What breeds fear? What is its origin?
Fear is related either to past experiences or to the future. Fear of something that has happened in the past, fear of what might happen in the future, fear of insecurity, of losing, fear of not achieving, fear of not becoming. And the biggest fear, the fear of death.
There are many kinds of fears. All of these fears are related to time, either to yesterday or to tomorrow. Fear itself does not exist as such, independently, without a relation to something. As the “something” has no stable form but is changing all the time, we will never dissolve fear when we try to change or get rid of the “something,” whatever that might be. If we think we can get rid of our fears by eliminating what makes us fearful, we won’t succeed, as the origin of fear is not lying in the outside, materialistic world.
So the question is, where to find the place of fearlessness? It’s not a lesson I want to give right now, but rather a chat, that I want us to have. It is not about introducing new ideas, theories or any kind of concepts. This is a conversation, an investigation and an exploration.
As we examine fear more precisely, we can clearly see that fear arises from our thoughts. The thought is not merely shaping the fear, but rather is breeding the fear. Therefore, to get an answer to the above question, we have to examine the origin of thoughts.
Thoughts are shaped by the future and/or the past, always relating to one or the other. The thought—uncolored, without shapes or forms, impermanent in its nature—is just energy, which nourishes itself either from the past or the future.
So a thought is a movement away from what is present. The now, or the present moment, the place of dissolving of the distinction of the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experience, the dissolving of duality—that is exactly the place where we can experience the root of fearlessness that we are talking about right now.
At this place, where there is no past or future, what do we find? It is our awareness, the nature of our mind, which can be experienced. At this place there is no time, or relation to time, there is neither a tomorrow nor a yesterday. There is no pursuit of the future, there is no memory of the past. This place is beyond thoughts, as our awareness is capable of observing our thoughts, their coming and their going.
We can understand that the place where fearlessness is found is between the leaving of one thought and the arising of the next one. Right here, at this particular place, where there is only clear awareness, we can become permanently free of our fears. As it is at this moment, there is no conflict between avoidance and desire. There is nothing to hold onto and there is nothing to get rid of. And this awareness we are talking about is never changing, is never arising and is never leaving, but is always there.
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Assistant Editor: Andrea Charpentier/Editor: Rachel Nussbaum