Sunday, January 23, 2011

What Do We Have to Fear? Why Do We Fear It?

The best quote on the subject of fear -- came from President Roosevelt during his inaugural speech in the year 1933. He said: "The only thing we have to fear -- is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
How do we engage in 'retreat' ? It's not necessarily meaning to disengage from some kind of 'battle' ..but to paralyze our own thinking to the point where we forfeit all of our innate power to create our reality.
I believe its true: fear of separation is the greatest fear of all. Separation from anything and anyone; from the fear of losing some one's admiration, to losing our possessions; from being 'out of control' of any kind of situation ... to what we too often perceive as the greatest fear of all: death.
The funny part of it is: it really IS all 'illusion.'...and I am not talking 'fluffy talk' here.
We all die to our present lifetimes...but I believe the teachers who say we never lose consciousness. We get so heavily into our present "reality" empowering it with our thoughts and minds -- so much so that at times we have ourselves convinced 'this is all there is' and that life continuing on is the illusion. That is pretty sad.
We don't always recognize that many of our responses decisions, or reactions to life are fear based. Often we justify them as being based in 'common sense.'
We basically have been taught that to worry, to fret and stew, to 'be concerned' to the point of obsession, is noble and a sign of a really 'good person.' Not just about friends and loved ones ... but every state of affairs imaginable. Heaven forbid we give the impression that we just plain 'don't give a damn' and win a place of honor on the list of world's worst human beings.
I'm NOT advocating apathy or lack of compassion ... but a healthy perspective and detachment. Being mindful, as Buddhism teaches, that we are MORE than these drama-queen roles we are playing out.
Take the word "saint." It puts you in mind of suffering, martyrdom, and an all around miserable life that certainly is not meant to be enjoyed. The more 'selfless' one is...the more elevated one's heavenly status. Some goofy adage sprang up from who knows where, that said: "God must really love poor people; that's why he made so many of them." AND if you are rich ... your chances of 'getting to heaven' to slim to none. Talk about FEAR of success of ANY kind -- material or physical! Sheesh. We all have storage lots filled with our 'yeah but's' and 'what if's' and instant justifications... and if we are honest ...we have to admit that they are fear based.
The government, the media, and even some of our 'entertainment' doles out our daily doses of fear. This makes us easier to control. This INCLUDES some conspiracy theorists! It's long been proven that the more you can keep people in fear, the easier they are to control...and be more receptive to even greater fears.
One of the most convincing arguments FOR fear is: think of the consequences and of course they are almost always dire ones...including the the #1 biggie: 'burning in hell'... We too often assume there is only one right way of thinking.
I believe the more one's attitude toward all of life itself is negative and leery...the more fear is apt to be present.
Another good definition of fear is: the apprehensive feeling of the 'unknown' or of what 'might happen.' Someone supposedly recently, did a survey and the conclusion was less than 10% of all of our fears ever come to fruition. Maybe there is a reason for that, too.
The Job 3:25 Bible quote is fairly well known: "That which I have feared has come upon me. That which I have dreaded has happened." Most of you will recognize this as the Law of Attraction. This is not implying that you will get whammied with something awful just because you occasionally entertain some fearful thoughts...but you DO get what you focus upon... (Seth... or any metaphysical teaching) ... and even if you don't get flattened by a steam roller, you still make your life miserable by always _choosing_ to live in fear.
A lot of our old baggage (fears, mostly) is being forced out into the open for us by this unrelenting, increasingly strong energy. Mine sure did this last time I got sick! It presented me with the choice: Hang On and be miserable...or Let Go and Feel SO much better!... This is what it does for all of us.
One of the sneakiest (and superstitious) fears we have is: "Yeah, but if I don't fear it -- it will probably then happen." (Kind of a twisted version of "respect") This most often came from another one of those horrible 'lessons' we were taught: "Just don't get too cock-sure of yourself, or something will happen to you!" Keep your fear. Keep your humility. Right. Sure. Ever analyze that one?
"Playing it safe" is not always based in wisdom. Nothing ventured, nothing gained shows a lot more zest for, and love of, life.
Healthy fear? OK, it exists.. to a point. It's prudent not to step out in front of a speeding car, but far too often its our fears that keeping hitting us...not speeding cars.
Overcoming our fears means being willing to recognize and acknowledge them. It's not the kind of baggage that is going to help us in these interesting and challenging times.
I've often thought those "No Fear" T-shirts were kind of neat. I have my work cut out for me. We all do!


"The coward dies many times before his death; the valiant but once." Wm. Shakespeare