In my early years of college-sobriety, fear was always in my path and created many challenges.
One difficult day, I had an amazing experience when taking a very hard statistics test. I was concentrating on doing well. Fighting the fear of failing the test…when my mind just froze. Of course, I didn’t do well on the test and walked out of the class in tears.
I’ll never forget it. I was on College Avenue in New Brunswick, wandering around and I happened to see my Labor Relations teacher.
In his class, I had always been the conservative business management student arguing with him, taking the side of management against his labor union tilts. Obviously my ego was at work in his class.
On the day of my statistics test meltdown, he saw me in distress, and put his arm around me, calmed me, and quoted a passage from the bible:
“Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest in your souls.” —Matthew 11:28
His kindness on College Ave made me feel like I was with my mother; The God Whisperer herself.
He really understood me. I had told him of my drinking problem and my fear of failing. He shared that he also had stopped drinking a long time ago.
I truly believe that this was a case of the hand of God touching me at a time when I needed it most, the intervention of Grace.
Often, I think of this moment. I could have quit being sober, right then and there, and gone to the student center for pitchers of beer. But, I believe this professor was like a guardian angel sent to me at a very important time in my life.
Telling this story helps me examine the next piece in our spiritual transformation series…
The transcendence of fear and moving into the mysticism of fearlessness.
Jesus said, “He who seeks, let him not cease seeking until he finds; and when he finds he will be troubled, and when he is troubled he will be amazed, and he will reign over the All” – The Gospel of Thomas logion #2
Mysticism is popularly known as becoming one with God or the Absolute. It may also refer to the attainment of insight in ultimate or hidden truths. Gnosis to the Christians and becoming a jnani (knowing) to the Hindus.
Those who are mystics very well may have experienced a human transformation and liberation of all attachment to this life including the loss of the fear of death.
This is the proverbial dying to the self. They play the game and dance to the music but know they are not the one doing the dancing. The divine is living them and they begin to see the world and others from the inside out not from the outside in.
The words of the master teacher of truth “Jesus”, best represented in the gospel of Thomas point to this reality. According to Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas, only someone who has freed himself of the world of shadows can truly be liberated from fear. Let’s take a look at another logion #22.
Jesus saw some infants who were being suckled. He said to his disciples: These infants being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom. They said to him: If we then become children, shall we enter the kingdom? Jesus said to them: When you make the two one, and when you make the inside as the outside, and the outside as the inside, and the upper as the lower, and when you make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male is not male and the female not female, and when you make eyes in place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then shall you enter [the kingdom].
Entering the Kingdom of heaven is the peace that passes all understanding within one’s consciousness. It is a new birth or better yet it’s the end returning to the beginning. The alpha and the omega. Doing away with the illusion of birth and death. It is returning to God. Oneness, atonement or Jnani Yoga are other words to point to this. This is the truth that Jesus understood.
Jesus knew fear was like crying in a movie theater being frightened by the images on the screen. The movie seems real but to a closer look there are actors playing characters.Further more there is light hitting images and creating shadows on the white movie screen.
Even the great Albert Einstein spoke of it when he said “reality is an illusion albeit a persistent one”
So bring the big faith without knowing all the answers and watch love carry you through fear. And bring the prayers and meditation too.
“I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” —Matthew 17:20
Like a Life-Giving Sun
“You could become a great horseman
And help to free yourself and this world Though only if you and prayer become Sweet Lovers.
It is a naive man who thinks we are not Engaged in a fierce battle,
For I see and hear brave foot soldiers
All around me going mad,
Falling on the ground in excruciating pain. You could become a victorious horseman And carry your heart through this world Like a life-giving sun
Though only if you and God become
Sweet Lovers.” —Hafiz
This is the joy of knowing what we are in true reality. As St Francis said “That which is being sought is the seeker himself”
Yes, the great mystery is solved, God is really living us in a paradoxical game of hide and go seek.
Why would anyone be afraid with that realization? But to over come fear, God must be sought in earnest.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Jesus in the Bible Revelation 3:20)
But let’s arrive at a place where the words credited merely to Jesus become the words pointing to God, and no certain content need be added.
Take as an example a song by George Harrison (the former great Beatles guitarist)
MY SWEET LORD (1970)
Many people thought he was coming from a Christian angle. But listen to the words in the back chorus:” Hare Krishna,”
Krishna is the name for one Hindu God from the Bhagavad Gita. This song expressed an amazing feeling of spiritual experience. Everyone still loves it. To George, the words were equal: Christ or Krishna and the words used nor its content was of near importance as to the spiritual feeling it provoked.
This is where we want to take our own spiritual awareness and practices.
As Rumi’s great poem says, “I want to sing like birds sing, not worrying about who is listening or what they think.”
- Within every one of us is the spark of the divine
- Within every one of us is the seed of salvation and liberation
- The virgin birth is what happens inside of you when you realize who and what you really are
MANTRA: Find a quiet place and repeat this mantra to yourself:
- Even though I may have gotten angry or fell into fear over _____
- I deeply and completely love and respect myself.