Just recently Jim Humble, the promoter of MMS (Magical Mineral Supplement) put out a newsletter saying, “I have just learned from a highly reliable source that the FBI now has a kill order on Jim Humble. That’s me. Why not? They kidnapped my friend Greg Caton from Ecuador and brought him back to prison after Ecuador had given him political asylum.” This is of course true about Greg and I don’t doubt the worry and fear of Jim Humble and why he would write this.
“The reason I am telling you this is, so that when I come up missing or come up dead you will know what has really happened. And of course, you probably already know that should my death occur, all my books and other materials on MMS become public domain. That is already written into my copyright. Hopefully then, people who knew me or knew of me will print my books, mainly the last one, and hand them out wholesale until everyone on the planet has one.”
I am friends with Greg Caton and it was horrible to hear what happened to him and terrible to listen to the anguish of his wife. And certainly I can empathize with Jim Humble even though I do not agree with everything he is doing. He has every right to be afraid and to publish this because the United States government has a passion for going around killing or kidnapping people they don’t like.
The most recent victim is being plastered all over the news and Americans are celebrating in the street the killing or should we call it murder of someone that has never been accused or convicted in a court of law. Americans and America are not the same ones I grew up with.
I suppose not only do I have empathy for Jim’s fears but I also identify with him and Greg because I am not without fear myself. Whenever I travel into the interior to Sanctuary, I fear, no matter how irrational, that the bad boys will take me out of action. I really don’t care that much for my own continued ego existence having already lived a long and now finally fruitful life. I am a true late bloomer and am enjoying my work though as world events get heavier so does my work.
I do cry though when I think that my beloved wife and children might have to go on without me. So I pray and ask others to pray for me on my behalf. Also I think about my loving readers and the part I have been playing in their lives so I do hope the stars of good fortune continue to shine down on me.
I just wanted to share this before I leave for Sanctuary. While there I hope to start filming videos so you will soon be both seeing and hearing from me in a different way from a very different place than my home and office on the coast of Brazil where lately I hardly see the light of day outdoors.
Just recently in the mainstream there was an essay about empathy. It said:
Baron-Cohen defines empathy in two parts—as the drive to identify another person’s thoughts and feelings, and the drive to respond appropriately to those thoughts and feelings. It is also, he says, one of the most valuable resources in our world—one which is currently woefully underused. “We all have degrees of empathy… but perhaps we are not using it to its full potential,” he explained in an interview with Reuters after delivering a lecture in London. He says erosion of empathy is an important global issue that affects the health of communities, be they small ones like families, or big ones like nations.
Baron-Cohen also sets out an “empathy spectrum” ranging from zero to six degrees of empathy, and an “empathy quotient” test, whose score puts people on various points along that spectrum. Drawing a classic bell curve on a graph, Baron-Cohen says that thankfully the vast majority of humans are in the middle of the bell curve spectrum, with a few particularly attuned and highly empathetic people at the top end. Psychopaths, narcissists, and people with borderline personality disorder sit at the bottom end of the scale—these people have “zero degrees of empathy.”
Take for example Dick Cheney, the former vice president—when he talks about torture he demonstrates the attitudes of much of the elite who sit at the very bottom of the empathy scale. In an interview on Fox News with Chris Wallace, Cheney stridently defended Bush era torture programs, calling harsh interrogation tactics “the most important steps we took that kept us safe for seven years.” He also advocated reinstating waterboarding, telling Wallace that enhanced interrogation “worked, and provided absolutely vital pieces of information.”
People like him give us good reason to fear and they do create suffering in others as a direct consequence of their small-to-non-existent hearts.
People without hearts cannot and do not appreciate the suffering of others. The president of Syria for sure is not thinking of his people when he has them shot from the rooftops by snipers. And the world’s leaders, especially those in Europe and the United States, show off their true colors by standing by and allowing the massacres when they could not wait to go into Libya. Obviously it’s not people and their feelings they care about.
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Below I share part of a chapter from HeartHealth about the suffering of the heart. In the book I pay careful attention to the subject of human suffering and also to happiness, soul satisfaction, empathy and compassion.
The Suffering of the Heart
Who said Gods don’t suffer? And who said that suffering is bad? Without some pain, how can we gain? Love is made pure more by the pain than bliss. You can use your pain to know your heart. Use the hurts of the heart to know its depths. The heart often finds itself by allowing itself to be hurt over and over again until we discover what is being hurt.
