Last night my friend and I talked about strong emotions like anger and fear and today I stumbled across the line from Eckhart Tolle’s book that really stroke the chord: “The psychological condition of fear is divorced from any concrete and true immediate danger”.
The forms fear takes psychologically are quite a few: worry, anxiety, nervousness, etc. None of them refer to something that is happening in the NOW but to something that might happen. (Most likely it will not happen!) We lose contact with the reality of the moment and let the anxiety take control. Tolle points out that we only have a chance to handle the present moment, not the future.
Thinking back to the situations when I found myself in real danger (drowning or being attacked in my hotel room in the middle of the night, far away from home) I don’t remember actually feeling fear as such. The body and mind reacted to danger as a well programmed machine and acted in a fast and precise manner to take me out of what was perceived as a life threatening situation. There was no anxiety or worry present because at that moment I had real danger to deal with.
So how come a person in clear (hopefully) mind with no condition of medical depression chooses the same thought pattern time after time after time and doesn’t even question it? How come we take this make belief stuff so seriously we let it run our lives??? So that something that hasn’t yet happened will have an effect on the present moment and in this way WILL affect the future. Does one need to be a rocket scientist to understand this is an attitude that can hardly be described as resonable while it is exactly reasonable we are trying to be attempting to second-guess the potential dangers?
It is a choice we make, although some people don’t like hearing it. It would mean they can do otherwise and they don’t. It would leave no space for excuses and self-pity. This is not fear for life we are talking about. It is fear of living. If we are afraid of living, do we really deserve all the stuff we wish for ourselves?
As always, Kabir knows exaclty what to say:
Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you were alive!
If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,
do you think
ghosts will do it after?
Friend, wake up! Why do you go on sleeping?
The night is over – do you want to lose the day the same way?
So much was lost already while you slept…
and that was so unnecessary!
(Translation by Robert Bly)