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 today. It was so before the Covid-19 pandemic, and even more so now. The media, for some time, are almost exclusively concerned with telling us what we should be afraid of. 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 for separation. 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 what’s happening now really is something to be afraid of, but why would we want to do that? There will always be something to fear. When Covid-19 disappears or fades or becomes a part of the landscape of our lives, there will be one more thing, and then one more thing. And the fear will always keep us out of life and waiting for things to change before we live again. Before we can be happy again. But things never change. Only the face of what we fear changes.
And us. We can change. 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.
We may not know how to live in a world that contains this much (potential) threat to our health and well-being; but we can make ourselves open to discovering the way. By remembering that the truth of me is there under the fear. That the truth of me is at one with the All. At one with the divine. And, when I find myself in fear and the thoughts of fear, to come back, again and again, to the now and the infinite possibility available in each moment.
Today I will step out of fear by reminding myself there’s only one thing, and that I am that one thing, even though I may not feel it in this moment. I will remind myself that what I am, in the depths of me, 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 might feel.