One basic truth that is of inestimable value and usefulness is this dictum: all fear is fallacious and not based in fact. Fear is overcome by walking directly through it until one breaks through into the joy that the fear is blocking. The joy that follows facing any spiritual fear comes from the discovery that it was merely an illusion without basis or reality.
David Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.,
Dissolving the Ego, Realizing the Self
Fear is ubiquitous in our society today. The media and the society it purports to represent are almost exclusively concerned with fear-mongering – telling us what it is we should be afraid of today. Immigrants. Socialists. People from other cultures, other religions. Democrats. Republicans. Russians (again). Jihadis. Women. Men. If we are taking the talking heads seriously, there’s a lot to be afraid of.
And if we’re afraid, we’re identifying solely with the ego and this relative world.
Fear only can exist if there is a sense of ‘other.’ If, as the Veda says, there is only one thing, fear must be an illusion. In order to be afraid, there must be something to be afraid of. If everything is one thing, there is nothing other than Self. The I Am. I Am That. How can I be afraid if the I Am is all that there is? I never lay in bed and worry about my foot attacking me in the night. It’s absurd to think of it. My foot is part of me. According to the idea of the Veda, everything else is a part of me, too. So according to the Veda, worrying about these other parts of me is equally as absurd.
Some of us have spent decades being afraid. We have a lot of practice at it. Perhaps it’s time to practice, just for a while, not being afraid. What would that look like?
It would look like feeling fear come up. Noting it. Then reminding myself that separation is an illusion. That underneath all seeming separation is Unity. Oneness. Knowing that I can step forward trusting the Oneness to be there, and looking for evidence of the Oneness rather than evidence of separation and what it is I need to fear. Looking for reasons to be alive and involved rather than reasons to be pulled back and isolated. Counting on the world to support me rather than to pull me down.
We can argue that there is much to be afraid of, but why would we want to do that? That argument has been made and it leads us only to more of the same. There always will be something to be afraid of and the fear always will keep us out of life and waiting for things to change. But… things never change.
Things never change. But we can. Simply by deciding to.
Those of us seeking a spiritual life do so in order to have a new experience. New experience lives in the unknown. The unknown is right there, just the other side of the fear. We can step in that direction now.
Today I will do something I am afraid to do by reminding myself that there’s only one thing, and that I am that one thing, even though I may not feel like it in this moment. I will remind myself that what I am, deep down, is never afraid; and I will do everything I can to see through the illusion of separation that is at the root of the fear I may feel.
Two Boston Terriers, Christmas Day, Leo Carrilo State Beach, CA