Fear is an impediment that can block our capacity to fully relax and enjoy our essential being. Experienced as tension within the body, it impedes our natural ability to relax into our true nature. Many fears originated in our past, particularly early childhood, and most often it's possible to resolve those fears once they've been brought to the level of conscious awareness. The statement "There is nothing to fear but fear itself" often reflects our resistance to confronting the basis of our fears. However, finding love, peace and freedom may require being liberated from our fears.
Numerous teachers agree that fear has only 2 causes:
The thought of losing what you have (including your life, supports and comforts).
The thought of not getting what you want (including your life, supports and comforts).
Fear and desire can be seen as both the cause and result of each other.
A.H. Almaas puts it this way “Ultimately, attachment is caused by desire and fear, desire for the good and fear of the bad, desire for pleasure and fear of pain, desire for life and fear of death. If you examine fear and desire you will see that fear itself is based on desire, fear of death is desire for life, and that its opposite, fear of life, is desire for death.
If you fear the truth, you are afraid things will happen in a way that you don’t want them to happen. You’re afraid if you see the truth, you will feel pain. There is a judgment of pain. There is a rejection of the truth at that very moment because of fear of the pain. If there is fear of truth, it does not need to be rejected, it needs to be understood."
We recognize the value of relaxing, letting go, and about basic trust – that all will be well.. But minds bring up fear thoughts with their self-protective agenda and our habitual response is to remain closed, feeling safe in our familiar contractions. This is the point on the spiritual path that requires courage and the capacity to step into the unknown. It cannot be taught but it can be pointed to and investigated.
As long as there is fear of any kind, love cannot exist.
~ J. Krishnamurti
Fear and anger are designed to help the body survive . . . fear actually wants to know if you're safe.
~ Pamela Wilson
Honor everything, Let everything be exactly the way it is. Honor all, and leave all alone. Let pain persist. Allow rage to roar, tension to taunt, and anxiety to annihilate. If you can do this, all the illusory guards blocking God will die. What will be left, my friend, is the fearless state The end of the fear of love
~ Stuart Schwartz
Every heart assured of safety opens instantly.
~ Tim Freke
How Did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
All its Beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its Being,
We all remain
When people are invited to face a particular fear that they have, face it and recognize; it's not there. And what's in it's place is peace and love and fulfillment. But then if fear reappears, that can be co-opted by the mind and it can be something 'to do'.
When you love a person all fear disappears. And when you are afraid all love disappears.
Fear is always the result of an unquestioned past imagined as a future. When the mind is clear, in the now, there is no fear.
~ Byron Katie
Once you know with absolute certainty that nothing can trouble you but your own imagination, you come to disregard your desires and fears, concepts and ideas and live by truth alone.
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear. When the mind is clear, in the now,
~ J. Krishnamurti
Fear is a universal experience. Even the smallest insect feels it. We wade in the tidal pools and put our finger near the soft, open bodies of sea anemones and they close up. Everything spontaneously does that. It’s not a terrible thing we feel fear when faced with the unknown. It is part of being alive, something we all share. We react against the possibility of loneliness, of death, of not having anything to hold on to. Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.
~ Pema Chodron
Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts.
~ Marianne Williamson
Fear is really based, on the memory of past experiences and not on the experiences themselves, because those are dead.
~ Ramesh Balsekar
Fear arises through identification with form, whether it be a material possession, a physical body, a social role, a self-image, a thought, or an emotion. It arises through unawareness of the formless inner dimension of consciousness or spirit, which is the essence of who you are.
~ Eckhart Tolle
Fear and desire are two ends of the same stick. If you are afraid of being hurt, then you desire not to be hurt. If you are afraid that you're going to be rejected, then you desire acceptance. So fear is like desire, based on a rejection of what is now. . . . Fear of death is ultimately fear of life, or desire for it.
~ A H Almaas
Until we understand that death is equal to life, we live in fear.
~ Byron Katie
The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.
