by Charlie Phillips
It is said that man is driven by one of these five emotions Fear, Lust, Greed, Vanity, and Jealously. As you look at that list do you notice anything missing? Well I do, what happened to Love? Is that so foreign to mankind that we don’t even recognize it as an emotion? Unfortunately in this modern world, I believe this is true.
We are taught from early childhood to operate from fear. We were fearful of being punished because we might have done something wrong. In church were taught that you had to fear God, careful do the right thing or you would be punished. If something went, what we perceive to be, wrong we must have been doing something we shouldn’t have. Fear is probably our biggest motivator, governments use it to make sure we obey all their rules; our parents use it to make sure we won’t get into trouble. We use it on ourselves to make sure we make that payment, deadline, or any of a thousand other reasons. We allow ourselves to be stuck in fear, because that’s how we’ve been programmed. One analogy based on my brief stint of auto racing might be if a person goes too fast thru a turn it scares them, they think I could have rolled my car over. A race driver goes through the same turn and thinks what could I do to go through a little faster. Does that mean he/she is reckless, no it just means they are enjoying the experience instead of fearing it. Isn’t it time we started enjoying life, instead of fearing it?
Lust now that is something that is pushed at us everyday. You only have to watch TV for a little while and lust is shown as something normal. There is lust for every occasion, lust for that new car, the girl down the street, or maybe it’s a job promotion. Could lust be envy or greed in disguise, if we lust for something is it because someone else has it, but you don’t? You don’t hear much about a lust for life, that might be a little like love, can’t have that it’s against the rules you know. Now lets think about that for a minute, if we have a lust for life, that won’t take away from anyone or hurt anyone for that matter. We have been programmed into believing that to get ahead someone else has to move down. Maybe that’s why the lust for life is seldom mentioned, if we had a lust for life, we wouldn’t be living in fear. How can the dark side feed off of us if we don’t have the fear?
We think we know greed, must be that businessman and his greed for profit. Isn’t greed just wanting what we don’t have? Or maybe what we don’t even need. If we were honest we would recognize that we all are greedy. Just let someone ask you to give up a few dollars or sometime with no compensation and we try to find an excuse. It can be something as simple as one brother taking the last piece of pie instead of sharing it. We also have a hard time letting go of an idea or a wish for something to benefit us, even if it means someone else would lose. I don’t think there is one among us who doesn’t at some point have a hard time of putting greed behind us. We really don’t think of it as greed, we just want to keep what is ours. We only consider it greed when someone else won’t give us his or her share. It still amounts to the fact that for your greed to come to fruition someone else has to lose.
I know that none of us suffers from vanity; of course we wouldn’t be caught in town with those old faded and patched jeans, that’s just preserving out image or is it modesty. Couldn’t call that vanity. Maybe a better analogy would be telling someone about our job, do we embellish just a little, especially if talking to someone we think we should impress. This is really tied to our ego; it has to be better or stronger. We must remember the old saying pride goeth before the fall. Isn’t our ego and pride the same thing? Isn’t vanity just our ego trying to assert itself? As long as we let our ego rule us we will never be able to face anything except the fear.
Jealousy probably ranks right behind fear. We’re jealous of the guy with the new car, or the good-looking date, or maybe he/she has money. Yet if we had those things would we be satisfied, probably not. Jealousy quite often replaces trust. This is not to say we should just blindly trust everyone, not everyone out there is a nice guy. I recently read a good description of discrimination, it is accepting or rejecting someone or thing without judgment. In other words there are things and people whom we want to be with and others we don’t. That’s not to say there is anything wrong with those we don’t want to be with, just that they’re not right for us.
This brings us to the forgotten emotion love. Why is this so difficult? We all want love, but are we willing to give love? Therein lies the problem, we are afraid to give love. If we do we might get hurt, we might be seen as weak. We have a multitude of different excuses. It’s like the quote by Mark Twain “Everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die to get there.” Same thing with love everybody wants it but none want to freely give it. I think the truth is it would also require us to be honest with ourselves. That would mean we would have to take responsibility for our own actions and thoughts. Luck or fate has nothing to do with it, we get back what we put out. Don’t the Scriptures say you reap what you sow? Why do we find that so hard to deal with? When we live in fear that’s what we are going to get. It’s really up to us; we have to make a conscious decision as to the path we are going to take. Is it simple or easy? No as a matter of fact it takes concentration and hard work. It’s easy just to follow along someone else’s footsteps, but to strike out on your own journey on a path maybe never tread before, that can be a little intimating.
The question arises how do we make the change? The only thing I can tell you is what worked for me, you are going to have to find your own path. For me I reached a point when I realized that I was putting a negative outlook on almost all I did. I was worried about things that I thought might be coming. We all hear rumors about the government doing this or the economy taking a crash. Now I didn’t walk around with a cloud over my head, and to be truthful I had adopted the attitude that if I was meant to get through whatever was coming I would and if not I wouldn’t. Through all of this though I would still find myself getting uptight when I would hear some of these things. I reached a point where I said; I have to change my outlook on life. Just getting along was no longer what I wanted from life. I had been reading various books and realized that nothing would change until I did. So whenever I found myself getting uptight I would stop and say to myself, that’s not putting out love. This is not really very hard to do if you are honest with yourself, and want to make a change in your life. That is not to say it doesn’t require effort and being aware of your thoughts, it’s something you have to make a conscious effort to achieve.
If and when you decide to walk that path you will find yourself connecting with others as never before. When you make that connection you will wonder, why did I ever hesitate? You will then start to experience the lust for life. The experience and connectivity on that level is beyond description. To which I can only say, have a great journey.