Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Dark Side

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda

I have been pretty much stunned by the shootings in Arizona. I wonder what fear drove the shooter to do this dark deed. I wonder about how we treat each other. I wonder what the families of those who were killed or injured are thinking.

I don't know if any answers come out of insanity. I doubt it. I am simply mindful of how close the dark side may actually be.

Tonight I went to a meeting where the discussion was on the fourth step-- made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Fear is at the root of so many misconceptions, twisting logic and reason.

I am grateful to not feel fear, even in the face of so much that is fearful. Yet, there are still moments when I simply feel as if something good has been stolen from me. Like a light has been diminished and absorbed a bit by darkness.


  1. I was just thinking this morning how absurd it is for state legislators to fear for their lives.
    That's how little I know.

  2. Hi Syd,

    I, too, am shocked at the shootings in Arizona. It brought back some painfulissues I let go in my fourth and fifth steps; but, like you, I still 'feel' the haunting of the false evidence appearing real, i.e., FEAR. I dispel mine with a quick prayer of thanks for the personal contact I maintain with my Higher Power. Sometimes, I even allow myself the cleansing of tears of relief for a few minutes to acknowledge that I am where I am today, because my HP has guided me this way.

    Much love, with a big hug,
    Anonymous #1

  3. It's not just alcohol that's cunning, baffling and powerful.

  4. Thank you for keeping your program honest by your willingness to look at where you stand in larger matters of the world. I do know this: the personal and the political intersect. Recovery means that I look at how larger matters affect me emotionally.

    Only with that awareness can I consciously make good choices about how to use my individual power to make a better world.

    The author of our serenity prayer would be affirming your decision to speak your truth...

  5. But Syd! I NEED some insanity. Madness kept me away from drugs. I was even considering deliberately inducing paranoid psychosis by smoking cannabis. Cannabis has such an extreme effect on me: paranoia with "auditory hallucinations" it almost seems worthwhile to go through that craziness if that's going to knock my terrible addiction on the head. When I last went mad I wasn't so much just paranoid as on a manic-style high, I felt fantastic. Apart from the suicidal depression that mixed in, I had a tremendous time. How can I induce just the good side of psychosis without the crappo bits. I want off heroin, Syd. I've been caning the stuff for five days in a row and I'm so ashamed.

    Talking of caning ("getting caned" is a Brit expression, harking back to school days when we all got spanked on the bum with a crook-shaped bendy walking stick thing for misbehaviour, nowadays a caner means someone who uses lots of drugs, getting caned means getting out of your tree).... have a look at my spanked bum pictures and tell me whether you think they ought to bring back Singapore-style spankings to Britain for errant police officers and housebreakers. I most certainly believe they should, especially for the police. It would really serve the police right for tasering innocent members of the public and CS-gasing their eyes at point-blank range, as they do, as they have been filmed doing. And the bastards keep their jobs. Well I think they should be severely punished, the same way rapists and vandals are punished and whipped in Singapore/Malaysia.

    Syd what am I going to do with this terrible habit. I desperately want out. I'd be up for going crazy if it meant going clean. Of course I want sanity, but not the half-arsed sanity that means low-grade misery for years and years, I want to be truly WELL. How do I achieve that.

    I'm applying for that Hospice job I was talking about. The druggieservice ought to give me a reference. Then I can work with the sick and the dying. There's no greater privilege, in my opinion, than to spend somebody's last days, hours, even minutes with them. I support the Hospice movement wholeheartedly. When people are terminally ill I believe the drs ought to leave them alone. Stop the poking and prodding. Stop the nauseating chemo, the burning radiotherapy and stoke them up on the strongest painkillers possible so they can die in peace and comfort and happiness, even if that happiness is chemically induced. It's what I'd want for myself, my friends and my family. So that's my plan for the new year, Syd.

    I hope you have a very happy 2011 indeed <{;-)

  6. senseless violence...ugh. yeaha life ruled by fear is little living indeed...

  7. I had the exact same sense of shock and bewilderment that you did, Syd, when I heard of the shootings. It is these seemingly senseless acts that scare me. I was very hopeful after the elections and still pray that, we, the ordinary middle class, will have a say in our future; but, it also seems to have unleashed the crazies to do what they want and it petrifies me. I stick very close to my program and it helps.

  8. I too and grateful not to suffer from paralyzing fear about my life. Oh, I fret and what not, but nothing like I used to.

    I really don't know what to make of these violent acts, so I pray for the victims.

  9. Great post -- and great quote to go along with it. I really like that one!

  10. Great quote! Reminds me of some sponsors and old timers I know :)

  11. It is tough to accept that we live in a world of hatred and disrespect and prejudice so bad that killing other people is just a tragedy. Premeditated murder, multiple murder, now just an oopsy. So sad.

  12. There's a lot of hateful rhetoric in political spheres. It's not that surprising that someone would put it into action. Tragic yes. Surprising, not really.

    Human spirit - most often is uplifting, but there is darkness there also. A friend of mine was murdered a few years ago. The shock of the tragedy coloured my entire year with sadness.

  13. Fear there are many dharma gates and I vow to enter them. Last week we discussed fear in our Monday night Buddhist 12 step meeting. Learning to look at my inner self through 12 step and meditation work and not project my fears out into the world is a big job.
    I am grateful for the program it has helped my life in innumerable ways....

  14. Intrigued by Dig-It's referring to a Buddhist 12-step Group. Do you all use a particular book to guide your work? Right now I am studying meditation (off the official 12-step grid)... and have just disclosed some of my sources on a recent entry. If we have any themes in common, please let me know.

  15. you're so right about the fear bit...


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