Our Western culture is considered to be traditionally Judeo-Christian yet the evident anomalies seem to demonstrate that it is more Judeo and less Christian than those who consider themselves as followers of the New Testament's wisdom claim.
The Judeo part emphasized the Old Testament's fear and punishment.
The Christian part emphasizes love as taught by Jesus as the most prominent difference between the two faiths.
Jesus made it quite clear that vengeance was His Father's domain not Cesar's, yet his follower's descendants seem to reject that claiming the right to punish (seek vengeance) as being in Ceasar's (the state's) domain.
This is only one of the many anomalies evidenced in the practice of those claiming to be Christian.
Another obvious anamoly concerns judgement.
The concept of free will is part of Western Judeo Christian religion which I agree may be free however that is not to say that there is a force (ego) which makes the ability to utilize it difficult.
One seeks to follow Jesus's command to love his neighbor or brother as himself, yet finds the ability to do so difficult.
Blame that on 'The Devil' if you choose ;I have another explanation: Love and Fear are opposites.
One cannot love what one fears at the same time even though I have read the Old Testament's command about 'fearing the Lord'.
Love was not emphasized in the O.T.
Love to me is partly a recognition and interaction with what is considered beneficial.
This precludes loving what you fear.
I said this in another way in another column: You can't hug a prickly pear bush'
Love and fear both have emotional qualities.
Both seem naturally instinctual to some degree.
A newborn child is dependent on a parent so the love comes early as the child learns what is good for it.
Fear is also a learned experience.
All learning is not a matter of formal verbal communication. This instinctual process of acquiring emotions from a parent is a powerful form of learning.
As a young child I once climbed a ladder to visit my father who was working on a roof.
Today I have a phobia of performing the same action.
I acquired it from my mother.
She did not sit down and tell me I would fall but I learned of the possibility in how she acted.
Can Love overcome fear?
It's right in the 'Good Book' folks;'Perfect Love overcometh all fear' (first expert with chapter and verse gets a profound thank you)
I think the key is will.
If will is employed (hence what the free will thing is all about) and focuses the effort to love then fear can be conquered.
The Zen teachers call this process 'one pointed (focused) will,
The ego with its tool of habitual fear will attempt to distract yet some eventually are able to succeed in overcoming the fear.
Although I have often claimed that intrinsic evil does not exist I AM aware of the ego's role as the 'master of habit'.
If it wasn't that ego as the 'master of habit' relieves us of the need to use thought for habitual processes I would consider it evil.
Instead I see it as a business manager of the body that we need to keep a close eye on and remind it of its role when necessary..
Fear as a habit is difficult to overcome . Most bad habits are.
There remains a legitimate reason to respect and act upon the sensing of danger.
This has was recognized by social scientists as having once being critical in the survival of the race as an inborn instinct.
What is different with modern humans is the possession of a more developed intellect.
Having one makes the need to react emotionally to the sensing of danger less critical.
A person can be controlled by emotions, fear admittedly being one of the strongest emotions.
If this habitual response can be analyzed intellectually it's power to control can be overcome.
When you are told to fear, use your intellect to see if it is a true threat to you.
You will sometimes find the person is attempting to control you emotionally.
You have the intellect, why not use it?
Be free of fear and you will find the capacity to love increases.
© 2008 albert vallone (albert 1) - 4/26/16