Tag Archives: fear

What If I’m Wrong?

This question can elicit from deep within us a terror of the worst sort, for it requires a forthright examination of our suppositions and suspicions and shines a light on dark places that we would much rather remain shadowed.

What if the ideas and hopes, the positions and assertions we hold dear are shown to be flawed or otherwise unreliable? What if those things in which we have invested our Energy, that we have defended and even promoted, turn out to be a house of cards? What, then, do we have? What, then, do we do?…

It is certain that we hesitate to question our beliefs because our culture preferentially rewards the “right” answer or the “right” action and summarily castigates and sanctions those which are “wrong” or “unacceptable.” It is this inculcated aversion to incongruity that can lead us to avoid the difficult work that may well reveal that which we would prefer to not acknowledge concerning our most cherished convictions. To put it bluntly, we find it embarrassing to be wrong. Embarrassment, however, is insufficient reason to cling doggedly to our inherited cultural mythologies or the mythologies we have painstakingly formulated and collected about ourSelves.

Then there is the doubt.

Should we discover a breach in the ramparts of our certainty, it is then that we may find our confidence is shaken and the poison of doubt has started to seep into the crevices of our Self-esteem. Doubt can be the most caustic and debilitating of adversaries.

The antidote to doubt is the recognition and acceptance of the verity that, so long as we are willing to be proven wrong, we can find peace (and even excitement!) in the knowledge that there is always more to see, always more to feel, always more to experience, always more to learn. “Wrong” does not have to be forever. Being wrong or mistaken or misguided is not an irreversible condition.

To ask “what if I am wrong” is a daunting question. It is a question, however, that the Self in search of integrity and a Life grounded in mindfulness of the Real must be bold and courageous enough to ask, over and over and over again.

©Billy Red Horse

Darkness

Several years ago yours truly was engaged in a short email exchange with a friendly acquaintance.  For several years I had been an on again/off again counselor and confidant to this particular young lady and the exchange in question was precipitated by an earlier face-to-face encounter where I mentioned to her that she appeared to be down.  Below you will find our resulting electronic conversation:

—–Original Message—–
From: Doe, Jane 

I am in a dark mood today and it is spilling out.  I am sorry.  I will be better. 

———-
From: Mystic, The 

I enjoy my dark places.  In them I find elements of my Self that move me, that inform me, that steel me.  I freely admit that my greatness is forged in Darkness but is invigorated and given life when I shine forth my Light.  Do you embrace the Darkness?

———-
From: Doe, Jane 

No. 

———-
From: Mystic, The

Then you should know, my dear, that this rejection is the source of your misery.  In this you deny your Self.

Like most, my acquaintance rejected the darkness in her Being as inherently unpleasant and base, viewing it as something to be (at the very least) ignored or (if at all possible) conquered.

That evil is ascribed to darkness is an almost universal phenomenon, one that cuts across cultural lines and religious traditions.  We are indoctrinated from childhood to believe that in the darkness we will find only pain and suffering and all manner of sinister things.  We are given night lights to ward off the monsters that dwell under our beds and in our closets.  We are taught to fear darkness, explicitly and by example, not only in the physical realm, but the darkness that resides within our own Beings.

Should the truth be told, it is not darkness per se that people resist; it is the force of evil which is believed (rightly or wrongly) to inhabit the gloom that hobbles so many.  It has been my experience that, when observed and considered objectively, darkness and evil are not necessarily mutually inclusive.  More often than not, it is the unquestioned acceptance of darkness as the province of the wicked that perpetuates and promulgates the myth and continues to give it odious life in this so-called age of enlightened thought.  The benefits to be gained in the acceptance and integration of those valuable elements which abide in darkness far surpass (in this Mystic’s opinion, at least) the unreasonable cautions borne of an uninformed historical prejudice.

