On the path to self-empowerment, we encounter a number of choices.
The most important choice is always between accepting truth or illusion. Many spiritual teachers insist there are only two basic emotions, love or fear. Love is our natural inheritance, they say, while our mind manufactures fear. They suggest we can learn to let go of fear by practicing forgiveness. That means we have to see everyone, including ourselves, as blameless and guiltless. It is a dangerous concept as it excuses destructive behavior. According to this doctrine, we are not at fault and all is love. During the course of my life, I worked with criminals. All criminals I met saw themselves as blameless, as victims of the world. When things went wrong, they blamed the world or those in it for their misery. And most people tend not to take responsibility for their actions, for whatever they perceive, and for the emotions they experience.
The concept of forgiveness is strong in Christian faith. It is a good concept in itself, as an idea, but when applied blindly to life, allows for horrible exploitations. Teaching that there are only two basic emotions, love or fear is simplifying very complex things.
Of course, we may make things worse in our head that they actually are. Anxieties play a role in creating a state of immobilization caused by our focusing on what is over, or on what has not occurred. For example, you lost your job. When you are able to quiet your mind and think back to the day you had lost your job, and compare the fantasies you had that day about what would happen to what in fact had happened you will see that your moment-by-moment situation had not been unhappy, only your interpretation of it had made you feel awful.
However, teaching that all is love, and that we can therefore trust what happens because everything is love, and we are loved, is one of the most dangerous religious doctrines. It denies that there is evil, and that they are truly evil people out there. It has been a common knowledge that the fertile ground for sexual abuse of children is within the walls of conservative Christian churches. It is this overlapping dynamic of forgiveness and trust in love that makes conservative Christians a ripe target for sexual predators. Clinical psychologist Anna Salter 1 quotes one convicted child abuser, “Church people are easy to fool.” They are easy to fool because they believe that love conquers all and that every sinner can be reformed if showered with love and compassion. They are trained to forgive that is to close their eyes on the character defects of the other person. The doctrine there are only two basic emotions, love or fear create the most fertile ground for criminals to flourish. Predator gravitate to bountiful and safe hunting grounds.1. Anna Salter: Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders.