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MYTH 1: ISIS is crazy and irrational
If you want to understand the Islamic State, better known as ISIS, the first thing you have to know about them is that they are not crazy. Murderous adherents to a violent medieval ideology, sure. But not insane. Look at the history of ISIS's rise in Iraq and Syria. From the mid-2000s through today, ISIS and its predecessor group, al-Qaeda in Iraq, have had one clear goal: to establish a caliphate governed by an extremist interpretation of Islamic law. ISIS developed strategies for accomplishing that goal - for instance, exploiting the grievances non-extremist Sunni Iraqis have with their Shia-dominated government.
Are you balanced? Do you share your time, your energy, your life, as much with yourself as you do with those around you? We all know how simple it is to say “yes, yes, yes” each time someone makes a request. After all, it makes us feel good, makes us feel needed, and makes us feel loved. And the more we say yes, the more they ask of us. And we tell ourselves this is an example of even more love.
We all like to believe that there is one fabulous event or one big deal in life that is going to dramatically change our lives. Part of the reason is that in today's world corporate advertisers try to convince us that the good life is just around the corner. Thus, it's easy to be seduced into thinking that something incredible will happen to us, so that from that point on, we can experience perpetual happiness along with problem-free lives.
There is a Zen story about two monks walking down a street after a heavy rain. Arriving at a corner, they came upon a beautiful girl in fine clothing unable to cross the muddy street without getting filthy.
“Here, I’ll help you,” said one monk. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her to the other side. The two monks walked in silence for a long time.
“We’ve sworn a vow of celibacy and are not supposed to go near women. It’s dangerous,” the second monk said to the first. “Why did you do that?”
Walk into practically any bar or other public place where there is a group of people and what will you hear? Whine, whine, whine - everywhere a whine. If some of these whines are yours, it's time to quit complaining. Nothing is as exhausting as sitting around whining about things - particularly about the unfairness of life. And nothing is as futile. In case you haven't noticed, true success and true happiness don't like whiners. Haplessly, the vast majority of human beings are stuck on this lower level of consciousness which entails complaining, criticizing, and other modes of negativity about how life isn't fair.
Depending on how you handle and reduce the normal stresses of daily life, you can end up a bright light, a flickering one, or a complete burnout. Often we don't pay enough attention to how daily stress can interfere with our health and contribute to illness. When we find ourselves feeling a little down, it's best to rejuvenate our spirits by reconnecting with Nature.
In his later years, the nineteenth-century Italian composer Rossini loved to work in bed. He had become so lazy, according to some rumors, that if he dropped a sheet of music, he would rewrite the whole page rather than get out of bed and pick it up. Undoubtedly, many people today would give Rossini a good run for his money when it comes to lethargy.
In most Western nations today, the plethora of ever-evolving laws can overwhelm us. Luckily, there is still no law that says we can live only to a certain age or at a certain level of health and happiness. Many individuals take advantage of this; they live much longer and healthier and happier than others. Millions of others, unfortunately, allow their health to slide through sheer neglect.