Existential Fear

Existential Fear

What Eclipse? by R. Miller
What Eclipse? by R. Miller

The current time cycles are bringing existential fear to the surface. Many people do not recognize this and simply feel antsy. But if they stop and look, they may well see avoidance behaviours expressed in a lot of distinct ways.

If we’re avoiding how we feel, we blame surface appearances; the lock-down rules, the government, the experts, the politicians, or whoever we see as “creating” the discomfort.

Some will respond with protest or intentional rule-breaking. Others with attempt to dull feeling with food, alcohol, or drugs. Some will lash out or take progressively more extreme positions. And others will be confused and withdraw.

All of this is classic fight, flight, or freeze stress response. The stress response helps us adapt to an immediate threat but is less helpful for continual challenge or for resolving discomfort like existential fear.

Of course, some people Are being deeply challenged by current circumstances. Loss of income or illness can have a cascading series of effects. But adding existential fear makes it harder to see solutions.

The most productive approach now is to turn within and face our fears. That’s what we’re being called to do. But facing our inner demons takes courage.

Life-affirming actions like spiritual practice, love, or doing physical things like walking or gardening can be an enormous help.

The long-term solution is to develop an unshakable inner sense of well-being. We find that in the depths of our being with what is eternal and unchanging.

This is under (above or beyond) the fear, under the stories, under the drama. If we can touch into our essential being, peace comes.

Then when existential fear arises, it comes as waves on the surface of our depths. We’re no longer tossed around like a rowboat in a storm. Clouds will come and go, but the light within remains.

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  1. A timely post David and well said – I find its much too easy to fall into the fragility trap these days of having to be right and my views heard and acknowledged…when my partner plays the same game we quickly get stuck on being “right” and avoiding any being “wrong” The small self identity does not hold enough space for both so the part that feels wrong and wronged is disowned and pushed into the subconscious or projected on to the other. When I see into or see from the space of the unbounded self there no reactivity. That unbounded space does not know. It is empty and unattached and it has all the room in the world for “a child’s game that spins around and around.”

    1. Hi Harrison
      Well seen. It’s not really relating when either side is in a place of being right. And yet, that’s all too common in “relationships.” The ego trumps all and sees nothing but it’s own habitual obsessions. In that case, the child claiming ME! It’s so limiting and contracted… a fools game.
      After the shift, it can sometimes be a challenge to be with that. It’s not just unpleasant but they’re trying to pull you into it. And we call this love? (laughs)

  2. Lynette

    I used to be full of fear. Then with the help of ACIM (A Course in Miracle), it helped me alleviate my fears, and heal my mind. I also learned to forgive. When I truly knew forgiveness, my existential fear is gone. I sometimes still have some fear, but it is more a left over from the past, and I stay with it and let it go where it wants to go and recite some statements from ACIM and is gone. Unlike before I couldn’t move because 24/7 is all kinds of fear. Now I’m a happy donkey .

    1. Hi Lynette
      Yes, forgiveness is huge. Here, I began culturing gratitude (not as a mood but from the heart), then episodes of forgiveness rose to the surface. A couple of times, huge releases took place. In one case, it was like going back in time, letting go of residuals to pretty much every relationship I’d had.
      After that, inner peace and clarity took a big step up. And it helped set the stage for awakening.
      Acceptance and letting go…

        1. Hi Lynette
          Awakening, the way I define it, is when the Self wakes up to itself through this person. We shift from being an ego-centered “me” to being cosmic consciousness. This shift is characterized by a few things, including being a detached observer of our life and no longer feeling like the doer. We continue to act but no longer feel like the actor.

          There’s some variation in how this is experienced too. Various articles discussing the topic can be found here:

  3. I love your phrase – “after the shift” and the point about not really relating to others when we are attached to our beliefs and ego sense of self. This goes back to martin buber’s discourse on I-Thou versus I-It and what it means to be relating from our own humanity to the humanity of the other – which is really all the same one humanity. Now that would be a great way to redefine the polarization we have in our country today

    1. Hi Harrison
      Yes, when shadows come to the surface, it threatens the ego story and amplifies polarization.
      So much easier if we become conscious of the dynamics and allow healing. It’s not always pleasant to see what’s been driving the bus. I can recall being appalled by a few stories that became conscious. But it can be a real relief to let it go.

  4. Bob

    Very timely indeed. I am very grateful for this blog to provide the advice and vision from one who is “above the fog”. It really helps to ease the fear that arises when one does not see clearly.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Bob. I wouldn’t say I’m “above” anything. But sometimes the light gets bright enough to see some of the details in the haze. (laughs)
      Occasionally, i find the fan switch and clear the space. But usually that just leads to seeing it’s part of a bigger space that needs work…
      Not to make it sound pedantic. I really value the progress and upgraded quality of life. But I remain a work in progress…

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