Layers of Fear

Layers of Fear

Mushroom in Egg Cup
image by DimsumDarren

We associate fear with alarm over safety, anxiety, and resistance.

Oddly, reverence for God is also associated with fear. But that would be related to God being unknown, unpredictable, and potentially vengeful. For example, some Christians may not understand karma and attribute difficulties to God. The Divine is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, the Divine is love incarnate.

For a while, I’ve associated fear with the root chakra. But recently, I realized fear can be associated with any or all of the chakras. Essentially resistance on any level is fear.

Here’s a rough list:
1: Root: fear around survival, sustenance, illness
2: Sex: fear of being alone, of pleasure, of being unconnected, unsupported, or shamed
3: Gut: fear of being assertive, losing status, not being enough
4: Heart: fear of feelings or emotional exposure, intimacy
5: Throat: fear of speaking up, being seen, creativity
6: Forehead: fear of the subtle or Divine

Fear originates as a response to a perceived threat, based on past experiences. Some of those responses are instinctive, some inherited, and we learn some as very young children. Simply being unknown may be perceived as a threat.

Some fear is healthy. You want to be cautious of stepping into traffic, for example. But most of us carry fear-responses that no longer serve us, like an inherited fear of starvation. Or a fear of being seen as naughty. Or some of the fears listed above.

We’re commonly unaware of how much fear we’re running. Anxious? That’s driven by fear. Angry? If it’s ongoing, that’s driven by fear. In fact, you can find fear under almost any of the heavier emotions.

We might even say fear is the lack of love. If there isn’t love, fear can move in. As I wrote over a decade ago, there is only fullness or resistance to fullness.

A Course in Miracles has a saying that all emotions are either love or fear. I think it’s useful to recognize individual emotional flavours. But we can place them on a spectrum towards love or towards fear, towards opening or contracting.Β Β 

Emotions add a richness to life we miss when contracted. Yet when we first step into this arena, there is likely lots to heal, lots of contractions to release. That’s very normal.

If you’re not yet awake, remember that awareness heals. Noticing how we feel isn’t to validate our position or entrench our pain. It’s so we can have conscious feelings and allow them to complete. In time, our life comes to be driven by love rather than avoidance or grasping. The fullness that can unfold is beyond anything we’ve experienced for many, many lives.

[I’m at the SAND conference so there may be some lag in comments]

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  1. Clarice Davidson

    I appreciate the increase in your offerings. The subject of fear is primary to what I’m facing now. During my meditation I feel a pull as if I’m going to fall backwards and down. I am afraid to let go into this unknown. I feel letting go into this unknown is what I’ve been seeking. I’m looking for support and am considering to connect through the internet with the Diamond Approach. I’ve been advised to find a teacher and to surround myself with like minded people. Any advice or feedback is appreciated. Thanks

    1. Hi Clarice
      Yes, thats a classic experience. Opening to our larger self is expansive and we tend to fall back into it. Thus an opening can feel like falling backwards into an abyss.

      The fear comes from the ego wanting to protect and control, which is natural. When we become more familiar with the space of consciousness, the quality becomes more familiar and we can let go. Or it happens “by accident”. πŸ™‚

      So yes, it’s what you’ve been seeking. This may not be The Self, but its certainly an expanded version of experience you’re touching.

      I’m currently @ the SAND conference where the Diamond Approach founders are regulars. Allmas spoke last night. I don’t know the teachings themselves though. If the teachings resonate for you, check it out. Key to me is if there is an aspect that supports connecting to source. Otherwise, its just talk. Careful of experience-chasing too.

      It can take a little experimentation to find teachers you resonate with.

      There are quite a few spiritual forums online although some are dominated by opinions or agendas. The “nonduality manscape” as Lori put it. I’ve found value in some but am less active these days (time).

      But yes, in person connecting is valuable. Community. It takes time but its something I’ve been culturing for years.

  2. Jim

    Hi David! This is a very clear and accurate list, both relationship and indicators. I can tell because I no longer need it. πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing it!

    As enjoyable as it is living without fear, it feels quite different to have something which has been a constant companion for lifetimes, now no longer present. Do I miss it? of course not. πŸ™‚

    Once we gain an intimate familiarity with consciousness and are aware of it, seated in Being, there is an entirely different mechanism that takes over in place of fear.

    That is curiosity, and quiet assertiveness. I was placing no trespassing signs in our wild common area recently with bear spray handy, and two large unleashed dogs came bounding up the trail toward me, followed shortly by a stranger.

