Fear Is Our Greatest Evil
Fear is our greatest enemy in life. It is worst than sin. St John in his epistle says that where there is fear there is no love, and where there is love there is no fear. This profound comment is not referring to the totality of our existence. All of us carry fears, even while we are dwelling in and with love. In the area within us where fear dwells, there is no unconditional love.
When we develop as little children, we learn quickly that certain actions and attitudes on our part will bring gratifying or disgratifying responses. When a child wants something, it puts on a sweet disposition. This 'putting on' is a projection of a self, a persona, that is not really they.
In adolescence teenagers continue the process. They will talk like their peers; will dress like them; will act like them. It is not easy for a teenage to be truly themselves. Their life at this stage of development consists in pretending to be someone they are not. Their need to be accepted by their ‘world’ forces them to project themselves as another persona, a cool persona.
In adulthood, the same attitude continues. Adults put on ‘airs,’ so to speak, when they relate to people, talking to others in a way that they can always be ‘one up’ on them. The way the body is carried; the make-up that is used; the clothes that are worn. The latest car must be purchased; must live in a certain subdivision; go to the ‘in’ church, and be on first name basis with those in authority, be they at work, government, church or the wealthy. If the adult is poor in reality, they need to ride in a cab to go shopping. They need to be tough and demand their rights to aid.
The common thread in all this from childhood to being elderly is the projection of a self, a persona as it is called, that does not exist, except in the imagination. A tremendous amount of energy is put into projecting this false self. The energy is forced up from the gut and shoved out through the face, the mouth. And the energy must be maintained in its ejection mode as long as one is in the environment that calls for it. One cannot face the possibility of being seen by others as they really are.
When midlife is reached, many begin to experience blood pressure problems caused by this projection. The blood is not allowed to flow normally to the upper part of the body. It is forced up by the energy needed to project and maintain the false appearance of self. The need to control one's 'output' of what is seen and heard by others causes a constriction of the veins, and the need to project a false self pushes blood against the constriction. The result is high blood pressure.
So many of us are caught in this bind because of fear. We fear rejection. We fear being hurt. We fear being not loved. We fear not being wanted and needed. It is these fears that take control of our actions so that our conscious self will not suffer rejection along with its possible varieties. It is fear that kicks in the response of projecting a false persona when we enter an environment that is uncertain. We find ourselves unable to act differently. We are not free.
The lack of freedom extends also to love. We are unaware that true love is difficult for us to give. Our actions, that seem to be loving, are more manipulative than unconditional. Any loving action that flows from a need to project ourselves as a loving persona is far more manipulative love than true love. A manipulative love is not a lasting love. It is one that will eventually burn out, given enough time.
The manipulative aspect, enfleshed in what is real love, will eventually burn up the real love within the person like a virus in a healthy cell. Such can be the case with many people involved in social, medical and religious work. Such can be the cause underlying many divorces.
Jesus said, "The truth will set you free." He is right. It will. When we are eventually able to see and recognize the projected persona, and, then, face and embrace the fear of being rejected, we will be set free. The truth of which He spoke is being just who I am. No projections. That is wonderful freedom. We are no longer controlled or pushed by our fears, especially the basic fear of all, the fear of rejection, the fear that pushes us into committing sin.
The healing process is simple. First, let us we open to see our projections, and then slowly the desire to begin embracing them, one by one. It is essential to embrace them because it is love that heals. "Love destroys fear," says St John. In other words, it is the beginning to love ourselves, to accept ourselves humbly as we are. Humility and Love.
It is worth whatever hard work it takes to acquire this freedom. It will bring many moments of sweat. But the freedom is worth every part of it. This is one of the fruits of walking a spiritual path, a path that will lead one into finding, knowing and humbly loving their true inner self.
Another joy present here is the finding of Jesus, our Heavenly Father, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within in a way never dreamed of as possible. "God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him," says St John.
This letting go of our projections brings us into our ‘second’
life on earth. "For unless the grain of wheat die it cannot produce
life." It is this life-death-life experience that is written about and
shared on all of these web pages. May you too be blessed as we.