Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Being free of fear


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Thu, 30 Apr 2020 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Being free of fear

I thought it might be appropriate to start a new thread at this point.

idiot ? wrote:
Clive: I would like to suggest that to be free from fear does not imply that fear is absent in you - it means there is freedom from that fear.

Id: Yes, that is a great point that didn't occur to me. Very interesting and a different way to consider the matter.

It is indeed. And the same goes for all the fundamental movements of the mind, suffering, envy, jealousy, the very movements of the self.

And this comes to me: if I am 'the world' – and I really feel this to be true, I really observe this to be so – what does it mean to be 'free' of fear, or free of anything? These things are there, they are in the world, they are part of human consciousness, and that human consciousness makes “me”. I think even K, when he was anything, was part of human consciousness. So how can one be free of fear or any part of that consciousness, when one has one's very being in it? I am using using the word 'free' to mean it is not present, it is absent, it has been abolished.

We cannot push it aside. The things of consciousness (and let us remember that k said consciousness IS its content) arise spontaneously, unbidden. It seems to me that there is absolutely nothing one can do to stop or influence that process. Surely one cannot make fear 'absent', do away with it? It is there.

If one accepts this as the true state of affairs, what can one do about fear? And K talked endlessly about fear, what a terrible thing it is, what a dreadful shadow it casts over the mind. And do we not all feel that? Fear makes cowards of us all, it makes us shrink away. And perhaps most importantly, it makes us afraid to face what is.

Weinneger says about K in the extract that I presented:

I realised that he was able to drop the fear. He allowed himself to experience the fear fully and then let it go. Most of us don't do that, we stay with the fears instead of letting it go. This is what he means when he says, “I have no fear”.

And we all know that K talked about letting fear FLOWER. To my knowledge, K has never, in any circumstances, advocated any form of resistance, and mental battling. And apart from talking about the terrors of fear, he has also described it, as we all know, as “this precious jewel”, to be looked at, examined. Admired even?

Do we do this? I have a friend who suffers dreadfully from fear, and apparently he has done so much of his life. When someone seeks help with deep suffering, what is one to tell them? Because of the way we have been bought up, the way we have been conditioned, it seems strange, even callous to say: “suffer”. Do not resit that suffering, make no effort to try to overcome it. Let it be. Or even, let it grow, let it flourish, let it flower. To many people that would be the way of madness. And yet we see, with the common approach, of resistance, fear continues. There is no “freedom from fear” that way. That at least is clear.

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Fri, 01 May 2020 #2
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 117 posts in this forum Online

Definetely, fear prevents clear thinking and actions based on fear obviously are not OK.

I had the impression K was imune to psychological fear. But I think one has to understand what is a psychological fear.

If I get nervous when I am about to enter a stage to give a talk to one hundred people, I might get scared. I think this is not psychological fear. This is a normal feeling, specially if one is shy.

Whereas if I get scared on the day before, then this is psychological fear.

So the matter, I think, is to get free of psychological fear.

So first we have to define what is psychological fear.

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Fri, 01 May 2020 #3
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
So first we have to define what is psychological fear.

I think this is a good point, Jose. I have been realising more and more that one cannot draw a neat line between the physical and the psychological. Very rarely is an issue purely physical. if we get cancer we are unlikely to see it as a purely physical problem, are we? Our bank account is rarely just a means of supplying us with just the necessities of life.

Fear and the pursuit of pleasure entwine their tendrils around every aspect of our life.

But we were investigating "being free of fear", were we not? And although it is interesting to read of K's state of fear, and it might bring some re-assessment, we really need to be concerned with 'our own fear', do we not. At least what we call "our own".

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
actions based on fear obviously are not OK.

But taking this attitude conditions our approach right from the start. it suggests and continues the usual approach of resisting fear, trying to overcome it, suppressing it, limiting it, hiding it, trying to control it. And are not all these movements a continuation of fear?

Probably all these movements have been going on for thousands of years - and yet fear is still with us. Is there not a completely different approach?

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Sat, 02 May 2020 #4
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1856 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
So first we have to define what is psychological fear.

It is a 'disturbance' that is recognized by the brain as something that has occurred before. It calls it, 'fear'. There is a reaction to the feeling and a movement to move away from it, get rid of it, to try to stop being frightened etc,..but if you move away from it, it will return...so stop and look,... what is it, this 'fear'? It's images isn't it? Images of danger, of disaster, of embarrassment, of humiliation, of loss, of vulnerability, of sorrow, of exposure, of loneliness, etc.

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Sat, 02 May 2020 #5
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3477 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
It's images isn't it? Images of danger, of disaster, of embarrassment, of humiliation, of loss, of vulnerability, of sorrow, of exposure, of loneliness, etc.

