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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #3162, Saturday, May 10, 200, Editor: Mark
If you imagine yourself as separate from the world, the world will appear as separate from you and you will experience desire and fear. I do not see the world as separate from me and so there is nothing for me to desire, or fear.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to ANetofJewels
If a man considers that he is born, he cannot avoid the fear of death. Let him find out if he has been born or if the Self has any birth. He will discover that the Self always exists, that the body that is born resolves itself into thought and that the emergence of thought is the root of all mischief. Find from where thoughts emerge. Then you will be able to abide in the ever-present inmost Self and be free from the idea of birth or the fear of death.
- Ramana Maharshi
Questioner: Hi. I want to have a conversation about fear.
Gangaji: Oh let us not talk about it. You have had plenty of conversations about fear in your mind, have you not?
Q: Yes, that is why I want to talk to you.
G: Let us not have another one.
Q: I want to have one up here.
G: Yes, but it is the same. So what if we skip the conversation and just invite it in?
Q: Must we?
G: Yes, it is time. It is like saying, "Well, let's have a conversation about a kiss," or "Let's have a conversation about an embrace."
Q: Oh darn.
G: Do you really want to spend the rest of your lifetime talking about it? No, you would not be up here. You would be sitting in your chair having another conversation about fear. Right?
G: So now that we are not talking about it, now that we are just inviting it, where is it? Right now.
Q: Well, it happens during the nighttime.
G: No, right now. First we begin with now.
Q: I don't know. There is just maybe a little bit, but not...
G: Where? Find it. I would like to meet it.
Q: It is in my solar plexus.
G: Okay, so let's dive into your solar plexus.
G: And gently, lightly, drift down into your solar plexus, into the fear. I love to meet fear. Fear is my ally. It is your ally too. You thought it was a demon, but it is really an ally.
Q: Well, this is what I am not sure about.
G: Well, you cannot be sure; you keep backing out, and having a conversation about it.
Q: I am having some doubts about that.
G: Yes, of course. Well, that is the dance, isn't it? That is the two-step: one step forward, one step back.
G: But I am asking you, for this moment, to forget the doubts and just have the fear. The doubts are the conversation. Right? So just for this moment stop, because your doubts are interrupting our meeting.
G: Here I am holding your hand, and you are taking me into your consciousness so that you can introduce me to your fear. But for you to introduce me to your fear, you have to meet your fear.
Q: It is in my solar plexus and in my heart.
G: Yes, let us take a dive through your heart, and then we will end up in the solar plexus. Is there space in your heart for our combined consciousness to enter?
G: Great, let us enter it then. Just like that.
Q: I feel it expand.
G: Very interesting.
Q: And it kind of moves out of the realm of fear.
G: Yes. Perhaps it never was fear. Perhaps it was an excitement that you doubted, an energy of anticipation.
Q: An energy. It is an energy.
G: Yes: an energy that you doubted equals fear.
Q: Oh really! Say that again: "an energy that you doubted equals fear." Yeah.
G: And when (just for a second) you put the doubt aside (because doubt is the story, is thought), and meet what you called fear, it is an energy. And not only is it an energy, but as you said it is expansive.
Q: Yeah. It really just leveled out.
G: Out and out and out, right?
Q: Out and out.
G: Out and out, and in and in, and deep and deep, and high and high.
Q: And it did not seem frightening.
G: Yes. That is what I meant by ally.
Q: Okay, great! How do you, how does one make use of that in that place between dream and waking?
G: Why would you want to make use of it?
Q: That is when it comes on.
Q: Pure terror. And my response to a dream (I finally recognized it as just an adrenaline response to a dream).
G: Excellent. Well that is very similar then is it not?
Q: Yes, it is the same.
G: - a response to a dream.
Q: I had a dream like this last night, which amazes me because it occurred after being here with you yesterday.
G: Oh that is when the demons really come out of the woodwork.
Q: It did, big time. And I was just utterly in terror, with my heart pounding. And it took me several minutes to calm down.
G: You do not have to calm down. You just have to meet it. This used to happen to me when my life was shifting. There would be some event in my life that was really good: like meeting the man who would become my husband, or being successful in my work, or really "getting" something. And invariably that night the demons would come out of the woodwork. When the daydream was shifting into one of more light and happiness, the night dream got more intense.
Q: Well it is interesting that you should say that, because when I started to experience this, about four years ago, it was at a point where I was also having very profound awakening experiences.
G: I am not surprised.
Q: Yeah. I never connected those two things, but now that you say that...
G: Well, this is what Papaji said to me: "When someone begins to awaken, all the gods and demons of the past come to reclaim you." This is your own psyche, of course. These are the grooves of the psyche. Just this morning I was saying that the brain can literally be reprogrammed, but as that reprogramming occurs, all the old hauntings, the hungry ghosts, the old miseries, try one more time to make themselves valid as entities in one's psyche. But right here in this meeting, you were experiencing some fear.
Q: Yeah, at first. But then it was just like a big level pool.
G: Yes, well I am saying, and you can check this out for yourself, that it is always like that. It just seems like fear (and so we contract around that), because of our doubts: sub-conscious doubts of our awakening, doubts of the truth of the validity of our experience, doubts of the truth of the validity of anything, self-doubt. This is tormenting, so it is a benchmark when one can finally say, "Okay, okay." I remember Papaji saying to me once, "If God comes down and tells you that you are not the Self, you turn your back on God." And that turning of the back is facing the fear. It is like, "Okay, shoot me."
Q: Yeah, go ahead.
G: "Stab me."
Q: Yeah, "What is it you want?"
G: That is it; that is the lucid experience of fear. In the dream, night or day, you say, "Okay, I meet you. If you are in my heart, I enter my heart to meet you. You are in my solar plexus, I meet you wherever you are." And then you find that it does not involve only your individual psyche. We are talking about the global psyche; nothing is excluded.
- Gangaji, from a Marin County, California Intensive, November 10, 2002
Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix forever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mold.
- William Cullen Bryant, Thanatopsis
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