“Long time ago in a galaxy far far away…” This is the opening line for the Star Wars saga. In it, a wise, lovable Jedi master named Yoda is quoted teaching: Fear leads to anger anger leads to hate hate leads to suffering. Master Yoda is indeed a wise instructor. Apparently this wisdom was practiced a long time ago and far away. Of course it also holds true today, right here on Earth.
What’s most important about Yoda’s statement is that he describes a vicious cycle. He warns us that if we’re not careful, we may find ourselves indefinitely trapped in this cycle. No matter at which point of the cycle you get on, it will take you through the rest of the emotional cycle without fail. It is up to each one of us to break the chains and escape the trap.
We associate fear with the unknown and the unpredictable. We are afraid of what we do not understand because it makes us feel helpless and threatened. Making us feel that our very survival is in jeopardy. Being helpless and threatened frustrates us. It puts us on guard, forcing us to exhibit aggressive behavior. Frustration draws us to anger.
Anger comes from feeling threatened, out of control. It’s a powerful emotion. Anger is a strong burst of negative energy, which engulfs everyone involved. Anger is often blind and unreasonable. But the state of anger can not be sustained indefinitely. It doesn’t take long until it takes its passive form. That’s when it turns to hate.
Hatred alienates us from each other. Continued hatred literally hurts the hater more than the hated. Not only does hate alienate us from the subject of our hate, but also disconnects us from all forms of love. The heart is only capable of one powerful emotion. When it’s dark with hatred, it closes in on itself. It is no longer capable of fully opening up to embrace love of any kind.
The withdrawal from love causes the suffering. Suffering takes many forms, many of which are self induced. Lot’s of other damaging emotions come into play. Unforgiveness, regret, discontent, resentment and apathy. Whether physical, emotional or psychological, the state of suffering is a dark place to be. Suffering places us back to the unknown, thus reverting to fear. The cycle continues.
But not all is lost. I must complete the above list with one more state. That of enlightenment. That’s right, suffering can, and does lead us to enlightenment. This is a Buddhist proverb from right here on Earth. The only way to get out of suffering is to allow yourself to fully experience it. Meaning you must fully embrace and accept your experience, no matter how painful or unpleasant in order to render it harmless.
In addition, by applying lot’s of love, forgiveness, understanding and compassion, we create the antidote to the vicious cycle. By giving up the illusion of control, we open ourselves up to unlimited possibilities. With forgiveness we open up our hearts and attract positive, healing emotions. The cycle therefore breaks and sets us free.
You don’t have to be a Jedi master to follow these teachings. Follow them if you choose to be happy in your life. Eliminate the negative influences and emotions from life and witness this ancient principle work its magic. One more thing, enlightenment leads us to finding our purpose and gives meaning to life. Be it right here, or far far away.
Live well. Vlad