Don’t say, “I am angry.” Does the zoo-goer say, “I am a rhinoceros.”? Or the meteorologist, “I am a nimbus.”? Or the cancer patient, “I am cancer.”? Say instead, “I feel angry.” Or: “I am aware of anger.” When we label ourselves, we box ourselves. Here’s an example of double boxing: “Hello. My name is Keith Ashford. And I am an alcoholic.” Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous got sober by taking LSD. That’s so far out of the box that AA declines to talk about it. Krishnamurti said, “As soon as you know the name of the bird, you never see that bird again.”
There I am, rocketing along in my nicked-up C30 Volvo, belting out the chorus to Jeff Healey’s Angel Eyes: So tonight I’ll ask the stars above / “How did I ever win your love?” / What did I do / What did I say / To turn your angel eyes my way. To fully appreciate this, you have to understand that I can’t sing. The choir master at the boarding school I briefly attended asked me to sing softly. Healey died at 41 from the same cancer that stripped him of his eyesight at age two. What a mensch.
In medicine, untrammeled growth is called cancer. In business, it’s an IPO offering.
We don’t need more art, music or books. We don’t need moon shots, self-driving cars or a plurality of Democrats. We don’t even need a cure for cancer. We need a quiet mind.
One of the things former cancer patient Anita Moorjani learned from her NDE was: We attract what we fear.
Fear is the big daddy, alright. Anger is a mere appurtenance, fear’s little boy.
Fear is not overcome; it’s displaced by joy, by doing what we love, by pleasing ourselves. Love, then, is not a measuring out. It’s a surplus, an overflowing.
Fear enters the picture when I think I have to please someone other than the I that I am.