Fear is a problem that everyone want to solve and in attempt to do so we often get misled by our mind or external minds, who offer temporary and time-consuming solutions. Solving fear is no easy and applying solution is even harder in most cases. Surprising fact is that there has been lot of advertisement about positivity and amount of loss one might have if he doesn’t handle his fears, pressing on the need to become fearless. And this fear of loss due to fears of various kinds, fear of loss of opportunity cost and opportunity growth due to fears or negative thoughts is doubling our anxieties and mental illnesses. “Don’t panic” kind of suggestions are becoming furthermore stress. We are rushing to try any unexamined solutions and losing our precious time and brain on it. This is what I refer as fear of fears.
There is one more such flavour – fear of ego – that is quite prevalent in people who believe themselves to be walking on spiritual path. I am one of them and I had nourished such fears for years. This is actually rooted in lack of understanding of concepts and fundamentals of ego and it’s structures.
Result is that Fear prevails, rather doubles itself. Imagined fears are even of higher intensity than actual losses. Fear of fears ( or negative thoughts or ego) maintains the fear and keeps us in complicated mental stances. We take extra care in petty matters and become worrisome personality with long face and burdened mind.
Small Story – One 11 year old boy fearing ghosts asks his mother for a solution, she with some formalities ties to his arm a mantra-treated band and says – “never untie that, this is going to protect you from ghosts” and innocent child obeys happily and also takes in implicitly the idea of existence of ghosts and associated troubles they could create. He feels better for a while but keeps protecting the protector-band and develops a fear of losing it. This arrangement replaced another fear. One day during play time that gets torn and lost and on his way back home he realized the loss of band, and this small incident scared the shit out of him. Thereafter he became overprotective for new band which his mother arranged again, and increased the frequency of checks .
So you got the point. Is this a solution for fear? Aren’t many such solutions we are entertaining simply replacing our fear and not dissolving them. “If you do this then you will get this or this will not happen”. “Ensure this then you will get peace of mind !”. “Take 2 more year extra cover ! then you will feel better”. Anything we do to avoid fears eventually replaces the fear and this is all due to our misdirected efforts and lack of willingness to stop and think deep enough.
Similarly are our fears regarding hoarding money, protecting it, taking heaps of insurances of all flavours, detailed preparations before presentations, decorating CVs, struggling to earn ( not learn ) latest skills and certificates and degrees.
I have realised this very closely that there is nothing that we can do on external or even mental level to cut roots of fears. We have to face it, falsify it or surrender to it. It is simply an emotion. Understand well, running from fear or suppressing is not at all a solution. Nor any action or technique can save you from fears. True knowledge and experiencing in and through the fears is one of simple and direct way to dissolve fears.
How we dissolve our fears?
Simply recognize this – fear is nothing but a projected thought or emotion and is false. You can not control emotions. You can not control thoughts but you can label those as false – false here means something of temporary existence compared to the observer ( I / You / Everyone essentially). Observer is witnessing presence and ever existing reality. We as observing presence witness or see fear cycle – start of the fear, initially observed the free space when there was no fear or some other thought, the absence of fear after few moments. So one who just by the virtue of being there observes the whole cycle of thought and all it’s colours ( fear / greed / happiness etc.) is something fundamental and existential than momentary projected thoughts and emotions.
Emotions live little longer but are false and temporary too. Compared to this fundamental entity, that is who we are, fear too is false and temporary. Labelling fear as false is dissolution of fears. Our importance and attention to do anything to avoid certain emotions or negative thoughts gives them power and existence and so keeps them alive in our mental space for longer periods. Fear of fear – “I should not be having it” further nails it in our being and puts us into endless struggle with ourselves prolonging undesired emotional states.
Labelling fear frees us from influence of it. On the other hand, suppressing or replacing fear with positive thought is no solution and even stressful and immature.
So best solution is knowledge – truth itself – that fear too like this world is transient and one who observes fears is existential, true and permanent. All it may need some awareness and remembrance but it is a two edged sword helping to rise above influence of fears and awakening us to our essential Being.
Understanding Ego Structure and Fear of Ego
Similarly fear of ego is another foolishness. Ego by definition means we hold ourselves separate from whole existence and are in constant struggle to prove something to someone without realizing what it is. Tendency to exert our existence as separate and all attempts to strengthen it keeps ego alive, though it is fictitious entity. But if we just understand and accept that there is no way to be separate from the whole who designed us and all our attempts to do so are in vain. Surrendering and stopping on such attempts for upholding separate identity is dissolution of ego and then it dies on its own accord. Or lives as shadow for day to day behaviour but nothing it attempts ever to prove it’s separate existence.
Fear of ego is born when we don’t dissolve it but develop fears after hearing so many losses associated to ego-driven life. We don’t drop it by understanding it’s structure rather mistakenly, we attempt to show less anger, habituate nice behaviours, show less reactions and develop more humility. Though unconsciously, but we try to fake egoless state and in the core of our heart seek appreciation from others for being humble and egoless. We work hard to manage it’s suppression and at the same time fear of ego prevails in our psyche creating self-doubt and fear of slow progress on the growth path.
Egoless doesn’t mean we should be soft spoken or become a doormat and boil inside for people taking us for granted. Egoless doesn’t mean some kind of rigorous and humiliation training we need to go through to melt it away.
We have to dissolve ego through right understanding i.e. Self-Knowledge, love, surrender are straight and long term proven solutions.
- Don’t solve your fears but dissolve. Don’t do anything fear driven. Face it fully and accept it as it is. Let it rise and fall before your ever existing presence. Witness the whole cycle and declare it false.
- Accept it’s ok to be gripped in fear at times. In some cases decide for yourself which is costly – solution of fear or embracing fear itself. Live spontaneously. For petty matters like some sudden client visit or planned one but late notice to you, you are requested for 5 min presentation (which mostly gets squeezed to 90 seconds in real time) you need to decide whether you want to go with open mind or dig 1 year data and prepare 5 slides with lots of data and graphs. Trust in yourself and enjoy the spontaneity. You will be amazed in most such cases and be willing to face in future with little or no preparation.
- Do not double your fears by not allowing it in inner space. If it has happened it has already happened. Pushing will persist it. Do not fear any negative thoughts or traumatic patterns. Allow and accept all. All such traumas are also false – know it and label these as false. Do not try to solve it. Labelling these as false is long term solution to free from influence of fears.
- Do not expect fears to not rise up anymore, rather learn to free from influence of fears by labelling false, finding it false by observing it’s complete cycle of life and death. Over the period if we realize well the imortantce and truth of this stance then fear will automatically lose power on us. Considering it false and non-existential makes it dead.
- Dissolution of ego comes through right understanding or acceptance of truth and not by hard work or any management skills of ego suppression. Fear of ego again is of no use as the one who is fearing is loaded with subtly finer ego, which is even more difficult to identify and eliminate and may feed on respect and attention it gets from society.
This was one of the precious experiences on my experiments with dealing fear and I am feeling good to have the opportunity to have shared with you all. Hope it simplifies your life to some extent.
Feel free to share any thoughts on my email – firstname.lastname@example.org