Fear and greed, these are the roots of oppression, racism, hatred. They are the opposite of love and compassion.
There is an un-healthy fear in this world that most people have. It is a fear that perpetuates fear. The scenarios and stories that fuel our fears are caused by fear itself. Fear is always a free will choice. There is an underlying fear that if we do not have enough money we will suffer, starve or go without. All fear is ultimately a fear of death. And all fear is a lack of love.
There is a competitive instinct related to survival that most people have. Un-healthy competition for survival is greed and greed is also a free will choice. It exists only if we decide to compete against others. There is an underlying belief that not everyone can survive. A sense that only the wealthy who can afford an exit strategy or the clever, smart one who can think their way out will survive and will retain his/her wealth. This is greed and all greed is a lack of compassion.
Fear and greed exist only within ourselves and only where we have not tapped into our resources of love and/or compassion. We all have these resources.
To demonstrate these ideas, consider the classic example of the Titanic. ‘An “unsinkable” ship.’ The very idea that ships sink is an idea of fear, specifically fear of death. All passengers aboard a ship, called an “unsinkable” ship have invoked their fear of death just by contemplating the idea that ships sink. Let’s add the news that there are not enough life boats for everyone. Now we have invoked a competition for survival. Everyone becomes greedy and all compassion is forgotten when competition for survival is evoked. This is a classic example of the multitude of stories we tell ourselves, the stories that our beliefs are based on, the ones that perpetuate fear and greed. We have come to believe (perhaps unconsciously) that through riches can we avoid suffering and death and also that there is not enough for everyone. Only those with enough money can buy passage on an unsinkable ship and if we allow the poor to have passage, they are going to compete for space on our lifeboat.
These beliefs live to some extent within each of us. These are the imperfections of humanity. That is, unless we consciously rise above fear and greed. Unless we find our place of love and compassion and bring them together through the grounding force of consciousness. “Christ consciousness”, “enlightenment”, “mindfulness”, whatever you want to call it. In every situation in our lives we need to take time to contemplate the role of fear and greed in our choices and strive always to reach for love and compassion. Only through this constant examination can we transcend fear and greed and reach the higher frequency of unconditional love and clarity.
Do you ever hear stories like the Titanic and wonder how you would have behaved in that situation? Wonder which side you would have been on in the American Civil war? Wondered if you would have hidden Ann Frank in your attic or helped on the Underground Railroad? These are situations that ask us to transcend fear and greed and evolve to the higher frequency of unconditional love and clarity. Many of us may think we know how we would have participated in these historical circumstances but we should remember that those in the situation at that time did not have the benefit of historical retrospect that we have now. Many were punished, died or killed for their efforts to do the right thing. What made them choose love and compassion over fear and greed?
We have these situations all around us. We have opportunities to evolve and transcend given to us each day. Do you give food to the homeless man on the corner or do you allow fear to let you believe you are competing with him for your food and money? Do you support diversity efforts in your school or workplace or do you have an unhealthy fear or competition within you that creates an internal struggle to do the right thing?
There is a bigger picture than immediate struggle for life and death. A bigger picture than fear and greed. There is reincarnation and karma. This life is one day in the life of our soul. Winning the day but losing the karmic lesson, isn’t really winning – it’s an illusion. It’s un-enlightened, un-conscious, imperfect humanity.