Connect with us
Advertisement

The wolf at the door

Stuart White

The World in Black-N-White

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.  ”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” We’ve all experienced pain in our lives. From the minute we are born things can and will go wrong: we get hurt, disappointed, let down. For some the downs are more than setbacks, they are tragic, horrific and whatever the unpleasantness, it stays with us and leaves what you might call a residue of pain. The more that you come to terms with what has happened to you, the smaller the residue and its impact on your life – it’s through our background and this pain that we experience life.

For many of us, however, (for ‘many’ read ‘all’!) we try not to think about the unpleasant things in our life and what happens to us and we will do everything to avoid thinking about it: we throw ourselves into work, we exercise, we comfort eat, whatever it takes to distract ourselves from pain.  It’s called ‘avoiding the issue’ or ‘ignoring the elephant in the room’, in this instance ‘the room’ being the space inside our heads. 

This strategy of avoidance and distraction is even practised by our well-meaning friends who will stay away from sensitive subjects or gloss over them with comments like ‘you’ll be fine’ so they avoid having the difficult conversation because they believe ‘we shouldn’t go there’.  This avoidance makes us unconscious to our pain as we effectively try to blot it out and bury our head in the sand.  It’s a temporary coping mechanism and that’s the problem – it doesn’t last.

We avoid certain thoughts because they are uncomfortable and we fear them, ignoring the fact that they are a rich source of understanding about us. While a thought never killed anyone and is harmless, we place a high value on the bad or sad thoughts in our head- usually much more than they merit. These thoughts survive because of your unconscious identification with them and the unconscious fear of facing them. We have a tendency to be afraid of feeling such things as fear or sorrow, but in Buddhist thinking leaning and moving toward fear or the pain and not away from it is encouraged. If we befriend our fear or pain then it may open up to us and reveal its nature.

With this in mind I challenge you to approach such things differently. When something is upsetting you don’t throw yourself into super-cleaning the house, having a drink or three or locking it away in the cupboard and closing the door on it. Instead, ask yourself what that thought is, sit with it and have a cry if you need to. It need only take a few minutes and then when you go back it will have diminished.

There is such a relief when you sit with the pain – not in it but with it because nothing gets attended to or sorted out until you sit with it. The pain is like this dangerous monster which you fear and can’t bear to look at. But when you sit with it you release the emotions attached to the feeling and you realise that the monster under the bed is nothing more than a dust bunny.

In one of my favourite books of all time, ‘The Power of Now’, Eckhart Tolle talks of a pain body that lives within each of us, which he calls a negative energy field that occupies our body and mind.  It's an emotional body which has two modes of being: dormant and active. He explains that the pain body wants to survive, just like every other entity in existence, and it can only survive if it gets you to unconsciously identify with it. It can then rise, take you over, "become you," and live through you. It needs to get its "food" through you. It will feed on any experience that resonates with its own kind of energy, anything that creates further pain in whatever form: anger, destructiveness, hatred, grief, emotional drama, violence, and even illness.

So the pain body, when it has taken you over, will create a situation in your life that reflects back its own energy frequency for it to feed on. Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible.  Once the pain body has taken you over, you want more pain. You become a victim or a facilitator. You want to inflict pain, or you want to suffer pain, or both. There isn't really much difference between the two. You are not conscious of this, of course, and will vehemently claim that you do not want pain. But look closely and you will see that your thinking and behaviour are designed to keep the pain going, for yourself and others.  Remember the old adage – ‘misery loves company’.

The pain body doesn't want you to observe it directly and see it for what it is. The moment you face it, feel its energy field within you, and take your attention into it, the identification is broken. A higher dimension of consciousness has come in which you might call mindfulness.  You are now the witness or the watcher of the pain body. This means that it cannot use you anymore by pretending to be you, and it can no longer replenish itself through you.

You have found your own inner strength. You have accessed the power of being present. So, here’s the rub and this is how you do it. When you are feeling upset angry, scared, panicked, instead of defaulting to your usual pattern of avoidance, close the door and go to it – not away from it. Focus attention on the feeling inside you. Know that it is the pain body. Accept that it is there. Don't think about it – don't let the feeling turn into thinking. Don't judge or analyze.

Don't make an identity for yourself out of it. Sit with it in the present moment and observe what is happening inside you. Become aware not only of the emotional pain but also of "the one who observes," the silent watcher. Don’t feed that wolf – it will only bite the hand that feeds it.  Just look it straight in the eye and it will cower and slink away and though you may never forget the evil in its eyes, it is powerless to hurt you ever again.

Continue Reading

Columns

Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

 

Continue Reading

Columns

Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020
Samson

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

 

Continue Reading

Columns

‘RO, ‘RO ‘RO YOUR ‘BOT

23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!