The Causes of Fear – Overcoming Fear – Part 3

The prime and basic cause of all fear is our ignorance of our true nature. If we experienced or were convinced of our invulnerable eternal soul-nature, we would never feel any fear whatsoever. Because we do not, or cannot, believe this truth, we feel vulnerable, separate, isolated and susceptible to extinction or insignificance.

Because of this, we identify with the body and the complex of personality traits, which we call “I”. All fears, no matter how specific they may appear to be, can be traced back to the basic fear of rejection of pain to or extinction of the “I”, and the loss of any of its security attachments.

Some subordinate factors also contribute to fear:

1. A feeling of separateness increases our fear. When we feel close to people and nature we cannot easily fear them. Fear results from a feeling of alienation, which manifests a general feeling of suspicion of all and everything.

2. Unfamiliarity with people and things also causes suspicion and fear. When we come in contact with someone who dresses or behaves differently from what we are accustomed, our security base is undermined and we often react with caution and perhaps defensive or offensive behavior.

3. Attachment to people and objects related to our security cause to fear and play power games in order to protect our possessions, relationships or self-image when we suspect we are in danger of losing them.

4. Imagination can create images of doom and suffering far beyond any physical reality or likelihood. Imagination in itself is not negative. It is misused by the fear complex of: alienation, unfamiliarity, vulnerability, mistrust and attachment.

5. Emotionally charged memory of previous negative experiences, where we have either witnessed or suffered harm, loss or death provokes fear. Our subconscious mind stores memories of such unpleasant experiences from the past.

We also carry within us instinctual fear complexes resulting from our evolution through the animal kingdom. Thus, we project onto the present and future what we have experienced in the past, generating a distorted perception of reality.

Also our memory is not quantitative but qualitative. It does not assign the same power to each memory. For example, we may have driven a car 3000 times without any problem, and then have one accident and fear driving after that. Thus we are allowing one experience weight more than 3000.

In the same way, we might have had hundreds of loving contacts with a person and then let one negative one cause us not to talk to this person and perceive him or her as evil.

This illustrates that each thought has a certain energy field associated with it, which creates our emotional reactions when we come into contact with that thought. This is the basis of the newly discovered Energy Based Psychology systems of Thought Field Therapy (Dr. Roger Callahan) and Emotional Freedom Techniques (Gary Craig) which offer easy and quick freedom from fear and other negative emotions. We will discuss these in later sections of this series.

The Purpose of Fear

Fear has its purpose in the animal kingdom, where the animal’s low state of consciousness leaves little recourse but to fight or flee.

As humans with higher consciousness, however, we have alternative methods for dealing with potential dangers. Clearer examination of the many situations which we feared as dangerous will reveal that they simply were no so.

How many times have we been stricken with fear upon experiencing a sudden sound or sight, only to eventually realize we were completely wrong in our interpretation?

How many times have we worried intensely about a future event, imagining the worst, only to have everything work out fine? And even if we could not, at first, accept how things worked out, everything was dissolved and forgotten in the ceaselessly flowing river of time.

Very few of our fears are based on our present reality, but rather are founded on a remembered but nonexistent past or an imagined future.

Our fears seldom concern an immediate danger, such as a tiger attacking us or a bomb falling on our heads.

Even in the case that we are actually in danger at the present moment, fear will only cause us to become stiff in body and unclear in mind. We could deal with danger much more efficiently if we perceived and acted with clarity, self-confidence and courage.

Facing our Fears – Overcoming Fear – Part 4

As human beings in the process of evolution, it is imperative that we overcome the bondage of fear so we may experience the security, peace, love, courage, faith, wisdom, understanding and fulfillment which we desire, deserve and which is our destiny. Fear binds us to a lower level of consciousness with less love and happiness.

Actual Contact

One way to overcome a fear is to gradually approach that being, object or situation in gradual but increasing doses. We will, in this way, by experience, learn that in reality it is harmless to us. Fear of the sea could be gradually overcome by immersing our bodies, allowing the water to come up to our ankles, knees and so on over a period of time. Fear of heights can be eventually conquered through exposure to gradually increasing heights.

