There was a recent query in the comment section from a reader dealing with a certain fear in the mind, wanting to understand how to release its hold. I thought it would be useful to use this example to elucidate the actual process that’s involved in dissolving a certain fear in a state of allowing. So, below is the comment and my reply.
Comment from the Reader
I want to thank you for your insightful posts and for helping me.
I have been reading a lot on your website. I did not even know what awareness was until i read Eckhart Tolle’s book “The power of now”. Then i developed my awareness through concentration practices as watching one’s thoughts or feeling the inner body or focusing on visual or auditory senses. I can say that i now fully understand the mechanics of the mind and the patterns of negativity which you talk about in your post describing the heart and the brain connection. All of this was required for me by life, as i now understand, because i was rooted in negativity and anxiety all my life, having different kind of fears depending on my age and interests. As I always identified with my thoughts there was no space at all and the negativity has increased through the years of unconscious living.
My main negative pattern with fluctuations in intensity is now a fear which i have had for some years now and i understand is more common nowadays and it could be described as a fear of being gay. The fear is reinforced by the repetitive pattern of this word combined with the “I” thought which is constantly replaying in my mind. I now fully understand the pattern and i see through it’s ludicrous repetitive nature. But the reaction of negativity in the body still exists. I also understand that all fears or phobias are not very different in nature and are based on conditioning of an unconscious mind. Although this fear has diminished in the last 6 months because of the wisdom acquired through different means i think the reason for this is that i have been concentrating on practices instead of being in the state of total openness. But as you stated in a previous post, before discovering Tolle’s book I thought I could get rid of my insecurities and anxieties through affirmations which gave me a sense of relief but eventually did not work because the negative thought would still be there and would counter the positive one.
I also became paranoid of creating a negative reality when i found out about the law of attraction. I now know that life cannot sustain negative energy and you cannot create something that is not congruent with what feels good to you if you live in consciousness. I think i am in the detox phase in which i have to just let go of any form of control but i wanted to ask you: In this state of total allowance one just rests in relaxed awareness but is not trying to be aware? one lets all thoughts come and go and embraces the sensation of fear? i mean if i don’t concentrate on being aware of my thoughts to acknowledge them as a kind of a radio station that is broadcasting will i not get pulled in the thoughts and start ruminating on them again…will not the sensation of fear cause more thoughts to be created and fuel the sensation once again? Thank you for everything and may there be more people like you in the world.
Let me use the example of the fear you’ve mentioned to clarify what I mean by a state of allowing. I use terms like “relaxed awareness”, staying as a space of being, “letting be”, staying open to what arises, staying surrendered to what is, staying dis-identified with the negativity etc and all these pointers are just different ways of driving home the point that you have a freedom to not buy into the mind – but none of these pointers are meant to be used as means to “avoid” facing the truth. We make too big a deal out of our mind, and usually it’s this attitude of being afraid of the mind that’s the problem. As long as you are fearless towards your mind, you are automatically in a place of relaxed awareness, and after that it doesn’t matter what you do – you can analyse the thoughts, you can let go of thoughts, you can introspect the thoughts, you can ignore some thoughts, you can dis-identify with some thoughts – you can basically “work” with the mind, but the bottom-line is to want the truth above anything else. For example, you can “ignore” a thought when you are certain there is no truth in it, but don’t try to ignore a thought out of fear.
It’s not about implementing some “technique” of staying aware of the mind all the time, of just watching the mind like a strict practice – that just becomes a “routine” or practice and it’s not in sync with following the inspiration of the moment. I do give out the practice of watching the mind to people who are just starting out towards understanding awareness, but as soon as you gain some awareness of how negativity works, when you see the momentum in your mind, when you understand your mind’s daily patterns, you are in a position to then start working with the mind instead of just standing as a bystander watching it. Ultimately, it’s about being open in your being towards allowing the mind without fear and bringing an honest observation to it instead of living in fear of it.
To take an example of the fear you mentioned about being gay, the thought that your mind is repeating now and again is – “I am gay” or “I may be gay” or “what if I am gay” etc and these thoughts produces a lot of fear in your being. So initially you watch these thoughts, understand their repetitive/cyclic nature in your mind, thus bring a deep awareness to this pattern in your mind.
