Secrets of a Parallel Universe              Stress: Are You Coping or Failing?

-but the kind of confidence you gain by these means does not hold up under pressure. You just can't win. Not in the real world, where all your preplanned schemes and conversations collapse and send you diving deeper into your psychotic mental retreat.
     You can find relief only in your dream world, slugging it out with your own kind, finding in fantasy and wild imaginings a refuge from the guilt of your failing. When you cannot prevail in real life, you judge, dominate, and will your way through fantasies.
     The weaker we are, the more we knuckle under to stress and give power to the wicked. The wicked hate you for your weakness, and the weak hate you for your wickedness, and you all make each other what you are. The result: violence in our homes, holocausts in our world.
     But the problems posed by our reactions to stress are not insoluble. The secret solution lies in the souls of each of us; all we have to do is learn to be patient. Of course, patience itself is a response, but it is not a response to people or circumstances. Patience is the overt manifestation of a commitment to One greater, deep within the soul.
     To find patience, we must first find the truth concerning it, and we will find that truth only where imagination is nowhere present.
     The fearful "loser," who is intimidated by bullies, but who sees himself as overcoming them in his fantasies, is known technically as the possessor of a psychotic personality. He finds temporary relief by giving in to strong pressure, but he rationalizes his failing by fancying himself to be "too good" to fight back. By rising "above" it all into the judgments of his own fantasies, he escapes the judgment on himself that his failing might cause him to feel in some quiet moment alone.
     Of course, the prime motivator, the flaw that sends us all scurrying into fantasy and rationalization, is pride. Needless to say, the pride that tells us we can be our own god drives a wedge between us and the grace of our Creator. It enables us to feel secure in our judgments of others, both in fact and in fantasy, but the fake

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