Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No Fear

No Fear

When useful insights come, seemingly out of my own creativity, there is a sense of satisfaction and amazement about it. I feel glad and fortunate to have something to say.

But often this doesn’t happen. Sometimes there are insights that seem too shocking or disturbing or personal to express.

I look for refuge then, in the words of antiquity, in the timeless wisdom from which so many have drawn hope through the centuries.

Today the Tao Te Ching says,

“Whoever can see through all fear will always be safe.”

These present times are especially difficult and may have a particular timeliness, but they not unprecedented or unique. Pick up any history book or Holy Scripture and it is obvious that suffering – both catastrophic and indigenous – has been a fact of earthly life since records have been kept.

People have sought safety in many ways. This striving for security is behind the drive for worldly success, for money and possessions. Yet they never know when any or all of it may suddenly disappear.

There is a constant fear in the unexamined or unenlightened life, a looking for safety in a realm that is inherently changeable, mutable and impermanent. And yet were we “intended” to live in fear?

The holy words say no. There are 148 verses in the Bible that say FEAR NOT, from the Old to the New Testaments. The one I like best is from Luke 12:32:

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Zen Master Seng-ts’an said,

The great Way is not difficult
if you don’t cling to good and bad.
Let go of your preferences:
and everything will be perfectly clear

If there is no good or bad in one’s life, if all is acceptable as a gift and teaching, what is there to fear?


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  2. I love this! Thank you! Such perfect timing.