My general practice is to greet others in passing on the street. This post is written in recollection of an encounter with an Iraq War combat veteran on Higgins Street in Missoula, Montana. The exchange, which included listening to his paranoid delusion and shaking his hand, brought me momentarily to a full-blown paranoid state as I walked away from him and rounded the corner passing by other men, who were well dressed and on their way somewhere. I - the witness or reflective consciousness - quickly snapped back to observing this state of mind and upon arriving to the house, accomplished a full clearing of the paranoia by simply speaking out loud, "I release everything that is not me". Paranoia can be as real and complete a state of mind as bliss consciousness. The person capable of holding a gun wisely is one unattached to corporal existence. Place a gun in this person's hand and the gun will be dismantled.
Total Peace ~ Tranquility
Tranquility is not a feeling or thought
It may be best described as resting consciousness,
the facial expression of which is a smile;
the spontaneity of which is gratitude.
I want to write about two potential states of mind, paranoia and peace. Paranoia and peace are expressions of opposing worldviews that include core understandings of universal experience ~ physical and spiritual law, together comprising natural law.
Paranoia is inspired by a fear-infused worldview grounded in opposition. The core perception of the paranoid/fear-infused worldview is that the individual fends for himself because everyone fends for himself; human beings and other animals are fundamentally selfish.
Peace is inspired by an empathy-infused worldview grounded in alliance. The core perception of the peace/empathy-infused worldview is that the individual is supportive to others and is in turn supported by others; human beings and other animals are fundamentally altruistic.
The worldview in which the mind has developed or, in other words, the mind has inherited through the bloodline, familial and societal character traits, determines what the mind perceives of the world because reality is determined by what the mind anticipates from past experience.
Worldview change requires an individual to be exposed to alternate realities through personal transcendental experience coupled with the communications of those whose minds developed in a series of experiences that contradict her own, thus opening the mind to other possibilities.
States of paranoia and peace can be subtle or extreme.
Subtle paranoia can be described as a state of chronic worry. Beliefs arising from subtle paranoia include: no one appreciates me; life is challenging because I am doing or I have done something wrong; I am being punished or I am going to be punished; and someone is controlling me or wants to control me. Beliefs arising from extreme paranoia include: someone or everyone is against me; someone or everyone wants to acquire something that I possess; and someone or everyone will take my life if necessary to acquire what they want.
Subtle peace is a state of chronic trust. Beliefs arising from subtle peace include: others appreciate me; challenges are inherent to life experience and living up to life’s challenges improves me; challenges arise from basic indifference because no one is more important than anyone else; everyone has access to what they need when they appreciate what is presently available to them.
Every mind holds potential to experience these states in totality. In other words, all thought can become completely paranoid or peaceful. The mind experiencing total paranoia is suicidal, imminently dangerous to the self and others. The mind experiencing total peace is tranquil, incapable of harming self or others, yet unconcerned with the basics of securing food and shelter for the body.
Subtle paranoia gives rise to all manner of selfish behavior, from rather benign exploits that serve the emotional needs of the individual at the expense of others, to gross exploitations, suicidal tendencies and murderous actions.
It is fair to say that after many generations of early childhood trauma, domestic violence, slavery, religious dogma, and genocide much of humanity now experiences at least subtle paranoia; chronic worry. It is also fair to say that a rather ubiquitous subtle paranoia is enforced by a few who experience the paranoid state in totality, because most unfortunately for everyone including themselves, the few who are truly paranoid control money and raw materials, and have access to the most technologically advanced weapons.
To the subtly paranoid, it appears that the solution to imperialism and terrorism is to jail or kill the imperialists and terrorists. The subtly paranoid mind does not see past the illusion created by the underlying worldview that gives rise to its thinking. To the subtly peaceful, it appears that the solution to terrorism is to disarm one’s own person and group. The subtly peaceful mind sees that to kill the perpetrator is to become the perpetrator.
War continues because the majority of human thinking arises from the subtly paranoid state of mind. To change this, to shift from a paranoid majority to a peaceful majority, the greatest responsibility and act of self-sacrifice for each person is to consider her own state of mind; to work through unresolved trauma, and purify the body of physical and emotional contaminants.
Just as external influences enhance the peaceful state, all manner of external influences exacerbate the paranoid state. External influences known to exacerbate the paranoid state include sleep deprivation, malnutrition, alcohol, marijuana, gold, and antidepressant and antipsychotic pharmaceuticals.
Physical purification and nourishment begins the shift to a subtly peaceful state, which when cultivated, may reach tranquility. This tranquil state in one person alone counterbalances the suicidal state in many others (see Power vs. Force link below). This is why a decrease in violence can be measured when a group of minds in the tranquil state gather for meditation. This is why world peace will be attained when a relative few experience tranquility while a majority experience subtle peace. This is why the primary devotion of every person should be nourishing self-care in keeping with seasonal, lunar, and circadian rhythms.