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Fear Workshop

Workshop 1 - July 15th, 2001

“Why does one feel afraid?”

Fear is a phenomenon of unconsciousness. It is a kind of anguish that comes from ignorance. One does not know the nature of a certain thing, does not know its effect or what will happen, does not know the consequences of one’s acts, one does not know so many things; and this ignorance brings fear. One fears what one does not know. Take a child, if it is brought before someone it does not know (I am not speaking of a child with an awakened consciousness, I am speaking of an ordinary child), - you bring it before someone it does not know, its first movement will always be one of fear. Only very rare child - and they have another consciousness - are very bold. It may also be a mixture of apprehension, a kind of instinct. When one instinctively feels that something is dangerous and hasn’t the means to remedy it, when one does not know what to do to protect himself from it, then he is afraid. There are, I believe, countless reasons for fear. But it is a movement of unconsciousness, in every case.

That which knows has no fear. That which is perfectly awake, which is fully conscious and which knows, has no fear. It is always something dark, that is afraid….

When fear comes, if one succeeds in putting upon it consciousness, knowledge, force, light, one can cure it altogether. There is indeed the Christian religion which says that fear comes of our having eaten the apple in the Garden of Eden - that with knowledge came fear; and upon earth it is always this fear which governs all life, for all human beings. Only, here again I repeat my argument that animals also have fear - animals have not sinned, haven’t eaten the apple, so they shouldn’t have any fear! It is a half-consciousness mixed with a sort of ignorant instinct which stresses a danger and at the same time does not know its remedy. But certainly, the fact is that the adverse beings, beings of the vital world who fight against the divine Work, make an extensive use of fear. It is through that that they have the strongest hold on human beings. Besides, they are not the only ones: there are also all the political and religious means which are of that type. There are religions which found their power over the believers simply through the fear of death and of what will happen thereafter, and of all catastrophes which await you after death if you do not obey blindly the laws they dictate to you.

This fear may also come from an antipathy, that is, a lack of affinity with something. Some people are especially afraid of fire, some especially fear water, others have a special fear of one animal or another. It comes from a disharmony between the vital vibrations. And then it is translated in this body-consciousness by fear. The body is a terribly unconscious thing. How one has to work to give it just a very little consciousness! It lives automatically, by habit. It is terribly unconscious.

- The Mother

CWM, Vol.6, p50-51, Questions and Answers 1954.

Most of the difficulties that people have are due to a lack of control over their actions, and their reactions to the actions of others. According to one’s own nature and weaknesses, one must set for oneself a discipline that is invariably to be followed; for example, never to quarrel, never to reply when someone says or does something unpleasant, never to argue when one disagrees.

Obviously one should never lose one’s temper when things or people are not the way one would like them to be. Naturally, if a person is not used to controlling himself, it takes a good deal of effort to acquire the habit. But this is quite indispensable if one wants to make any progress. The path is long. That is why one must have patience and an unfailing sincerity towards oneself.

In order to be able to live in peace with others, self-control is essential, and it ought to be practiced even by those who do not aspire for transformation.

- The Mother

Blessings, 12 December 1971 CWM, Vol.17, p376.

Fear and anxiety are perverse forms of will. What thou fearest and ponderest over, striking that note repeatedly in thy mind, thou helpest to bring about; for, if thy will above the surface of waking repels it, it is yet what thy mind underneath is all along willing, and the subconscious mind is mightier, wider better equipped to fulfil tan thy waking force and intellect. But the spirit is stronger than both together; from fear and hope take refuge in the grandiose calm and careless mastery of the spirit.

- Sri Aurobindo

SABCL Vol.17, p124 Thoughts and Aphorisms

“Why does one feel afraid ?”

There are three reasons. First, an excessive concern about one's security. Next, what one does not know always gives an uneasy feeling which is translated in the consciousness by fear. And above all, one doesn't have the spontaneous trust in the Divine. If you look into things sufficiently deeply, this is the true reason. There are people who do not even know that That exists, but one could tell them in other words, "You have no faith in your destiny" or "You know nothing about Grace" - anything whatever, you may put it as you like, but the root of the matter is a lack of trust. If one always had the feeling that it is the best that happens in all circumstances, one would not be afraid.

- The Mother

CWM, Vol.4, p211-212, Questions and Answers '50-51.

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