Fear and Pain
THE THREE LEVELS OF BEING
We cannot make a serious effort at understanding fear and pain unless we recognize ourselves in the context of levels of being. There are, according to some ideologies, up to seven or more levels of being, but we will confine ourselves to the three levels most relevant to our discussion. These levels are the physical, the level of mind, and the level of soul or spirit.
The physical level is obviously that of our bodies and the natural and built world we live in. It's the level where energy is most dense, forming elements which form molecules which form cells which forms our bodies. The level of mind consists of our thoughts and emotions. Thoughts and emotions may seems somewhat distinct, but they are intimately connected. If we feel badly it strongly influences our thoughts. Similarly, when our thoughts are ugly our feelings are quick to be the same. So while it may seem that thoughts are in our head and emotions in our heart, they are as connected as our head and heart, together forming the our sense of self.
Finally, on the level of soul, or spirit, we are one. It is in truth more accurate to say we share the same soul, as opposed to thinking of ourselves as each having a distinct soul as we do having a distinct body. Often described as the 'divine spark', our soul is nothing other than Eternal Awareness.
With this understanding we can consider pain and fear with greater clarity.
Neither pain nor fear exists on the level of soul. At this level we cannot be harmed, which is why identifying with the level of soul brings 'the peace that surpasses understanding'. There is no concern for the body, and the activity of the mind becomes muted as we rest in our beingness. Feeling ourselves in our soul is tremendously relaxing.
The body, on the other hand, is fragile and succeptable to all the foibles of physicality. Pain protects the body from behavior that is damaging to it, like our reaction to too much or too little heat, or the dull pain of too much or too little activity in our muscles. Pain is part of the context of evolutionary life. Pain is physical at its core.
Some will argue that the worst pain of all is mental and emotional. The pain of losing a loved one, of being rejected by some group or lover, the pain of losing at some contest or failing in some endeavor. What of this emotional pain?
FEAR IS OF THE MIND
To deny such pain would be foolish, but to appreciate it's context would be wise. Fear is of the mind. Fearfulness is this idea that something is not right, was not right or will not be right with ourselves. Our most basic fears surround the body - the fear of death and the fear of pain.
Other fears stem from personal, family and community issues, cultural beliefs and religious ideology. We are all well of aware fear, especially growing up in the world4 culture, But that by no means impies it has been understood.
Fear is of the mind. The body knows pain, it does not know fear. Whatever fear we find in the body, we bring to it. If this seems incredulous consider, let's say, being in a room with large bear. Of course the inclination is to panic, as we know what that bear can do to our body, and so our body panics or reacts with its instincts as best it may. But it was the determination on the level of mind that brought that fear to our body. If we grew up with that large bear and it was a playmate, our body would feel no fear at all.
Even the mental and emotional pain described above has its roots in fear. In the case of a loved one passing, it is our fear of not being happy or of future loneliness that so darkens our heart. In the case or rejection it is again this feeling that we can't be happy because we've been rejected. The fear of being an outcast. The pain of losing and failing? The fear that we are not acceptable, that we face negative outcomes in the future because of our failure. All mental/emotional constructs, and hence all on the level of mind.
Let's be clear. Many of our traumas, including all of our mental/emotional traumas, stem from the level of mind, which means they stem from fear. And this means we have the option of control with our intent.
It's the darndest thing. In the world4 culture, there is so much energy and attention spent on our bodies, on fear and pain, and yet no attention at all to this topic, so central to our experience of Life Here on Earth, in the context here described.
FEAR AND INTENT
Our intention is our most powerful tool in constructing our lives. Consistent with the dysfunctionality and distraction of world4 culture, this crucial bit of information is starved for attention. Recalling our large bear, it is our intent which encourages a fight or flight mechanism, or let's us be okay with the situation. It is our intent which has us honor our responsibilities, or neglect them for some momont's pleasure or ease. It is our intent that determines whether we live This Moment in Love or in fear.
As we come to face this truth and the power it offers us, we will quickly find obstacles that will throw us into a tizzy. "I tried to be peaceful but I was so nervous..." and similar expressions are soon and easily found. Many will use this as reason to conclude this idea of the power of intent is bogus. So let me suggest an analogy.
Let's supposed you were given a tool, like intent, but of the body. Let's say it's muscles. And let's further presume that for the length of our lives we haven't lifted a finger, but sat staring at the TV all day just absorbing the jibberish and mode of whatever's being watched. If this has been your whole life, you will not be able to immediately get up and walk. Your muscles, with a lifetime of inactivity, will be capable of very little.
And so it is with our intent. If we've spent our lives easily distracted, and prone to absorbing whatever energy we encounter, suddenly telling ourselves not to be fearful will have limited impact. Indeed, it may have no impact whatsoever. Like our muscles, the untrained mind is capable of very little.
THE MASTERY OF LOVE
Here in world5, the mastery of Love is a favorite topic. Because if we have mastered being loving, we have peace as our constant companion and fear has no home in our mind and hearts. And we master Love through our intent.
We're well familiar with the kinds of training required to build muscle mass, flexibility, and physical power. Developing our intent requires it own efforts, and it requires far more dilligence and effort that working our muscles. But the reward cannot be overstated. The reward is living consciously in our Eternal Awareness, in the Peace that surpasses understanding, in the mastery of Love.
The 'exercises' required to enable our intent are commonly known among seekers of Truth. They are varied, bit consistent in their goal. They will surely include learning integrity, learning some form of meditation or prayer, learning forgiveness, learning to let go and learning gratitude.
More importanly, our training teaches us the obstacles to Peace. That rush of feeling offended and angry, that errant thought about a brother or sister, the constant stalking of our thoughts and feelings to measure their integrity, health and wisdom. The relinguishing of the need to feel special, and hence the ego.
There's plenty of material 'out here' on the InterWeb, in the teachings of heroes past, and in our own mind and heart, if we but find the space to listen. The keys remain the same. Integrity, forgiveness, self-awareness, gratitude, and most importantly our present intent. And again, there is no more worthy endeavor. As someone who has long been on this road, I vouch for its reality. Please, come join us.