Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
Nothing Special... Part Two
The Third Path
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Seeing the Illusion: Fear and Reward
Article ID: 14345
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 863
Times Read: 1,896
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Author: Stewart Bitkoff
Posted: January 9th. 2011
Times Viewed: 1,896
So what is this illusion that you are talking about?
It’s a variation of the fear and reward manipulation which every educational, social, business, religious entity uses. It runs something like this: look we have a potentially good thing going here (promotion, success, heaven) and if you want to join in with us; then you are required to follow what we say to do. If you don’t want these rewards and join: remember you are doomed to either failure, a very hard time, you may even piss God off or become someone with little social status.
We live in a capitalistic society and most people grow-up believing- I want to get a piece of the action (money) - so I’ll follow along with the rules; it’s the same with religions and family structures. What’s put out there- here are the rules and expectations- accept them or reject them; that is up to you, but if you reject them it’s a hard way to go without our help.
As I was growing-up, the American Dream went something like this: go to work for a corporation or large employer and they would take care of you financially- from cradle to grave; buy a house on credit- a 30 year mortgage, finance a car, get an education (student loan) and get married. This is the way to success and happiness.
Today, many of the aspects of this dream lie about in ashes. Like millions of others, when I first had a family I bought into this dream. Yet, over the years I realized that the only thing taking out a 30 year mortgage, buying things on credit did for me- was make me a slave to my work every day and not complain- because if I complained- I wouldn’t get promoted, loose my job or appear un-American; after all I had to take care of my family and make ‘the monthly nut’ (bills) just like everyone else.
In America, often we forget there are other ways to do things. Meanwhile my brother has built 2 homes with minimal financing; one of these homes being in Mexico and the other in Idaho. Fortunately, he has not been enslaved in this particular trap- helping the person who sits on top of the banking industry, mortgage-financing scheme get richer. He tells me, that now in Mexico they have introduced installment buying and mortgages. Where this has been done, coincidently, there has been a tremendous rise in stress related or western illnesses (high blood pressure, anxiety, and lack of work enjoyment) .
The sad part of our western capitalistic illusion: the way to happiness is through consuming, owning, and installment buying; is that it keeps us so very busy struggling to keep-up- we don’t see what has happened to us nor have time to express the inner person. That person who likes to sing, dance and smell wild flowers-that eternal child of the universe and spiritual traveler in all of us. We are too busy not wanting to miss all the new gadgets: flat screen TV, phone with the latest capabilities, new car that we become over stressed working for them, with different physical ailments and often traveling hours to our jobs.
Caught-up in the daily grind of working to pay bills, many forget life is a wonderful gift- filled with love, creativity, beautiful sunsets, and people to love.
When we are immersed in this illusion and expectation that material happiness will be ours, often we shift off center and don’t have time for simpler, holistic things. In this age we are seeing the collapse of many cherished institutions and beliefs- Governments, corporations, and standard religion cannot save us. Each of these structures has a vested interest in keeping the old system going; what will save us is that after the collapse of these structures, people will be forced to unite and replace these systems with others that work for the common good.
You know, it is possible to work together, we see it every day- usually in an emergency situation or after a catastrophe of some sort; people show-up from everywhere trying to help.
The best way to free people from their own expectations and an unhealthy level of selfishness, is to realize this trap individually and teach others- it is in everyone’s best interest that people be treated fairly, fed, not robbed, cheated or raped. For you see, I am my brother’s keeper, because we share the same Father; and if my brother is not fed, one day he will be at my door, demanding what is his.
In the Far East, Terrorist Leaders are presenting the fear and reward manipulation is this way. We want to be good Moslems who do God’s Will; so we must spread Islam, fighting and killing those capitalists who do not believe as we do and worship the God of money. Then our reward will be in heaven; today many are being brain washed into believing this terrorist ideology and manipulation.
Any person or society can use ideology to control people, particularly, when the ideology is exclusive and tied to the reward and punishment manipulation. In the world today, religion and nationalism are two very common and dangerous examples. We are right and they are wrong; and because we are right- the other must do as we say. Remember, the task of the spiritual traveler is to see beyond ideology and manipulation, so, they are not controlled by these strong thoughts; being able to suspend them for a time, eventually awakening other forms of consciousness that arise from the mystical, spiritual part of our nature, and reside deep within.
As spiritual travelers, we want to freely choose actions; like paying off a 30-year mortgage, to make our lives more comfortable and enjoyable. We want our world to be a place where people are free to express the higher part of them self and are not controlled by what others think or say… having been taught to see beyond fear and reward- living a more complete life.
Location: Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
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