Fear of Being Destroyed

QA181 QUESTION: In the last question I asked here, we got into a whole discussion of my feelings of shame and embarrassment. Now, I’m perceiving that behind that feeling of shame and embarrassment is a great feeling of physical danger, a fear of being destroyed violently – like somehow I’d be killed or something. All my strength leaves me when I feel caught in an embarrassing situation. Recently, I got angry at somebody over the phone and I suddenly felt afraid of authority for what I had done. Can you tell me anything further?

ANSWER: Yes. Since my last answer to you about the question of shame and embarrassment, you have come to the fear of being annihilated, the fear of authority. This is the next level behind the shame. Now I will point out the next level that is the cause for the fear you just mentioned. And that is your own violent anger and rage, which you have experienced only in snatches. When you do so, you are still fighting it and battling against it and seeking causes for it and justifications and rationalizations.

But you are not yet at the point where you can truly accept and handle and fully face the rage and anger that is in you, residually – not just about the specific issue that may happen at this moment or that moment. That merely triggers it off. It really activates what was there a long time ago.

Your extreme fear lies in really not being able to handle this rage, flying off the handle, as it were, being driven into actions that you may regret or that another side of you may not want. In other words, you’re dealing here with a fundamental ambivalence that one side wants to be violent while the other side does not want it. And you are torn between these two sides.

Here my advice is that the more you face it, the more you are aware of it, the less chance exists that you are driven into actions against your will, the less chance exists that you act out this rage either directly or indirectly. Quite on the contrary.

But the only way you can be safe and yet fully let the feeling come out and handle the feeling is when you assume the responsibility for the feeling, even though as a child things may have happened that came from your parents, who were certainly only human and not perfect and had their own negativities, their own faults.

Yet, no matter how wrong another person may be, your feeling is your responsibility. When you can take full responsibility for your feeling, you will be safe and you will be able to handle it. You will be able to deal with it on all levels – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. And then you will be able to really dissolve the anger.

As it is now, that anger sits in you and prevents you from liking yourself, from accepting yourself, from feeling comfortable with yourself, from being able to let go and trust your inner processes, which you can never fully do. This is my advice at this stage. Learn to handle the anger.

QUESTION: The only way I can learn to handle the anger is to learn to let it out in a constructive sort of way. {Yes} But then I have to develop a certain amount of responsibility before I can do that.

ANSWER: That is an attitude to take as it comes. You see, you can have the responsibility in principle, but many people have that. They pay lip service to the fact that, of course, they say, they are responsible for their feelings. But when the feelings then actually come out and they experience the feelings, and they’re in the grip of the feeling, they still reject it. They still push it on others.

Here we are dealing with the irrational on a level under the surface where you have to learn that as it happens – as through your various activities in this Pathwork where you let the feeling come and assume responsibility for it. You must also come to terms, within yourself, that the hate you have for yourself – the shame, the guilt – is very devastating. This prevents you from really taking the responsibility. You also have to come to terms with the question: Is it possible that you are a human being who nevertheless has a strong rage and anger and destructiveness in certain ways?

QUESTION: One of my feelings, very much part of the self-dislike, is that in analytical work we try to say, “Well, you feel this way because your parents did this or something.” Yet, generally I always feel that, while they might have done some wrong things, I can’t even accept my behavior as an infant. Do you know what I mean? {Yes} So that from the cosmic standpoint, these problems go back further than just the parents. {Absolutely} So that my self-dislike goes back a lot further than my parents too.

ANSWER: Of course. Of course. You came into this life with this. That is quite true. But as far as you can remember in this life, you were often very angry at people who did not do as you pleased. There is this egotistical infant in all human beings.

It is the most difficult thing in the world for mankind to see this egotistical infant – the grandiose infant that wants to be on top of the situation at all times, who never wants to wait, who never wants to accept anything unpleasant. To deal with that infant is so difficult, because, on the other hand, there is in man the sense of fairness and reason and rationality, and his love and his actual developed state which contradicts this infant. Therefore, this infant with its violence and its megalomania, is pushed out of sight. This is the difficulty.

Try to acknowledge that infant with all its unreasonable demands and the strong reactions when these demands are not fulfilled. It is very easy to gloss over the reactions here, to rationalize it, to explain it, to thin out and dilute the reaction. But to really allow yourself to be irrational, to know it, to observe it, to own up to it, and yet not be drawn into it – that is the art that you learn on this Path.

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