To Blame is the fourth least creative level of consciousness after To Control Absolutely, To Force, and To Threaten. As To Threaten focuses the soul’s attention on the future, thus inhibiting balanced creative action in the face of fear, so To Blame traps the soul in the past. Persons focused on the consciousness level of To Blame cannot stop hating, and therefore can never be free of those forces that have hurt them.
To Blame consciousness not only traps those focused within it, forcing them to relive over and over again the hurts of the past; it also erodes, slowly but surely, their sense of proportion and responsibility, until the original hurt and its perpetrators loom larger and larger in the consciousness until they become a sufferer’s Higher Power. To Blame consciousness also erodes one’s sense of responsibility, tempting the soul to attribute all its travails to the persons and incidents who have harmed it, therefore robbing the soul of its power to make positive choices.
Does this mean that we must crush our anger over wrongs done us and throw ourselves with gritted teeth into the arms of forgiveness? Of course not. The only way to forgiveness is through anger: acknowledging it; using it to help us take positive steps to extricate ourselves from harmful situations and people; and when we feel safe enough to do so, slowly beginning to permit ourselves to soften around our anger and the memories that gave rise to it. Eventually the hurts become part of the landscape of the inner self, like the soft eroded hills of the Appalachians, which once, eons ago, were massive and forbidding.
The flip side of To Blame is To Accept Blame One Does Not Deserve. Unjust guilt feelings and the shame that accompanies them can drive people to suicide. Abused children and spouses frequently blame themselves for their abusers’ actions; rape sufferers have often been accused of “asking for it” because they were dressed in a sexually appealing way when they were violated. Religious groups regularly target specific fringe populations as particularly hateful to God. And when members of such fringe populations internalize that hatred, accepting that censure, terrible things can happen.
My former pastor, a kind and brilliant man who ran the Evangelical Presbyterian Church I once belonged to, committed suicide because he was homosexual. He was not a child molester. He had not hidden his attraction to men from the board of elders who oversaw his stewardship of the church, and had vowed a celibate life. He had continued to pastor his congregation with wisdom and prudence, and was known in the larger community for his work in comforting dying AIDS patients. But in the end, his acceptance of our religious group’s censure of homosexual desire killed him.
To Control Absolutely, To Force, To Threaten, and To Blame are the four least creative consciousness levels. And they are not static; once the consciousness starts to collapse, it tends to keep going. People who blame others tend to be easily threatened. Fearful people tend to turn to force to protect themselves. And violent people engender violent societies in which individual freedoms are eventually abrogated entirely.
How does one stop the collapse of one’s consciousness into less and less creative levels? How does one lift oneself out of To Control or To Be Controlled, To Force or To Be Forced, To Threaten or To Be Threatened, To Blame or To Accept Blame One Does Not Deserve?
NEXT: To Accept With Intent To Learn.