Overcoming Fear

QA151 QUESTION: I am now in a position to begin a physical relationship with a girl. I feel strange that I am trying to induce her into this relationship when I am obviously conflicted about my feelings toward her body. This seems a bit like the blind leading the blind. Still, I think the healthy side of me is very correct in trying to further this relationship. Knowing me as you do, how can I best aid her in furthering the relationship?

ANSWER: Well, I would like to say to you first, my son, you have come a great long way and it is a tremendous victory. Go on. Do not allow yourself to be discouraged no matter what happens, because you have come a long way.

Now, what I would like to say in order to answer your question is that it is just and precisely because you are aware of your feelings that it will be infinitely easier for you to handle the whole thing – to cope with everything – whatever aspect of it.

You are absolutely right when you say it is good to further it, because you know of your own reservations you still have about the human body – in a different way toward the female body than to your own male body; but to both. To the human body, you have reservations.

You inch your way, step by step, on the one hand, being aware of this feeling that is a misconception, and on the other hand, getting over the misconception by the experience. For that is the only way you can really get out of the misconception.

You can truly lose the fear of the body and its feelings only when you experience that the body is nothing to fear. But on the other hand, you could not do this before you were aware of these misconceptions you have – and considering the fact that they may be misconceptions and not right conceptions as you first thought.

As long as you were unaware of all this, you would not have been able to go into the experience, because it would have been too painful. Therefore, you have to do it in both ways – gaining the awareness of what you really feel, considering the fact that there are misconceptions, and at the same time overcoming the slight or more-or-less strong reservations, so that the new territory gained proves to be not threatening at all as you had feared.

Now, this is a principle that I may at one time, perhaps, in one of the following lectures, devote more time to. For it is an important aspect of human life – the fact that each new branching out is always at first fraught with apparent dangers. It is the story of the explorer and the pioneer, and this exists on all levels – the physical, in discovering new land, the mental, the emotional, and the spiritual.

Every new branching out, every new situation, every new experience, before it is gone into, always seems frightening or threatening and produces some kind of anxiety. It is only the recognition of this fact as a general fact that enables one to overcome this anxiety.

On the other hand, he who believes he ought not have this anxiety when going into a new situation, when branching out into new land – but it is his personal inadequacy that makes him feel afraid, while he believes that all other people branch out into new lands without fears – does not venture out.

Know that every new step presents an overcoming. That will give you the courage to do the overcoming so that you have gained ever new land, spiritually and emotionally and physically, to become your own in which you feel comfortable and familiar. But this cannot happen to begin with.

It is impossible, no matter how right one’s concepts are, that one is in a new situation in comfort. The understanding of what I am saying here will make it possible for you to overcome the first steps of every branching out. The more you do so, the more strength you will have, the more you will respect your own courage, and the greater the range of experience must become.

So do not wait till you are fearless in order to tentatively inch your way forward. On the other hand, consider the fact that your fear is unjustified. There is nothing to be feared, and you can convince yourself of this by trying it, by using your faculties as best as you can, by not fearing that you will possibly make mistakes in the sense of not seeing or not reacting always right.

This is the way one learns. This is the way the baby learns to use its feet. It falls, but after a while it ceases to fall. And when it falls, it is no tragedy at all. This is the way its legs become strengthened, and it is a beautiful venture and adventure.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. I do fear the possible humiliation of doing the wrong thing.

ANSWER: There is nothing to fear, for do not forget that your partner fears exactly the same. So if you concentrate on setting her at ease, you will be less frightened. And you have help here with the people who help you and also in your group.

 

QA154 QUESTION: A few days ago I had this realization that, as you say many times, the only thing that really stops us is fear, this element of pulling back. I had the feeling that maybe one could really conquer the whole general feeling of fear as you conquer each little fear.

ANSWER: Yes. Now, I want to give an answer here. In the first place, again, the acceptance of the fear is the way and not the rejection of the fear. In other words, when you discover the fear, it is necessary that you say, “Oh yes, here is my fear,” rather than pushing the fear away because you know fear is a negative and destructive emotion.

By saying, “Here is the fear,” you do not say “it is good to have fear” and “I will remain in this fear.” You say, “Yes, here is my fear”; you accept yourself with the fear. You can from there on proceed to say, “Now, I do not wish to be in fear. Here I have the fear; I am in this fear, and I wish to get out of this fear, and I instruct the real self, with all its power and all its resources, to help me, through this acceptance, to transcend the fear and come out of it.”

The second thing I want to say is, when you experience the emotion of fear in your total being – your body and your emotions, as you are – by not shirking it, by allowing it to be here now and being in it, you then realize that there’s only one basic, creative energy stream that may manifest in various emotions.

