The Seduction of Safety

WARNING: This article may affect your insight.
This phrase ‘the seduction of safety’ occurs in Mary Oliver’s poem The Journey and it suddenly struck me as identifying a significant problem for many of us. That problem is the belief that the world is a dangerous place, and it’s not safe to be here actually alive in a physical body. This belief informs the matrix of existence here on earth, almost universally. It gives rise to a culture of fear that supports notions of ‘security’ on an industrial scale. It might even be dangerous to read this article.

Now, it’s easy to get into a rant about how power elites and the institutions government use fear as an instrument of social control, and how the media colludes with this. But that actually goes nowhere. It changes nothing and drains your energy. What’s far more interesting is how the belief is seeded by your interpretations of your life experience; and this is where we venture into the dark – the darkness of your own unconscious. What could be scarier?

It takes a certain degree of courage to look inside yourself. You just don’t know what you’re going to discover, there’s a danger you may find out something you don’t like, something you’re ashamed of, something you fear you won’t be able to cope with. And other people might think you’re deranged. Already you’ve encountered a formless monster that will chase you away if you let it. So I want to offer you a perspective that could help you understand your irrational fear a little better.

Reference Points
I can’t be sure about everyone in the world, but the people I come across in my work are all far more sensitive than they ever realised. I had to learn this about myself too in order to be any help to others.

So consider this. There will have been a time [very] early in your life when you were wide open to all the information present in the energy field around you. That means that no matter what your life circumstances were, you will have felt the emotional content of the environmental field you existed within: joys, tensions, anxieties, relief, conflict and confusion. You will have had no means of making sense of these feelings – but underlying all of them in this reality is the vibration of fear. This even applies to joy as that so often comes as a response to things turning out ok where there was a risk of them going seriously wrong.

And you will have felt the energy of all of it. To slightly misquote James Joyce … ‘you were ‘jung and easily freudend’ [Finnegan’s Wake].

There is a possibility that this energetic perception exists in utero, and is potentially present right from conception. Certainly some of those I’ve worked with who were conceived in traumatic circumstances carry a residual trace of the vibration of the moment. With no reference point to anchor yourself into, no way to articulate any of this in language, what can anyone make of these situations?

What we’re dealing with here is a mystery: the mystery of awareness and existence and how one informs the other, and nobody really knows how it all works. Not only does nobody know how it really works, nobody seems to do it in exactly the same way. But if you ever experienced fear without having a name for it, or felt scared even though your rational mind knew there was nothing to be afraid of, then something of this mechanism is operating in you – informing you. It gets triggered by some internally recognised similarity between your present situation and what was in the field when you first perceived the vibration of fear and anxiety.

There’s no way to access this rationally. How you deal with it on the surface is quite different from what goes on in your inner depths. The sub-routine running underneath is telling you you’re in danger, and fuels the need to find a place of safety. Reasoning it out and ignoring it using your will-power may enable you to function adequately in the moment. However, if reason were enough you wouldn’t get caught in the trap time and again – addicted to the promise of safety.

The Insanity of Reason
Living here in a physical body is the basic reason why you can feel this. To state the obvious: if you weren’t in your body you wouldn’t feel it – you wouldn’t be able to. And you wouldn’t run the risk of having experiences that are dangerous to your survival. So maybe the danger lies in actually being here.

There’s a crazy logic to this in that if it’s not safe to be here alive, then maybe it would be safer to be dead. Yet getting dead is what you’re trying to avoid. Staying safe might not kill you, but it stops you from living. And this is the nub of the issue.

The idea of safety is seductive. It taps into survival programming that’s hard-wired into the physical body. The mortal mind hijacks this and uses it to make you think that the formless monsters lurking in your unconscious will kill you. And that makes you vulnerable to systematic control by anything that …
… one: alerts you to a threat by triggering those sub-conscious fears, and …
… two: two promises to make the threat to your safety disappear.

Trying to stay safe disconnects you from life. It blinds you to your passion. It limits your connection to the flow of your well-being. It shuts you down.

What can you do to support yourself to live your life as fully as possible? Learn to follow your heart. This will ultimately teach your mind that it doesn’t know the truth of everything – it only thinks it does.

It’s the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance,
It’s the dream afraid of waking that never takes a chance,
It’s the one who won’t be taken that never learns to give,
And the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live.

[The Rose] – A. McBroom