Thursday, February 06, 2014

Fear of Love

A Delicate Balance

Untitled, by Jala Magik

             Doreen Virtue, who I sampled for the first time on a recent program on Gaiam-TV, is a seer. She probably sees pretty well, considering the career she’s made for herself by seeing.
            One thing she sees stands out in my mind. Fear, she says, is the mechanism Ego uses to take over our lives, which then turn out for the worse. That’s because Ego has become disproportionately self-important, too big for its britches. It has elbowed its way into control of us, pushing the True Self, an individualized aspect of Divine Love, into the background. The True Self, thus eclipsed, is then prevented from fully expressing its primary impulse, which is Love. Compounded by billions of individuals around the world, this loss of Love because of Fear causes such bitterness and strife and untold suffering that the planet groans to the Cosmos for relief.
            But, Virtue says, Ego is insecure in its position of control. It wants love from the True Self but, subconsciously aware of its over-reach, fears it doesn’t have it. Separated from the True Self by Fear (and no doubt Guilt), Ego mistakenly believes itself alone in a dangerous world, living by its wits. This produces a perception of reality as a primitive state of Nature—social Darwinism, for example—until Fear is faced and pacified and the True Self is then able to enter the here-and-now with Fear absent or at least under control.
            That, at least, is my understanding of the seer Virtue’s dharma, with which, she suggests, we might heal the world.
            In Buddhism, which I admire and practice semi-regularly, there is no True Self, unless it be the Great Unknowable Everything. So for me to go forward with Ms. Virtue, I have to opt out of Buddhism for the moment and identify myself somewhere else. There are many choices. Most religions affirm some sort of afterlife survival, as do plenty of free-wheeling spiritualists. So for the present I’ll adopt a belief in an immortal soul, a singular identity hovering about somewhere in my being, hoping to be recognized or perhaps allowed to drive the physical vehicle which, by all rights, belongs to it.
            Then—switching back to Buddhism—if I accept that Fear is the trigger which releases all my ego insecurities, I can practice throwing open the doors of my mind and letting all those suppressed fears into the room to be seen in the full light of the present moment.
            The practice begins as I release control. Immediately a barrage of terrors sweeps in, swirling about menacingly, formidably, always multiplying, never dividing. I simply listen, watch, pass no judgment and make no choice, until the fears play out and, like wisps of smoke from a dying fire, they drift away into nothing.
            Then it’s as if an authentic Self steps in to pick up the time line at a sweeter vibration, continuing useful, peaceful pleasures until, of course, Ego finds a way to bring Fear back in.
            It makes quite a story, maybe the only story there’s ever been, told and retold in myriad ways, of the struggle in human beings between Love and Fear.
            It seems to me that achieving just the right balance between them is the task set before me as a human, and perhaps the task set before all humans. To be fearless is not necessarily a state of grace, if it over-rides common-sense caution. But to be loveless is worse.
            Here’s a poem I wrote on the subject back in 2009. I have to confess, Ms. Virtue notwithstanding, not much has changed for me since.
Love and Fear

Why is Love so fraught with Fear?
Are Fear and Love inseparably bound?
Does the push-and-pull of Love and Fear
propel this Earth-plane merry-go-round?

Or does Love always cast out Fear?
If so, then Fear is ruled by Love,
having no reality of his own
except, perhaps, the fear of Love.

Yet Fear may just as well rule Love,
since loss of Love all lovers fear
and bend to Fear’s all-threatening will
to preserve a love, and hold it near.

Then if we love must we endure
Fear’s awful, lurking state of mind?
Is that the bargain we must strike,
to keep whatever love we find?

Or would Love be an awful bore
without the spice of dreadful Fear?
Is Adventure what we really crave
as between opposing poles we veer?

Then I must believe that Love and Fear
are nothing more than Drama’s tools,
with one and then the other applied
to make us interact as fools!

And that’s hardly a fitting song to sing
to you, my lover and my friend.
Yet more than anything I fear
the day our love on Earth must end.

For until a mind more schooled than mine
can teach me how to play this game,
Love will always conquer me
and Fear will also do the same.


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