or antidepressants but we can loose sight of the what we’re fighting for, else we end up stoned in an authoritarian hell run amok. 

    • Mmyroniuk

       I think his point is that before kingdoms change, people must change. That said, instead of resisting an evil person (or institution, government, etc), we must love them. Every negative thought perpetuates itself- by loving a negative entity, you stop the negativity from continuing. Not many people accept this philosophy, and Christ clearly stated that. The idea of fighting the evil physically is, as Michael said, ego-driven. We are here to transcend those compulsions.

      • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

        That’s close to what I’m implying here.  We shouldn’t love the state, but we should show love towards the individuals that compose the state.  The state itself is nothing more than institutionalized violence.  I think this is best summed up by the phrase, hate the sin, love the sinner. “Sin” in this sense is violence or coercion.

        If you think about it logically, you will not get many converts to libertarianism by demonstrating hate towards statists.  It’s much easier to convert people if they are met with kindness.

        • Throughthewire

          The statists will by their own actions invoke the hate that converts an opposition that proves fatal to them. The opposition will not be Libertarians, at least not by name but simply lovers of freedom and liberty, as is common in most humans. Converting the masses to Libertarianism is not the goal. Smashing an elitist, authoritarian regime is the goal.

          • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

            I would say that statism is self-destructive no matter what, given that it is predicated on coercion.  The state will always destroy itself.  No work is necessary by libertarians to accomplish that goal. Eventually the money is destroyed along with the economy, leaving no one left to loot.

            Since we know this to be true, hating people for it isn’t going to change the outcome.

  • Mmyroniuk

    Your best writing yet….

  • Stofflela

    Everything in life happens for a reason! They are lessons that teach us to grow…..in all aspects. I’ve read books relating to Prince Siddharta, and shared them w/ my partner. I’ve had the honor of embracing Buddhism into my life, thru the likings of my child & her mother. I am grateful everyday to engage in this wonderful experience- LIFE!!! And look forward to sharing my “light” w/ others. Kop Krung Kop