Based upon memory...past experiences.

Let it Be

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Sat, 02 May 2020 #6
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3477 posts in this forum Offline

I found this one very helpful...’The Idea of Fear’: https://youtu.be/n47jdXJ2Xaw

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 02 May 2020.

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Sat, 02 May 2020 #7
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3477 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
stop and look,... what is it, this 'fear'? It's images isn't it? Images of danger, of disaster, of embarrassment, of humiliation, of loss, of vulnerability, of sorrow, of exposure, of loneliness, etc.

And there's the fear itself. It's often quite a strong feeling. Our image of THAT prevents learning. It's based upon our conditioning to the word fear itself, isn't it? Why do we have an opinion about the feeling itself...beliefs...judgments? We don't really know what it is...only what we've been conditioned to believe about it. It's second hand...the conditioning.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 02 May 2020.

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Sat, 02 May 2020 #8
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
It's images isn't it? Images of danger, of disaster, of embarrassment, of humiliation, of loss, of vulnerability, of sorrow, of exposure, of loneliness, etc.

Yes, and those images are always of the future, of course. I think this is an important thing to grasp. Fear is always of what might be, never what is. The image one is afraid of is always in the future, no matter if it is 10 years down the track, or the next second.

And - here is the remarkable thing - if the image becomes reality, if the thing one is afraid of actually happens, then there is no sense of fear. There is merely what is. At least this is my experience.

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Sun, 03 May 2020 #9
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1856 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Yes, and those images are always of the future, of course. I think this is an important thing to grasp. Fear is always of what might be, never what is. The image one is afraid of is always in the future, no matter if it is 10 years down the track, or the next second.

Yes.

Clive Elwell wrote:
And - here is the remarkable thing - if the image becomes reality, if the thing one is afraid of actually happens, then there is no sense of fear. There is merely what is. At least this is my experience.

Yes and then you deal with it in whatever way possible. The 'image' is always just that, an image. The actuality is always different. The brain tries to 'for-see' what might happen in order to protect itself against pain and suffering and the for-seeing is 'fear'..."will it come to pass?"

It's all part of this 'reality' that each of us create. And 'I' am at the center. 'I' am the center. But the whole thing is false isn't it? We aren't this 'center' around which everything happens. The 'center', the 'me' is just a part of it. We all 'have' them. A duality where I am separate from what happens, but perhaps, in actuality, 'I' am what happens as 'you' are what happens...there is no psychological separation, you are the world.

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Sun, 03 May 2020 #10
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 117 posts in this forum Online

Clive Elwell wrote:
But taking this attitude conditions our approach right from the start. it suggests and continues the usual approach of resisting fear, trying to overcome it, suppressing it, limiting it, hiding it, trying to control it. And are not all these movements a continuation of fear?

Hi Clive, I am not sure about this. I can see that decisons based on fear are not clear. I can simply observe the effects of fear.

Trying to overcome it is a different step.

I think this is very subtle.

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Sun, 03 May 2020 #11
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 117 posts in this forum Online

Dan McDermott wrote:
Yes and then you deal with it in whatever way possible. The 'image' is always just that, an image. The actuality is always different. The brain tries to 'for-see' what might happen in order to protect itself against pain and suffering and the for-seeing is 'fear'..."will it come to pass?"

It's all part of this 'reality' that each of us create. And 'I' am at the center. 'I' am the center. But the whole thing is false isn't it? We aren't this 'center' around which everything happens. The 'center', the 'me' is just a part of it. We all 'have' them. A duality where I am separate from what happens, but perhaps, in actuality, 'I' am what happens as 'you' are what happens...there is no psychological separation, you are the world.

Hi Dan! All this is very logical but for some reason it does not solve the problem, fear is still there.

Why?

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Sun, 03 May 2020 #12
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1856 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
it does not solve the problem, fear is still there.

Thought/image is 'fear'. They are not separate. As long as thought desires to be 'rid' of the disturbance it recognizes and labels as 'fear', there will be a resistance to it, some action taken against it. That is the conflict: I am frightened and I want to not be frightened"...As long as the cause/image of fear/pleasure is not seen clearly, immediately, it must 'play out'. In our ignorance, we welcome 'pleasure' and attempt to avoid 'fear'.

So the 'problem' is solved , it seems to me, not by some method to avoid fear yet keep pleasure... but to see how the whole 'thing' works in me. The image-making process. Fear is a terrible thing but the 'old' approach to dealing with it is not the answer, is it?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sun, 03 May 2020.

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Mon, 04 May 2020 #13
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
Trying to overcome it is a different step.

But aren't you trying to overcome it?

The QOTD has something very relevant here:

So the mere search for the solution of your problems is not going to free the mind from creating further problems.

