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

exactly how his impatience would cause him to react. A person who can be set off by the slightest pressure has no control over his own life and can make no wise decisions. Coming back to you, until you are willing to face Reality, you may not see how you are acting against your own best interests, but your anxiety feelings keep you on the run, escaping into dreams and thought processes. You make excuses and rationalize your erratic behavior, but all the time you are "saving face," you are setting yourself up to become even more sensitive to stress and its encoded message.
     Are you easily excited, angered, and upset? If so, you are reinforcing the prideful self and running on "automatic pilot." If you were to stand your ground, you would see yourself as a powerless victim, whereas escaping into emotion and fantasy enables you to sustain what seems to be an independent, prideful existence apart from God. And because you are proud, you have to maintain a separate existence, powered by the spirit of emotion and imagination.
     Pride is addicted to emotion and fantasy. We cannot overcome this addiction because we need it for our egocentric development. It helps us to remember who we "are," and to forget who we do not choose to be. Through pride, we reinforce the ersatz reality of the only life we know, or want to know. So the moment you are confronted by some kind of excitement or stimulus, your need draws you to experience it deeply and hold it close in the memory bank of feeling. Your need for sensate life and your need for distraction chain you to the wheel of experience. You "fashion" yourself out of memories, emotion-based illusions, all the indulgences that you call "living it up"; but they are pulling you down to their source in hell.
     Your need for "life" and fantasy draws you to excitement. Who can doubt that the "Author of Evil" is fascinating? Death is fascinating-who among us can drive by the scene of a fatal accident without slowing to gawk? Danger is fascinating. Wicked hypocritical people, bizarre people, violent people hold us

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