Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween: ghoulish, yes, but what do we have to fear? Nothing

The sun has now set on Halloween 2009. This means it is time to
be afraid . . .
Be VERY afraid!!!

Yet, in reality, what do we have to be afraid of? In reality – absolutely nothing. How can this be?

Do we need to fear the past? Unless you are a casual criminal with a conscience that frets about past actions, it is illogical to fear the past. Why? That which is past continues to trouble your mind only if you allow it. Some years ago I developed an analogy that helped me begin recovering from my own past. Briefly, I visualized past memories as cups of colored water, which I then poured off the east side of the Golden Gate Bridge. As soon as they were dumped, I moved to the west side of the bridge, to spot them in the bay water flowing out into the pacific.

Guess what? By the time their water had merged with the greater stream of water flowing under the bridge, their color had disappeared so that the added water was indistinguishable from the main stream. In other words, they effectively no longer existed, so they no longer needed to bother me. To me, this adds meaning to the old saw about “water under the bridge.”

Do we need to fear the present? As long as Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now provides a guiding influence to one’s life, fear will not enter the picture because, in each now we only take on that which we can easily handle. Everything else is left for a future now when we will again have the tools, strength and insight we will need.

Carefully controlling exposure to mainstream media, whether print, electronic or Internet, helps control or eliminate fear. Sadly, mainstream media (and Fox News in particular) is increasingly political agenda and profit-driven. This is increasingly leaving them beholden to the needs and opinions of their corporate advertisers. As a result, news reports and opinions that might be seen as critical of their advertisers are suppressed.

As long as net neutrality exists, so that the Internet is openly accessible by everyone without governmentally-imposed restrictions, there will be a variety of alternative news sources on the net. The challenge becomes that of identifying the websites that feel “right” to you, then hanging on to them. I have found several, including The Huffington Post and that I endorse.

At the same time, for me, the Buddha’s teaching “all is impermanent” significantly blocks fear of the present. Whenever something crops up that my mind is unsure whether it can handle it or not, this teaching defuses the inner tension by reminding me that the uncertainty will not last indefinitely. Since making this teaching an essential part of my being, quite a bit of fear and anxiety have been defused by recalling it to my conscious mind.

Do we need to fear the future? Humanly, not fearing the future is far from easy, because of this fear’s roots in the fear of the unknown. This primal fear may have developed in humankind at the time of the fall from the Garden of Eden. The challenge faced in rising above fearing the future is in developing the discernment needed to recognize future events that are worthy of fear and those that are not.

Once again, Eckhart Tolle’s teachings help with this discernment’s development. By focusing on living only in a segment of the Now that supplies manageable bits of life to be dealt with, the future largely takes care of itself. The fact is that virtually everything the human mind fears about the future either turns out to be far more trivial than the mind envisioned, or never comes to pass. As to the rest, living only in the Now guarantees that when those events (or things) arrive, they will be at least relatively easy to deal with.

The power of the Law of Attraction also is useful in dispelling fears of the future. Instead of focusing thought energy on what might go wrong in the future, focus it on what can go right. This increases the likelihood that future events will be much more positive than negative. As those who teach this law stress, “what you think about the most, manifests the most.” Focus on that which you fear, and that is what the future will present to you. Focus on that which you will be able to handle, and that is what you will encounter in future Nows.

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