In particular, the mere search for a particular solution to a particular fear is not going to free the mind from the whole problem of fear, is it?

The quote continues:

As long as this centre of self-protectiveness, born of insufficiency, exists, there must be disturbances, tremendous sorrow and pain; and you cannot free the mind of sorrow by disciplining it not to be insufficient. That is, you cannot discipline yourself, or be influenced by conditions and environment, in order not to be shallow. You say to yourself, "I am shallow; I recognize the fact, and how am I going to get rid of it?" I say, do not seek to get rid of it, which is merely a process of substitution, but become conscious, become aware of what is causing this insufficiency. You cannot compel it; you cannot force it; it cannot be influenced by an ideal, by a fear, by the pursuit of enjoyment and powers. You can find out the cause of insufficiency only through awareness. That is, by looking into environment and piercing into its significance there will be revealed the cunning subtleties of self-protection

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Mon, 04 May 2020 #14
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
All this is very logical but for some reason it does not solve the problem, fear is still there. Why?

Jose, May I remind about something I said in #1 of this thread:

I would like to suggest that to be free from fear does not imply that fear is absent in you - it means there is freedom from that fear.

So perhaps the issue is not whether fear is still there or not, but whether you are free of it or not.

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Mon, 04 May 2020 #15
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Jose, you might look at #27 on the "negative approach" thread

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Mon, 04 May 2020 #16
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 117 posts in this forum Online

Clive Elwell wrote:
So perhaps the issue is not whether fear is still there or not, but whether you are free of it or not.

I am not free of fear. On the contrary, it plays a major role in my life.

I understand what you, Dan and Tom said. It makes sense. This is what really happens. But it seems to be useless to know that.

I once decided to look at fear with curiosity, actually I did not want it to go away because I wanted to observe it. Then, it vanished like magic. But never hapenned again.

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Mon, 04 May 2020 #17
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 117 posts in this forum Online

Clive Elwell wrote:
Jose, you might look at #27 on the "negative approach" thread

Okay. I will have a look there!

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Mon, 04 May 2020 #18
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 117 posts in this forum Online

Dan McDermott wrote:
Thought/image is 'fear'. They are not separate.

Dan, can you really see that?

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Mon, 04 May 2020 #19
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1856 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
I once decided to look at fear with curiosity, actually I did not want it to go away because I wanted to observe it.

Maybe the answer lies there. When the 'disturbance' is present, we are that disturbance, aren't we? There's no separation.We want it to end. We aren't talking about being chased by a lion, that is 'real' fear,,,ancient, primordial fear. The disturbance we're looking at here is in the mind. It is an image. The image is creating the disturbance. Is the image of me making a fool of myself on stage, say, is that the disturbance, the 'fear'? Why does such an image appear? Why not an image of me being magnificent? What is wrong with 'failure'? What rebels against the image of me failing so strongly that it 'has me in this grip'?...

As you say you "once wanted to look at it', but was that 'you' or was that 'thought'... 'thinking' that became aware of what it was doing...mechanically, automatically? It's been said that 'thought' is the only 'player' here and only it can cease its own activity. We are conditioned to deal with the disturbances by escape, substitution, rationalization etc. but it's all a movement of thought. And when thought realizes that, it can with 'intelligence', cease to create the disturbance or at least, the ensuing reactions to it, one of which it has labeled 'fear'.

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Mon, 04 May 2020 #20
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3477 posts in this forum Offline

"Thought is time and it is time that creates fear." https://youtu.be/K5E9gS4RZOo

Let it Be

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Mon, 04 May 2020 #21
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
I once decided to look at fear with curiosity, actually I did not want it to go away because I wanted to observe it. Then, it vanished like magic. But never hapenned again.

Jose, you say that you once decided to look at fear with curiosity, and this had a powerful action. What do you feel is stopping you doing that again?

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Mon, 04 May 2020 #22
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Maybe the answer lies there. When the 'disturbance' is present, we are that disturbance, aren't we? There's no separation.We want it to end

The question was posed, “How to be free of fear”. There are a great many “negative things” in the mind, aren't there, apart from fear? All the pain and suffering, the great conflict, the regrets, the frustrations …...... We might just as well ask how to free of all these things.

Practically, this question is usually translated as “What can I do about these problems?” Then we think about the question, rack our brains, maybe read books about it, share the question with other perhaps, or not finding an answer, despair about it. But I am enquiring if as soon as we ask such a question, we have taken a wrong turn? That this is a wrong response, and will lead nowhere?

I am wondering if all varieties of “what can I do about it” are based on a wrong assumption. That assumption being that the I that tries to do something about a problem is somehow different from the problem. And that this “I” is capable of solving the problem, it has the capacity to do so, even if that capability is hidden from us at the moment.

