July 28, 2016

Bend Down Low - Let Me Tell You What I Know

With so much delusion in our species revving up across the planet we can see that the paradigm shift being fleshed out in this blog is needed more than ever. While I am working on my next book I wanted to offer something to my loyal audience.The following essay can be found in my book Thoughts From A Contemplative Beast: The Paradigm Shift For The New Millennium.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks


At this stage in our species’ evolution, we humans are still tethered to our animal origins. Consequently, we spend much of our psychic energy dealing with worries about our own physical and psychological safety. With self-preservation dominating our thoughts, we obviously are not concerned about living as humble creatures in God’s garden. Rather, our preoccupation with security actually encourages our self-centeredness.

Because we peer out from behind our own eyes, each one of us is immersed in a subjective viewpoint. We have little if any awareness of how the dominating fears and desires of our animal mind work to distort our perceptions. We tend to believe that our own inner kingdom of thought and feeling reflects reality. We then go about acting as if the world out there should conform to our beliefs. On many occasions, we waste precious time and energy trying to make the universe correspond to our own opinions.

Due to our bestial self-centeredness, we seldom think about our lowly status within the universe. We rarely, if ever, step outside of our own subjective frame of reference. As a result, we do not perceive ourselves as animals. Our egocentricity actually discourages us from considering our human predicament from a more transcendent perspective. And, unfortunately, these limitations in our ability to take in the big picture lead us astray.

We tend to feel separate or isolated from the rest of creation; and, then we carry on as if the laws of cause and effect do not apply to our own set of circumstances. Governed by these delusions of omnipotence, we conduct ourselves as if our Creator’s designs need not concern us. We like to pretend that we can mistreat our bodies, our children, and our rivers with no ill effects. Unaware of the implications of our humble status, we humans are flawed with a maladaptive trait.

Homo sapiens has acquired considerable free will. We are a species that is compelled to step outside of our ego-centered fantasies in order to discover the natural order. In our quest for adaptation then, we are called to suitably adjust our behaviour. Consequently our goals should be to learn about the designs of our Maker and, to then improve upon our ability to defer to this logic of our Lord.

Certainly, our current level of technological advancement is indicative of Homo sapiens’ amazing ability to capitalize on information. Our knowledge about the cosmic law governing this material realm has given us plenty. However, we seem to have great difficulty taking the same proactive approach to our conduct in human relations. Our self-centered mindset fools us. We like to pretend that, somehow, we can do without the moral laws that are there to regulate human interdependence.

We think we can treat others as merely objects to be manipulated according to our transient whims. Parents belittling their children, individuals back-stabbing in the workplace as well as the meat-market mentality of the dating scene are all-too familiar scenarios that speak to our lack of insight. We do not stop our impulses long enough to determine whether we are acting in ways that promote healthy human relationships. We like to believe that our own infractions of God’s law do not matter, nor make much difference within the scheme of things.

Undeniably many humans are baffled about the best use of their free will. We still view our behaviour as something driven by factors outside the domain of our personal responsibility. And, we often make excuses for our nasty goings-on. We have little if any awareness of the impact that our past conditioning and our animal drives has upon our thinking and inevitably upon our actions. We have not yet learned how to scrutinize our own thoughts and guide our own behaviours. Therefore, we do not recognize that we have choices. Accordingly we can end up maladaptive without ever recognizing it. Without self-awareness, we get to remain at ease with our shortfalls.

By virtue of our animal nature then, we humans suffer from distortions in our thinking of which we are not always aware. Moreover, to make matters worse, we are inclined to defend our misperceptions. After all, we are creatures wired up to protect ourselves. And, because we mistakenly identify our sense of self with the contents of our minds, we regularly seek protection and comfort in self-righteous justifications. In turn, these rationalizations often allow us to remain self-satisfied despite the effects of our dysfunction.

Fortunately, with truth as our guide, we can gain helpful insights. While holding up a looking glass for honest self-inspection, we glimpse at an amazing creature who struggles to deal with fluctuating brain chemistry. If we are honest with ourselves, we can see how our cognitive apparatus triggers all sorts of moods and impulses that when acted upon, cause us to disregard our responsibility for fostering peaceful human relations.

When we stop coveting illusions about our own virtue and perfection--just long enough to face the truth about our humble position--we discover that we, for the most part, lack a conscious awareness of our own psychic processes. We often allow our egocentric delusion to culminate in self-imposed misery and much suffering for others. We are not yet the evolved and logical creatures that we fancy ourselves to be. Therefore, we are not as God-centered as we like to pretend.

Nevertheless, our human predicament of interdependency really does demand that we love one another. For this reason, we need to be mindful about the choices we are making. We must learn to prevent the “snarliness” of our animal nature from steering our reactions. We simply cannot afford to wander aimlessly along life’s journey. Only by consciously cultivating such virtues as mercy, patience, and kindness, can we free ourselves from the tendency to operate according to our bestial imperatives.

If we are to prod Homo sapiens up an evolutionary notch into the realm of the loving human being, we have to be clear about the indispensable role that humility plays in our psychological growth. We cannot let our defensive reactions puff us up with a false pride and self-righteousness. By protecting ourselves in this manner, we simply allow the remnants of our bestial origins to thwart our efforts at self-improvement. 

It is only when we are humble that we can become familiar with our self-centered delusions. It is only when we have humility that we are willing to change and do what is necessary in order to adapt to our Creator’s designs. In this sense, then, it really will be the meek who shall inherit the Earth. It will come to pass just as Jesus Christ proclaimed two millennia ago.


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