In my tradition the western energetic on an Earth Gate (Medicine Wheel) is viewed as the location of darkness and is identified by the color black.  Represented by the element of Earth, it is the looks-within place of introspection and intuition, is the realm of the human body, is considered negative/receptive, and is the matrix of feminine energy.  It should, therefore, not be surprising that most of the traits which were just mentioned are in whole or in part looked down upon or viewed in a disparaging light by a wide assortment of religions and philosophies and the people who subscribe to them.  To the partisans of superstition and ignorance nothing of value is to be culled in the shadows and the loss, quite deservedly, is their own.  At great peril they reject a valuable aspect of Reality in deference to their preferred brand of intolerance and bias.  Perhaps there truly IS a legitimate reason for these individuals to shun the darkness, as there is no night light which can ever shine brightly enough to protect such misguided souls from the inner demons wrought of their own creation.

For the traveler committed to a fuller understanding and experience of Life, it is vital that the darkness be explored and mapped in studied detail.  There is much to be learned there and even more to be gained if we can set aside our fears and acknowledge That-Which-Is.  It is when we deny and suppress the darkness that we engender strife, for in our denial we tend to feed and antagonize the beast most wish to remain quiet and hidden safely away in its cage.

Now, I no more suggest a wholesale cleaving to darkness at the exclusion of light than I espouse the rejection of darkness for the fanciful delusion of light as some manifestation of romantic mythical perfection.  Extremes are tinder for the fires of that most palpable of evils, fanaticism.

Seek balance and, through it all, don’t be afraid of the dark.

©Billy Red Horse

Hell On Earth

I am here today to convey a warning that, alas, only the wise shall heed: Hell is VERY real.  I know for I have been there.  I have experienced first hand the misery of the place, smelled the stench of the ovens and the countless bodies that have passed through the gates, and heard with my own ears the cacophony of the tortured souls contained therein.  How I found myself, an unwilling guest, there among the damned, I do not know; obfuscation and confusion are allies of the tormentors and the scourge of the tormented.  I recognize my good fortune in that I somehow managed to escape, by what means I cannot say.  I know only that my gratitude at being free of that wretched realm is without bounds.  I now feel it my duty to sound the alarm, to alert the unknowing, the unwitting, and the unbelieving, for the portals of damnation are often close and perilously easy to enter.

Through subtle plea or determined summons, the unsuspecting are enticed into the maw of the abyss, as if guided by the hand of an innocent little child.  The curious and the obliging make such easy prey.  Once through the gates the assault on body, mind, and senses begins.  The false promises of fun and games give way swiftly to a stunned awareness that condemnation is at hand.

Hell is a place of darkness, yet it is filled with lights of dazzling color and variety, oscillating madly and blinding in their intensity.  From every shadowy corner they shine on the assembled throngs, oppressive and unrelenting.  There is no solace to be found, for should one light begin to dim, another will take its place, more offensive and more odious than the one it superseded.

Detritus litters the ground, piled high and scattered all about, decomposing where it sits.  Cries and shouts like thunder assault the ears as demonic orchestras grind out their tortured melodies.  As for respite, there is none to be had, only discomfort and mayhem and distress.

The last thought there is of hunger, but the minions of blackness foist their potions and poisons on the gathered denizens, so-called “food” prepared and served that at once offends the nostrils and turns the stomach, a mockery of the real needs of the cursed.

In this land all is frenzied and kinetic; demons run to and fro, laughing as they torture the masses and even one another.  The den of suffering is populated by creatures difficult to describe, with no comparison to be found in nature.  Vile Myomorpha the size of full-grown men, taunting and teasing, beasts that sing high praise and dance with glee at the folly of the damned.  Lurking in mazes or trapped in cages, it is often difficult to discern the prisoners from the ungrudging sentinels of Beelzebub.

No more, no more, I can speak of my travail no more!  Should, by hapless circumstance, my shadow ever again darken the kingdom of torment, I fear I would not be so lucky as to elude for a second time the fiends abiding there which delight in the agonies of another.  I confess the very thought brings a sweat to my brow and the trembles to my knees.

Hades, Tartarus, Sheol, Gehenna, and Tophet, all ancient names for the Land of the Lost.  But be warned and be wary for there is yet another name for Perdition’s abode.  Be vigilant and permit no one to lure you there and dare not even to utter its infernal name:

Chuck E. Cheese’s.

©Billy Red Horse