. . . fear, anger, hatred and violence are expressions of the loss, or the anticipated loss, of something which is loved. Or, of never having to begin with something which is loved. If there is no love of anything, there is no sense of loss or deprivation and therefore negative emotion of any kind attached to the absence of anything. . . . All expressions of anger and fear, hatred and violence are distorted wailings of love.
~ Neale Donald Walsch
The world of human beings is afflicted with the fear of life itself, which is best understood as a kind of psychological autoimmune disease because it consists in a component of one's self that falsely perceives threat where there is none and attacks the perceived threat based on that perception, which in turn produces pain and disease. Because of that invisible context of fear, our psychological structures, our personality - our interface with the world - is constantly engaged in the project of defending us from life itself. It is constantly trying to protect us from ourselves. It warps and distorts our capacity to engage directly and openly with our lives. It creates a buffer between us and the direct experience of life, and causes us to live life with a two-second delay, always on the defensive, always looking out for threats. Some of us become violent, angry, and aggressive because of this disease. In others, the disease creates a personality inclined to withdrawal, silent suffering, and misery. For others, the disease causes them to seek to get something from others that can only be fulfilled within oneself. In other words, all of the ways in which we human beings are damaged are just different aspects of the same fear of life disease that is at the root of widespread psychological suffering.
~ John Sherman
Regret is the longing to change the past. Fear is the desire to control the future. Peace is the surrender to Now.
~ Jeff Foster
No matter how much you pretend that everything is safe and secure, and that you are in control, really you know that you don't know what the hell is going on.
Our liberation comes when you do absolutely nothing when you are overcome with fear and emotional pain. After all, you know, in the very depths of your being, that there is nothing you can do to overcome this fear! Instead of shielding yourself against the pain and turmoil, open yourself to whatever terror life brings. . . Fear thrives when the soul sleeps. Coming awake signals the end of Fear's rule. The healing is in the seeing and clear seeing is wakefulness.
~ Eric Gross
Vedanta explains the 5 kleshas (reasons) behind all human suffering: 1. Not knowing the true nature of reality. 2. Clinging to, grasping for, or holding onto that which is ephemeral, transitory, illusory, insubstantial and therefore not real. 3. Fear of, aversion to, running away from, revulsion to that which is ephemeral, transitory, illusory, insubstantial and therefore not real. 4. Identification with a false and constricted and habitual self that we call ego. 5. Fear of death. And, all 5 kleshas are contained in number 1.
~ Deepak Chopra
Fear’s true nature is a healthy natural caution gifted to us by Life to ensure survival. May all beings return to natural balance, heartfelt clear seeing, listening within, and living as this courageous and unshakeable Oneness. Take care of each other and yourselves.
~ Pamela Wilson
Behind all hardening and tightening and rigidity of the heart, there’s always fear. But if you touch fear, behind fear there is a soft spot. And if you touch that soft spot, you find the vast blue sky. You find that which is ineffable, ungraspable, and unbiased, that which can support and awaken us at any time.
~ Pema Chödrön
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
~ Anais Nin
There is nothing to fear, ever. If you continue to place attention on fear-creating ideas, knowing that your thoughts create emotions, you will feel fear. In a moment, you can decide that enough is enough and end your pattern of feeling fear.
~ Jac O’Keeffe
Meeting the fear of death directly, of losing everything including our own lives, reveals silence, peace, the essence of life itself. Finally, we're free.
Our personal lives are seen as manifestations of the whole, like a wave emerging from the ocean. Life as the impersonal flow takes us where it will. Our fear-based efforts are seen as fruitless attempts to protect what never needed to be protected.
When we surrender into the unknown, every single arising is seen as so very precious and everything is received as is. Love is. Truth is. And peace beyond peace is revealed.
~ Gail Brenner
We have no control, over an arising of a thought, or an arising of fear or anger or whatever.
Arising of any thought, emotion or feeling, is independent of the organism.
~ Ramesh Balsekar
Q: How does The Work lead to peace?
Katie: It’s like this. I’m walking in the desert and I see an enormous snake, and I’m terrified of snakes. So I jump back and my heart is beating and I’m paralyzed with fear. And then I happen to look again, and I see that the snake is actually a rope.
