I am returning to being with the fear that’s here.
There is unease, tension or discomfort. I notice a fear behind it. Connect with it, feel it, allow it to have its life, meet it as a friend, meet it as a child seeking love.
Whenever there is any of the symptoms of beliefs I can do the same, and these are the symptoms I notice from question no. 3 in The Work: A sense of unease, tension, discomfort, reactive emotions, hurt, seeking comfort in food or activities, a sense of having to protect something or someone (including viewpoints, identities), trying to find refuge or safety in analyzing or thinking or maps, or wishful or fearful images.
It seems that (a) some very basic beliefs are behind the fear, creating the fear. (b) There are also beliefs about the fear, creating an impulse to recoil from the fear and the basic beliefs behind it. (c) This impulse to recoil leads to an impulse to seek refuge and safety in the same and other beliefs. And (d) these beliefs in turn fuel fear.
It’s all a house of cards, held up by the impulse to recoil from the fear and the beliefs behind the fear.
So the medicine is to connect with the fear, feel it, be with it, allow it its life, meet it as a child seeking love. As I do this, there is a sense of connecting with the root of the fear and it doesn’t need to express itself in reactive emotions, seeking comfort in food or activities, over-thinking and so on.
And the medicine is to allow the fear a voice, writing down whatever it has to say, the stories and beliefs behind the fear, and then – perhaps later – take these to inquiry. This too, in my experience, gives a sense of coming home, of relief, even gratitude.
Doing this is inquiry in itself. What happens if I connect with and feel this fear? What happens if I identify and inquire into this fearful (fear creating) thought? And it can also be helpful to identify and inquire into thoughts of what may happen if I connect with the fear and the beliefs.
About connecting with the fear: It will be overwhelming. The fear will take over. The fear is endless. I won’t be able to function. It will open a Pandora’s box.
About the fear itself: Fear means something terrible has happened (will happen). Fear is overwhelming. Fear is uncomfortable.
About inquiring into the thoughts: They are true. It’s too uncomfortable. I can do it later.
What I find – so far – is that the most basic belief seems to be of being an I with an Other, and this is elaborated as a human being in the world which is born and can die, which can be hurt, which something terrible can happen to, and so on. No wonder this fuels a great deal of fear, often hidden and under the surface (creating a low level of chronic tension and stress), and sometimes triggered and very much on the surface. And no wonder I sometimes try to find an outlet from this through what I see in question no. 3, including analyzing and trying to figure things out (as I do here!).
– fear behind beliefs, go to beliefs when resist fear
– behind this (a) basic beliefs creating fear, (b) beliefs about the fear itself (means something terrible has happened/will happen, better to avoid)
– all the usual symptoms of beliefs: unease, tension, discomfort, reactive emotions, hurt, anger, grief, fear, fueling beliefs/stories, trying to find refuge/safety in analyzing, thinking, maps etc.
– connect with the fear, feel it, meet it as a friend, stay with it