Fear, Anger, Hate and the Path to the Dark Side
Before we can treat the problem, we have to define what it is. As a self-proclaimed darksider looking for a way out, I know how I got here.
Step 1: Fear
Again, Yoda nailed it:
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace).
Let's be honest. There is a lot to be afraid of. Even more if you watch Fox News.
For me, my journey into shadows began when I was betrayed by a friend. I didn't get mad at him though. Not at first. First, I got angry at myself.
I doubted everything I ever thought or believed. If a friend I had for years could steal everything I owned, my entire future, as I saw it, How could I ever trust any decision I ever made. I was afraid of myself, and suspicious of everyone I knew. I cut myself off from everyone. I reexamined everything over and over again.
Everything was suspect, another possible betrayer, someone to be feared. I walled myself off, and in my isolation, my fears multiplied.
My fear turned to anger. Anger at myself for not seeing this coming, then anger at my "friend" who betrayed me. Then old forgotten resentments rose from their grave. Anger at the teacher who molested me in elementary school. Anger at my parents for not stopping it, even though I never told them it was happening. Anger at the preacher who asked me not to come back to his church because I wore a crucifix. Anger at the Youth Group that tormented me in school. Anger at the teacher who lied to the principle about me and almost got me expelled. Anger at my friends for not breaking into my self imposed exile.
Image by fendyzaidan via Flickr
I hated all of them. I am not talking dislike. I truly hated them. I wanted terrible things to happen to them, and even contemplated doing some terrible things to them. Luckily for them, I hated myself more than I hated any of them.
I became friends with my betrayer, and defended him to all of my friends and family who didn't like him. I was the one to blame. He would have taken advantage of anyone. I served myself up on a silver platter for him to take advantage of me.
Thus the cycle was born. My fear lead to anger, anger to hate, hate to suffering, and suffering to a new fear.
I spiraled in on myself like a dying star. I stopped taking care of myself, and gained a lot of weight.
That is how my fall to the dark side started, but that is not how I got there. That required another step.