Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
A Quiet Space | moderated by Clive Elwell

Can fear actually, really end in me?


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Tue, 05 Nov 2019 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Offline

Can fear actually, really, end in me?

I use the phrase ‘actually, really’, meaning I don’t just want to talk about fear, analyse fear, describe fear, but it feels a burning issue in my life to see if fear can actually end.

Yesterday I realised that I wasn’t doing something – saying something to a friend – because I was frightened of the consequences. It was only a small thing, the consequences was that the friend might become annoyed, offended, and his manner to me might change for a while. So “for a quiet life” I had been keeping quiet about something. It seemed a small affair, like the “white lies” we are sometimes drawn to, to avoid possible upset, or hurt. But still I saw there was real fear acting in me. And I saw that there was a whole web of fears in me, as part of daily life. They actually permeate relationships.

So as an experiment I took the plunge, and spoke the truth. I informed the friend by text, and waited for the reaction. The fear felt was much greater than expected, it affected the whole body, there was even nausea felt. But the ‘experiment with fear’ had become more important than any actual, particular issue, and I was determined to continue.

So I ‘let fear run’, or as K might have put it, allowed fear to flower. And flower it did. It spread beyond any particular fear, I saw how the mind is a whole web of fears, and how much they dominated my life. How much they determined the course of my life. And I began to see that there can be do freedom while there is fear. There can be no peace, no well-being.

I saw – and I feel now -that there is fear involved in the very idea, the prospect, of giving up fear. And I see why this is – behind fear lies attachment and desire. To be free of fear means letting go all that I am attached to. And that is an enormous thing.

It seems to me that there is no positive action that I can take to get rid of fear. As K says in the QOTD:

as fear cannot free itself through any means, for all its efforts spring from its own source, there must be the cessation of all intellectual safeguards.

But what can be done is to let fear ‘tell its story’, reveal itself. This implies complete honesty with myself – which in itself is a frightening prospect.

I am interested to hear other people’s ‘take’ on this. As a real issue in their lives

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Wed, 06 Nov 2019 #2
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2813 posts in this forum Offline

To be free of fear means letting go all that I am attached to. And that is an enormous thing.

You can’t do that! You are that. So we can’t tackle fear head on as you seem to be trying to do. I think that only strengthens it.

It’s only images and ideas we’re attached to....nothing real.

Let it Be

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Thu, 07 Nov 2019 #3
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
You can’t do that! You are that. So we can’t tackle fear head on as you seem to be trying to do. I think that only strengthens it.

No, for me, the issue is not 'tackling it' as you say, but do I feel the depth, the significance, the horror of fear? For a short while, before writing the first mail above, as I described, I did. I felt it powerfully, intensely. Even, as I said, to the extent of nausea. And since then I have had flashes, short periods, of becoming aware of it again with similar intensity. I KNOW that I can do nothing about it, but that is not the point, The point is to feel it, to feels its presence, its vastness, with an intensity from which there is no escape. it is a major part of my life! In fact, this very intensity may act, may have its action. But as soon as I start to think in terms of “If I can feel fear intensely then I may be able to go beyond it”, then the intensity is not there – there is only cunning thought.

I find something similar in watching the news. I can watch it fairly calmly, thinking “same old stuff”, or the like, make a few condemnatory comments, turn it off ang onto something else – or I can watch it and see the real horror of it, I can feel in my body, in my heart, to the depth of my feelings . I can feel aghast that we live in such a world. I can be shaken to the core. And then I start to ask what is my responsibility to all that is going on in the world, then I can desperately search for right action. And sometimes this does actually happen.

It came to me very strongly recently, that the reason we are not changing, fundamentally, is simply that we do not feel strongly enough. We do not actually SEE – with all of our being as K puts it - the catastrophe that we are. We do not feel our lack of love, our insensitivity, the callousness of being concerned with oneself when the world is collapsing all around us. We do not see the enormity of the self in us – not as a theory, but see as an actuality. Basically, we are asleep.

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Thu, 07 Nov 2019 #4
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2813 posts in this forum Offline

I can watch it and see the real horror of it, I can feel in my body, in my heart, to the depth of my feelings

Watching the news lately I feel that way....the overwhelming horror of the way man lives. Listening to Trump on the news almost literally makes me sick....the obvious mental pathology of his total narcissism....his madness...and knowing that the GOP is willfully ignoring this in order to keep his tax cuts...and to stay in power with the support of his rabid followers.

Let it Be

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Fri, 08 Nov 2019 #5
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2813 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I KNOW that I can do nothing about it, but that is not the point, The point is to feel it, to feels its presence, its vastness, with an intensity from which there is no escape. it is a major part of my life! In fact, this very intensity may act, may have its action

Here’s an interesting QOTD Clive...perhaps you might find it touches on your question about fear. I must admit I don’t understand him totally. What does he mean by being ‘integrally aware’?

Ommen Camp, Holland | 3rd Public Talk 4th August, 1937

As long as there is want, all experience further conditions thought and emotion, thus continuing conflict.

Where there is want, experience cannot be complete, thus strengthening resistance. A belief, the result of want, is a conditioning force; experience based on any belief is limiting, however wide and large it may be.

Whatever effort the mind makes to break down its own vicious circle of ignorance must further aid the continuance of ignorance. If one does not understand the whole process of ignorance, and merely makes an effort to get rid of it, thought is still acting within the circle of ignorance.

So what is one to do, discerning that whatever action, whatever effort one makes only strengthens ignorance? The very desire to break through the circle of ignorance is still part of ignorance. Then what is one to do?

Now, is this an all-important, vital question to you? If it is, then you will see that there is no direct, positive answer. For positive answers can only bring about further effort, which but strengthens the process of ignorance. So there is only a negative approach, which is to be integrally aware of the process of fear or ignorance. This awareness is not an effort to overcome, to destroy or to find a substitute, but is a stillness of neither acceptance nor denial, an integral quietness of no choice. This awareness breaks the circle of ignorance from within, as it were, without strengthening it.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 08 Nov 2019.

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Fri, 08 Nov 2019 #6
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:

It came to me very strongly recently, that the reason we are not changing, fundamentally, is simply that we do not feel strongly enough.

From QOTD:

Krishnamurti: You do not see the cobra, you do not see that you are on the edge of a precipice. Is that the trouble? Why do you not see it? Are not all writers, historians, etc., shouting that the end of the world is near? Yet, are you not enclosing yourselves in ideas like 'reincarnation', 'the Masters are looking after us', etc., and therefore are you not blind to the world and to your relationship with others? You, therefore, say "these are inevitable but everything will be alright soon or sometime later on".

Yes, we are buffeting ourselves in ideas, in images, we build a world of knowledge around ourselves. So we are never vulnerable to "the horror of how man lives", as you put it Tom.

From a recent QOTD:

Each one has to become aware of the process of ignorance, the illusions that one has created. Intellect cannot lead you out of this present chaos, confusion and suffering. Reason must exhaust itself, not by retreating, but through integral comprehension and love of life. When reason no longer has the capacity to protect you, through explanations, escapes, logical conclusions, then when there is complete vulnerability, utter nakedness of your whole being, there is the flame of love. Truth alone can free each one from the sorrow and confusion of ignorance. Truth is not the end of experience it is life itself. It is not of tomorrow, it is of no time. It is not a result, an achievement, but the cessation of fear, want.

But I feel I am falling into the trap that I described in my first post:

I use the phrase ‘actually, really’, meaning I don’t just want to talk about fear, analyse fear, describe fear, but it feels a burning issue in my life to see if fear can actually end.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Fri, 08 Nov 2019.

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