I. Right Teaching and Right Learning, P 9
9 God is not the author of fear. You are. You have chosen to create unlike Him, and have therefore made fear for yourself. You are not at peace because you are not fulfilling your function. God gave you a very lofty function that you are not meeting. Your ego has chosen to be afraid instead of meeting it. When you awaken you will not be able to understand this, because it is literally incredible. Do not believe the incredible now. Any attempt to increase its believableness is merely to postpone the inevitable. The word “inevitable” is fearful to the ego, but joyous to the spirit. God is inevitable, and you cannot avoid Him any more than He can avoid you.
It is very good news, indeed, that God is not the author of fear. We made fear in place of the peace that is ours when we are awake. Just consider for a moment that fear is a choice, and more incredibly, it is a choice for something that is not even real. To stop experiencing fear I only need to stop believing in fear. While I sit here in this meditation it all makes perfect sense and I can envision life without fear. In fact, if I doubt the possibility I only have to remember the story of Jan Frazier who experienced fear falling away.
Jan suffered great fear all her life. I relate to her because guilt and fear (inseparable buddies) have been close friends to me all my life as well. In her book, When Fear Falls Away, A Sudden Awakening, she questions if fear is inevitable. She considers, just for a moment that there might be another way. When she wakes up the next day she discovers that fear is gone, never to return.
Imagine! Imagine what it would be like to never worry about your children’s safety or health; to never worry about money or your own health, or to be afraid of the dentist or heights or driving in the rain, or bad weather. Imagine your worst fears and your little everyday fears. Pay attention to the worries and anxious moments today just to get a real feel for how much of your life is colored by fear.
Are you afraid to speak in public? Are you afraid to die? Are you afraid, instead, to live? Are you afraid you will not have enough time to get everything done? Do you worry your garden won’t grow or the insects will eat away at your tomatoes? Fear shows up different ways. Are you angry about something? Anger is just another expression of fear.
Are you angry at the driver who pulled out in front of you, at the clerk who was rude or slow or just indifferent? Are you angry at a child who behaves badly or a partner who is careless of your feelings? All these are fear just showing up in a way that you prefer over the feeling of being afraid. Take the pulse of fear in your day. Is it beating the rhythm of your life?
Now think on this. You made that up. Everything that happened is a projection of your belief in fear. Every response of fear is a choice to continue to believe in fear. Do you see the endless, awful cycle? The only way to end that cycle is to choose not to believe in fear. Thus far, I have not had a sudden awakening from fear and so I am using my slower, but tried and true method of letting go of the belief in fear. When a fear story shows up, I remember that I am the author of that story and I have a choice; I can accept my fearful response as inevitable, or I can ask to see it differently.
I use different approaches to this. I used to be really phobic about dentists and would put off going and use Xanax to calm myself when I had to go. A few years ago I realized that not everyone is afraid of the dentist and so it must be possible for me to not be afraid, too. I stopped making up stories about why I was afraid and instead became open to a healing. I started watching my thoughts about the dentist and asking that my mind be healed. When I sat in the dentist’s chair, I rested my mind in God. I asked Jesus to hold my hand. I did whatever I felt I needed to do to keep my mind open to healing.
Now I have no fear of the dentist. I don’t freeze up at the thought of going for a visit. I don’t feel my gut clench when I walk into the office and smell that medicinal odor that is typical of dental offices. A while back I went for what I thought was just a checkup only to be surprised by the dentist saying he needed to do some work on a tooth and that it might be uncomfortable. I was also surprised that I was calm about it.
The important thing about my dentist story is that it proves to me that fear is not real. If fear were real then there would be nothing I could do about it. I could mask it with tranquilizers, and I could use the force of my will to push through it, but if it were real, then I could not stop it from being there. I did the same thing for flying, and it worked the same way.
Where I have the biggest problem are the little everyday anxieties. I overslept and got a late start and now I worry I will not finish this writing in time to make my first appointment of the morning. Then I remind myself that I asked Jesus to manipulate time for me as he offered to do. I used to worry so much about the time thing that it ruled my life. Now it is a thought that I use to undo the belief in time just as I am undoing the belief in fear.
When I worry about my son being sick or being in excruciating pain, when I worry it will never end, it is harder for me to not believe in fear. My fear seems like a mountain looming over me, threatening to crush me with its solid mass. How could it not be real when it feels so real? It is hard for me to believe that I am making it up, and yet, I surely am. I tell you about my son being in pain and you are not afraid. You may sympathize with my fear but you are not afraid. If it were real and so unavoidable, everyone would feel it.
It would be like me saying that there is a mountain in front of me so I can’t go any further, but my friend saying that there is no mountain in front of her so she will continue her journey. If the mountain is real, it is there for both of us. If it is not there for both of us it is not real. If even one person does not see my mountain of fear then I know it is not real and I can make a choice to see only what it is real, not by force of will but by a decision for healing.
Fear is a choice and it is a choice for nothing because it is not real. But it is a nothing that brings great suffering and that keeps me from my true Self, and from joy and peace. I will continue to ask for the Atonement and to accept the healing it brings until transfer of learning is complete and fear is gone.
It seems like it will take more than this lifetime, but transfer of learning can fool you. One moment you have a million little fears and then suddenly there is no fear. That is because the million little fears are just an illusion. There is actually only the one belief and when it is gone all its little manifestations go with it. I am willing, God. Please help my unwillingness.