On Confronting Our Dark Side
While reading Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood I was moved to question my spirit guide Sandra about how the experience of being murdered added to the Clutter family’s spiritual growth.
Sandra: You don’t understand because you are only looking at one lifetime. In the totality of who the Clutters are, they wanted to have the experience of sudden and terrifying fear. The feeling of catastrophic fear is what this lifetime symbolized to them. You might say that everything else they did in their lives up to that point really had little significance; they were just putting in the time until their big moment arrived. Undoubtedly they had done something similar to their two murderers in another lifetime, and now they wanted to feel that feeling of catastrophic fear which one has done nothing to merit. You could say that their life of “normalcy” and “being nice” up to then was just a preparation for the big moment. The point is, that the totality of who they were demanded such an experience. That’s all. We’ve all had lives in which such things happen.
Look at it this way: there is, out there in the universe at large, a light fiber of catastrophic fear. This light fiber is part of the band of light fibers (feelings) which make up, or are available to, all humans and animals (but not plants). Catastrophic fear is one of the emotional options available to all humans, but not everyone is going to choose to feel that one in every lifetime. There are lifetimes in which that light fiber comes to the forefront, and others in which it doesn’t.
But catastrophic fear is part of every human’s equipment – it’s there in the closet. That’s why people are so fascinated by books like Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood – it lets them acknowledge the existence of catastrophic fear vicariously, without having to feel it directly.
That’s the purpose of art – to enable people to feel things vicariously, to widen the scope of experiences available to people. For example, by reading In Cold Blood you get to feel a lot of feelings that you wouldn’t have felt otherwise, since they’re not a part of your inventory for this lifetime.
These books are good. This sort of violence / pornography / National Enquirer kind of thing is good for people. It lets them confront many of their fears and desires openly. By reading about the Clutters you get to feel (to some extent) your own connection to catastrophic fear; and by reading about Perry Smith (one of the murderers) you get to feel vicariously your own cold-blooded, murderous feelings. In the old days they used to use public executions and punishments (like stocks) to let people experience these things vicariously. Now they have the media.
Me: You’re saying that violence and pornography are good.
Sandra: Yes, they are. They enable people – vicariously, at least – to come to terms with their own hidden emotions, like catastrophic fear. Not everyone is going to choose to feel catastrophic fear in every lifetime; but everyone knows that feeling is there, and it makes them fearful. This is what is meant by “fearing fear” or “getting angry at anger” or “lusting after lust.” You’re learning something like this now, in giving up smoking. What you’re realizing is that your craving is not for a cigarette, but rather for the desire for a cigarette. You don’t want to smoke, you want to want to smoke.
Similarly with catastrophic fear. People know that feeling exists within them from their subconscious memories of experiences in past lives; and they fear that fear. The fear of fear is what causes neurosis and suffering. Being able to address that fear vicariously helps relieve some of the pressure. For example, you read about the Clutters and you think, “Oh well, it was a stone bummer, but then they died and it was all over.” That is sort of the message here: that catastrophic fear is a bummer, but death relieves you of it so there is no need to fear it.
Similarly with pornography: seeing it there in a magazine or video helps release some of the pressure built up by repressing sexual desire. By seeing it there on the page you can feel it somewhat and don’t have to act it out yourself. Of course, in a society where they don’t repress sexuality (e.g. Tahiti when Cook and Bligh got there) pornography is unnecessary. And in a society in which they don’t teach self-hatred, you don’t need a lot of violence, war, fearfulness, etc. either.
Me: How do such societies deal with the light fiber of catastrophic fear?
Sandra: They bypass it, as plants do. They don’t grab onto it. What makes it part of our inventory is that we are taught to grab onto fear and violence – our society is based on fear and violence. If it were based on love and gentleness, the catastrophic fear light fiber wouldn’t be operative: there would be no thought forms attached to it, no way for it to manifest physically.
The only reason why things “happen” is because beings (humans, animals, plants) attach thought forms to light fibers. Plants, for example, don’t attach thought forms to the light fibers of fear or anger. Plants can’t feel fear or anger – no matter what happens, they can’t get fearful or angry about it (flight or fight is not an option if you can’t do either). There have been human societies of enlightened beings who also didn’t happen to use the fear and anger light fibers – they never attached thought forms to these fibers.
Our society teaches us to grab onto these fibers as hard as possible, and then not to look at what we’re grabbing on to. And the only way to release anger and fear – to cut our thought forms off of those light fibers – is first to look at them; to look at what we’re grabbing on to. To read In Cold Blood and feel what the victims felt, and also what the killers felt, is to recognize these feelings of fear and anger inside ourselves – to see that both victims and perpetrators were just acting out openly something which we also feel, but have repressed.
That’s why it’s good you are reading this book now. You, like most people, think that you’re better than the killers, or luckier than the victims. But that’s baloney. All that is in you also.
Bob Makransky’s Astrology Corner © 2001