Fear lives within you. It breeds in the warmth of your flesh and feeds on your spirit. Fear is the real original sin. It perverts your true perception.
The truth is: your world is a marvelous miracle of interconnection and unification. Observe nature and you will know that this is so. Every seemingly separate aspect of nature forms powerful interdependent relationships. That unity is the essence of nature’s success and it can be the essence of your success. If you desire to master your life then, you must accept that you are part of nature, and subject to its mechanics and laws.
But fear wants none of this. Fear’s strength lies in its ability to separate. It positions itself–and you–outside of this unified field of relationship-based all-encompassing thinking. Fear wants you to think about life in linear fashion: this then that; he then she; us then them; I then you. Even reading the words fear generates is stressful, because it just isn’t true; it isn’t natural.
What is Fear?
Fear is a chameleon; it adopts the shape of all the walls, separations and boundaries that you create. Fear is the absence of unity (some would substitute the word love for unity).
Fear is also an impostor. It poses as our protector, supposedly guarding us from the consequences of moving too far, too fast, beyond our comfort zone or ability.
In some ways this is a good thing. After all, linear thinking and compartmentalization are the models of organization. With these skills we can effectively juggle and order our lives. Fear is also the natural caution we use to gather ourselves to properly meet a challenge.
Fear can be a problem though when we allow it to extend too deeply into our lives. There are areas of life where we should not be separating things and putting them into neat boxes. Our spirituality, or consciousness development, is one of those. When we begin drawing lines and compartmentalizing where we shouldn’t, we move further down that line toward fear. Our perception of truth does not thrive in a box.
To reach the destiny that is encoded in our DNA, we must pass through our fear into many levels of awareness and understanding. These levels are secured by the gates of fear.
I call them gates because they feel like that. They stop you dead in your tracks, you must find the key to move forward, and once you do you are in a new and expanded space.
How to Recognize the Gates of Fear
You will recognize your personal gates of fear when you feel:
- Stasis: a sense of stagnation; that you can move no further; that a force equal to your desires opposes you.
- Constriction: feeling a withdrawal in your gut; an urge to pull back in spite of your aspirations.
- Separation: an overwhelming drive to separate all of your experiences and relationships into categories and classifications.
- Bigotry or resistance: stubbornly refusing to be tolerant or accepting of anything other than what you are accustomed to, or have previously believed in.
- Violence: the urge to inflict physical, emotional, or psychic pain upon yourself or others.
We approach these gates of fear every day in average ways, but we also come up against them in subtle ways.
In deep meditation for instance, we often feel ourselves at these gates. Our natural instinct is to withdraw into the comfort of whatever bliss we may have experienced just prior — but life is about change — and if we withdraw, the only change we’ll experience is backward. Nothing in life stands still.
We must move beyond our fear, through these gates, if we are to expand into our destiny.
What Lies Beyond the Gates?
You will know that you have passed through one of the gates of fear when you feel:
- Movement: a progressive development of ideas and action in your life that enthuses you.
- Expansion: the rush and flood of your awareness as it spreads out like a blanket onto your life, or within your meditation, leading you to greater clarity and power.
- Unity: a knowing that you are connected in a fundamental way; seeing the relationships between diverse peoples, processes, and concepts, in a manner that allows you to understand and gain wisdom.
- Acceptance: being more observant than judgemental in your relationship to people, ideas, and life itself.
- Compassion: a powerful empathy with others; a desire to ease their pain because you feel in your heart that they are an extension of you. The old saying “there but for the grace of God go I” is meaningful to you.
We come up against these gates daily, and we can also pass through them daily. Sometimes it is just a minor gate — a minor fear that we overcome — but in these small passages we can gain major ground, a bit at a time. Soon enough we will find ourselves at the major gates that will allow access to our infinite potential for happiness and success.
One more thing: there are gifts for those that successfully pass these major gates. These gifts are ideally suited to the nature of the person acquiring them. Truth chooses them for you, and they remain yours as long as you choose truth.
How to Pass Through the Gates of Fear
Most of the doing in moving past fear is in the desire to do so, and in knowing fear when you encounter it. We’ve talked about that above and there is not much more to add.
I will say though, that for anyone who meditates or engages in a mind-body practice such as Tai Chi, Chi Gung, or Yoga, it is vital to always return to the basics. The power of meditation and mind body disciplines is in the basic tenets of practice. Revitalize these basics often, to ensure that the foundation you build upon is solid and that your direction is true.
There are so many good books available on esoteric disciplines, I’m reluctant to name my preferences, as everyone responds differently. A few stand out though as quality sources of information for beginners. They are:
- The Three Pillars Of Zen by Roshi Philip Kapleau. This book offers a great introduction to meditation using solid techniques.
- Energetic Tai Chi Chuan by Larry Johnson. Though not really a beginners book, it provides the necessary groundwork and emphasis on proper energetic development; something sadly lacking in most Tai Chi Classes.
- Kundalini Yoga for the West by Swami Sivananda Radha. While I do not follow the path of Kundalini Yoga, I have enjoyed this book and I see that it would be a wonderful primer for anyone interested in Yoga, at any level.
I’ll also point you to a couple articles. The first, Little Buddha Walking is a fun meditative exercise that teaches the basic mental principals of meditation without the formality of sitting practice. And the second, Tai Chi Classes: Should You Sign Up? is my introduction to Tai Chi.
The absolute best way then to pass through the gates of fear is: be keenly aware of these gates, know that moving through your fears will lead you beyond them to expanded awareness, and most importantly, develop the skills required in your discipline of choice — be it Meditation or whatever else suits you.
Over to you now!