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A Deeper Understanding of Fear

As you discern the difference between the sensation of fear and your thoughts about it, you spontaneously become empowered to allow the situation to calm down.



How to get the most out of these Wisdom Quotes:


  1. Put aside everything you think you already know.

  2. Open your mind and heart to receive something new.

  3. Take your time going through each point.

  4. Return to any points that particularly touch you.

  5. In the coming days, listen carefully to the wisdom within you.



1. The First Thing to Understand

Rupert Spira quote

"If we want to live without fear, we first have to learn to live with it. There's no way around that.




If we are doing anything to get rid of our fear because it is so unpleasant, we are, without realizing it, simply perpetuating it. That's the first thing to understand.




It takes some courage just to understand that.




We have been dancing around our fear all our life. Managing, it, suppressing it, fulfilling it.




What are you afraid that the fear will do to you? Why are you so afraid of the fear?"




~Rupert Spira, from the video: Why Are You So Afraid of the Fear?


COACHING NOTES:

Let us come to this subject of fear with a completely fresh and open attitude, ready to discover something new, empowering, and liberating.


  1. "If we are doing anything to get rid of our fear because it is so unpleasant, we are, without realizing it, simply perpetuating it." This is the first thing to understand because, if we don't understand it, we will keep trying to get rid of our fear, and therefore remain stuck in an unhealthy cycle of resistance.

  2. "We have been dancing around our fear all our life." And who can blame us? When did we ever enter into an understanding of it? When were we ever taught how to deal with it? The feeling arises, we don't like it, and we do anything we can to get rid of it. Instinctively.

  3. "What are you afraid that the fear will do to you?" We are so afraid of fear that we don't even stop to consider why. Take a moment to consider why you are afraid of fear.



2. Be Interested in Your Fear

Rupert Spira quote

"When an emotion arises, there's a disturbance, and then there is the thought, "it's not welcome."


Now, what about if you were just to pause the thought, and experience the emotion itself before the thought comments on it? In other words, just experience the raw emotion before thought labels it and deems it pleasant or unpleasant, welcome or unwelcome.


What would the experience be without the commentary?


Be interested in your fear rather than, in a split second after its appearance, being motivated to get rid of it. Be motivated to be interested in it.


Suspend that impulse to get rid of it. Say, “Oh, this strange creature that I have never really fully experienced or got to know has appeared again. I want to know what this strange, dark creature is.” Explore your fear like a botanist would explore a new species of wildflower that he discovers on the mountain.


What is your fear without the thought or feeling, "I don't like it"? Is it positive or negative before the thought says, "I don't like it"? It may be an intense vibration but the chances are it's not going to be nearly as bad as a toothache or headache."


~Rupert Spira, from the video: Discovering What Fear Is Made Of


COACHING NOTES:

We're so accustomed to going through life reacting to everything, yet we know there is a wiser way to interact with how our life situation is unfolding.


  1. "What about if you were just to pause the thought...?" Something as simple as a pause is powerful and instrumental enough to shatter the world of your conditioned mind and bring you to an understanding of what is actually going on behind the scenes of all the mind chatter.

  2. "What would the experience be without the commentary?" Here is a valuable question to ask yourself. This thing we call fear that we instinctively run away from, what is it, actually? This is an invitation to be still and tune into yourself more deeply.

  3. "Suspend that impulse to get rid of it." Don't worry if this seems difficult and counterintuitive. I'm reminded of a car that starts to skid on ice. You would think it makes sense to slam on the brakes and steer in the opposite direction, but you're meant to avoid using the brakes and steer in the direction the vehicle is sliding. Of course, once you've done it a couple of times, you remember and it gets easier. Next time you feel fear rising up in you, pause and suspend your desire to get rid of it. You may find it's not as scary as you have always imagined it to be.




3. A Natural Vibration Appearing in You

Rupert Spira quote

"When you have fear, is it not obvious that the fear is appearing in you?


Something that appears must appear in or on something. You can't have a cloud without a sky. You can't have an image without a screen. You can't have the words of a novel without a page.


You can't have a feeling of fear without the space around it, and that space around it is called “me.” Don't you have the feeling, fear appears in me?


This "you" is obviously present before the fear arises, it's obviously present during the fear, and you are still present when the fear has gone. And the you that is present when the fear is gone is the same you that is present before the fear has appeared. In other words, that you has not been overwhelmed by the fear.


Even when that fear is present, it's just appearing in you like a cloud that rolls through the sky, that colours you but doesn't overwhelm you.


The reason you think it overwhelms you is because the thoughts get going: “Oh, this is unbearable! I can't stand this! This is overwhelming.” All those thoughts that get added to the feeling make the feeling seem to be much worse than it is.


If you experience the raw feeling itself, it's not nearly as bad as your thoughts tell you. It's a vibration. It's actually a neutral vibration, but you have to bring it close to know that. If you're pushing it away, that will reinforce the belief: "This is unbearable. This is overwhelming."


~Rupert Spira, from the video: Discovering What Fear Is Made Of


COACHING NOTES:

So far we have relaxed our impulse to try and get rid of our fear, and now we are beginning to be interested in it rather than being afraid of it.


  1. As you explore this thing we call fear, notice that it appears inside you, just like all the other feelings and sensations you have. It comes and it goes, " like a cloud that rolls through the sky."

