Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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Hari Om
'Freedays' are the 'gather our thoughts' days; Q&As; a general review of the week so far…

The thing with fear is that it is ever-near and yet we often don't recognise it for what it is. It is the inner voice of doubt, the promoter of shyness, the besieger of action, the progenitor of angst. Oh yes, it is ever-present.

For many of us, though, we have developed the skills and ability to keep fear in check. It can even become useful as a prompt to action. We are not talking about the phobias we might have (spiders, snakes and other such things). Those arise from some perception of physical danger so are not entirely useless to us, except when they become irrational and spark imaginative responses.

No. The fear we are looking at here is the deep psychological fear which every living thing has in regard to how we interact with the world. Anyone who says they have no fear is either lying or missing a synapse or three. Fear is an essential component of physical life, it is a preservation response. However, if it is permitted to dominate, our rational thinking goes AWOL. Fear sends out chemicals to help is flee or to brace for a fight. Those chemicals can, if we are not alert to them, result in very poor decision-making. It can mean not acting when action is absolutely the right thing for us, or it can mean acting when we ought not. Fear can be stupefying. Playing dead in a hunter-gatherer situation would have had some value, but it holds none whatsoever in a city centre corporate debate!

It pays the serious saadhaka to assess their fears, get to grips with them, wrestle them to the tarpaulin and thus know the enemy. Sometimes we find that fears are small and stupid and we can actually let them go. However, it is the deeper one or two which may well be key motivators of how we have lived life thus far, which require our attention. They may never be eliminated, but they can be contained. Simply by knowing exactly what they are, what triggers them and what our standard responses have been, we can modify our future reactions and thus overcome the effects of those fears.

Thus, when you see sadhus and other spiritual teachers, or politicians or high-level businessmen who appear to have no fear, know that they do; they simply have contained and redefined. 

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Hari OM
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