Fear is a deeper dimension of worry. Worry can cause ulcers. Fear on the other hand can even destroy life. However, unlike worry without which life is possible, fear seems woven into our lives. It is possible to face fear without fear. A person who we call courageous is not one without fear, but one who has learnt to face fear without fear.
Fear is a form of energy inside us. That is why it cannot be destroyed. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be changed from one form to another. Understand, your fear is directly connected to your life energy. Whenever you are facing a survival threat, you will see your fear rising and the adrenalin release happening in your body. That adrenalin release gives you so much energy that you can almost fly. We call it the fight or flight response – either you face the fear and fight, or you run away. There will be so much energy in your body the moment you face a survival threat. Whenever that threat is real, the swadhishthana chakra, the seat of life, gets completely shaken!
When there is pure desire or pure greed in you without any object in particular, it becomes the overflowing energy of creation, expansion, or Big Bang! For no reason, you simply explode with energy. In the same way, when there is pure fear in you without any object in particular, it becomes contraction, black hole. Fear is your nature, but don’t direct it towards any object. Having fear is natural. But connecting the fear to an object is societal. Pure fear helps in survival and it is spontaneous.
Enormous energy radiating from you for no reason is pure greed. If it is because of an object, it becomes ordinary greed. In the same way, energy settling back within you for no reason is pure fear. If it is because of an object, it becomes ordinary fear. Unless the black hole happens, the Big Bang cannot happen. It is part of life, part of the drama, part of the game. Pure fear means you are relaxing into yourself, settling inside you. That is what we call destruction. The birth of this cosmos is the Big Bang, and death is the black hole. Birth of your being is big bang for you. Death of your being is black hole for you. The inhaling breath is pure desire. The exhaling breath is pure fear.
Prana, the life energy that enters along with the air, goes into you because of the Big Bang. Prana leaving your system with the outgoing air is the black hole. When you resist or fight with the Big Bang or black hole, you create disturbance in your system.
When fear happens, when the black hole happens, it means that you are turning towards peace or getting ready for the Big Bang. Whenever pure fear happens, you become rejuvenated with a tremendous relaxation which surges as courage and energy in you!
Whenever you are afraid of losing something that you have, or you fear you cannot achieve something that you want to have, there is a fight going on between your potentiality and your negative approach to the future. If you are sure there is no possibility of achieving something, that you don’t have the potentiality, you will not have fear. If you are sure that you can achieve something, then also, you don’t have fear.
Fear is the fight between faith and belief in oneself on one hand, versus the negative idea or expectation you have about your future on the other hand. You are literally fighting with your own positive and negative energies. If you are very sure you don’t have the potentiality, that you can’t achieve, then you won’t have fear. If you are very confident you are going to achieve, then also you won’t have fear. However, if there is something you want to achieve, but you are not sure that you can achieve it, then you will have fear. The fight between these two ideas, the dilemma is what we call fear.
You see, you are not afraid that you will never become the king of the universe. No! You are very clear you could never become that! But you are afraid that you will not become successful like your brother. You are afraid that you will not become or achieve that which is within your reach.
Possibility creates fear. It means fear is the root of life! Are you afraid that you can’t live on the planet earth for more than three hundred years? No, because you know for sure you could never live that long anyway. But you are always afraid that you may not live for more than seventy or eighty years, that you may have a premature death. Anything you are clear is impossible for you to achieve will not create fear in you. Anything that you think is possible and that you want creates fear.
- There are two ways to escape fear. One way is to block all possibility. This means you can die, then there won’t be any more fear!
- The second way to escape fear is to break the boundary of possibilities. If there is infinite possibility, if there is no boundary, if there is nothing that limits you, then you become fearless.
Either nothing is possible, so you won’t have fear because there is nothing to be taken away from you. Or everything is possible, so you won’t have fear because you feel all-powerful.
Just by having this understanding, something will click in you and so many fears will disappear from your being!
These two possibilities are actually used as techniques by masters. When masters say, ‘Nothing can be done by you,’ it is to create that deep surrender, a psychological death. You decide that there is no more possibility, nothing else can be done except relaxing. This is what Ramana Maharishi calls atma sharanagati or self-surrender. You can go beyond fear in this way also, by closing all possibilities.
The second way to go beyond fear is by opening all possibilities. It is called atma jnana or self-realization.
You can surrender yourself when you feel nothing can be done. You can experience your power when you feel everything can be done. Both techniques can liberate you from fear.
If you are in tune with the idea, ‘Nothing can be done by me,’ you are a bhakti yogi, you surrender. If you think, ‘Everything can be done by me,’ you are a jnana yogi, you explore and experience. Whether you work in this path or in that path, going beyond fear is possible. But you should be completely connected to one ideology or the other. Either you should be ready to work with ‘Everything is possible for me,’ or you should be ready to work with ‘Nothing is possible for me.’
People come and say to me, ‘I have too many fears. What can I do?’
I tell them, ‘If you have too many fears, the possibility for enlightenment is more. So many doors are available to you!’
For a person who doesn’t have too many fears, the possibility, the number of doors is also fewer because he leads a dull life. A person who leads a dull life will not have much fear. He has nothing much to lose, nothing much to decide. He is not taking many risks.
But a living being who is doing many things and making many decisions will experience fear. If you are experiencing too much fear, then so many doors are available for your enlightenment!
One more thing: only if you can open it can it be called a door. If you don’t know how to open it, then it is more like a wall. If you are experiencing too many fears in your life and if you know the right technique, all those fears can become doors and you can be liberated. Otherwise all the fears are like walls, and it is as if you are caught in a big prison.
All you need to do is, every time you feel fear, do not disrespect yourself. Do not lose confidence or condemn yourself thinking.
‘What kind of a being am I?’ Actually people who can face their fears do not have so many problems. People who are afraid of their fears create more problems for themselves. When you brood too much about your fears, you start thinking you have problems.
If you understand the true nature of fear, it can be considered a blessing. If you are courageous enough to face the fear, it can lead you to liberation.
Sometimes, just by switching your attention to something else, you can come out of fear. But that is not fearlessness.
Fearlessness means taking a quantum jump into the consciousness where you will never experience fear of losing anything!
The fears that you have about your life, be it fear of failure, fear of losing your near and dear ones, fear of losing your wealth, fear of the unknown – every fear can be used as a door to enlightenment.
Either you are filled with tension or you are filled with energy. If you are filled with tension, you are trying to take energy by force from the source within you that does not die, without knowing the technique.
There is a source of energy within you that never dies, your atman or Self. If you try to take energy by force from this source without knowing the right technique, it creates tension. Whenever you try to create energy in you by remembering some desire or fantasy, it is like trying to kick the door in and take the energy from the other side. You want the energy but you don’t have the patience to open the door. You can use the key to patiently open the door and allow that bliss and energy to come into your being. That key is called meditation.
Another important truth you should know:
There is something within you that never dies which is your source of energy. There is also something within you that dies, something that is actually never alive even now. The fear of death exists in you because you think there is something you have now that will be taken away from you.
Anything that you have now, cannot be taken away. Anything that can be taken away, you never had in the first place. Anything that can die can never occupy your inner space.
source: Living Enlightenment