I could be afraid of so many things, but I’m afraid of being afraid, so I rarely am afraid. I am afraid to be depressed, so I never get depressed. Roosevelt, the president during the depression, said: “The only thing to fear, is fear itself.” Yes, this is what I believe. When I was young I tried to confront my fears one by one, in an effort to remove them all, seeing that they were finite. When I was 27 and a half I experienced 3 weeks with no fears. This means no unreasonable fears. I still didn’t walk in front of oncoming cars, because that would have been suicide. It was a high point in my life. Also, during this time, when I looked into someone’s eyes, compassion leaped from within with no effort whatsoever on my part. I saw their fears and anxieties in their eyes and my reaction was automatic.
I had a surrealistic experience that took me out of that “illuminated state”, which was meeting someone who seemed like the devil incarnate and fear entered for the first time, and the spell was shattered forever. I didn’t ever expect to meet a “devil”. I didn’t even believe in such things, but it seemed like this particular person was the devil himself and I didn’t know what to do, to run, or to hug him. That is a whole other story.
Tonight I had a sense of fear because I have so much to lose, if the community, Shambhalabamba doesn’t work out. Everything seems to be fine, but I don’t always know on some level, what is really happening, simply because my spanish is still problematic. I have difficulty understanding spanish and spanish is the primary language of our community. Consequently, I miss a lot of the nuances that are occurring amongst the inhabitants here. So while things may seem to be very tranquil and smooth, it is quite possible for me to not be aware of all that is going on between people here. It seems that we rarely have conflicts and that no one hardly ever, ever speaks aggressively to another. And when I become aware of some “problem” between people here, it can be a shock.
I am just so amazed how I can maintain my equilibrium so consistently with so many things to be afraid of. In this way, I think I’m pretty tough, but I wonder how less tough people, women for example, single women, manage from day to day. There was a woman here recently traveling with her baby with almost no money coming in, constantly seeking employment, but not really finding anything. Consequently, she left. She must have a lot of courage to live like that, traveling on her own with that kind of responsibility. Its incredible when you think about it. Yet, I hardly thought about it when she was here.
Its easy to miss nuances even when people are speaking english, my mother tongue. I like to think that I am somewhat of an “aware” person, but really I guess I’m not, maybe compared to you, I am, but I am hardly aware of how much I miss. How much just flies right by me, without me noticing. It could be huge, like all the plastic that is floating in the ocean, which normally is totally beyond my awareness. Or it could be subtle like an inviting look an attractive woman gives me that I don’t notice, or a tear that unexpectedly appears on someone’s face that I am addressing and I’m so caught up in my words, that I don’t respond to it. Realizing this, it seems that I could easily do or not do something and be incredibly foolish due to my lack of awareness at that moment and not even know that.
I could have fears of this being the case. Rather, I should have fears of this being the case. But I am afraid of fear, so I will just go on my merry way, oblivious as usual probably. You can imagine, with this kind of thinking, everything seems kind of shaky. As a man, I need to be more solid. I don’t want to have any fears. I want to be manly, which can also mean being fearlessly honest, which I hope I am being right now. I might not be being super solid and grounded like a man is supposed to be, but being fearlessly honest is worth something I should hope as well as being comfortable with the uncertainty that goes with being alive.