Below Fear

Below Fear

Fear is an interesting emotion to look at. If you study emotional scales like Sedona’s or Hawkins*, you find emotions like apathy and shame lower (or darker) on the scale than fear. Yet subconscious fear is the driving emotion of much of our lives. Why is that?

A useful idea to use in understanding the world is the 3 gunas, the underlying principles of our experience. There is tamas or inertia. That which makes things sluggish and dead. There is Rajas, the energetic. That which is kinetic and sustains. And Sattva, purity and light. Creativity, balance.

When applied to emotions, it’s easy to see that apathy and shame are tamasic emotions. They are dominated by a sense of inertia and an energy drain. Fear is higher up the scale, having some rajas, energy. And it is that energy that makes it the driver of the grip of the identity. Shame cannot be the driver as it is an energetic black hole. Fear energy however can drive the other emotions that sustain our pain, even more draining ones. And that in turn drives the mental ego.

That leads us to the observation that when we look at our emotional holdings and begin to let them go, we often find they peel off in layers. For example, at first we may notice a twinge or discomfort somewhere in the body. Or we may notice a “tone” of frustration under the surface. When we allow the experience to rise in awareness, the feeling or sensation bubbles up and is released. But then, we may find something else under that. Perhaps some anger. (yes, even you spiritual folk) And then under that, fear.

Finally, when we can allow the fear we get our surprise. Under the fear is the secret sauce. It is life itself. We find peace. We find freedom. We find happiness. We find love. Under all those knots of pain is the movement of life itself.

As we get the hang of this process, it gets easier and easier. Bigger and bigger hunks of trash break away and dissipate. More and more light gets through. And we find what life is really all about, under the mask of fear.

* Hawkins however prescribes states of consciousness to an effect of consciousness then goes on to judge with that. Sedonas is the better view.

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  1. I’ve found it more useful not to label the emotions, but to see them simply as thought-stories and body sensations. It does come off in layers as you say. Often there is the experience that I’ve now opened up but then life throws something that makes is clear that there are still layers to let go.

    Thanks, very illuminating.

  2. Davidya

    Hi Kaushik

    Yes, ideally, we can just say – ah some experience. Labels are mental constructs, so shift us from feelings into mind. But for many people, their inner life is this vague foggy place. Being able to give labels to their experience brings clarity that allows one to allow, to be OK with it as it is. Then the labeling stops.

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