being an active participant, being forced to pay what I can't afford to lose, consequences beyond our human relationships, fear - the sensation of being deprived of what we think we need, I wanted them to like me - now i want them to fear me, Is the vendor to blame?, law of supply and demand, overcoming the fear
Part 13 – Sam’s sensation of fear begins; he doesn’t like it!
Sam couldn’t shake the last two lines of Element 5, the previous message that Mr. Im had sent. He had never, as far as he could remember, thought of fear in those terms. “Fear is the psychological / spiritual / mental sensation of being, or potentially being, deprived of something (a value system item) that we think we need. The greater the sense of need, the greater the fear when we are threatened with the need not being satisfied.”
Sam thought he understood Mr Im’s way of putting it, but he wanted to say it the way he talked. Sam’s version came out as “When someone has something that I need, my fear of not having it grows greater the more I need it. And my fear grows greater the more I think of what the other person might demand of me so that I can get what I need.” Sam could connect with the idea when said like that. It simply resonated more for Sam when he put it in his way of thinking and talking.
Whether in Mr. Im’s expression, or when said the way Sam put it, it still brought the fear issue and the power issue together in a remarkable way. Sam easily saw the linkage of our sense of need and our fear of not being able to satisfy that need. It made sense to Sam. But, it didn’t alleviate his fear. If anything, it made his sense of fear grow even more.
Running through Sam’s mind was this monologue: “The more things I have in my “need” bucket, and the higher those things reside on my scale of values, the more beholden I am to those who can satisfy those needs. That means the more I will be willing to pay whatever price those suppliers charge me for what I “need.” Eventually, I will be sacrificing things I already need in order to get things I need even more badly, and then things that I desperately need.” The picture was looking grim, and getting worse.
“At that point,” thought Sam, “I could be living in desperate fear. And at the same time, I will be full of helpless rage toward the one who satisfies my deepest need. He will have my complete subordination and my hate, all at the same time. And, he won’t care how much I fear him.”
This portrait of life, this explanation of what happens in life – “I don’t want to know anymore about it”, thought Sam. “I don’t want to think about it. I want to live free.”
But . . . but . . . the note he had left on the desk was from a person who not only thought in the terms of power but also acted out the power. Why else would he have written, “When I began, I wanted them to like me. Now – I want them to fear me. . . . Times change. Back then I was right. . . . And now – I am still right. . . . I always am right. . . . Got it? Get it. Good.”
While in this state of funk, this quandary that he couldn’t shake, Sam got the next installment of material from Mr. Im. Just knowing that it was from Mr. Im, and knowing that Mr Im was on Sam’ side, brought some relief. He was hoping for some word that the fear stage wasn’t the last stage.
Mr. Im had left a sticky note at the top of the page. “Sam, I understand that the last installment has stirred you up, and that you are awakening to the nature of power and the resulting fear. That’s good. The hard ground of complacency is being broken up. The buds of a new life of freedom are soon to sprout. You will overcome the fear and the reasons it has held you.”
Element # 6 – Personal Responsibility and the Use of Power
Regardless of who exercises power over me, or who attempts to exercise power over me, I always have a degree of responsibility. It may seem as if it is very small. But, it has not been eliminated entirely. If I have the ability to discern what is happening, I am not absolutely a victim. To some degree I am an active participant.
People can exercise power over me only to the extent that the satisfaction of my desires depends on what they control. They lose power over me to the extent that I let go of the desire to have what they control and can dispense. But, who is responsible for my desires? Different people will give different answers. But, it is safe to say that to the degree that I am responsible for my desires, I am also responsible for whatever power someone exercises over me in relation to what I desire / need / want.
Think in terms of supply and demand. The greater the demand for a product, the greater the price that is charged. If I allow myself to think, “I need that new computer, even though my current computer is satisfying my needs”, I have opened up myself to the price it will cost to satisfy my need (demand) for the new computer. If I decide I need a different car, a newer model, a more socially acceptable brand, or one that will contribute to the image I want to create, I can’t blame the vendor when I see the price I will have to pay for the vehicle. I can’t legitimately say I have been forced to buy this car; it is the car I said that I needed!!
Our list of “needs and wants” sets the stage for the power others have over us. We are personally responsible for the consequences that accompany the price we pay for what we want / need. Blaming the provider is foolhardy.
This element # 6 in the exercise of power has consequences even beyond human relationships. It also is involved in the matter of the God of goodness and love, and His Enemy, the evil one. The more we desire only what God can provide us, the more we are submitting to His power. If, on the other hand, the more I desire what the enemy provides, we are submitting to the power of the evil one, the adversary of God.