All of us live inside this society to one degree or another.
Thus, all of us are equally subjected to a particularly damaging lie. The artifice of “us” versus “them.”
All too often, this is used by those in “power” for control. They create “laws” supposedly intent on protecting “us” from “them.”
All you have to do is look at the United States right now. Voter laws, anti-transgender measures, the trial of a white cop who murdered a black man with inappropriate force, and the resurgence of white supremacy thanks to the GOP’s bid for power at any cost are almost impossible to ignore.
All of them are the product of false “us” versus “them” notions. The further we emphasize and spread these divides the more we disempower everyone — ourselves included.
In the words of Ram Dass,
“Why does the distance increase? Because nobody wants to be ‘them.’ Everyone wants to be ‘us.’”
This is how politicians — who have not been part of any “us” save their tiny, massively out-of-touch circles — have an influence on people. They play the role of “us” and assert how the “them” are wrong/destructive/harmful/the worst.
In truth, we’re not so different. The majority of the “us” versus “them” we see is a complete and utter lie.
For example — in what way does a transgender person harm anyone else? They aren’t harming anyone — they are simply being true to themselves and their self-identity. There is ZERO harm or intent of harm in them being transgendered. So why have they been turned into a “them” to be feared and legislated?
The only reason I can conceive of is that making transgendered people “them” creates exploitable fear.
Real fear versus exploitable fear
Before humankind started recording history as we do — we were hunter-gatherers. Then, we roamed and foraged — and were prey to predators.
Fear told us to avoid some of their known habits. It was fear that kept us safe, taught us how to care for ourselves, survive, grow, and thrive as such.
This was tangible fear. But as humankind evolved into a stratified society with a lot of artifices and intangibles making up our lives — so, too, did fear evolve to mostly intangibles.
There is still real fear that occurs which is tangible. There are circumstances where your life is threatened, and fear protects you. But that real fear tends to occur far less than the exploitable, intangible fear.
The truth is that nobody wants to suffer. Nobody. Most intangible fears boil down to fear of suffering. If ‘X’ happens there will be pain and suffering. Should ‘Y’ come to pass, suffering comes with it. The closer you examine this the more you fear the potential suffering.
The suffering, however, is seldom half what you fear it will be. In the words of Paulo Coelho,
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.”
When you don’t see that the fear of suffering you experience tends to be worse than the suffering — your fear is exploitable.
For example — you’ve got a meeting with your boss. Worst-case scenarios play out in your head, and you go from a fear of being fired to fear of losing everything you have to fearing the ruination of your entire life. It’ll be the worst.
Then the meeting happens — and you aren’t fired, you’re promoted. Or reprimanded, but not fired. OR, yes, you get fired — but it’s not even close to as bad as you thought it would be.
Most “us” versus “them” notions are exploitable fear
The Republican Party in the United States has become the party of obstruction, negativity, mudslinging, and fear-mongering. If you can disprove me, PLEASE do. But everything they do is about insulting this group or that for being different, standing against but never for anything, and creating impediments instead of expanding freedoms.
The Democrats are imperfect. But their ongoing narrative isn’t “fuck the conservatives.” On the other hand — “fuck your feelings” and “fuck the liberals” is a frequent siren call from the Republican party. Democrats largely strive to work for “us” where Republicans work against “them.”
As such, they exploit the fear of suffering in their followers. To do that, they paint the “them” as the cause of that suffering. The “them” will ruin all you have, destroy your livelihood, and make you suffer unimaginably.
This is a collective-consciousness issue — but can’t be ignored. Why? Because it will seep into your psyche because your subconscious mind gets bombarded by these messages of lack, scarcity, insufficiency, and suffering for “us” versus “them.”
Fear gets exploited to disempower as many as possible. Those “in power” believe that keeps them in power. And, unfortunately — it works.
This is why you, on your own, need to work on your mindfulness. You are the only one in your head — and you can use mindfulness to keep that fear of suffering at bay.
The more of us who reject “us” versus “them” fear exploitation — the more we can change this fear-based society towards being reason-based.
And, in truth — it all begins with our individual life paths.
The power belongs to you
Like your ability to find and/or create your life path — you are empowered to recognize the artifice of lack, scarcity, and insufficiency. That, further, empowers you to not let the fear of suffering exploit you.
Nobody wants to suffer. And that’s why the fear of suffering is so powerful. But it’s intangible, and the fear is frequently far worse than the outcome will be.
To recognize that you need to be mindful.
Mindfulness is conscious awareness, here and now, of your sensory input, as well as your thoughts, feelings, actions, and intentions. Combined, these inform your inner being — your mindset/headspace/psyche self. And that, in turn, lets you see into your subconscious and the underlying habits, values, and beliefs that dictate your life experience.
Insight into your subconscious helps you see if you are being manipulated by “us” versus “them” fear exploitation. And if you are — it empowers you to change it.
But — and this is important — you need to forgive yourself if you have been thusly exploited. Congrats, you are only human — and your thoughts and feelings can be manipulated easily if you spend more time living subconsciously than consciously.
Everyone has routines, lives by rote from time to time, and allows their subconscious to take the wheel. And, sometimes, this occurs longer than intended. But practicing mindfulness is how your conscious mind takes control back from your subconscious.
Or, in other words — the power belongs to you.
Recognize that “us” versus “them” is false
When all is said and done, beneath our skins, our ideologies, sexual orientations, religious affiliations, genders, and all the other ways we differ — we are all one. At our deepest depth, we are universal source energy that is only different by our material existence in these bodies with these consciousnesses.
All notions of “us” versus “them,” as such, are false. They are artificial. That’s because there is no “us” versus “them” in truth. All of us are one.
I don’t care what your religion, nationality, political affiliation, or gender might be. It doesn’t matter nor impact MY life — unless you intend harm and suffering for me. Because I, certainly, don’t intend it for you. I know you don’t want to suffer. Please know that neither do I.
When we pause and realize that the truth is that everyone desires to be content, to avoid suffering, and to live a good, full, and satisfying life — we can see how “us” versus “them” is such a harmful lie.
Finally — remember that you have control over only yourself. Do you desire to see others harmed? If so — well, that’s a whole other issue. I am pretty sure that for the most part — nobody wants to do harm. Nobody wants to suffer nor cause suffering.
Mindfulness opens you and me to better seeing this for what it is. That, in turn, empowers us. When we are empowered — we gain the ability to empower others. And that can make the world a much better place for EVERYONE, regardless of if they are “us” or “them.”
Can you see how “us” versus “them” is a lie?
Thank you for reading. I am MJ Blehart. I write about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, the philosophy of choosing and walking your path, and similar life lessons.
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Originally published at https://titaniumdon.com on April 14, 2021.