To be fearless is not a state of being where fear stops arising in you; it’s a state of being where you are no longer “afraid” of fear. A lot of people are so terrified of the feeling of fear that they live constantly in fear of their mind. The whole pursuit of spirituality, in many cases, comes from the need to be free of fear. A lot of people believe that once they are enlightened their human expression would be free of fear altogether, in that fear will stop arising in their mind – such a misplaced understanding is the reason why a lot of people get so stuck through this journey. It takes some amount of self-awareness to realize that it’s never possible for the mind to be free of fear, in that fear will always arise in the human mind no matter how enlightened you are. You become free when you stop fearing the feeling of fear created by fear based thoughts in the mind. Liberated living is not the “absence of fear” but the absence of fear of fear.
The mind will always have fear
The human mind has an important function of ensuring survival, in simple words it’s a “survival machine” for the most part. Any machine that is designed for survival is a machine that needs to be able to look out for danger and thus it will have the tendency to project imaginary fearful situations in a bid to prepare or protect itself against this imagined danger. The brain of any living organism is designed for survival and hence will always have the tendency to fear or create “projections” of fear. To imagine that your mind will one day stop creating fear is an “unrealistic” fantasy that cannot ever be reality because of the very design of a mind.
One can find it very liberating just to realize it’s not ever possible for the mind to stop producing fear, and hence they can let go of the futile pursuit to reach such a state. It’s amazing how many people are stuck in spiritual practices in the hope of attaining some fantasy/imaginary state where their mind stops creating fear based thoughts, without ever realizing that the mind/brain is a survival machine and by its very nature can never stop generating fear. When you are finally ready to see this truth about the mind, you will be able to move to the next level where you accept the presence of fear and not fear its presence anymore.
To be fearless is to allow fear freely
Fear by itself is not a problem, the problem is the “resistance” that we have to the fear so much so that we constantly try to escape “life” in a bid to somehow escape fear. A lot of people who are stuck in addictions have a common mindset where they are trying to “escape” the fears in their mind – that’s why they use drugs, alcohol, entertainment or even spiritual/mystical practices to somehow escape the mind.
Freedom is never attained by trying to run away from something, that’s just another form of bondage. Freedom is attained when you are no longer in “resistance” to something even when it arises in your experience. When you stop resisting fear, you would transcend fear altogether – that does not mean that your mind will stop producing fear, it just means you will no longer be afraid of the feeling of fear.
An open awareness does not have the agenda to eradicate
You stop fearing fear when you are able to really “see through” fear or the feeling of it. The only way to see through something is to bring a deep awareness to it and to maintain awareness of it, even if it’s quite unpleasant initially to face up to some feelings. Don’t be thrown off by the initial discomfort that is bound to happen when you bring awareness to the fears in your mind.
Bring awareness to fear not with the purpose of “getting rid” of it, but with the purpose of getting to “know” it as it is – to really know fear as what it is. Open awareness is more a movement of curiosity or observation than a movement of wanting to eradicate or kill something. The more you try to get rid of fear the more you will stay in fear of it but the moment you bring an open awareness to it, without any agenda to get rid of it, you will soon be able to see through it and thus transcend it (Allow yourself at least a few months to really see a shift in your way of being once you start bringing awareness to the feeling of fear in your physical space).