April 19, 2014
Fear Is Not Real
“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand, danger is very real, but fear is a choice.”
–from Cypher Raige in the movie “After Earth”–
I was asked recently what lesson, or idea seems to keep coming up for me–one I haven’t mastered or moved through or achieved as yet. I didn’t have to think very long or very hard.
“Fear,” I said.
I know I am not alone in this one. Most of the human population is radiating a frequency of fear.
The way I learn best is through story. I am so grateful to the great storytellers who are making it possible for us to wake up from our deep slumbers and take back our lives. The Wachowski’s The Matrix… that one comes to mind over and over as I observe the world around me–too many people still choosing the illusions that allow them to dream their lives away asleep; others waking up with a Roar, spitting out the amniotic fluids that held them in suspended animation.
J.K. Rowling’s Boggarts from the world of the Harry Potter series are a favorite of mine, as are her Dementors, both such rich examples of how our own thoughts and beliefs, our perception of reality, creates how we experience reality. Boggarts are strange little creatures, harmless except for their ability to morph into what we most fear–and gain more substance and power in direct proportion to the intensity of our fear. If we believe it is real, it is. If we believe it is not, if we disengage from it, it suddenly disappears and returns to it’s state of unformed potentiality. Dementors on the other hand have form and substance and sustain themselves by feeding on the emotional energy of humans–in particular the positive energy of joy and happiness. Similarly, our own negative thoughts can become so real, and gather so much energy, that they can completely drain away any sense of happiness, peace, joy, and hope even though in truth, these are accessible to us–we simply begin to believe they are not, and therefore, they are not.
The other day I watched the movie After Earth starring Will Smith as Cypher Raige and his son Jaden Smith as Cypher’s son, Kitai. The movie did not get good reviews, so I wasn’t expecting it to offer much. Once again I wonder at the lack of insight of so many of our loud-mouthed reviewers. It may not be the movie of the year, but it is a lovely little gem. As one more discerning reviewer noted: “This movie is a fable. Fables teach.”
There are a number of ideas woven into the story, but the predominant one is about Cypher’s quote above…that fear is not real. The monster in the movie is an Ursa, a blind predator that can only track its human prey by smelling the pheromones humans give off when they are afraid. The only way a human will be able to escape or defeat an Ursa once its found him is if he is successful in disengaging from his fear. Once again, I see deeper than the monster raging about the screen and the terrified young man scrambling to save his life…and I see the toxic creations in my own life sculpted from the clay of my own fearful beliefs.
It reminds me of a Native American story I read of how it is that the “medicine” (life energy) of Rabbit became Fear… In some Native American traditions Rabbit became known as the Fear Caller. …He goes out and shouts, “Eagle, I am so afraid of you.” If Eagle doesn’t hear him, Rabbit calls louder, “Eagle, stay away from me! Do you hear me? Don’t eat me! Eagle, do you hear? I’m talkin’ to you, Eagle!” Eagle, now hearing Rabbit, comes and eats him. Rabbit calls bobcats, wolves, coyotes, and even snakes until they come. We can learn from the rabbit that if we are always afraid of something then we may draw/create the very experience we are afraid of into our lives. Fear sends out a certain vibrational energy that may attract the very thing we fear. Fearful thoughts reproduce (like rabbits) and manifest what we fear.
In the movie Cypher tells his son the story of how he became fearless and therefore inaccessible to the Ursas. “We are all telling ourselves a story and that day mine changed.” I too am changing my story. Boggarts, I laugh at your ridiculous charade. Be gone. Dementors, the one energy that is toxic to you is the energy of pure love: and so I practice becoming Grace; I practice love. Ursus…well, isn’t it strange, I have become invisible to you. I am free.
And the Lady climbed upon the back of her Tiger and they ran upon the land, and they ran upon the clouds, and they ran all the way to the Stars…