Katie: Now I invite you to stand over the rope for one thousand years and try to make yourself afraid of it again. You can’t. It’s not possible, because you have realized for yourself what is true. That is self-realization. You realize that the snake is a rope and that there’s nothing to be afraid of. It was just a misunderstanding.
The mind is full of apparent snakes – the stressful thoughts that cause us sadness or anger or depression. And I can tell you that every snake in the mind is actually a rope. There are no exceptions. If you think you have a problem, you’re confused. If you think that there are any problems in the world, you are confused. You’re looking at a rope and seeing a snake. Life is not fearful. It’s our unquestioned thoughts about life that cause our suffering, not life itself. Life is benevolent and kind and good, and we always have more than we need under all circumstances. But it takes a thoroughly questioned mind to see that.
~ Byron Katie
Your past only exists because you think about it.
Your fears, your frustrations, only exist because you think about them.
Where would they come from if you didn't think about them,
if you didn't bring them into play in the present?
Where would they come from?
How would they be there?
You are the cause of all of your problems.
~ Robert Adams
To be free of fear is to be full of Love.
Lines from the introductory chapters of
Trust in Liberation, A Manual of Self Transformation
by Eric Gross
The journey to a world ruled by fear.
These eight words tell us what we need to know.
This is the dilemma that faces us all.
Ruled by fear we are frozen in its cold grip.
But, could it be that fear also holds the power to its own release?
We fear fear (not a typo) too well.
We lose the opportunity that fear avails us.
The model of a fearless, trusting life has already been conceived and lived by countless men and women.
We have grown so comfortable with our fears and have grown so accustomed with our identification with lack that even though our eyes are open, we no longer can see the power of these forces in our lives.
Frozen in fear, we don’t know where to place our next step.
And the most important point is this: we, the body and the mind, have grown so accustomed to fear, that the fear itself is no longer visible and what is invisible must become what rules us.
We either learn the lessons of fear or we will fall victim to them.
The realization of abiding trust is the end of a victim’s life.
Fear thrives when the soul sleeps.
Coming awake signals the end of Fear’s rule.
~ Eric Gross
Don't believe your thoughts.
I am the body is a thought.
I am the mind is a thought.
I am the doer is a thought.
Worry is only a thought.
Fear is only a thought.
Death is only a thought.
~ Ramana Maharshi
Fear seems to have many causes. Fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of being hurt, and so on, but ultimately all fear is the ego's fear of death, of annihilation. To the ego, death is just around the corner.
~ Eckhart Tolle
To really be free of fear involves being free of the feeling of any personal responsibility of ownership for everything - even of our body. If we feel that we are a separate individual who personally owns or possesses even just a body, fear will hound us.
What we feel we own is felt to be personal and what is felt to be personal is felt to be separate from others and life, and then fear seems warranted.
But when nothing is experienced as personal then nothing is felt to be separate and fear falls away.
~ Dhyana Stanley
Why should anyone fear life or death if God is there?
Why should one fear being in any place if God is there?
Why should one fear even disease if God is there?
The fears entertained about life, health, and supply
are in direct proportion to a lack of faith and understanding of God
as infinite and omnipresent. . .
It is not necessary to fight disease.
It is not necessary to fight sin.
It is necessary only to accept God, a living God in the midst of you.
The acceptance and realization of God is the instantaneous dispelling
of fear, of sin, of disease, and more especially of lack and limitation.
~ Joel Goldsmith
As long as we believe ourselves to be
even the least different from God, fear remains with us;
but when we know ourselves to be the One, fear goes;
of what can we be afraid?
~ Swami Vivekananda
The fear of death is the last smokescreen for the fear of love. The mind looks at nothing and calls it something, to keep from experiencing what it really is. Every fear is the fear of love, because to discover the truth of anything is to discover that there is nobody, no doer, no me to create suffering or to identify with anything. Without any of that, there is just love.
~ Byron Katie