This technique can be used with the fear of any real object or situation. The important factor to remember is to make the right dosage of contact. We should start slowly and bring ourselves just to the threshold of fear, just where fear begins and where we can still observe and work with the fear through breathing and relaxation.

Later, the experience can be repeated, this time increasing contact with that which is feared, playing with our limits, and learning to relax while in contact. We can relax by breathing slowly and deeply while reminding ourselves of the truth that we are not actually in danger, but that our mind is being controlled by some false conditioning, probably from some past experience.

At the moment we begin to feel fear, we can begin to breathe more slowly and deeply, while concentrating on relaxing the body and mind. We will notice that certain muscles begin to tense up. We can relax these muscles with the help of the breath and mental messages of relaxation.

We may remember thoughts that help us to feel more secure or bring to mind any frame of reference that allows us to feel security and protection, such as God, or various spiritual or logical truths. We can remind ourselves that our imagination is being exploited by our unfounded fears and that the danger we feel is not real.

Mental Contact

Contact with the feared can also be made through the subconscious mind and the imagination. Through methods of relaxation, self-hypnosis, mind control, and positive projection techniques, we can imagine having contact with the feared.

When we imagine ourselves in contact with the feared object or situation, we might find that we experience the same types of emotional and physical reactions as we do when actually in contact. We can then visualize alternative ways of feeling and reacting to that previously feared situation.

If we have feared certain animals, insects, or even certain types of people, we can imagine ourselves as feeling safe, secure and peaceful while in contact with them. We can imagine ourselves feeling safe, self-confident and courageous.

Such reprogramming of the subconscious mind will eventually alter our reactive mechanisms to life. Those who are already experienced in such techniques can do such reprogramming sessions alone, but some will need guidance in getting started.

Those, who choose to, can even imagine accepting (not desiring, but accepting) death. We can eventually reprogram ourselves to believe in our indestructible soul nature, thus removing all fear at the root.

There are three approaches here.

a. Some prefer to project that nothing unpleasant will ever happen to them. This is useful and will, to a large extent, send out positive energies to our environment, creating a positive reality. Of course, we will all eventually die and all lose our loved ones at some point. No amount of projection will prevent this.

b. Others choose to imagine all in God’s light and leave the specifics of what will happen to some higher and wiser power, such as God.

The first technique is an active projection of what we want to happen and the second is a passive acceptance of whatever is best.

c. A third possibility would be to project what we prefer in each situation and then offer it to God, placing it in light and completing our “prayer” with the thought, “May the Highest Good for all occur in this situation.”

“Energy Meridian Based Psychology” = EMDR – TFT – EFT

These initials stand for the latest techniques for freeing ourselves from unwanted emotions. These will be explained in greater detail in future articles. Let is suffice to say that:

1. EMDR Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (Francine Shapiro) needs to be applied by an experienced EMDR practitioner who will enable us to come into contact with the traumatic event which is causing our fear, pain, guilt, self-rejection or other negative emotion. After doing so, the memory will be discharged and then reinterpreted as we introduce the logic or truth we chose into this previously traumatic memory, thus healing us of this problem.

2. TFT or Thought Field Therapy (Dr. Roger Callahan) deals with the specific energy field which is generated by each thought and allows us to heal this energy field, thus removing the cause of that specific emotion. Thus we focus on what we fear and then tap on specific acupuncture points in order redistribute that energy field and thus collapsing the energy disruption (identified with that thought) which was creating the emotion. This, too, often requires an experienced practitioner

3. EFT of Emotional Freedom Therapy (Gary Craig) is a simplified version of TFT, which we can employ on ourselves. We bring to mind whatever causes our negative emotion (such as fear or anxiety) and then tap on specific points in order to correct that disruption in the energy field, which creates the emotion. The thought creates the energy field and the energy field creates the emotion. If we correct the energy field the emotion disappears.

In my 35 years of counseling, I have found no techniques more effective than these. You can change your life through them.