Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Only I Will Remain

“Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past me, I will turn to see fear’s path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”

Frank Herbert (Dune).

We know from our study of A Course in Miracles that our only choice is between love and fear. In truth fear does
not exist, being an illusion of our ego-mind. When we rest wholly in our true nature we can experience a fraction of the immense love that we are.

Tragically, when we feel threatened, like a fly caught in a spider’s web we struggle and panic; from here the web tightens even more. Terror is the real enemy.

Our fight, flight and freeze response is so strongly hard-wired that the flood of chemicals it releases can send us into frenzy. Once the storm is past, if we can allow it, a natural equilibrium takes place which calms and restores peace to our being. If this is interrupted we remain stuck and cannot move past the obstacle that is now lodged in our body-mind, even though the event is long past.

As Frank Herbert notes, when we turn to face our fear and feel it pass through us, it is really nothing at all. The problem emerges when it remains as a ‘brain glitch’ and we store its energy in our bodies so it can be released at a later date.

As long as we inhabit bodies there is always a tendency to feel fear and terror that can mobilize our primitive responses. Transcending this fear helps us develop mastery and makes us wiser and more fully human. The trick is not to be fooled by our capacity to reflect and rationalize by turning the response into a full-fledged story. Our stories do not serve healing; they only embed the fear and unhealed trauma deeper into our minds and bodies. From here, the spider has us, hook, line and sinker. This is how fear becomes suffering.

If we can take our stories of unhealed hurt and hold them with awareness, they too can be resolved and unwound. It may take the guidance and support of a trusted friend or trained therapist who can hold our fragile psyche while we heal. After this, we may remember the event, but the ‘charge’ will be gone. We may never like spiders but don’t get lost in terror when we see one. We don’t keep spinning an outworn tale of how we almost died because we thought we saw one, Once Upon a Time.

Instead we choose love. We know that fear is only a story and that there is much more to us than this limited mortal frame that we inhabit. The beasties that used to terrorize us are no longer all-powerful. Our world expands from its contracted fear state and we unwind to a fuller expression of ourselves.