160 QUESTION: Recently I have come to the realization that all my anger and sarcasm are displaced positive feelings, especially overwhelming feelings of love. I am terrified of expressing these enormous feelings in certain instances. Could you help me with that? I am afraid of the consequences.
ANSWER: Yes, this is a wonderful step. First of all, ascertain concisely what it is you are afraid of. Much of it is pride. Furthermore, there is also a certain amount of greed involved here, in the sense of refusing to accept a possible frustration or denial. If you were to express your desire, it seems absolutely unbearable to you that your love, your tenderness, might not be reciprocated. It would seem like annihilation. This, of course, is not true.
As you know from your own experience, in the present state you are in – which is more or less the state in which most individuals find themselves – you do not necessarily refuse to respond because you find the other person unlovable. Mostly it is because you are frightened of the experience.
When you give up the self-centeredness of the infant – and at the same time, the greed of the infant that cannot brook denial – it will no longer be the end of the world if you are not assured of reciprocation. You will then automatically develop the intuition to know when and how to express your feelings.
Sometimes the expression of feelings may be frightening for those who are still immature. They recoil, not because they do not appreciate you as an individual, but because they cannot handle the feelings. Only when you are not a child yourself will you see it in that way. Then you will regulate your expression – not in a miserly, self-centered, vain way, not due to lack of generosity and feeling, not out of pride, fear and self-will, but out of the wisdom and intuition that recognizes who is ready, and how a person is able to receive what you have to give.
In other words, you will be able to allow these wonderful feelings, whether or not it is possible to express them in a direct way, whether or not the other person is at all times able to take them. The very fact that you have these feelings is in itself the most precious treasure, the most wonderful experience, for it makes you alive and streaming with pleasure. It gives you true security.
To the extent you can acknowledge and allow these feelings – to the extent you can express them or simply have them, as the case may be – to that extent you will automatically attract the kind of individuals who will be as able as you are to feel, to receive, and to give good feelings. Or you will be able to help those you are involved with to become that way, if they are at all willing to grow.
No problem can be so severe that it cannot be helped and solved – provided you truly want to go to the roots of it, to look at whatever truth is in you, and be ready to change where it is indicated. No problem can be so insignificant that it doesn’t seem hopeless if this attitude is lacking. If you are willing to face the fact that, at one point, you have denied your good feelings and deliberately turned them into bad ones, you will come out of the pain of self-hate.
QA166 QUESTION: I have two opposite forces in me: I can’t tolerate the fact that there is disorder, so I want to step on this whole problem in me because I can’t admit anything that is not law and order. Can you help me with this?
ANSWER: Yes. That is precisely where you are splitting yourself in part. That is precisely where you fight yourself, where you do not accept yourself. Your general attitude about law and order is, of course, a reflection of this fear – the fear you have basically of your own disorderliness and unlawfulness, where you have irrationalities, where you have violence in yourself, where you are a rebel within yourself.
Once you recognize and accept your state that I just described, you will be able to unify yourself – but not as long as you are at war with yourself. Your outer attitude reflects your fear of yourself. The fear of yourself must be overcome, for as long as you are in the state of fear, and therefore war with yourself, you cannot find the treasure that lies hidden in you.
QUESTION: Can you link this with my problem of sarcasm?
ANSWER: Yes, exactly. That is quite true. It is a very, very accurate observation on your part. I would perhaps put it this way. Your sarcasm, your cynicism, in certain ways, your irony is not only a defense against the world, but it is perhaps even more so a defense against yourself – or even the only way the rebel nature in you, the violence in you, the rage in you, can seek a modified outlet.
It is as though a tremendous power is only allowed to trickle out in a very ineffective way, and by this very ineffective way puts you in a greater problem with the world and therefore with yourself.