Monday, 12 November 2007

The only religion that ought to be the religion of fearlessness..

The title of this post is a quote by Swami Vivekananda and is saying much the same thing as Gandhi said. Success on the path from human to spiritual depends on many things but the most important two are courage and faith. Courage to keep going when everything is very dark and faith that the holy grail of enlightenment is achievable with courage and persistence. Enlightenment is nothing more than seeing things how they really are. In that seeing is freedom. Courage is necessary because the route to obtaining that freedom is not easy. However once the commitment has been made the help comes, of that I have no doubt.

By being fearless and acting with courage we assert the fundamental truth of the universe. This is that fear does not exist, it is made up by our ego to defend its existence. It is part of the unreal structure we made when we dissociated ourselves from spirit. Acting fearlessly proves to the universe that we have not bought into the ego's concept of fear. But liberation from fear cannot come just by saying 'I understand that fear is unreal'. Liberation from fear comes from investigating its essential nature. At the route of all fear is anger and defensiveness. Unacknowledged fear results in anger as the fear takes on an emotional charge. This emotional charge makes it more real in our world. When we can see that the fear is just a clinging to a view or an opinion frightened that it will be taken then there is no charge built up. We can see fear for what it is i.e. False Evidence Appearing Real and see through it, to be free.

Fearlessness is also connected with looking good. It is the one thing that I know stops me from being utterly fearless and out there completely liberated. I care too much about what people think. But the truth is that if I don't get over this obsession I have with looking good and do what I constantly write about which is forgetting about me I will have achieved nothing. The pull for looking good is one of the strongest traits in the design of human. It is fundamental to the structure. It takes something to be able to free oneself of this.

So today (because I am writing this in the early hours of Tuesday morning) do one act which you consider to be fearless. It might be overcoming something where you normally find yourself stopped by fear. Susan Jeffers has written a famous book called 'feel the fear and do it anyway'. This is my request to those who are reading this blog. Experience today the freedom that is on the other side of fear. Doing one thing to overcome it demonstrates more powerfully than anything the emptiness of fear. It is what we project that is causing us to be fearful. There is nothing in the inner life to be afraid of. The ego projects and separates and it is this that causes us to be fearful and distrustful...

Swami Vivekananda saw the quality of fearlessness to be so important that he suggested it as a religion. This is not a suggestion that has been made light heartedly. I know today as I walk through the park I am going to ponder on the question....what would being fearless make available to me today. What could I create if I was fearless. And then I am going to do two things that demonstrate fearlessness. This is the process that results in expansions of consciousness as the familiar the 'way it is' shifts to power......


ybr (alias ybrao a donkey) said...

If Vivekananda has so much courage, why should Vivekananda beg Ms. Mary Hale and Mr. Leggett to subscribe a few dollars to his personal maintenance fund? Why should he sacrifice a goat at his Belur Math in Nov. 1900? Does goat's blood increase spirituality and give courage?

Margaret Dempsey said...

Thank you for your comment. I decided this morning to open a page of my book of Indian wisdom quotes. The quote from Vivekananda was what came up. I have not studied this Swami at all if I am to be honest. It was the quote that attracted me not the ego personality that said it.

I think it is very important to always keep in mind that no matter how profound the spiritual/mystical experiences are that the ego personality is never truly vanquished. The tragedy is that so many so called gurus are not aware that this continues to operate albeit in more subtle ways.

I have written before that the most dangerous point on this journey from human to spiritual comes with that first experience of something that shifts the consciousness from the outer to the inner. This is such a pivotal point on the journey. The response to this determines whether one goes on to be a great, powerful and humble sage or an ego inflated guru.

It is so easy following a profound mystical/spiritual experience which is so different to anything ever experienced for the ego personality to say 'this means I am special'. This thought will result in a certain charisma especiallly in the early stages. But later on that charisma is more likely than not going to turn into abuse of power.

I have just finished watching a documentary about the mass suicide of 900 followers of Jim Jones who founded The People's Temple - Jonestown in Guyana.

The signs of ego inflation were there in him right from the beginning but the dream that he held out to people of creating a community filled with peace and love was very strong. The lure of this dream resulting in his followers abandoning all sense of reason and discernment. On this journey one must NEVER give up power to an external guru. The inner guru - yes, but to someone external, no.

The inner voice will always let you know when something is not quite right. All you have to do is to listen to it. It may not tell you why it's not right but it's enough to take a stand and not follow that particular way. I have always maintained that if something doesn't feel right then it's not right.

One thing I will say in defence of genuine teachers is that they have seen the strength of the ego personality and as a result are constantly aware and vigilant of the ego. The job of the guru is to show students how to discipline the ego for themselves. This can result in unconventional ways of teaching as the guru tries to shock the mind to shift it to another level. He/she does this by perhaps saying outrageous things or doing outrageous things. The expansion of consciousness which is necessary for spiritual awakening involves a shock of some kind to the mind.

The point of these outrageous words or actions is not the words or actions themselves but it is an invitation to the student to examine for themselves why he/she has a particular reaction to something that is said or done. On this path one of the basic learnings is that it is never the event itself that is the teaching but what we learn from our own responses to it.

