Surviving Our Fears, Society in the 21st CenturyThat's right, once again we need to be aware of things in order to deal with them. You can't truly deal with fear until you know what it is and where it comes from. It is a thought and it comes from your brain. Getting monotonous isn't it? Well that's the way it goes, we wouldn't need to talk about it if we knew it already.
The mistake ( did you know that the original Greek word "sin" used in the bible meant mistake? Try replacing sin with mistake and read the bible. It's much different. ) that fear comes at us from 'out there' is almost universal to mankind. That things "causes me to be afraid" is such an accepted concept that most never think to question it. The argument for where fear comes from is easily settled. Pick any example you like, for instance if you are afraid of snakes and I'm not, that proves that fear isn't coming from the presence of a snake. If it was we would both fear snakes. But of course that's not the case. At this point, if (when) we are convinced, we can move forward to yet another solution.
As with all these mistakes they seem to have got inside our heads by default. Remember that default processes for the human brain, as it pertains to behavior, are very few. I don't even know if anyone has made a complete list of what they are. I can assure you that what we're talking about here isn't one of them. As to how to be rid of fear its never an unconscious process like acquiring or generating fear seems to be. One thing we can do is face fear in a meditative state. We can make a picture of snakes or whatever it is we're afraid of and sit with the resulting feelings. This is a great way to make headway toward the real world. Another good exercise is using a mantra. You can make up mantras and try them. You have mantras that you use now although they normally go unnoticed. This is a good time to identify the mantras you use as we are focusing in on the brain and what its generating through thought. I guarantee if you said snakes are good people a million times your thoughts about snakes would change. If you create a room with a couple of snakes and sit and talk with them for ten minutes a day I guarantee your thoughts about snakes will change.
One thing I know is that it is the being conscious of some thing that makes the difference. All the problems that a person attempts to deal with indirectly, in other words to deal with in form instead of cause, go unsolved. The problem arises again, in form, until dealt with at the causal level. Its not the fear of snakes that is the problem in a person who fears snakes, that's just form. The problem is fear. Fear is cause. We don't need to know where fear came from, this also is seeking form. We can regress to earlier stages and say, "I first feared snakes when John stuck one in my bed", this is form and startling, but not cause. Actually we should be more afraid of John, and probably are. But this won't heal the fear problem. All the regressions in the world, all the awareness of events, won't get us out of the bind we're in so it's really just another mental exercise to avoid the problem. Only directly facing the source will bring about the desired result. We are the source. We are fear. We made it.
Ask some different questions, why am I afraid of dying, being alone, being broke, being laughed at ( people ), the unknown, why am I afraid, what is it I am afraid of, where is that feeling coming from, do I like it? Well? One of the "promises" in the A.A. Big Book is that the fear of financial insecurity will leave us, not financial insecurity, the fear of it. The world is packed full of stuff. To fear it is a mistake (sin?), we are living out the mistakes of our fathers (societies and cultures) and its time to forgive ourselves for being mistaken?
You probably won't walk away from this reading without the fears you had when you started. You will leave with different data. You are responsible for the new data and all associated data that you collect from now on. You can continue to believe something, that isn't factual, be mistaken, and continue to do battle with form. Or you can look at the creation of fear, and as the creator, deal with it.
Personal Histories and FearThere are way to many cases where people have experienced extreme fear at the hands of adults. Physical violence and screaming causes a lot of trauma and children grow to adulthood like people who have experienced the shock of war. Too often the home is nothing but a battlefield and there is nothing a child can do to cope in any healthy way. Coping is a talent that relies on experience and an understanding of people that children haven't yet gained.
This type of childhood trauma shapes the child for life. This happens at the electrochemical level and doesn't readily respond to the therapy of reason. We can't talk someone back from this type of fear induced change. The brain, due to this type of traumatizing has become physically different. The truth is I feel out of my depth on this topic. I can only relate what I've experienced and what I've done personally to deal with my own fears.
One thing for certain: Fear is the cause of more human difficulty than any other solitary factor. Because it effects us at the cellular level. One tool I've used is this video "Bruce Lipton's, The New Biology" which goes into the way we function biologically in response to external stimuli. It basically explains that fear shuts down, or interferes with, the growth process. I also followed some advice from Deepak Chopra who related a story about going to the scariest places. I went to this places in my mind until I got so familiar with them that my response to them started to change. They simply weren't as scary after I'd been there a dozen times - as an adult.
The other thing I can offer you is people. People I've listened to who have taught me and helped me on the road to sanity. You can start with "These Pema Chodron mp3's" and listen to everything available on the play list. Of course you'll want to join a group, or start one (you can do that here) and find people to talk with. Anything that's put on the forum I'll see and respond to.
"Adapted from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire"
by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press).
Discovering archetypes is a highly personal experience. Vedic science, the ancient wisdom tradition of India, says that unless you can get in touch with that embryo of a god or goddess incubating inside you, unless you can let that embryo be fully born, then your life will always be mundane. But once that god to goddess expresses itself through you, then you will do grand and wondrous things.
These days, we tend to seek symbolic archetypes in celebrities, but we need to nurture a full expression of the archetypes in ourselves. They are part of what creates us. This is the stuff our dreams are made of. This is the stuff of mythology, of campfire stories, of legends. This is what inspires great movies.
Mythology is the wellspring of our civilization. One of the consequences of depriving people of mythology is that they join street gangs. Why? Because gangs have a leader, they have rituals, they have initiation rites-the stuff of mythology.
Mythological stories are the deepest wellspring of civilization and identity. Gangs and movies and soap operas and celebrities are seductive precisely because they strike this mythic chord. But they are second-class substitutes for mythology. Real archetypes are enacted by people like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, anyone who reaches beyond daily life into the realm of the wondrous.
They are able to achieve greatness because they tapped into the collective unconscious, which gave them the ability to see several event lines simultaneously and predict the future based on choices in the moment. These events create a shift in cognitive and perceptual mechanisms. These are the powers that bloom as myth.
Moving from fear to fearlessness requires a shift in orientation because we live in a climate of fear, where it is all too easy to succumb to a constant barrage of potential threats. To counter this, you must look to your own inner guidance. Realize that what makes you safe is a higher intelligence that resides within you. Potential dangers are illusions. Only what lies at hand is real. From Deepak Chopra
Listen to what you know instead of what you fear.
Fear is natural. Be with it.
Do the thing we fear, and death of fear is certain.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Fear is something to be moved through, not something to be turned from.
Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased by tales, so is the other.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.
There's no fear when you're having fun.
How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.
Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.