“Love is light, fear is darkness. The person who becomes obsessed with fear will never be able to resolve the problem. It is like wrestling with darkness – you are bound to be exhausted sooner or later, tired and defeated. And the miracle is, defeated by something which is not there at all! And when one is defeated, one certainly feels how powerful the darkness is, how powerful is the fear, ignorance, and unconscious. And they are not powerful at all. Once you start fighting with the non-existential you are doomed. Your small river of consciousness will be lost in the non-existential desert – and its infinite”.
- Osho, transcribed teachings, Come, Come, Yet again Come, 10
We all have fears; even the most dare devilish extreme sports people who jump out of planes for a living have them. Much like the old fable of the giant elephant who is so strong in stature and physical presence yet fears the tiniest of mice, so too is this reflective of human nature – as what one person may fear may seem completely wild and illogical to another, and vise versa. But how do we let go of these fears, learn from them and grow? The answers ultimately only lie within us and it is ourselves who ultimately have the power to break free from limiting beliefs and fears from our past.
I actually am writing this from a personal experience I recently encountered. I went bush walking through the Mount Cootha forest over the weekend with a loved one. We set out at about 4pm on an off beaten bush track. We got caught away chatting and connecting and feeling complete presence in nature, we eventually found a little waterfall and ended up sitting by this for a while longer chatting away and literally got so deeply present that we didn’t even realize what time it was or that it was actually approaching darkness. Alas we decided we best make a hurry on and pick up the pace on the way back on the track to avoid darkness because once we exited the track we approached a dirt road which led into another un marked pathway the way we came through – and it would be impossible to find this track in the pitch black darkness – add to this we didn’t take our iphones with us to use as a torch so on face value it would appear we were kind of screwed.
Anyways so we got up to the dirt road and by this time it was pitch black dark and yes you can imagine we couldn’t find the pathway, which led us back to the car where we started. I noticed my mind automatically go into panic mode – I thought the worst, fears of the darkness, of the unknown that is out there in the forest that could potentially hurt me – all these fears just started to pervade me. However the irony and the lesson was in my body and my energy – which felt so unbelievably calm. It was like there was this massive disconnection. I now am aware that what I was doing was clinging to fears that used to limit me. I used to be scared of the darkness and external things that I have absolutely no control over. I used to as a child always need the night light on, up until I was 15 I had to sleep with the door open slightly to let in some light. The fear of the unknown – the things in life I have absolutely no control over dictated my life. This experience of facing my fear of these ‘external unknowns’ revealed to me some real lessons – you cant get much more confronting than being lost in the bush at night. Indicative of past behavior – my mind was telling me – ‘you must become fearful now’ – but my body knew this was not the case and in my heart I knew this too it was just the familiarity of that fear that I kept clinging onto.
This situation really comes to parallels with a lot that is going on in my life and I am sure we can all relate to this ironic concept. It was literally after this bush walk experience that I got into conversation with someone I deeply care for and I noticed I was bringing up fears that I used to cling onto about abandonment and rejection – fears of mine of which weren’t actually happening at all – but in my mind I associated my deep heart felt feelings with those fears, and therefore I went into living in my past mode. I noticed this is no different from what happened to me in the forest – something I used to fear, I was clinging onto again, when in actual fact everything was okay nothing was hurting me I was completely calm safe and at ease within myself. So often we live our lives fearing things that aren’t even happening to us because there is some what a comfort in that fear – but once we realize this fear is just a limiting behavior and actually inhibiting us from growing and stepping OUT of that comfort. This is where the real magic happens. Just as Oslow highlights the irony in being defeated by something that is not even there at all and the power in the ignorance, fear and unconscious which leaves us feeling powerless. This is why facing your fears is such a good thing to do because so often we face them and realize – hey I’m actually not fearful, it is just the story in my mind I have told myself to believe. Realizing this – is, I believe where the TRUE comfort lies!