Moore: At war with ourselves |

Moore: At war with ourselves

Arlan Moore
Valley Voices

We, the citizens of the United States of America, are in the midst of our second civil war.

Thankfully, this time the primary weapon of force is the ballot, not the bullet. Hopefully, this will continue to be the case, and the word “civil” in the phrase “civil war” will be the overpowering sensibility in our conversations with each other.

Two of the most powerful human emotions are love and fear. How our minds assemble our relationship between events in the world and these two emotions has a profound effect on our future perceptions and our future actions.

The events that we see in the world are filtered by the power that each of our egos has in determining how we will best be able to survive and prosper in what we believe the past has been, the present is, and the future will be.

Our desire for survival, health, and happiness drives us to strive for a plan that will allow us to successfully interact with these events. That plan is normally rooted in our perception of past experiences and on the best information that we have at the time. 

These perceptions are typically based on information that our ego has previously determined will be in our best interest to pay attention to. This process can become a self-perpetuating loop in which the real world fades behind the imagined one.

Many times, history has shown us that “real” news can only be seen through the lens of 20/20 hindsight. There is often too much information surrounding many events to enable all of it to be digested in a short period of time. 

However, sometimes, that is not the case; things are actually what they appear to be. 

It’s hard to make sense of the realities of the real world. It can be overwhelming. Out of our desperation to succeed in this, self-ordained conclusions can be reached that may, or may not, have a true connection to real events.

I have been so blessed by the gift of being born into this society. It is one that generally holds the beliefs of an individual to be something sacred, as well as a private domain that nobody can invade without that person’s permission.  

I treasure my life here in this country. I have been given a tremendous education in what is possible for us, as human beings, to achieve through the power of determination and persistence. 

I am grateful to everything and to everyone who has made this possible. For the most part, it has been through “normal, day to day efforts” that this has occurred.  I’m certain that I will fall short in true acknowledgment of all of the efforts that have been made in creating the world that we inhabit, but I hope to become aware of as many of them as possible.

Nonetheless, all of that will be filtered by two things; my loves and my fears.

In sorting out the overwhelming events that seem to always be a part of everyday life, I understand that I fear certain things for very good reasons. I also understand that those fears can get in the way of my being able to love things that really should be loved.

The current civil war that we are in is a war that is based on both love and fear and can only be truly understood in that context.  

Extremist points of view are being expressed by extremely passionate people, and passion is a very convincing part of any argument. Passion conveys a truth, in some fashion. That truth may or may not have a basis in the real world. The argument, whatever it may be, can become an ideological one in which anything can be “true” as long as certain potential conditions are actually met in the real world.  

Sometimes those conditions are met and the predicted results occur. Many times, those conditions are not met. Yet, the love and fear driving the reaction to the possibility of those conditions actually occurring in the real world continue on. There have been times when this has led to truly great achievements.

However, when individuals and, more importantly, groups of individuals give their fears the power to rule their lives, there is ignorance, confusion and conflict. 

This is tyranny in its most insidious form.

Under this tyranny, the shared, fear-based illusion of a group of individuals can bestow unwarranted validity on a most unreal perception of what is actually happening in the world; a reality that didn’t really have a place in the world, until the illusion was created by the shared loves and fears of that group of individuals.

The power of people working together has been well-harnessed in the past and has led to great and wonderful things. However, right now that same power has embroiled us in a civil war against ourselves.

If we are to survive this, it will be through humbling ourselves to the act of opening our minds to realities that are not necessarily convenient for us and which may not reinforce our individual (or tribal) views of the world. 

Religions of the world are based on many things. Love of our fellow brothers and sisters is a continually recurring theme. It demands from and engenders in us a respect for others that we may not have already had and it is what makes us feel really good inside.

Let’s make war on ignorance instead of each other.

Arlan Moore lives in McCoy.

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