Love and Fear and Self Realization

Love yourself and you'll find it easier to love others

Tusitala Tom at sixty  This was the name given to him by an enthusiast who liked his stories so much he called him "The Prince of Storytellers."
Tusitala Tom at sixty This was the name given to him by an enthusiast who liked his stories so much he called him "The Prince of Storytellers."

There is a deep longing in every human being to be loved.

There is a deep longing in every human being to be loved and to love. However, there is an immediate problem. It is one that stems from fear- which is simply our subconscious interpretation of an absence. It comes in the form of non-verbal and deep-seated questioning, brought about because so often we don’t perceive ourselves as being loved and even less as being loving. From our earliest moments we don’t always immediately receive the attentive care we feel we need. We’re hungry or cold, or have a wet nappy which is causing us discomfort, and Mummy isn’t fixing it. She doesn’t immediately respond to our desire for relief and there comes to us fear – which immediately turns to anger. (anger, and any negative emotion always stems from a base of fear) Mummy doesn’t love us! This doesn’t come to us in words, of course, but as a feeling, a feeling which lodges and never entirely leaves. Welcome to Planet Earth, a Realm of Relativity; a realm which we experience as a spectrum ranging form total, unconditional love to its almost complete absence.

We quickly become aware that not everyone out there loves us

Later, we may be teased or bullied by siblings. We quickly become aware that not everyone ‘out there’ gives us love. Not everybody is caring. Maybe we don’t deserve it? Certainly they don’t give us love all of the time. Sometimes none of the time. And from the feedback we’re given we quickly gather an opinion of our own selves: we are not worthy. This, of course, is not registered and evaluated by an adult mind, but as emotional content bereft of actual words. It is more of a feeling. And that feeling is registered. Such a feeling can form the basis of a ‘house built on sand’ as far as our identity is concerned.

We develop a conglommerate of ideas as to as to what we are

This is identity-feeling is glossed over as we develop an ego, a conglomerate of ideas as to what we are and what we are not. The ideas are always superficial and come from a comparison of the disparities which manifest in this Universe of Relativities. “I am small: he is big.” I am not as worldly-wise as he or she. She has a position of power that I don’t have. Maybe if I behave in a particular way I will gain her attention and she will love me.” Before you know it, the mind’s chatter is believed by its owner to be the owner!

This park is just a couple of minutes walk away from where I now live
This park is just a couple of minutes walk away from where I now live

We develop our self-image early. But we forget it is only an image...something imagined.

Very early in our lives we develop this self-image, some of itscontents of which we are fairly aware: but most of which we are unconscious. The unconscious part is the part which continually rears up and gives us trouble, and will continue to give us trouble all of our lives unless we begin to understand it and set about to systematically change it so that it behaves more favorably. However, one needs to be introduced to this concept and exposed to it as an experience, though, before those changes really start to take place. Intellectual arguments might act as a temporary balm in times when there is little stress in our lives. It does not work in the long term.

Our self image and our imaginings about it determine the parameters of our lives

The unconscious self-image is that image we have of ourselves which generally limits us. It determines the parameters. This self-image is made up of the myriad thought-forms which have formed into a dense polyglot of patterns that are always providing us with feedback in the form of performances and abilities. These are woven in in the first place by our imaginings, our mind talk, our continual reactions and affirming of what we are, what we can do, what we are like, etc.. For example: On the positive side: “Yes, I’ve always been able to draw well,” “Our family have great genes,” “Been confident and outgoing all my life.” Or, on the negative side: “I’ve never been musical,” or “mechanical able,” or “good at math.” Or the more dangerous ones such as “I always seem to be having accidents - I think I’m accident prone.” “No matter what I do, things never work out for me.”

Watch what you are feeding the big, impersonal machine

What is not known to the possessor of his or her subconscious mind is that we are continually feeding a big, impersonal, robotic-like machine that takes in everything that is fed to it and accepts it without question. It really is a case of sowing a seed. The ground doesn’t judge the seed, it just enables it to grow. The subconscious says, “Yes” to every imagining, every self put-down and, yes, every positive affirmation. Sometimes the Yes is hardly a murmur. Sometimes, if the message put to it is planted with real passion, it says, Yes! Yes! Yes! in a very loud voice. A voice we do not hear, of course. In the Buddhist parlance, such a “Yes” becomes a deeply-rooted Sankhara, something which can affect us from hereon; influence our decision-making, evoke emotional responses, cause us pain and suffering – even bring about physical illness.

This lovely areas is only fifteen minutes walk from where I live.
This lovely areas is only fifteen minutes walk from where I live.

What causes the flight-or-fight syndrome: fear, real or imagined

There is a lot of talk today about the ‘Fight or Flight Syndrome and how, when this is raised more on less permanently above where it should normally be, the continuous flow of adrenalin will eventually cause us all manner of problems, which will quite likely result in a stress-related illness. But what causes the Flight or Fight? Fear, of course, real or imagined. With the subconscious mind not being able to tell the difference between something vividly imagined and something which is real, the fear can be there within us all of the time. And it is no exaggeration to say that all of us are filled with fear. I would estimate that if even one thousandth part of the fear the average person has within was to surface, the shock would be terminal. The pain would kill us.

