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Saying “Goodbye” To the Terrorist Within

     Welcome to stren #60.  As we discussed in the previous stren, when an individual puts a rabbit into a hat and pulls out a cat, we call that person a magician.  The portion of the brain that makes us human, our cerebral cortex or freedom organ, routinely performs such magical feats.  It converts physical energy into the mental energy we call consciousness, assigns meaning to symbols that transform energy into another form, and then reverses the process. The transformed mental energy is turned back into physical energy, only modified.  Today’s stren focuses on our human brain’s most important magical feat – transforming the harmful energy that resides within us into constructive energy, specifically turning resentment and hate into a loving lifelong friend. 

     Are you familiar with the voice within that is impossible to please? That can be counted on to let you know you are not quite the way you should be, and never will be?  That convinces you to punish yourself with putdowns, guilt, and for some, even physical harm?  This is the same terrorist who instinctively blames others but has been taught to bully you.  Would you like to say “goodbye” to the terrorist who lives within you?  This stren shows you how.  Turning resentment and other forms of harmful aggression into love is our greatest magical feat because this knowledge creates world peace and insures our future.  You need to first understand the destructive aggression within each of us that characterizes our history and how this terrorist comes to turn on ourselves.

Resentment and hate are inevitable; self-endorsement and love are optional


     For 3½ billion years of life on earth, destructive physical confrontation has been the law of the land.  Can you imagine what life was like for our ancestors when housing and the cultivation of food were non-existent?  Survival of the fittest meant eat or be eaten, kill or be killed.  Destructive aggression is a basic means by which our ancestors excelled in order to survive in a savage environment.  The genes of the most aggressive warriors, who succeeded for millions of years through their destructive prowess, program us for physical superiority.  This predator instinct is not “evil”; it is nature’s means to survive in a savage environment.  Consider the hawk, predestined to take its prey without remorse, mindlessly acting according to nature’s commands.  We, like the hawk, also inherently act to serve our self and those identified as our family or tribe, irrespective of the harm to others.  Just observe children’s insensitivity; teens are notorious for their bullying.   

     With the gradual development of the cerebral cortex, our ancestors became increasingly intelligent.  They discovered the universal rules of cause-and-effect and began replacing trial-and-error learning with common sense knowledge.  Experimentation with civilization got a boost 50,000 years ago with the introduction of sophisticated language.  The creation of language is the source of immense power.  By assigning meaning to symbols, we acquire, store, share, and pass knowledge forward to grow our constructive and destructive power.  It is appropriate to expect that our intelligent cerebral cortex will first be introduced to language that biases us to serve the predator instinct and the competitive traditions proven to be previously effective.  Our nurturers, influenced by the long chain of their nurturers, sustain our innate competitiveness.  Harmful aggression will remain prominent until we collectively teach ourselves to recognize that what was adaptive and necessary in our past has now become maladaptive and even dangerous.