    I first told him he was trespassing, and pretty much ignored his dogs. I wasn’t challenging, just matter of fact. Anyway, no fear, just a rapid assessment of the situation, and a reinforcement of my boundaries. As Gail calls them, “conditions of satisfaction”. No stress, no strain, no problem. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Jim
      Yes, it’s quite different. Many fears we don’t even realize were there until they stop hounding us. Worry, monkey mind, anxiety, etc all fall away as the drivers behind them are resolved.

      I can’t say I’m totally clear. I still get some anxiety with public speaking, for example. Not quite enough experience of it to see it deeply enough to fully resolve. πŸ™‚

  3. Jim

    Hi David, Yeah there can be some sticklers. Then once Being is established under any circumstances, any reality, it is rock solid. I spent a few years trying to exhaust my inner silence through very vigorous activity. I have also tended to move towards working through my fears from a young age, within reason.

    When it became necessary to speak publicly for work I took the Dale Carnegie course on public speaking, videotaped myself, did a bunch of speeches, and learned the mechanics. Also took several instructor training courses, and taught a bunch of tech courses too. TM helped blow off the dirt and mechanically dig deeper, and integrate.

    One thing that makes public speaking easier is not looking for approval, trying too hard to get the audience to like you (beyond being normally friendly and engaging), or expecting really anything back. Or trying to be so objective that it is stifling. Solid instructional design is also key – know the objectives of the talk, cold.

    It is a deep one, though the subtle expectations are a great place to start. The standard line is pretend everyone in the audience is naked. πŸ™‚ though I suppose that could get distracting…

    It took me decades to recognize my self-worth, and that I have as much right to be who I am as anyone else. Along with that, spiritual development has shown me that we are all more similar than different, so I aim for the similar bits.

    Also having no fear equates to being harmless, with all of its karmic implications. At the same time, it provides a horizon of opportunity unparalleled. This translates to massive undertakings and desires. I always go as far as I possibly can, and haven’t regretted it yet.

    After all, what is there to be afraid of? πŸ™‚

    Jai Guru Dev

    1. Hi Jim
      Great observations. I joined Toastmasters last year for awhile. That was useful to polish a few rough edges. I don’t find thinking of the audience as naked as useful. It’s even a bit odd.

      I had a long history of a fear of being seen, working unconsciously to keep a low profile. That was of course in conflict with the desire to connect. Thats mostly cleared now but there are still vestiges that come up. Desire for recognition and approval can go very deep.

      Yeah – realizing you are infinite, eternal being helps on the self-worth front. πŸ™‚

      And yes, Yoga talks about being harmless. Thats more subtle than doing no harm. Spontaneous vs controller.

      “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
      (taken a little our of context.)

      1. Jim

        Hi David, Yeah, me too, regarding being ‘exposed’. A tough nut to crack, that is for sure. Once its done though, I think, “What was so special about me anyway, that I had to be so concerned?” πŸ™‚

        Also when Being is so deep that we are simply drowned in it, there is no way to be anything but an expression of Being. We become the producer of the show, not from a desire to control, but we now have all the resources at hand. Whenever a need is there, the assistance is instantly provided.

        Sometimes I think of it as just getting out of my own way, or as a well known Master put it, studying the science of Being, and art of living. πŸ™‚

        Possibly a lot comes from exploring relatively new territory for us all, aka spiritual stuff, and when done in public, it stirs up a lot for everyone and we need to be completely unattached, grounded, and clear about what we are saying, to not get caught up in the energetic soup. Then we can lead and engage instead of getting caught in expectations.

        Yes, love the FDR expression! So true. Thanks for this discussion! So very helpful to talk about “the tricky bits.”

    1. Ah, of course, Michael. I know you’re a fan of Michael Brown. πŸ™‚

      Some of what he says in the 2 example videos is excellent. But other things I wouldn’t frame that way.

      For example, I’d say your relationship with your father Can Be a reflection of our relationship with God. Look and see. But it may not. Someone can have a good relationship with the Divine while challenged by a drunk father. Maybe they see the Divine as feminine so the mother may be the better marker. Kety is looking to see, making it conscious.

      On the flip side, I fully agree with the idea that we’re never done. Rick Archer and I were talking about this at SAND yesterday as we’ve observed that the sense of being done combined with the sense of no person can lead to some massive blind spots.

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