At the core of almost every psychological fear in the mind is a deep-seated mistrust towards life. I continue to use the word “mind” to represent the thinking aspects in our human self as well as our non-physical self (the soul). If you don’t believe, or are skeptical, about your identity as a soul, or the non-physical part of you, it’s fine – the mind can just represent the “thinking” part whether it’s your brain, heart, dna programming et al, it’s not important to know where the mind arises from, what’s of essence is to understand the nature of thoughts that are present in the mind because in the end it’s your perception that’s going to create your day to day experience.
Awareness of the mind is essential towards gaining freedom from its grip. If you don’t know what’s going on you will simply continue to be influenced, like a helpless child, and be dominated by certain thoughts which create a negative impact on your reality. If you observe something consistently, there will be a gradual unravelling of all the details of that aspect – this is the nature of our awareness, it has the intelligence to keep going deeper into the details of anything that you shine it upon. Being aware of the mind, instead of being lost to it, allows you understand its nature, its movements, its patterns, its cycles, its manipulations, until it’s no longer such a dominant force in your life – it’s seen simply as a movement, a programming or a conditioning that plays out.
By awareness, I am simply talking about an open observation, a relaxed attention (where you are not trying to find conclusions, you are not suppressing and you are not trying to change what is going on), just a silent watching. The mind is a noisy watcher, there is always a need to label, to conclude, to understand, to judge, to personalize and create a personal drama, all too quickly, flavored with the underlying thought structures/perceptions which are essentially rooted in fear.
Uncertainty breeds fear in the mind
Why is the mind so fearful, why is it constantly worrying, why does it feel a sense of lack, why is it possessive, why is constantly searching for support, why is it quick to judge/label/accuse, why is it so stressed? The answer is simple – it’s because the mind does not trust life. The deep-seated fear in our mind is that it’s not supported by life – hence it feels isolated, it feels alone in dealing with the challenges of living, it feels worried because anything can happen at anytime to take away some sense of security that it’s hanging onto. It feels constantly responsible for making decisions, for taking actions, for taking stands, with very little idea about what’s really going on; hence the stress, the anxiety, the feeling of lack, the insecurity and the worry. The bottom-line is that the mind does not trust life, rather it’s aggressively trying to battle it out with its limited understanding, accumulated intelligence and skills – if you just observe your mind and fathom what it feels deep down, the answer that will echo through is that “I don’t trust that life will take care of me”, with this thought as the basis/foundation, it’s only normal that the mind is so fearful in its approach to life.
When you a read a plotline based novel, or watch a movie (something which has a riveting story that has a start and an end), you will see a plot unfolding steadily and this can create a sense of suspense, there can be a sense of concern for the characters who are going through a challenge, and eventually you come to an ending that clears up the suspense. While reading the book, or watching a movie, you always have the freedom to skip forward, you can always skip ahead and find out about how a plot panned out, you can even skip to the end to satisfy your curiosity about whether the protagonist reaps his/her just rewards. In other words, a book/movie, is not happening in real-time, it has already unfolded – you can create the suspense by choosing to read it linearly, but you can also end the suspense by skipping forward. Life is not like that, you don’t know what’s going to happen in the next hour or even in the next few minutes, you can take a guess but in truth anything can happen, something completely unexpected can take place, in other words there is complete uncertainty about the future. Also, you cannot jump through realities, the difficult times (that the mind perceives) have to be lived through, it cannot be skipped – you can’t jump ahead at will. The mind is aware of this uncertainty, this lack of freedom to skip the bad parts, and it has a niggling feeling that something negative is going to happen in the future and hence it cannot truly relax.
The futility of seeking certainty and the state of awareness
Astrology is about looking into the future, it’s about predicting what’s going to happen down the line or even about understanding what’s happening currently. Some people have a psychic sense about the future, where they can get a sense of what is about to unfold. However, in reality, these are all just “predictions”, or possibly some intelligent projections, through certain calculations – however, we can never be really sure, not with a 100% certainty, about any of these predictions, they can come true or may not. So, this whole pursuit of trying to figure the future, in the hope that we can relax once we know (through astrologers, card readers, palm readers etc) about our future is quite futile – the mind cannot really trust a prediction completely, there will always be a seed of doubt because it does know that nothing is certain. If the mind were completely certain that things would work out well, that there will always be a solution that will manifest, that the situation will mend itself, then it wouldn’t be afraid – but there is no such certainty available.
