Fear as the Teacher
For some of us, these are times of deep change and transition. While we may have good intentions regarding new practices for reflection, exercise and meditation, everyday stresses can derail our best plans. Tuning into our innermost yearnings in challenging times can be greatly enhanced with a deeper understanding our unconscious patterns of thinking. Foremost it means identifying fears and barriers that keep us from moving forward towards new behaviors and more loving relationships. Fears limit our ability to respond to situations creatively. “Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions.” Khwajeh Shams al-Din Muhammad Hafez-e Shirazi, 14th Century Persian Poet understood fear may be our best teacher. However, fear’s lessons can be deceptive. Often it appears to teach us to avoid the object or actions we fear. Misunderstanding fear’s message may cause us to miss opportunities for healing and growth. Consider fear’s real message, ‘There has been pain here before, this is difficult and scary, so I must be cautious and alert. Here is a learning opportunity for a different perspective and different action. Fear, it seems to me, is a lack of understanding the real nature of the event, person or thing. Fear then is the caution light, there is danger here, look, listen learn before you proceed. Recognizing fears is the “first room” in Carolyn Myss ‘s Entering the Castle: an Inner Path to God and Your Soul. My lesson in that first room was “the fear of humiliation controls” me more often than I ever imagined.
Startling as it may seem, there are only only five basic fears; all others are derived from these five: Extinction – fear of annihilation, Mutilation – fear of losing any part of our precious bodily structure, Loss of Autonomy – fear of being immobilized, paralyzed, restricted, this one is a biggie, it encompasses most of our fears, Separation – fear of abandonment, rejection, and loss of connectedness – of becoming a non-person, Ego-death – fear of humiliation, shame, or any other mechanism of profound self-disapproval that threatens the loss of integrity of the Self. I found myself hovering over this one. Working my way through the rooms of the castle I noted the things that scared me and with noticing they ceased to paralyze me.
In his travels through the heavens and hells, Swedenborg saw the hells ruled by means of their fears. Now that’s a scary thought. Could it be that in the physical plane, our fears rule over us? Swedenborg asserts, No one is reformed in a state of fear, because fear takes away freedom and reason, or liberty and rationality; for love opens the interiors of the mind but fear closes them; ”
I see a clear choice between acting out of one fear or another or acting out “dignity, direction and purpose”. I see a clear choice between acting out of one fear or another or acting out “dignity, direction and purpose”. According Dannion Brinkely, three time Near Death Expereincer, we must exercise our free will to live with joy rather than fear.
Circle Community begins an exploration of “fears” in the upcoming meeting February 10, 2013 at our new location at Denny’s Restaurant at 6484 E. Broadway, Tucson, 85710