Living In A World Of Fear
“The fear response arises from the perception of danger leading to confrontation with or escape from the threat (also known as the fight-or-flight response) which, in extreme cases of fear (horror and terror), can be a freeze response or paralysis.”
(note there are three elements to our primitive responses).
Fear is connected to hope: they are two sides of the same coin.
We fear that something will happen, or we fear that it will not happen.
We hope that something will happen, or we hope that something will not happen.
Because of our confusion, we become paralysed, and fall into not-knowing. This comes about because we ignore what is taking place, and so we need instruction to clarity our situation.
What is taking place?
We, as sentient beings, are governed and controlled by three factors; desire, fear and ignorance. Attraction, repulsion and inertia. It is because of this formula that we are not enlightened, being imprisoned in darkness and in danger of being abused.
In Buddhism, desire, fear and ignorance are the three negative emotions in which we become caught and held. Desire and fear stem from ignorance of our true nature, which is pure awareness, pure consciousness without identification. Identification creates a duality – something identifying something else – whereas in pure consciousness there is nothing but pure consciousness. This is a very subtle experience and can only be recognised within inner peace, and not in intellectual discussion.
So what do we do about living in a world of fear and hope/desire, which is manipulated and enacted in the media day in and day out, at the request of those who know how these things work. Understand that those who think they know how these things work…do not! The very same three negative emotions – the formula for our confusion – can be turned on their heads, because they are actually the three pure wisdoms of liberation. How’s that for spiritual defence against those captors of fear, desire and ignorance? 😀
These three wisdoms (or liberations) are emptiness, awareness and compassion, and are known in Sanskrit as ‘the three kayas’. They are the essential elements of our true nature.
When we have realised our true essence as these three wisdoms, the very first instant of the negative emotion appearing – before the “I” goes into its act – is inseparable from our true essence! It is within the space of mind and cannot be separated from that, in the way that water is indivisible from wetness. While resting in emptiness, whatever occurs within that space cannot be separated from the emptiness within which it arose, because whatever arises is an illusion and is therefore empty of any true existence. To repeat: this is only understood within the stillness of practice.
This is why it is so important to work with the emotions. The three poisons are the three wisdoms: one always reflects the other. Result = no fear! Wisdom is liberation from suffering!
How does it work?
The three kayas – the qualities of our enlightened being – are not a ‘belief’ as they are observable; to be more precise, they are to be realised. We are the unity of the three kayas.
Dharmakaya = empty essence (absolute truth)
Sambhogakaya = cognisant nature (relative truth
Nirmanakaya = unconfined compassionate energy (the unity of the two truths)
The three negative emotions and the three wisdoms correlate in this way:
Desire = Emptiness
Aversion = Awareness
Ignorance = Compassion
Our ‘being’ is Empty; it is pure sacred space.
Desire fills that sacred space with concepts when an “I” is present.
Our ‘being’ is Awareness; it has a knowing quality.
Aversion arises when the “I” starts judging.
Our ‘being’ is Compassion; it is confident joy.
Ignorance arises when empty awareness forgets its true nature, and that of others.
This is an extremely subtle matter that should really be attended to and reflected upon over a period of time as there is much to assimilate.
How wonderful is this? You never, ever, need to be afraid of your emotions again – or anyone else’s. When this is realised, true, unshakeable confidence can arise.
Awaken the warrior, awakening real love.