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A week ago my FaceBook messenger inbox got blown up by one of those “must forward” messages, warning about a dangerous hacker who allegedly could destroy your profile and steal your information if you accepted his friend request. If you’re on FaceBook, I’m sure that you too got at least a handful of these almost apocalyptic messages yourself. My first reaction to this, as with so many previous fear producing social media messages was that is was a prank, a hoax, a made up game of let’s see how many people will take the bait.

I feel very strongly about writing something about this not to expose people who took the bait or to show the world how smart and awesome I am for not buying into yet another episode of fear porn. I know that people who believe this message was real and that we were under some sort of threat had good intentions and were just trying to protect themselves and their friends and spread the word about something malicious happening. The people who sent me the message are all very intelligent, kind and caring.

Which leads me to my point: How often do we just blindly believe information we come across, and as you know, information is what we’re saturated with way more than with anything else these days. I’m pretty sure we absorb useless information more than we breathe, sadly. And how is it that a fear based message instantly gains credibility, and masses of people believe it without doing any fact checking? Especially now, when we can google anything, how come so many people didn’t do a simple internet search on this scary hacker before they spread the message warning of his wrath?

It’s simple and it’s sad: We live in a fear based consensus reality. We’ve been conditioned for god knows how long to react to fear, which produces more fear and keeps the insane loop going. All this fear that’s been injected into us slowly — through the mass media, the politics, the educational systems, the “health care” industry (in which there’s surprisingly little health or care) and the social media — has made us into beings that have almost completely abandoned our own built in bullshit detector and have gradually forfeited our natural intuition, sense of discernment and wisdom.

I know that after reading this, many of you will feel defensive and reactive. This Jelena must be a conspiracy theorist AND a know it all…I admit, I’m not into being popular or saying polar things, but I also don’t say stuff just to stir the pot. And you have to admit too that somewhere underneath the initial — and conditioned — reaction to dismiss, make fun of or even insult what you’re reading here, there’s a little inner voice that’s telling you, and has been telling you for a long time, that something just ain’t right with the world we live in. And if you feel that way, please pat yourself on the back because you are not insane; the world is. At least the mainstream world that we’ve all been brainwashed to work hard to fit into.

I’m not going to tell you who reports lies and gets off on our fear reactions and what exactly we have been fed to make us addicted to fear porn, or why it all happened, because who cares what I think? What matters is: what do YOU think? And more specifically, are you thinking on your own or just reacting based on programming we all have been infected with? Who benefits from billions of people living in fear? I know I don’t, and I know you don’t either. But someone does. Aren’t you interested in finding out what lies beneath the surface? Most humans are, but because they’re controlled by fear and don’t know it, of course, that fear will quickly take over and they’ll find excuses and justifications for why the argument I’m making is nonsense.

I simply invite you to come back to yourself, at least a little more than you’re used to. This is not about taking out the bad guys of the world and replacing them with the good guys. This is not about the world at all. It is, however, all about you and how you perceive the world. When I’m ruled by fear, I see myself as a victim of a world that exists outside of me, and I’m thrown into it to either suffer and die or elbow my way through it and be successful. Either way, fear becomes what I secretly and subconsciously worship: fear of being a nobody, or fear or not being a successful enough somebody; it really doesn’t matter.

What happens when I’m not ruled by fear? The answer is simple: peace, regardless of the happenings in the world of form, which includes the activity of our own minds.

Can you start to wean yourself off of the authority figures and information sources you indiscriminately trust and credulously rely on, and instead close your eyes, get quiet and ask yourself how any piece of information feels in your body and what response it may elicit? Feeling deeply is the enemy of fear because the deeper we feel, the more we get in touch with our innate wisdom. It’s called innate wisdom because we all are equipped with it. The question is not whether we have it, but whether we’re aware of what we have, what we are and what we are capable of.

I mentioned earlier that sadly, we live in a fear based consensus reality. What we perceive as reality is so because somehow the majority of us had agreed on certain rules, principles and ideas and through consensus, or agreement, we have perpetuated that version of reality without really questioning it. And through eons, we have naively accepted so much as “the way things are,” and a major part of that way is the implicit or overt fear. Fear seems to be the flavor of humanity.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Despite the seemingly overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we live in a benevolent universe. All is well on a deeper, beyond the surface level. Love is all there is, whether that love is aware of itself or still in a confused and distorted expression or itself. We may conclude that fear is the opposite of love, but that only perpetuates the illusion of duality, of this imaginary split we have all bought into.

As A Course in Miracles says “The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.” Which must mean that fear is an illusion. Like a bad dream, it doesn’t exists but it does have an effect on our existence because we believe it to be real. Through consensus, we have made fear into a potent force that runs our world and distorts our view of reality. Let this be the start of a new consensus reality, one in which love and recognition of the true Self gradually starts replacing the imagined ghosts of the various offshoots of fear.

If you’re wondering how to do this and where to start, here it is again: make it a regular thing to get quiet, sit in stillness, feel deeply, don’t reject or attach to any thought, create some space between you and the mass hallucination your mind has bought into, and learn to be comfortable to be with yourself without any distractions. Notice what arises and forgive whatever comes up, and keep returning to the stillness that holds all the mental and emotional noise. Expect a gnarly detox period because the mind will fight tooth and nail to return to its conditioned state. Just keep reminding yourself that the mind can’t help you here, but that you can help the mind return to its proper role as your servant, rather than your master.

Love yourself to a ridiculous enough degree to stick with this practice, and I promise you that fear will not run your life anymore. You will keep growing stronger in love and will finally recognize yourself as love. I love you.