  2. Also notice that there is always a commentary that appears with the fear. It's like a cloud with subtitles. Let them fade into the background - don't pay attention to them. Instead, focus on the raw sensation of the feeling itself and discover that "it's not nearly as bad as your thoughts tell you."

  3. Remember, this may all feel completely counter-intuitive, and you may argue that it's not easy to bring fear close to you if you've been pushing it away your whole life. But you have a choice here. You can either continue to be freaked out by your thoughts about it, or you can trust that it's safe to explore and find out what's really going on within you.




4. Lose the Labels and Release the Tension

Rupert Spira quote

"Every time you say, “I can’t live with this,” you’re actually referring to your thoughts, not to your sensation.


Just experience the raw sensation without interpretation, without the labels that thought adds to it:

  • This is fear

  • This is unpleasant

  • This has been with me for all my life

  • This is going to annihilate me, etc.

None of those thoughts actually belong to the sensation.


If you put those thoughts on one side - you don’t even have to get rid of them - if you put them on one side, you don’t refer to them. You just refer to the sensation itself.


Without referring to thought, you wouldn’t even know that this sensation was something called fear. It’s just raw, tingling, vibrating sensation, just made out of knowing.


To begin with, this sensation of fear gradually loses each label as it is seen to be untrue, and then in time, there is a relaxation.


You just experience the raw sensation which is neither pleasant nor unpleasant, neither positive nor negative. It’s just this vibration of energy. And it gradually loses its tension.


It dissipates, it relaxes, it opens up, it melts into the space of awareness."


~Rupert Spira, from the video: Why Are You So Afraid of the Fear?



COACHING NOTES:


As you discern the difference between the sensation of fear and your thoughts about it, you spontaneously become empowered to allow the situation to calm down.


  1. Reread the list of bullet points, the labels that we put on our experience of fear. Can you add one or two more of your own beliefs?

  2. The good news is that you don't have to try and get rid of these labels/beliefs. All that needs to happen is for you to see them for what they are - the stressful commentary of an unobserved mind. "To begin with, this sensation of fear gradually loses each label as it is seen to be untrue, and then in time, there is a relaxation."

  3. Without the mental narrative, all that's left is the raw sensation of vibrating energy. "And it gradually loses its tension. It dissipates, it relaxes, it opens up, it melts into the space of awareness." This is what happens to fear when you stop pushing it away, and are brave enough to bring it close to you.




5. Open to All Experience

Rupert Spira quote

"Become more and more convinced, not in an intellectual way but in an experiential way, that everything appears in me, whatever exactly I am, and that this me is completely open to all experience.


I am the openness, the aware openness that allows all of this to appear, just like the open window is the open space that allows the view to appear. That openness cannot be overwhelmed or changed in any way by whatever appears inside it.


You are essentially the openness, the unchanging element of yourself. Everything else, your thoughts, your feelings, your body, everything else about your experience continuously changes.


Have you ever had a thought, feeling, sensation or perception that remained the same? They’re always changing and they will always continue to change.


But there is one element of yourself which never changes, which is in the same condition now that it was two minutes ago , two days ago, two years ago, and when you were a two-year-old - it is the openness which all your experiences appear in.


That is your essential, irreducible identity. When I say irreducible, I mean it is that part of your identity that cannot be taken away or removed. What is important to know is that that is what you essentially are (the openness) and that it is never stained by experience, never harmed or hurt by anything that appears in it. Just like the open space of a window is never hurt by whatever takes place in the view.


That is the great secret. What you essentially are is imperturbable, undisturbable, unstainable, and unharmable. The common name for that is peace, contentment. And nothing overwhelms that."


~Rupert Spira, from the video: Discovering What Fear Is Made Of


COACHING NOTES:


We have explored ourselves as the ocean in which all waves exist, as the sky in which all weather arises, and now we look at knowing ourselves as an open window in which everything appears.


  1. "I am the openness," "the open space that allows the view to appear." Take a moment to breathe into this vision of yourself. There is so much freedom in being the openness. There's nothing there to get in the way. Just an open, empty space in which everything appears.

  2. "That openness cannot be overwhelmed or changed in any way by whatever appears inside it." Think of your true nature as the open window, and the view that appears as the story of your life, the character you play, and the events that take place. in your lifetime.

  3. The body is created for the physical realm, and the mind is created for the psychological realm, but many of us forget that we have a spirit, the deepest part of us that is one with the spiritual realm. Three distinct realms, yet not separate. All have come from and return to the same Source, whatever you choose to call it. If you want a deeper understanding of fear, you need a deeper understanding of yourself.




6. A Loving Contemplation

Rupert Spira quote

"Be very careful not to turn this into a practice that you undertake in order to get rid of unpleasant feelings.


It’s the opposite - just a loving contemplation to discover the truth of our experience.


The gradual, eventual dissolution of these feelings is a side-effect, an inevitable consequence of this loving contemplation. Not its purpose."


~Rupert Spira, from the video: Why Are You So Afraid of the Fear?


COACHING NOTES:


We end this week's insights with a warning. Although we may find certain techniques and practices helpful on our journey of self-realization, beware of using them to get rid of unpleasant feelings.


  1. Having an agenda of resistance will only hamper your desire to be free.

  2. Whether it's fear, sadness, loneliness, grief or any other feeling you're struggling with, remember to approach it with a loving contemplation in order to discover the truth of your experience.

  3. It is this discovery that will inevitably result in the wisdom and peace that changes your experience of suffering.





















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