But the usual response to problems of the mind is to 'do something about' them. Doesn't that require some sort of entity separate from the problem? A friend has been arguing with me that this is not so. Is it? It seems to me we need to ask if there IS such an entity, that's the first step necessary, isn't it? Because if there is isn't, we are wasting our time. No?

So as soon as fear appears, we separate ourselves from it. There is the experience-er of fear, and fear itself, or appears to be. This is what the mind does, and from this separation, it appears that we can do something about fear.

But is this the case?

How do things look if this step of separation is no taken? Which implies, does it not, that fear is not named as fear?

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Tue, 05 May 2020 #23
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3477 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But the usual response to problems of the mind is to 'do something about' them. Doesn't that require some sort of entity separate from the problem? A friend has been arguing with me that this is not so. Is it? It seems to me we need to ask if there IS such an entity, that's the first step necessary, isn't it? Because if there is isn't, we are wasting our time. No?

Our thoughts about fear separate us from the fear...from the problem. The ‘entity’ is thought, no? There is no actual entity apart from thought, But are the thoughts about the fear separate from the fear? Is that what you’re getting at? Or are they the cause of fear? Trying to solve it perpetuates it it seems to me. I need to look more closely at the issue. I’m not totally clear about this.

Let it Be

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Tue, 05 May 2020 #24
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1856 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
How do things look if this step of separation is not taken? Which implies, does it not, that fear is not named as fear?

Isn't that it? The naming of it brings in the past memories. That is when it's seen/felt as 'fear'. So what, if you are going to be 'exposed', 'humiliated', seen to be a 'hypocrite', a 'liar', a 'thief', an 'adulterer' A this or that...etc. Why is that of any concern? Why should any of that create 'fear'?...It can only do that if there is a resistance. A resistance to 'what happens'. Where does the resistance come from? What is the resistance trying to 'protect'? To hide? Do we consider ourselves to be the 'things' that we are desperately trying to hide from view? Things that happened but don't 'conform' to the image of ourselves that we would like to project?

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Tue, 05 May 2020 #25
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 117 posts in this forum Online

Clive Elwell wrote:
Jose, you say that you once decided to look at fear with curiosity, and this had a powerful action. What do you feel is stopping you doing that again?

Clive, this is the one million dollar question!

I can say that K was right: look at fear and it will disappear.

What is stopping me doing it again is very simple: I want to get rid of fear. It is impossible to look at anything with curiosity if I want to get rid of it.

Why in that particular occasion I did not want to get rid of fear? I do not know. This is why I cannot repeat it just because I want it.

I think we cannot figure out what brings about such a state of the mind. Maybe we can only approach what prevents that state. That is exactly your question.

So I put the question to myself and all friends here: why do we want to get rid of fear?

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Tue, 05 May 2020 #26
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1856 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
why do we want to get rid of fear?

Do we want to "get rid" of 'our' fear or do we want to get rid of all psychological fear in the world?

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Tue, 05 May 2020 #27
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3477 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:

why do we want to get rid of fear?

Do we want to "get rid" of 'our' fear or do we want to get rid of all psychological fear in the world?

At the moment when I'm afraid I'm worried about 'me', not the whole of humanity, right? I'm totally self centered at that moment. I'm frightened for my safety or my very survival. Or perhaps I'm frightened because I'll be shamed or ridiculed or something like that. But it's all about 'me' isnn't it?

Let it Be

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Tue, 05 May 2020 #28
Thumb_avatar Manfred Kritzler Germany 111 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto:
So I put the question to myself and all friends here: why do we want to get rid of fear?
———-
Manfred:
I think there is nor real answer to this question?

You want to get rid of fear is that what is. To be aware of it is everything you can do.

To try not to get rid of fear is a movement away from that what is. No?

Be a light to yourself means for me to observe what is and not what should be.

This post was last updated by Manfred Kritzler Tue, 05 May 2020.

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Tue, 05 May 2020 #29
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 117 posts in this forum Online

Tom Paine wrote:
At the moment when I'm afraid I'm worried about 'me', not the whole of humanity, right? I'm totally self centered at that moment. I'm frightened for my safety or my very survival. Or perhaps I'm frightened because I'll be shamed or ridiculed or something like that. But it's all about 'me' isnn't it?

Yes, it is all about me. That's my experience.

But when I managed to really observe fear, I was not worried about me or the whole of humanity. I was just concerned about observing fear.

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Tue, 05 May 2020 #30
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 117 posts in this forum Online

The real challenge on fear is when you are faced with a very deep fear. Something that may occur and will "destroy" your life. For instance, you are going to loose all your money, friends and live on the streets forever.

This is only possible, I think, if "it does not matter" as K said.

"It does not matter" is a fundamental state to get rid of all fears, I think.

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