An interesting esoteric principle is that all fears are irrational. Most people resist this idea even before it is explained. This makes the belief a perfect candidate for examination here. Imagine the fears of a child, he imagines that all of the slices of chocolate birthday cake will be gone before he gets one.
These ideas appear to cause him much consternation and worry. Yet what is it that actually causes the discomfort, the lack of cake? No, it is the worry about the idea that spawns the initial pain. If the fears actually materialize, new ones replace the old to create new agitations.
Let us develop our example. The little boy at the birthday party sees cake and wants a slice. His taste buds salivate at the thought of its creamy luscious frosting crossing their domain. A little belly behind his navel rumbles with desire to knead buttery sponge dough. Mmmm.
Yet the physical reality intrudes on this reverie. Children pile in front of him like a mass of suckling babies trying to reach their mother. Hopes of satiation evaporate as quickly as the vision of delight. The young warrior tries to cross the throng of bodies between him and his prey.
It seems hopeless, plate after plate fall before the onslaught of the hungry. Frustration and anger bitter the flavor of his once sweet thoughts. He lashes out with elbows, knees and a lowered forehead. All of a sudden his head butts against something solid. It must be the table, cake is at hand!
Nope, it is only the meaty thigh of the evil overseers. Those large matronly women designed to dash any boy’s thought of fun or fulfillment. He no longer fosters fears of lost cake, but anguished lamentations about spankings and chastisement-internment in a POW camp for an army of boys, also known as “Timeout.”
What happened to the fear of lost chocolate? The little man replaced it with the horrors and tortures of punishment. Were they rational? Well, one might say that he feared the loss of cake and did not get it. Thus, they were justified. What purpose did they fulfill, did they get him the cake, did they deny him the cake?
They certainly did not gain him his quarry, the cake surrendered to others. Most philosophers would argue that the time spend upon worrying denied him the composure to execute winning tactics, in plain terms, he wasted time worrying instead of “warrioring.” This may or may not be true. What is certain, is that worrying did waste his time.
Whether you gain what you desire or not, fears only immobilize. It is normal to have feelings and concerns. Growing them into fears only encourages them to fester like cancer. A wise way to deal with these feelings involves examining them for root causes. When I fear not getting cake, am I really fearing starvation? Of course not.
I fear losing the invented attachment to an idea of fulfillment. Ironically, I was not empty or in danger of wasting away as withered wraith. My psyche invented a need for cake and a fear of not getting it. This emotional fulfillment is the true obsession in all stories of loss. Regardless, the solution does not mean to deny one’s self all desires per se, as many spiritualists claim.
What it does mean, is to recognize and allow emotions to play upon one’s internal screen as dancers silhouettes against the backdrop of canvas called life. Then, one can feel and experience without risking the self-fulfilling prophecies; creating one’s one worst nightmares.
Our enlightened child experiences extremely similar experiences to the unenlightened one. Yet instead of developing the nightmare while others chase the dream, he develops his own dream. Then he confidently executes his strategy. Whether he gets the cake or not avoids the key point, just as he avoids the agitation and ill health that results from a fear based mentality.