The biggest fear human beings have is the fear of losing their identity. Even the fear of losing one’s life is not as great as the fear of losing the identity. The fear of losing your identity is much worse than the fear of death.
All our fears, be it fear of losing physical health, mental stability, wealth, name and fame, or loved ones, are actually fear of death under various disguises.
The social fear or fear of being rejected by society makes us do things to please society, even when it is not good for us. In this process, many times, we sacrifice what our being really wants to do. That fear of not being accepted by society is just another form of the fear of death. It is the death of the ego.
Every act of ours is unconsciously related to death and the fear of dying. Understanding death can change your entire perception of life. It can simply transform the way you handle all your fears. Fear is what leads to anger. Fear is the passive form of the energy while anger is the active expression.
When you are angry, just look into the anger. At the root of it, you will find a deep fear.
Try this for yourself:
if you are feeling fear, express anger at that time. Throw your hands, stamp your feet and express the energy. You will see that the fear disappears. You will see for yourself how fear can simply transform to anger. Similarly, fear can also transform to hate. You just need to be aware of yourself and witness how the emotions subtly change from one form to another. When you understand this play, you can easily get out of the game.
Psychologists talk about fear strokes. For example, you are walking in the garden in the dark, and you see a coil of rope. You start shivering, imagining it to be a snake. That sudden shock you get before realizing it is just a rope and not a snake is, what is called a fear stroke. A fear stroke is like shaking a rose plant from its roots. If you keep shaking it long enough, it will die. It is said that we undergo six to twelve fear strokes every day and night, both in dreams and also in wakefulness. Imagine what happens to our being! Fear strokes originate from unconsciousness. When they are viewed with awareness and consciousness, they can be substantially reduced.
At the time of the fear stroke, you may not have any time to go into awareness because it is just like a spike. But after the fear stroke passes, you can analyze the stroke and get a deeper understanding of your fears. This will help you to dissolve the whole idea of fear.
The intensity and frequency of fear strokes can be greatly reduced by reducing the intensity and depth of the basic level of fear in us. Only from this baseline fear, do the fear strokes arise. With deeper understanding and clarity, we can reduce the baseline fear, and the fear strokes will also reduce.
- When you are faced with fear, don’t try to resist it or suppress it.
- Just look at the fear, note the fear and accept it.
- Acceptance of the fear dissolves the fear.
- Allow the fear to shake you.
- If your body trembles, let it tremble.
- If your eyes water, let the tears come.
- Just be like a blade of grass in the wind, bending without resistance.
Your fears are exactly like this, you think it is an abyss but it is actually just a few feet. If you can face your fears, you see they have no depth. Because you magnify the fears, you imagine them to be an abyss. It is your choice – to let go of the branch and the fear, or to keep clinging onto it and torturing yourself.
Acceptance is the only way to conquer inevitable things. When you accept, suddenly you see the fear disappears. The moment you accept, fear loses its power to frighten you. When you don’t fight with it, you will see fear as deep peace. When the fear stroke happens, just live it. That is the only way.
When you have an object connected to fear, accept it. That acceptance transforms. The more you fight, the more you empower fear. Diverting your attention away from the fear is also not the way because then the fear still remains with you. It does not mean that you are out of fear.
- Allow the fear to take over itself.
- Go into the fear two to three times.
- Live the fear intensely without any reservations.
- Suddenly you will find that it doesn’t touch you anymore!
Fear is associated with the swadhishthana chakra, the subtle energy center two inches below the navel region.
This is an incident from my life when I was young:
I used to circumambulate the Arunachala hill every day. I would start early in the morning at around four am, and go around the hill, chanting and singing keertans.
One morning I started very early, soon after midnight. In those days there were no roads or lights on the path around the hill. It was a dense forest all the way. I was happily singing and walking with my eyes down. Suddenly, at a spot near a small river, I looked up and saw a pack of fierce-looking hyenas staring at me intensely ready to pounce on me!
In that sudden deep fear, I just let out a scream from the depths of my hara, the swadhishthana chakra. It was a scream fear that I had never experienced before. It was so complete that never again did I feel shaken by fear in my life!
I felt a total surrender to Arunachala and a deep trust that Arunachala would take care of me.
Suddenly, from nowhere, an elderly sannyasi appeared in front of me with a big stick, and chased away the hyenas.
As soon as the animals ran away, the old man disappeared.
With that primal scream, I found that my body had suddenly become much lighter. I was almost floating rather than walking, as if the frequency of my being had increased. In modern psychiatric treatment, ‘primal theory’ is applied where patients scream as a catharsis, from the depths of their hara, to relieve fear and other suppressed negative emotions. A very powerful way of overcoming fear is to visualize going through that fear as clearly as you can. The beauty with this technique is that it can be used when you are not in the fear situation, when you are calm and able to handle yourself.
- You can sit by yourself and visualize the situation that causes fear.
- Feel clearly the fear coming up in you, face the fear with deep awareness.
- If you suffer, if your body feels uncomfortable, it is fine.
- Don’t suppress the fear, just allow it to happen.
- When you experience something completely, you stop the process.
source: Living Enlightenment