After that you start understanding that it’s your “fear” towards these thoughts that’s actually keeping them in place – your fear gives “attention”/interest to these thoughts, if you were not afraid of this thought you would not give it interest either, you could care less, and these thoughts would lose their hold. Once you have this understanding, you start observing your fear towards these thoughts and you will see that your fear stems from a certain thinking patterns in you towards being gay – you may consider being gay as “wrong”, as something inappropriate, as something unaccepted, as a dent to your manhood/ego etc these thinking patterns obviously got developed by observing the attitude of society at large towards gay people. So you bring awareness to these thinking patterns within you and identify the reasons why you fear being gay – just be brutally honest with yourself, it’s not a judgment, it’s just an investigation.
Once your awareness has reached this point of clarity, you need to go to the “allowing” stage, this is basically the crux of dissolving the conflict. You need to allow this thought in totally which means that you stop fighting the thought and just embrace it – to do so you have to allow all the fears that you have about being gay, and allow the fact that you may be gay. This can be challenging if you don’t have some inner stability in you, but rest-assured that just allowing the thought of being gay does not make you gay (if you are not biologically gay you don’t “become” gay by thinking about it). Once you allow the thought in, without fearing it you are not fighting the mind and the mind does not have something to blackmail you with, because you’ve accepted its thought fearlessly – it’s like “fine may be I am gay”, and now investigate if this is true from this place of “acceptance” within.
Allowing comes first, seeing the truth comes next. Most people are not “allowing” a certain fearful thought, and hence the can’t move the phase of seeing the truth. You will see that in this place of allowing, you are now open to see the truth as it is – the truth could be anything, it could be that you are gay, it could be that you are not gay, or it could be that you are bi-sexual. But in this place of allowing you are open to sense the truth, and it’s the truth that really sets you free. So if the truth is that you are gay, what’s the use of fighting it? you may as well enjoy it And if the truth comes out that you are not gay, you are clear now and hence no longer confused. In this inner conviction you will no longer be afraid if the thought pops up in your mind again, because you are clear about the truth within you.
The question you may now have is “how do I see the truth of if I am gay or not?”. Like I said before, the first step is to be openly allowing of the fact that you may be gay, if you fear being gay you will never be able to see the truth in you about it. Without holding distance just be totally okay with the fact that you may be gay, only then can you see if that’s really true for you “objectively” – look at the characteristics of being gay and sense it it’s present in you, a gay man would not be sexually attracted to a woman’s body, so you need to see if you are sexually attracted to a woman’s body, if so – you are not gay, but you could still be bi-sexual. The next step is to clarify if you are straight or bi, a bi male would want to have sex with another male, so ask yourself if you were in a situation where you have to have actual sex with another man, in real life, would it be an enticing prospect, just allow yourself to imagine this fearlessly (the imagination will not “make” you gay), imagine it in as much detail as you can and conjure up the act of having sex with another male in “real life”, don’t just imagine it as a “fantasy”(fantasies have nothing to do with reality), and see if it really is something you want for yourself in practicality of real life (you may need to allow this imagination a few times before you can be clear) – in order to be open to this imagination you have to be fearless towards the truth that can come up. There are two results that can come up in this honest/aware reality-based investigation – you will sense that you really have no interest in having sex with another male, in which case you are straight, or you will sense that the prospect of having sex with another male in real life is enticing in which case you are a bi. To find out the truth is what liberates you, unlike what you feared. When you find the truth, it allows you to move forward.
You can keep trying all kinds of practices of awareness, but if you are not fearless enough within to want to find the “truth”, you can’t be free of a certain negativity like this. That’s why I always mention, this state of allowing is not a “practice”, it’s an attitude, a way of life, where truth is more important to you than “avoidance” or distraction, where being authentic is more important to you than being in the hiding – awareness in its true sense is “honest observation”, a truthful observation, a fearless observation, it’s not just a technique you employ without any involvement on your part. Most people just want a technique to get rid of the mind without ever being “involved” in the process, because being involved causes them to face the fear “personally” rather than just sit hoping that it will go away on its own.