The emotions of grief, fear and frustration is something everyone has first hand experience with, even if your normal LOC is much higher. Some people, however, are stuck in these emotional states as a chronic condition, and they have no idea how to break free or move on from it, or that something else is even possible.
Grief is inner resistance to sudden, unwanted and/or unexpected loss or change. This is the level of deep regret and the eternal pessimist hanging his head low and always trying to “outsmart” life by expecting the worst. People weak in spirit can easily get caught up in this level if life deals them some heavy blows. It’s similar and akin to “learned helplessness” where there is an overall sense that nothing can be done to change the situation, and that it will only get worse from here. The slogan you sometimes see printed on t-shirts “Life’s a bitch, and then you die” fits perfectly for this level.
Fear is a natural response to danger, but when it becomes a permanent and all-encompassing experience it is no longer healthy. Fear has permeated humanity and society since time immemorial. The influence of this emotion is far reaching, deep and many times subtle and hard to see at first glance It is virtually everywhere in modern society, not to speak about the war zones, the gang territories and the third world slums and ghettos etc. Fear is all around us, and its derivatives are so close and habitual to us that we usually just take it for granted as natural and “just the way things are”.
The media and the news spreads irrational fear 24/7 every day, the governments uses fear to manipulate populations behind all sorts of wars and other major agendas, millions of products are produced, packaged, marketed and sold based on fear, and countries engage in arms races out of fear of being outgunned by their neighbouring country. People get up every morning and go to jobs they hate out of fear of what will happen if they don’t. People stay in abusive relationships out of fear of being alone. Every day, all over the planet, people use fear and intimidation to get their way. It’s almost hard to imagine how the world would look without all this fear running through its veins.
The level of Frustration is the chronic state of feeling unsatisfied with what you have, and always wanting and craving more. It’s like a void or emptiness inside that never gets filled up no matter what. While fear is chasing people from behind, desire is the ever-changing “golden carrot” dangling in front, exhausting people in an endless pursuit of the next fix. The lure of this level can destroy lives and bring seemingly successful people to ruin with all sorts of addictions and fixations.
People at these levels are so dominated by the negative emotional states that their whole worldview is warped by it. It’s like putting on certain glasses that colors everything you experience. A person dominated by grief sees only the sadness in life. Everything else is “censored” from his/her consciousness as the “mirror” of the external world reflects back the dominating paradigmatic LOC one is already coming from in an endless feedback loop. Everywhere the grief-struck person looks he/she sees only misery and suffering. His/her mind will always interpret and warp everything in the direction of sadness and pessimism. The grief-struck abuser ego will try to make others suffer as it does, while the victim ego will attempt to drown itself in an ocean of self-pity.
Likewise, people dominated by fear and anxiety will see danger, pitfalls and traps lurking everywhere, and will typically suffer from various degrees of paranoid delusions. The abuser ego will typically dominate others through the use of intimidation and direct or indirect threat of violence. Prison gang hierarchies are structured based on fear, and so are all forms of organized crime and also totalitarian regimes. The victim ego will have fear about everything possible and impossible that can go wrong in all situations, and also fear for the future. The fearful victim ego typically seek out strong leaders perceived as fearless, both on the macro level with governments and micro level with friends and partners.
People consumed by possessive desires live in constant frustration. Every time they get what they think they desire the perceived value of the desired item, relationship or whatever fades, and something “new” and “better” is desired equally strongly. The neediness masked as endless desires to “fill the void” makes everything desireable into an obsession or an addiction. No matter what is achieved or gained externally, the repressed inner feeling of lack does not disappear. The abuser ego will feel extreme greed and envy and see everything and everyone as competitors or obstacles or “means to an end”. The victim ego will typically succumb to all sorts of compulsory addictive behavior like gambling addiction, alcoholism, drugs, sex addiction, kleptomania, lying etc. in an attempt to satisfy the ever-present inner feeling of lack that it refuses to face.
Victim ego: Chronic and severe pessimists, unemployed losers, petty criminals, serious cases of compulsory addicts of all sorts (gambling, sex, alcoholism/drugs, kleptomania, fame-wannabes, pyromania, lying etc), eating disorders, people suffering from all sorts of anxiety disorders and posttraumatic stress (PTSD), bi-polars, hypochondriacs and hysterical cases.
Abuser ego: Violent criminals, killers, tyrants, thugs, bullies, rapists, pedophiles, swindlers and scammers, domestic abusers, sociopaths, career criminals, white collar criminals, hate and fear mongers.
Real world examples:
Public people: Mob contract killer Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski LOC 90 (at time of prison interview).
Movies: Requiem for a Dream (2000) LOC 110.
Music: NAS – Illmatic LOC 95 (song: Life’s a bitch LOC 75).
Books: Hunter Thompson – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas LOC 130.
**Please note that reading a book or watching a movie (or even sporadically using substances) at a low LOC does not mean you will automatically be dragged down to that level. The core influence of the person, book, movie, music or substance is what is reflected in the LOC. The more you use it, and identify with it, the more you will be influenced. The higher your personal LOC, the greater is your resistance to the negative influence.
To overcome chronic grief simply accept the impermanency and changing nature of everything, and let go of all attachments. It’s that simple really, but doing it can seem really hard when you’re caught in it. As always it helps to act on whatever thing that excites you even the tiniest bit as that is the glimmer of light seeping through the crack of your dense mind at this level and trying to encourage and guide you back into life.
Chronic fear is best overcome by actually confronting and facing whatever the fear is about, and then getting to the root cause. There are many therapies available for controlled confrontation of fears. Adapting the mantra of “so what” is also a good idea at this level. Whatever you fear always leads back to the ultimate fear of physical death (or the emotional equivalent of humiliation/shame). So, keep confronting your fear with the statement “so what?” until you reach the root of the problem.
Chronic frustration stems from a deep seated feeling of lack and inferiority. Realize the fallacy of seeking satisfaction in the impermanency of external things and start looking inside to realize that behind the desires there is an observer (you) that is permanent. Keep feeling into this “you” as the observer, and observe the desires without attaching to them.