Most of our fears are based on faulty imaginings

So, what sort of fears are these imaginary ones? In all probability they are fears that have little basis in reality; fears that have been incurred by our own unthinking, unconsidered thoughts to circumstances which went unexamined for their authenticity years, perhaps decades earlier in our lives. Fear of not being loved, not being attended to, not being acknowledged. Then there are the imaginary fears caused by phobias, not to mention the imaginary fights, arguments which sometimes go on for days in the mind after an stimulus or triggering event which might have only taken seconds, such as a look of contempt or an intentionally emotion-provoking finger sign by a passing motorist.

Emotions don't "just go away." They stay in our mind-bodies

Even such things as these are registered as anger. The emotions aroused don’t just go away. They seep down into our unconscious and are registered there, where they continue to thrive, grow, multiply.

But let us exam these fears a bit further.

When we become upset or unhappy about anything it stems from one or another – or perhaps a continuation of – these three things:

1. Fear of not being able to get what one wants.

2. Fear of not being able to keep, hold on to, what one has, i.e. fear of loss.

3. Fear of getting something one does not want.

To put it another way: thwarted desire and being imposed upon. Being imposed upon might sound like a euphemism. Being raped is being imposed upon here. Having someone throw a spear at you, or burn your home down. Something you don’t want to happen happening. These few things: wanting, clinging, aversion, make up the abstraction of all our fears. The rest is detail. These form the matrix.

Mangroves have been retained where possible right along the  river bank and there's plenty of birdlife
Mangroves have been retained where possible right along the river bank and there's plenty of birdlife

Craving, clinging, and aversion are ego-generated

Let’s take a brief look at some of the things which can cause us upset because of fears held deep within us: Losing, or imagining losing, material possessions, losing our looks, our health, our self-esteem, our sexual prowess. Not getting: the job we want, the girl we want, the prestige we want, even the attention we want. For some, even negative attention is better than no attention at all, hence graffiti on the side of railway carriages along with a tag. Many a teenage rebel simply wants to be acknowledged. The suffering is there in all these things. It might not be obvious to us. Even grumbling about the state of the nation, about politics, about the boss or the behavior of certain trade union officials, is a sign of not being content with the way things are and of....wanting...wanting things to be different. And from whence comes all this wanting: fear. A very subtle, almost indiscernible fear of not getting what one wants because the world is the way it is.

We aren't generally aware of our being in virtually perpetual fear

We aren’t generally aware of our being in virtually perpetual fear – albeit below our conscious level of awareness – for so much of our lives. We take it as being quite normal. Criticism of a third party to a friend to make us feel superior, because we fear, ever so subtlety, that we need to build ourselves up in the eyes of our friend; win their approval. The ego-self is forever building itself up, in all manner of ways, because it realizes that deep down the whole idea of it being anything at all is built on a lie – the house built on sand knows that it can only survive by being active. That is one reason the ego hates silence and stillness so.

How’s your ego? Do you always put the radio on when alone in the house? Always need distraction? Can you sit still and just be? But I digress...

How do we get to this state where we feel we are loved?

So how do we get to this state where we feel we are loved? How do we get to the stage where we can love. We want both input and outgo. But we can only give what we’ve got. If we aren’t love then we cannot love. If love is not of us, how can we radiate it?

Fortunately we have love permeating our bodies, and minds all the time, whether we’re aware of it or not. Even the most selfish, self-centered socio-path is not completely without some sort of love within him or her, though their ego might be so ‘concretized’ (for want of a better word) that it is all but solid right throughout. Kindness, considerateness, empathy, these come from the love which IS US. Yes, is us! The essence of humans is love. The rest is what we have taken upon ourselves- created. Like static electricity, we have drawn to ourselves that which is needed to experience ourselves as living beings in a physical world, and that which is needed to interpret that world; our physical bodies, and our intellect operating through senses and a brain.

 

A stand of beautiful gum trees in a park just ten minutes walk away from my home
A stand of beautiful gum trees in a park just ten minutes walk away from my home

God is love, it is said. I say that you, at your essence, are love. So what does that make you?

Belief won’t bring you this realization. “God is Love” it is said. I say that you are God, or at least a tiny spark of God, and that you and I are made of the same indefinable substance that cannot be described, only experienced. As the Taoist’s say, Any description of the Tao is not the real Tao. You are that. We are that. We are That which cannot be described – only felt...and known...

Enjoy a tranquil mind and look around you...

The Gas Work Bridge at Parramatta is just a ten minutes walk from my home
The Gas Work Bridge at Parramatta is just a ten minutes walk from my home

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lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

Fascinating reading, Tom, and one so many of us should read. When we think of all the time and energy we waste pandering to our egos, all the unhappiness caused by this distorted sense of self. it give us pause to stop and think that none of it is real. This clamoring inside that we all live with, are driven by is nothing but a distortion of a life's worth of distorted experiences.

How much misery we heap upon ourselves in our attempts to satisfy our inner insatiable cravings.

And all so masterfully written. Thank you. Lynda

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