You say into this fear of energy stream, “There, contained in this very same energy, is love, is pleasure, is good feelings. By completely accepting the fear now, I accept its essence, and I want to be in that essence.” Because, if you push away the fear, you push away the energy stream that can transform itself into the warmth, the love, the knowing, the truth, the energy currents, the pleasure, the delight that is in you now, which was once fear. It is all one and the same.

So if you embrace the fear not as fear but as the manifestation that becomes a desirable feeling, and if you then open up to the desirable feeling, the fear will vanish in the only way it can successfully do it.

 

168 QUESTION: How can you get fear out of your system?

ANSWER: You get fear out of your system by recognizing what is behind it and where you hold on in a cramped state, and by letting go of the cramp. Meet the fear head on instead of evading it. Fear is maintained when it is not faced. When you face fear, you can recognize, experience and alter it according to reality and a more constructive pattern of life. Then the hard cramp relaxes. You will feel it.

This action always implies a generous attitude of trust toward the universe. I said in this lecture [Lecture #168 Two Basic Ways of Life: Toward and Away From the Center] that every single instant of living contains the possibility of choosing the attitudes that will bring you into contact with the eternal life within you.

Actually, contact is not the right word – the eternal life will completely permeate you with its reality. If you are in fear – therefore cramped, therefore alienated from the life force within you – you must really face the fear on the deepest level. Find the cramped desire behind your fear, and then see the meaning of the cramped desire.

It spells out, “I do not trust the universe. I want it my way. I do not give myself over to the universe.” This is ungenerous and untrusting. This attitude is incompatible with the nature of the divine center, so that the experience of it is blocked. When this attitude is exchanged for generous trust, you will experience the truth of the benign universe in which nothing need be feared.

QUESTION: How can I synchronize feeling and movement?

ANSWER: The inability to do this reveals a tremendous frozenness that also comes from fear. You fear that if you express your feelings, you must move out into the world. You fear that by doing so, certain unwelcome results will occur. Here too, you must ask yourself precisely what you fear if you move with your feelings.

Perhaps you fear rejection, ridicule, hurt – but whatever your fears may be, you must state them concisely. Only then can the courage and generosity come that make you take the risk. There must be risk. Apart from all the other things I said about fear, it is a refusal to risk anything. It is impossible to lose fear without the willingness to lose. This means risking.

Not wanting to risk is ungenerous. And anything ungenerous is incompatible with the nature of the power you wish to activate. To be enlivened by the inner reality of being, to become one with it and express it, the outer personality must be compatible with its attitudes, its laws, its very way of being. These are natural and logical laws.

If your character and attitudes are incompatible with the laws of the greater power deep within your center, you cannot possibly express this greater power. Not trusting the universe, not ever wanting to risk, is a pettiness in the spirit. Wherever human conflicts and problems reside in the soul, this pettiness also exists.

Thus, the only way is to face exactly what you fear, what you want, and where you ungenerously withhold from trusting and risking. That is the only way out of fear. There is no other. Fear is totally the result of duality. You see, if you want so strongly, you must fear as strongly not getting what you want. Conversely, if you fear so strongly, you must unconsciously also want what you do not wish to experience.

This excessive wanting and not wanting creates not only a cramp, but contains also the duality – Yes versus No, good versus bad. Duality ends in conflict, comes out of conflict, and therefore leads to the breaking point of no return. The limit finally offers no alternative but to turn around.

Then the unitive principle will reveal itself in its fearless, conflict-free state. Then a harmonious soul movement comes about where neither the Yes nor the No is overly strong – not because one has no desire to expand in bliss, for this is the natural desire, but because one trusts the universe and its laws.

 

QA195 QUESTION: Lately I’ve begun to see the forces that work in me, that cause me to act in a negative way or to assume a negative attitude. What frightens me is when suddenly I feel myself moving into negative space, and I know in my head that I’m doing this and I can’t stop it. I don’t know whether I’m asking you how or what – it just frightens me that I feel as though I’m going into a place that I can’t stop.

ANSWER: Let me shed a little light. Perhaps I can help you in the following way, my dear. Your fear is one aspect of a triad. This triad I have talked about extensively. It is fear, pride and self-will. If you can connect specifically, in your case, the fear with the pride on the one hand, and the self-will on the other, you will see that the fear of being submerged in your fear is an illusion, because you will find your way out.

If you work on the fear in conjunction with the self-will and the pride – they are alternating forces that create your fear, and each is a defense in itself – all three of them can be overcome together. If you observe, every day, your pride and your self-will, and from there recognize the fear, the fear of the fear will lessen. Then you can deal with that which causes the fear – the pride and the self-will. This is my advice at this time.

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