For the love of fear

Fear is a big presence in everyones life. I have struggled with it extensively in mine and found it to be instead a nemesis to be a great teacher. But fear is a big subject and a pretty tender one so we'll move slowly. Let's start with a more general view.
For the love of fear
When we think of fear, we usually associate it with danger, with life threatening situations when we feel our lives being somehow jeopardized, we tend to associate fear with the greatest pain. But I want to highlight it in it's more everyday form, the one we encounter daily but maybe don't recognize as fear per se. Fear as the group of feelings we seek to eradicate, repress, resist and renounce. The uncomfortable ones that make us want to crawl out of our skin, the ones we try to hide from our surroundings. The ones we didn't sign up for and don't fit in the package of our carefully groomed self image. Those that prevent us from truly loving oureselves, those we constantly try to manipulate and/or change. Our neuroses, our irrational envy and jealousy, our resentments all those feelings that puts us in a less favourable light and make us lie, cheat and secretly rejoice in the failures of others. And those of us that are on the spiritual path have an even greater yard stick we feel we have to measure up to. We're supposed to become or be good, pious people with only compassion in our hearts with helping hands that extend to all those suffering and in need. And if we pass by a beggar in the streets and don't stop to help, or even worse if we in the middle of giving alms to that beggar find oursleves looking down upon or judging him or her whom we're supposed to feel compassion for, we come across fear's loyal servant, guilt.
When Krishnamurthi was asked what in his opinion was the greatest obstacle on the spiritual path, he replied guilt. In his intelligent opinion it is guilt that creates the biggest hindrance to us really getting to know ourselves and God, because it creates such resistance and blocks our clarity.

Most of us subconsciously or consciously have an instinctual drive towards self preservation and whenever we feel this self being threatened with annihalation or death, we get scared and defend ourselves. It's in our nature. Now, the more we attribute to this self, the more the more we associate our sense of self with all the little traces of personality that we inevitabily keep accumulating over the years, the more we extend 'me' beyond this particular life form and our genetics, to let's say our appearence, our financial status, our nationality, what our spouse looks like and does for a living or how many likes we recieve on facebook, the more we run the risk of annihalation of any of this self's attributes. So we go through great lengths in order to preserve or defend that self because we don't want our good name to be assosciated with what we deem to be unfavourable qualities or embarrasing failures.
That type of fear, insecurity, and how insecurity makes us act, is one that I think many can relate to. Lack of confidence that we somehow are not enough the way we are, that we constantly need to change something, to become better. And in the process, before we think we have eradicated all those embarrassing traits, we hide, produce little white lies around what we're thinking in order to keep the image of our creation untouched. We feel so guilty of their existence that we shut them off, bury them in our secret closets so they remain there in the dark out of sight, clouded by our own confusion and unwillingness to fess up, and can therefore not be known, proving Krishnamurthi's statement correct, that guilt, is indeed a great obstacle for the truth of ourselves to be fully known. So let's think, what do we feel so guilty about, who are we not enough for, who is the judge here?

In the service of fear works the opinion of others, the reflection of their yay or nay is what causes us to change, transform, blame, and radically act out, all in order to please this external judge. We think that if we're not accepted by our environment we cannot be acceptable to ourselves. Our environment has, mainly out of the necessity in order for us to co-habit in society, laid down some ground rules of how to behave, but those rules do not include any guidelines of how to handle our deep dislikes, resentments and disgust. They merely let us know that these feelings are unacceptable and suggest that we should feel ashamed when they come up, just put a lid on them and pretend that they do not exist.
And since we feel such a need for outside acceptance we do, but when burying these discomforts we prevent access to investigate our deepest fear, the one that possibly lies at the bottom of all fear, the one about our actual death, the final goodbye that will forever seal the deal on this personality and this adventure. Throughout life we feel the need to continuously be reaffirmed by others as the good guy in order to feel more comfortable with the thought of death and whatever unknown exists in it's aftermath, we still deep down believe in that the good guy and the bad guy will somehow receive different upgrades after this. And we're petrified that we will not live up to this invisible measuring stick of having been good enough, still scared that we'll be stuck in an evil hell like after life/next life if we don't get it right in this one.
In yoga we talk about the union between I and god, and how the divine is to be found inside of us. We're taught that when we peel off the layers there is Good and God right there, at the bottom of our soul. Some may interpret that as us getting rid of the excess of bad traits we carry. I prefer to think that it's the understanding that whatever you are is Good and God, because ultimately this God, is all of existence, all that is. This makes all our little petty fears part of the package, so if we say we want to know ourselves and God would it not be better to open to our fears, to welcome them when they come up. To investigate fear in it's full complexity, get to know it intimately at depth and learn to deal with it's potent charge with wisdom, so that we won't feel like such helpless victims when it shows up in all it's different faces and start to recognize that through our resistance to fear, we contribute to it's unconscious spreading. Now, this is easier said than done. Way easier, because what we are talking about here is nothing less than opening up to feel the full extent of our pain, to look into our bleeding hearts knowing that they shall never stop bleeding.

I'll talk about that tomorrow.


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