One of the most harmful psychological effects of living from a context of fear and distrust is the way in which it alienates us from each other.
We humans are a gregarious bunch by nature. We honor what ties us together, and we naturally congregate in common activity. This is what leads us to identify ourselves in relationship to family, region, country, sex, religion, sports teams, political ideology, and many other aspects in which we can find transitory commonality with one another.
Of course, it's also true that even in those areas of common interest a predominant feature of our gathering is a deep-seated, fear-based desire to distinguish ourselves from the others. To defeat them or bring them to recognize our superiority. This is the mark of the underlying force of the fear that pretty much runs the show and sets the prevailing psychology to an attitude of solitary relationship to life.
It is this that drives us to seek individual satisfaction, safety, success, pleasure, riches, and a solution to the most common factor of our experience of life which is the yearning for a solution to we know not what.
Even those of us who have found the solution in the simple act of looking at ourselves may find that the last vestige of the effects of the fear is often the underlying assumption that salvation is an individual matter and must be complete for the individual before the problem of the misery of others can be touched. This remnant of the fear is the last to go for most of us, and the most powerful impediment to true freedom for all of us. I say this not to trivialize the importance of the liberation of the individual mind from the fog of fear but, once the looking is done and once you have begun to train your own control over the power of your attention, you have done all that can be done in service to your own liberation. And the truth is that no one can be fully free until all are, and that inconvenient truth might well be the undoing of all our personal efforts to be fully human and fully free from misery.
To participate, you don't need to know how to speak of the looking, or understand how it works, or anything of the kind. The only requirement is that you have tried to look at yourself, that you have begun to see the effects of the looking in your own life, and that you have a desire to let people know about it.
The suggestion to look at yourself is so simple that it can be included in pretty much any activity, if the circumstance is right. Some of us will speak with friends, colleagues and family in the course of ordinary conversation. Others will be experimenting with ways to include the suggestion to look at yourself in their own work as psychologists, life coaches, massage therapists, midwives, artists, writers, composers—all areas of activity.
But even if you're not confident that you can speak with others about it, there are many other things you can do to play an active role in spreading the news about the looking:
The possibilities are endless. The right means for you you to be of help in spreading the looking will come to you when the time is right. But the only way that will happen is if your attention is on the looking and on the work being developed here.
The first thing to do is to familiarize yourself with what is already happening. Participate in the forums, read our blog, listen to the podcast, etc. This work never stays the same for very long, it is always evolving because of the participation of all of us in the conversation.
You can connect directly with one another at all times in our discussion forums. You must be a registered user and be logged in to see the forum.
You can download flyers, posters, audio files, instruction pamphlets, templates, etc. on our Downloads page.
We are always interested in developing support materials that will help you speak about the looking with friends and family. We welcome your suggestions.
Thank you for joining us!
John and Carla Sherman