This morning it is all over the news that James Arthur Ray has been arrested on manslaughter charges for his role in the Sweat Lodge Deaths last year. The superficial story is that he had organized a sweat lodge experience near Sedona, a number of people were overcome with heat stroke and three died. Some witnesses are saying that when people fell ill James refused to let them leave the hut.
Such a tragedy. And it seems to me that fear is involved all around.
Imagine being so enthralled with a teacher that you ignore your own internal warning system, and persist in an environment that your body is screaming at you is dangerous and harmful. People must have set aside the urge to leave in order to stay, either out of fear that the group or James himself would ridicule them, or that they would be failing some test.
I can’t know what James was thinking, of course, but I wonder whether he was so caught up in an ego state that he denied to himself that the whole thing was going very badly and should be stopped. That he for a moment believed his own hype and urged people to remain in the heat, even as they were dying, in order to establish himself as a leader. Fear of failure. Of public failure.
Such a sad, sad business. Fear has been well described as False Evidence Appearing Real. I think today we might each observe our own experiences and see where fear plays a role. When do we act contrary to internal wisdom in order to satisfy something external which has no basis in reality; some fear based delusion that only works to harm us?
Be brave, my darlings, be brave. Listen to your heart. And act according to the magical guidance of Source, which is always true, and always wise. And remember the old saying: If you knew for one moment, who walked beside you every minute of every day of your life, you would never again know fear.