Viktor Frankl, in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, offers a penetrating vision into the realities of human suffering. Founder of the third way movement of psychology in Austria, Frankl was the only one in his family to survive the concentration camps in Germany. You will find some of his deeply poignant words in this chapter. Today’s world is seeing a flurry of new philosophies that undercut the nature of our souls and Frankl’s words offer us profundity based on personal experience. At heart and in essence these new philosophies are anti suffering philosophies that try to teach us to feel good and think positively. Some label and frame all emotions as toxic affairs to be transmuted through nifty techniques. Some of these people actually believe or live with the judgment that only the happy can be healthy. Many people want to believe that suffering and pain are not real, that they are just illusions of the ego. As such they believe that suffering can and should be controlled and transcended in an absolute way.
Suffering offers us opportunities to grow but we normally don’t want to look at it that way.
Standings against this perverse wind are some of the giants of psychology and spirituality. Carl Jung said “Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.” Scott Peck said, “The tendency to avoid problems and the emotional suffering inherent in them is the primary basis of all human mental illness. Buddha of course said, “Life is suffering.” Peck starts out his book The Road Less Traveled with these words, “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.” All of this does not mean that we are destined to suffer or that we need to suffer; but if suffering is our truth, we need to understand that suffering completely to transcend it, and it also means that we who are more fortunate or happy need to understand the suffering of others or we stand to lose something important, our soul. Truly anyone who believes they can avoid all suffering in life is a fool. Viktor Frankl speaks thus:
“When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept suffering as his task, his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.
“There was plenty of suffering for us to get through (in the concentration camps). It was necessary to face up to the full amount of suffering, trying to keep moments of weakness and furtive tears to a minimum. But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.”
Research into the design of the brain shows that we often have little or no control over when we are swept away by feelings and emotion. Feelings are just that, our spontaneous “being” responses to what is happening in our life. Emotions are sustained feelings that reflect more our reaction to our feelings and thoughts about our feelings. In normal circumstances what we can have control over is how long our emotions last and what we will learn from each experience. What must be understood though is that each person’s situation is unique and there are extraordinary circumstances that people often find themselves in that only beg us for our understanding and compassion. Frankl’s words offer a trip into a human landscape that offers us soul understanding. And it is just the too common pattern of denial, denial that the death camps even existed, that shows us man’s deep tendency to avoid suffering and forget about his soul.
Every person, at some time or other, undergoes painful life experiences. Pain and suffering are universal human constants. For those who suffer the deep pains of the heart it is sometimes helpful to remember the suffering of the rest of humanity. No one really enjoys the pain of suffering and most are anxiously trying to escape through many of the ways currently available in modern society. But it is impossible to grow or change unless we embrace the darker side of our consciousness. Real growth and change almost always involves some sort of conscious suffering because the problem almost always lies inside of our own self. Anytime that we are thrashed out on the floor, there is something that we are not seeing, something to learn. The conquest of suffering does not mean that we will never ever feel pain. It just means that we will know what to do when powerful feelings and thoughts overcome our inner peace. When we touch upon the full truth of who we are, which is what the heart represents, we meet both the positive and negative sides of our nature.
Frankl said about this:
“From all this we may learn that there are two races of men in this world, but only these two—the “race” of the decent man and the “race” of the indecent man. Both are found everywhere; they penetrate into all groups of society. No group consists entirely of decent or indecent people. Life in a concentration camp tore open the human soul and exposed its depths. Is it surprising that in those depths we again found only human qualities, which in their very nature were a mixture of good and evil? The rift dividing good from evil, which goes through all human beings, reaches into the lowest depths and becomes apparent even on the bottom of the abyss, which is laid open by the concentration camp.”
Openhearted people seem to suffer more simply because they are more open to feel. And heart oriented people seem to suffer more because they make themselves more vulnerable to seeing their most basic flaws and mistakes. Our pride is always hoping to look a little better than we actually feel and it is this pride that separates us both from the pain, the heart, and any real growth in our beings. Pride protects us from pain because locked up behind our pride are our vulnerabilities—our imperfections, errors, blindness, selfishness, insecurities, jealousies and aggressiveness. It takes courage and a dedication to truth to look directly at our own blindness.
Suffering is central to our spiritual evolution.