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Fear

Fear

7-minute read | By Carole Haddad

Fear incites a danger that often lies outside of our range and reach, so regarding these alarms only hurts our peace and composure.

But because we do, often, engage, alarm consumes our senses, and robs us of the capacity to remain calm, in the memory of yesterday, when we were ample, social, and capable. It takes us when we take to it: losing ourselves to the worry that something is essentially wrong, unaccounted for, that we’ve made a grave mistake or miscalculation.

woman sitting by a cliff
Photo by Connor McSheffrey

We are such a sensitive surface that we can’t remember the exit, an exit, from the weathers of our temperament. Our moods, as Emerson says, “do not believe in each other;” our Summers forget the nocturnal December; our Winters know nothing of warmth; the same applies to these spells of emotion. Conversely, the body’s functions, chemicals, organs, abide by a principle that steadily ensues beneath the shallow caprice of our consciousness. These functions know their purpose, and obey it over and in spite of the disruption of nerves.

The exit is simple, but brave: something that needs an object to clutch, starves when deprived. This fact is where we cultivate our advantage, by refusing to host, becoming porous, sinking, letting that deep, undisturbed principle retake the wheel.

This detachment sheds light on the superficiality of our troubles. All individual mantras, (lamps we enact), have these re-cognitions in
common:

lamp post with quote sticker saying "more love, less fear)
  1. We are transitory – “it came to pass; it passes.” By this same impermanence, we behold an ontological fact: that you, currently pitted in fear, are many things: complex: an amalgamation ... more, then, than the victim you now believe yourself to be.
  2. If we tweak or reverse the (unsettling) acknowledgment that we aren’t in control, it reads like this: Everything is always already taken care of – you, by you, your functions, organs, and the great wheels that turn in the sky, that tow us.
  3. Denial and resistance tighten the hold. Hermione, wrapped in the devil’s snare, advises Ron to relax, in order to slip from the serpentine squeeze.

... Feed yourself these thoughts, and ease returns. But the real trying  aspect of the labour is that it is continuous; these revelations of repair have to be learned anew each time, because the language of yesterday’s cure is always limp when we return to it – the words alone do not retain the function: with each new wave, fear is novel, and we’re forced to regain our balance, to slide beneath the tooth pinched on our soul. 

The body houses great peace when left to its rhythms. When we withdraw from tracking and measuring its every twitch, we dissipate, and sink to a key of indifference, where, widened, we see laterally beyond the present tyranny of clouds. There lies a spiritual terrain, a succor, and music, that, if frequently felt, would soften the edge of this noise, and bathe our ear in a sedative clarity. 

This source lies there always, ready to pacify any local outbreak, but we sense its volumes of stillness only in our periphery, and rarely behold its entire body. However, even the smallest taste indicates the magnitude. I imagine that if we irrigate this small seed, (now just a speck in the corner of our eyes), it would flood our experience, and cover us in beauty.

“Like an anchored ship, “battered by the waves, ... open to the mercy of coming events.”

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