I expressed my views on fighting fear to a list where one person spoke strongly in favor of fear.
In “A Course In Miracles,” (ACIM) human motivations are simplifed to two. We either act from love or from fear. We act from love when we open up and do the right thing, regardless of the consequences, and we act from fear when we close up, and our ego tries to avoid loss or separation with attack or manipulation.
In ACIM, every moment is an opportunity for learning, and miracles occur when we transcend fear to approach situations with love rather than fear.
While I wouldn’t suggest judging “A Course In Miracles” from my tiny summary, I do know that love and fear are important to me. That is why it is so important to me to speak against fear whenever I can, rather than to play into the easy and imprisoning fear that can cripple people.
The two primary lessons from death are:
1) We are vulnerable people and we have to do everything we can to wall ourselves off from that which might hurt us
2) Death is invitable, so we better grab all the living we can while we are here.
The first, of course, is a lesson from fear, and the second is a lesson from love. Fear may tell us to lock kids in their room to try to keep them safe, while love might tell us to tell them we love them every morning, and then send them out to find & express their own love in this world, their own desire, their own possibilities, their own greatness.
We live in a society that venerates fear. That’s why, while I think we have to acknowledge and learn from death, it is so important that I fight that fear whenever I can. I know that this opens me up to those who those who believe the lessons are about fear and not love, about crucifixion and not resurrection. For many, fear is comfort, removing personal responsibility for acting with love and connection in the world, allowing blame to be placed on them, the evil ones, who are out to separate us in every moment.
To embrace the concept that in the end, our strength comes out of our defenselessness, that our power comes out of our openness & vulnerability, is not easy in a world where people have created fear to keep us small. But how do we take real power without connecting with others on a deep & intimate level?
When fear requires we believe that there is secret knowledge of oppression that keeps us small, that others are killing us, than that fear becomes consuming. And consuming fear keeps our love hidden, which in turn allows people to claim that we are not love, we are something to be feared.
I know that to be love, to be in love, to be loved, I have to come from love and not fear. And if I want people like me to be seen as lovable, well then I have to walk unafraid and show that we can come from love.
That’s way hard when people want to act out of their own fear against people like me, against me.
But is there any other choice?