The only sane way to live, is to live in the present, but the mind can’t live in the present – it’s always pre-occupied with the future, with the problems abound in any life-situation for which it doesn’t see a solution forth-coming in the future, for the lack that’s present for which there it doesn’t see any fulfillment coming in the future, for the challenges that may come, for the difficulties that may arise etc. The solution is to no longer be identified with the mind, and just stay in a state of awareness (which is just a state where you are not identified with thinking, you are not “trying” to figure out, you are not lost to the mind, you are not living as the mind through its retina of self-image and its associated drama) – however, it takes a while for the state of awareness to be steady, it’s a gradual process. As you continue to practice being aware without being pulled into the mind there comes a time when your awareness is free of the grip of the mind (there are several posts about developing the state of awareness)
In the state of awareness, you state rooted in “being”, without associating with the mind’s flux, and life continues to unfold – you see responses coming through, you sense movements towards “required” action and there is a general sense of doing what is needed without a restless pre-occupation with getting things done. This is different from the mind-oriented approach of an aggressive stance towards finding the way forward, forcing action, impatiently searching for solutions that are not available in the moment. In life, situations will come through, that can be termed as a challenge, but the solutions arise as well, a sense of lack comes through but so does fulfillment, the dark energy and the light energy continue their dance (like the Chinese symbol of the yin and the yang melding and circling into each other) as that’s very nature of the life energy. The movement, of life, is without any undue strain, stress or stuck-ness, it’s just a flow, a play, an endless unfoldment. It’s not trying to get somewhere, it’s just moving into this dance of polarities and in this movement things keep changing, solutions come through, realities take a different shape, new acquaintances come in and blocks fall through. Nothing is static in life.
A mind that understands the nature of life
There is a sector of spirituality that only focuses on developing the state of awareness, which talks about dis-identification with the mind, and in essence this is the core of freedom where you can live in a state of awareness without being lost to the mind’s grip. However, this pursuit of finding freedom from the mind, at the cost of pushing the mind away, is a very draining, tedious and an aggressive process which can leave you feeling confused, dis-oriented and anxious (the mind can go into a frenzy of anxiety when it’s being ignored).
A more balanced approach is to integrate awareness while also helping the mind come to sync with reality so that the mind becomes relaxed too; it’s unrealistic to expect the mind to calm down without any understanding of life. There are several posts, here, that talk about life’s nature, that talk about physicality, mostly for the sake of bringing an understanding to the mind, along with posts that talk about the aspect of developing the state of awareness. Both, need to go hand in hand, for a while, for a truly enlightened state of being to come through. By the term “enlightened” I don’t mean anything special, or extra-ordinary, other than a state where the mind has an understanding of life and you (the being) has the ability to be aware without being pulled into the mind all the time.
The continuous movement of life between polarities
Life, as an energy, is a play of polarity, the dark and the light, the empty and the full, the black and the white, a medley of varying degrees, of varying imbalances and a movement back to balance only to go back into some imbalance. It’s an endless movement, which can’t be stopped, which has no purpose, no destination, no goal – it moves because of its very nature is to move, to go from light to dark and from dark to light, to go from balance to imbalance and from imbalance to balance from the perspective of energy-movement.
Life is not a chaotic energy movement without any intelligence, rather its very nature is rooted in intelligence, there is intelligence in everything associated with life because the moment an imbalance sets in there is already a movement towards balance that ensues – this is the essential nature of life. The mind needs to trust life’s nature, it needs to trust this intelligence of life, it needs to trust the movement from dark to light and light to dark as a reality that will never cease, that doesn’t need to be judged, doesn’t need to be controlled, doesn’t need to be feared.
Life is not in a state of worry, its energy is not constricted or stressed, it doesn’t have a crisis, because its very nature is already whole and the movement (of it’s light and dark polarities) is its “aliveness”, without this movement life wouldn’t exist, it would be dead – you are essentially the same life, you are not separate (because life is all that there is), and hence you are subject to the same nature, the same intelligence and the same movements. The mind is fearful because it feels isolated, it feels separate from life, hence it’s worried about the movements, it’s anxious about the unfoldment, it’s stressed about the next thing – in a state of awareness you are one with life because you are not projecting, you are not judging, you are not anticipating, you are just one with the movement, this is what trust in life really means, to be one with life’s movement.
Trust in life is not a belief, it’s about a state of openness
You don’t have to make this about a “belief”, you don’t have to force yourself to trust life – in truth the mind will always have a hard time trusting life. However, you can just allow yourself to observe the movement of life, without judgement, and you will see how things pan out, how challenges seem to come only to be resolved, where problems arise only to be assuaged with a solution, where an emptiness arises only to be fulfilled – it’s a play of dark and light, it’s play that does not have a goal, rather it’s a play that ensues because of life’s nature. There is nothing wrong with this play, it’s just what life is. What’s problematic is when you start worrying about the dark aspects, when you start judging the movement, when you don’t see the light and you worry about it; this is what minds do, they are not one with life, they are trying to stand outside and judge what’s going on.
The mind will have endless questions about the future, endless worries about what might happen, endless insecurities about the present, the past and the future, but it’s all because the mind is not one with life. You, as a being, can be one with life the moment you stop identifying with the mind – just observe the movement, just see how the answers come through just at the right moment, just see how the solution arises out of nowhere, how whatever that’s needed finds a way to manifest, how timing plays out, how things are not as bad when you are living it compared to what they seem from outside, how the mind is more the reason for the resistance/fear than the event itself.
You cannot stop life from playing out its nature, in fact life can’t help its own nature. But what you can do is to be one with life – the moment you go into your mind, in thoughts/projections/judgments, there will be a separation with life’s intelligence, and hence there will be fear, uneasiness and stress. When you are one with life, there is no fear, just a movement that has its own harmony, that has an inbuilt circle of balance, that does not worry about “what’s happening” rather it just moves towards the next thing that automatically dissolves what happened before.