Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.
~Henry David Thoreau.
Compulsive thinking has become our unspoken collective disease. Dis-ease, no ease; its meaning has been hidden inside the word. Our whole sense of who we are is derived from our mind activity and we have the whole sense of self invested in it. Even though we are usually unsuccessful in our search for an answer, the solution for healing has instead become part of it. What we fear and resist most is the end of our drama. As long as we are our mind, what troubles us most is our own awakening.
Our identity, since it is no longer rooted in being but rather a vulnerable and ever wanting mental construct (the little me), creates fear as the predominant underlying emotion. The one thing that truly matters, this thing missing from life, is an awareness of a deeper self, of an invisible and indestructible reality. If we cannot be present during normal circumstances, like walking in the woods or sitting alone in a room, then we certainly won't be able to stay conscious when something goes wrong or a situation arises such as the loss, or the threat of loss, of our children. We will be taken over by the reaction, which is always some form of fear, and be pulled into deep unconsciousness.
Challenges such as these are our test of how well we are able to bring more consciousness into our life. How we deal with them will show us, as well as others, where we are with regard to our state of consciousness. No unconsciousness, no negativity, no discord or violence can enter the field and survive, just as darkness cannot survive in the presence of light.
Some emotions are easily identified: fear, anger, grief, etc. Others may be much harder to label. They may express as vague feelings of unease or heaviness, halfway between an emotion and a physical sensation. Attaching a mental label doesn't matter; what does matter is whether we can bring the feeling of it into our awareness as much as possible.
Let me use a visual analogy to illustrate the point I am making. It is similar to entering a dark cave. We have a sense of unease but we don't exactly know what it is we are looking for. We just know something is there lurking. We look into a dark corner and see nothing but a pair of flashing eyes looking back. We don't label, we simply bring our full attention to whatever it might be.
If fear is preventing us from taking action, then acknowledge the fear and watch it, bring our attention into it, be fully present with it. Doing this will connect us to the link between our fear and our thinking. Do not let the fear rise up in our mind. Use the power of the moment. Fear cannot prove to be more powerful unless we allow it.
The state of ‘presence’ could be compared to a cat waiting over a mouse hole. The cat is absolutely awake, absolutely still or she will miss it. There is no tension in her, no fear, just alert presence. Be present with our whole Being, with every cell of your body. The ‘you’ that has a past and a future — the personality is hardly there anymore and yet nothing of value is lost. We are still essentially ourselves, in fact we are more fully our ‘self’ than we ever were before consciousness.
We enter a state of freedom; from fear, from suffering, from the perceived state of lack and insufficiency and therefore from all wanting, needing, grasping, and clinging. It is freedom from compulsive thinking, from negativity; above all, from past and future psychological need.
Our mind is telling us we cannot get there from here. Something needs to happen; we need to become this or that before we can be free. In fact it is saying we need time; we need to find, sort out, do, achieve, become or understand something before we can be free.
We see time as the means to salvation whereas in truth it is the greatest obstacle. We think we can't get there from here, or where we are at in this moment because we are not complete or good enough. But the truth is, here and now is the only point from which we can get there. We get there by realizing we are already there. We find freedom the moment we recognize we don't need to seek freedom. There is no ‘only’ way to salvation: any condition can be used but no particular condition is needed. There is only one point of access: the present moment……now.
Don't try and escape from the present moment by seeking some kind of salvation in the future. To focus on the future would only draw us to focus on our own pain. If only we knew how easy it is to access the moment with the power of presence which dissolves the past and its pain, the reality that dissolves the illusion.
How can we allow it to be and change it at the same time? By doing what we have to do except what is. Since mind and resistance work in tandem, acceptance immediately frees us from mind dominance and thus reconnects us with ‘Being’. As a result the egoic motivations for doing; fear, control, greed, defending or feeding the false sense of self, will stop. Desire……wanting……fearing, all a means to an end by way of the ego.
An ‘intelligence’ much greater than the mind is now in charge. And a new quality of consciousness will flow into our doing, a oneness with all life. Accept our destiny as if we had chosen it. Try to perceive the world absence of labels and words. It seems most people need to experience a great deal of suffering before they will relinquish resistance and accept, before they will forgive. As soon as we do, one of the greatest mysteries takes place: the awakening of consciousness through what appears as evil. This is the action of changing suffering into inner peace.
The end result of all evil and suffering in the world is it will force humans into real-eyes-ing they are beyond name and form. What we perceive as evil from our limited perspective is actually part of the higher good that has no opposite. This does not become true for us except through forgiveness.
Until that occurs people have not been redeemed and therefore remain evil. Here is another word were the meaning of the word is within the word. Evil is ‘live’ backwards……as unconsciousness is to consciousness. Someone once said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”. Or more to the point - forgive them for they are completely unconscious.
A lot of what people say, think or do comes from, and actually is, motivated by fear. This, of course, is always linked to having our focus on the future and being out of touch with right here, right now. Since there are no problems in the present moment, there is no fear either. If a situation should arise which we must deal with now, our action will be clear and incisive if it arises out of the ‘presence’ of awareness. It is also likely to be more effective. Our response will not be a reaction coming from past conditioning of our mind, but an intuitive response to the situation.
Focus not on all the things we will or may need to do at some future time, but on the one thing we can do now. This doesn't mean we shouldn't do any planning. In fact it may be that planning is the one thing we can do now. Just make sure we don't start to run mental movies by projecting ourselves into the future and lose the present moment. Any action we take may not bear fruit immediately. Until it does, don't resist what is. If there's no action we can take, and we cannot remove ourselves from the situation, then use the situation to go more deeply into surrender, more deeply into the present moment, more deeply into being.
When we enter this timeless dimension of the present moment, change often comes about in strange ways without the need for a great deal of doing on our part. We are in the flow of life. Life becomes helpful and cooperative. When fear or guilt prevents us from taking action, dissolve into the light of our conscious presence. So whenever any kind of disaster strikes or something goes seriously wrong know there is another side to it, something incredible, the chemical wedding of fear and pain with suffering, all burned up into consciousness.
Any acceptance of suffering is a journey into death. Facing deep pain, allowing it to be, taking our attention into it is to enter death consciously and willingly. When we have died this death we come to real-eyes there is no death, there is nothing to fear. Only the ego fears. This is where the ego dies, the little me, the voice inside our head that wants to survive. It is the end of the world, the end of ego, and the birth of consciousness into light.
So don't turn away from the pain, face it, feel it fully. Feel it, don't think about it. We don't want to create a story in our mind around it. Give all our attention to the feeling, not to the person, situation, or event that seems to have caused it. Don't let the mind use the pain to create a victim identity for our self out of it. Telling others our story and feeling sorry for ourselves will keep us stuck in suffering.
Since it is impossible to get away from the feeling the only possible change is to move into it, otherwise nothing will shift. Give your complete attention to what you feel and stop yourself from mentally labeling it. As we are going into the feeling, be intensely alert. While at first it may seem like a dark and dreadful place, when the urge to turn away from it comes, observe it but do not act.
Keep putting our attention on the pain; keep feeling the fear, the grief, the dread and the loneliness in whatever form the suffering takes. Witness it without mentally labeling it. Embrace it, and see how the miracle of surrender changes suffering into deep peace. Stay alert, stay present…present with our whole being, with every cell of our body. As we do this we bring light into this darkness by the flame of our consciousness. When we cross over to the other shore we discover the impermanence of everything, even our deepest darkest fears.