So instead of projecting and judging another way might be to turn the question within and say what is this saying about myself. So in answer to your question I have no idea whether or not a goat's blood increases spirituality.

One thing I do know though is that I can't see the bigger picture. And because I can't and I trust that there is a bigger picture, I am loathe to judge it. Yes, something about it may not feel right. I will honour that feeling but I won't judge it to be wrong because to make a judgement assumes that I am in full possession of all the facts which I am not. Given this I will not judge.

I've just read again the sentence about Vivekananda asking for 'a few dollars for his personal maintenance fund'. What about considering the possibility that he did this to give these people the experience of being generous.

Generosity together with gratitude open the heart without which spiritual awakening is not possible. The heart awakes which causes the expansion of consciousness in the brain.

In all situations we have the choice as to whether or not to accept an empowering or a disempowering interpretation of things. Given that we can't know for definite that either one is true, why not choose the one that is powerful and empowering.

To be a Swami means that at some point this person is likely to have had some kind of experience which is out of the usual range of consciousness. As a result they do not view the world in the same way as you and I do. Something shifts with that experience. Authentic Swami's to me are like the men in Plato's cave who break free of their bonds and return to show others the way to freedom.

Unfortunately the ego is only too well aware of what is going on and sabotages each and every effort. It's strongest weapons are projection, separation and judgement. With these it prevents the message let alone the experience from getting through....

ybr (alias ybrao a donkey) said...

Thank you very much. I respect your opinion. But fearlessness is not easy to cultivate. As a religion, fearlessness will only end up as a "ritual" like many other qualities. This is because, the anatomy of fear is very deep. I shall quote a verse from a 7th Century Sanskrit poet Bhartrihari.

bhoogee roogabhayam kulee cyuti bhayam vittee nripaalaad bhayam
maanee dhainya bhayam balee ripu bhayam ruupee jaraaya bhayam .
s`aastree vaadibhayam guii khala bhayam kaayee kritaantaad bhayam
sarvaa vastu bhayaanvitam bhuvi nèn`aa vairaagyam eeva abhayam .31

The poet laments that entire life of a human is full of cares and fears. He lists out: 1. Enjoying leads to diseases. 2. Having a caste, gives a fear of expulsion. 3. Money may be seized by kings (21st Century: Taxation by the Govt. and searches by the I.R.S.) 4. Honor gives an apprehension of humiliation. 5. Physical strength poses danger from enemies (A strong person challenges enemies for a fight and hence danger). 6. A beautiful body and form is anxious of losing it by lurking old age. 7. Knowledge of scriptures can lead to arguments and defeats. 8. Gentle qualities have a danger of harm from wicked persons. 9. Body itself is afraid of death.
The same Bhartrihari said: "Great poets, by their works, have become great accomplishers. They have no fear of old age and death. They have a body of fame and reputation which does not perish" . My best wishes to you: I hope you will bloom into a great writer.
On this earth everything is frought with fear. Distaste and disengagement alone have a sense of assurance. 21st Century: Insurance takes care of some of these worries. Panic levels are lower? Insurance premia also cause burden and worry

Margaret Dempsey said...


Thank you for your comment about respecting my opinion. I accept that with the caveat that my opinion is simply a view I hold it is not the Truth. There is a fine line between respecting an opinion for what it is i.e. a view and believing that opinion to be True.

You have gone to a lot of trouble researching your comment to me which i appreciate. I was a little confused as to how 'fearlessness could lead to a ritual'. Fearlessness is about being unpredictable, being unstoppable for a cause one is passionate about. I am passionate about the shift of the consciousness of humanity from the human to the spiritual kingdom therfore I am working to be fearless around this. I cannot see a point at which this fearlessness would become a ritual.

I think it all comes down to self-vigilance. Without self-vigilance it is so easy to go off track. I agree totally that the 'anatomy of fear is very deep'. It is a weapon of the ego to ensure separation and isolation from its source. At the root of all fear is the nagging feeling that there is 'something else'.

In one post I gave the story from the Sufi tradition of a black dog who is extremely thirsty. He goes to the well and peering in sees what he thinks is another dog. The fear of the 'other' is so much that the dog doesn't drink. Eventually the thirst becomes too much and the dog jumps into the well whereupon the other dog disappears.

The human condition is exactly the same as that dog. We sense that there is something else and we are afraid. Yet, if we have the courage to look within we find that the 'something other' is nothing more than the source from where we came. Yes, courage is needed but the thing we think we need the courage for is loving and benevolent.

The English translation of the Sanskrit verse is interesting. I have read it a number of times. I come back again to the fact that all writers write from their own perspective, from the opinions they hold. The emergence of the spiritual consciousness will involve each person finding his/her own way without depending on what has gone before.

It is important to consult all of these sources and to verify one's own experiences (not thoughts!) in the light of these experiences but ultimately no two of us have the same DNA therfore no two of us have the exact same spiritual path.

Finally thank you for your wishes for me to 'bloom into a great writer'. I particularly liked the word 'bloom' because it offers potential. If my writing inspires one person to get take on for themselves the three components necessary for the consciousness to shift, I will have more than fulfilled my purpose in this world.