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Confronting fears

JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matterNetherlands Veteran

It seems to me that one of the major things that stands in our way to finding peace is fear. Fear causes us to see threats in all kinds of places, it is like the parable of the walker who thinks he sees a snake, only to realise it is a coil of rope. That fear can cause us to change our course, it can cause is to attack or start a fight, it can cause us to run away.

Now it occurs to me that when we free the mind, that seeing all the possibilities around us, fear can become aroused, and we start seeing threats in places where there aren’t any. It depends on what sources of fear we carry within us... fear of loneliness, fear of death, fear of being crippled, it depends on what all you have encountered in life and left unfinished.

If you were to take a psychedelic like LSD, you might find these things waiting for you, a proverbial “bad trip”. Similarly if you were to have a psychosis, these things might become activated and might power various delusions. So I think if one were to encounter a dark night of the soul, a spiritual moment where you go through this stuff, it is a necessary confrontation that can recur, one gains a new fear and one confronts it again.

How do you confront a fear? I think it is through living through it, and learning what it is, even if only in imagination. If one is afraid of loneliness, imagine yourself a hermit in the mountains going through a three-year retreat. If one is afraid of death, imagine living in a cremation ground as one of its keepers, constantly confronted with it. If one is afraid of being a cripple, imagine being a paraplegic victim of an accident, dependent on the kindness of nurses.

In the end you become familiar with a fear and it loses its sting.



  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited December 2020

    Useful visualisations @Kerome <3

    Here are some of my fears and solutions:

    • Doing or saying the wrong thing
      Solution: jibbering or talking nonsense eg. Small talk

    • Demons, angels, wrathful buddhas, starving ghosts
      Solution: hell realm picnics, I usually bring a few gods for the barbecue

    • Politicians, goats, eating sentient beings
      Solution: turkey sausages

    • Sanity, fear, anger, emotional typhoon
      Solution: laughter

      "Named must be your fear before banish it you can."
      Roshi Yoda

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