I recently read something with which I didn’t quite agree.
“Fear is nothing more than F-alse E-vidence A-ppearing R-eal. A movie director once trained his actors to walk across a six inch beam supported by two bricks on the ground. When the beam was raised 30 meters off the ground the actors had difficulty crossing the beam. They found it impossible to cross when placed across a canyon. The beam hadn’t changed. The only change that took place was in the minds of the actors attempting to cross the beam. They lost their focus and allowed fear of falling to block their obvious ability to cross the beam.”
No, what happened is that they lost their frame of reference (the ground) and their rational fear of falling saved their lives. (Rational fear is vital to our survival. Irrational fear is a problem)
All of us have a frame of reference which we subconsciously “refer to” to guide our decisions. When we are faced with a decision, our mind, in one instant, refers to and draws from past experiences, how we were raised, what we know to be true, and what we’ve been told in order to help us make a decision. This is our frame of reference.
How many reading this would agree that the above person is probably quite unbalanced? This is a rather extreme action to take. Apart from the serious risk of infection and the damage to your face, it’s pointless (excuse the pun) and painful.
Your frame of reference which governs or motivates all your decisions is what keeps you from taking a hook and putting it through your face.
But our frame of reference doesn’t get this warped from one or two bad things happening. It comes from consistently blocking positive influences and consistently allowing negative influences into our lives.
Coming back to the story of the actors walking on a wooden beam, they need a frame of reference to help them keep their balance. But now imagine they were walking across the beam and used a passing car as a frame of reference.
We all need a constant in our lives, something that is our rock, that won’t be moved, so we can focus our attention on that and keep our balance. Which is why I believe the current push all across the world to eradicate the belief in a God is harmful, because then we’re left with our own opinions, which, as good as they may be now, are subject to change, and you can’t use a moving object as your frame of reference or you’ll lose your balance.
You can see that happening in society with the increases in suicide rates, drop out rates, increases in the frequency of child abuse, sexual abuse, crime etc etc.
Also, you’ve seen with friends or celebrities, sometimes the guy is a complete irresponsible nut, and then he meets an amazing woman who sees through the bull, and he starts to calm down, being more responsible and a better person overall, a more well-balanced person.
Why? Because the woman has a solid frame of reference and she becomes a positive frame of reference for him.
So it is very important that we guard ourselves – guard from the wrong friends, guard from certain things on TV and radio, guard from harmful philosophies and influences etc…
In the same breath it’s also important to get around positive influences, read good books, make friends that have good ethics and a strong moral standard etc…
A study done on prison inmates found that when asked what they thought the reason was for them ending up in prison, how it all started, about 85% of the time the story started with “I had this friend” or “this group of friends“.
We don’t realise how subtly these influences start changing our frame of reference, and then one day we wake up and just like the actors walking on the beam, we’re completely off balance and we can end up falling to our deaths, whether financial death, spiritual death, romantic death, or physical death.
Two keys about our frame of reference
Firstly, our frame of reference must be a constant because you can’t use a moving object as a frame of reference.
Secondly, our frame of reference must be clear. The further away the beam is from the ground, the harder it is to distinguish whether you’re moving over the edge until it’s too late.
When you’re faced with a decision, the clearer your frame of reference the faster and better your decision will be. If someone invites me to steal something, my frame of reference is very clear, stealing is wrong, I could lose my freedom, the person losing that item would have to replace it at their own cost and I can’t do that to someone else. So you stand no chance of convincing me to steal or rape or kill. I will quickly and easily decide not to go along.
So, that begs the question: what is your clear, unmovable frame of reference?