Fear is the Mechanism, the Shadow, and the Key

Sep 11, 2018
Fear is the Mechanism, the Shadow, and the Key


I recently had a three-day retreat alone in the woods and experienced deep fear within myself rising to the surface. I felt as though the land was assisting with this release in a rather mysterious way.

I have not experienced fear like this in a very long time. It was as if I had reverted to a time before I started meditating thirty years ago. A time when I was constantly questioning myself and my worth. I walked an anxiety tightrope that would not let up.

I learned to function in spite of this gripping fear. It was not paralyzing but agonizing. From walking on stage as a professional musician to meeting new friends to making my life work, there was always subterranean fear.

At that stage, most of the fear was based in false future scenarios playing out in my head.  These are the thought loops with which we all struggle and some suffer much more than others. Insecurity abounds and so everything about ourselves and our place in the world is put into question.

Trust is an elusive commodity.

We play out future scenarios and regret past situations ad nauseam, rolling them around in the rock tumbler of evaluation and scrutiny. Eventually, scenarios are playing out that have no basis in reality. In these cases, we are so far from the present that it takes true effort in a very specialized form to pull us back to reality.

In the Gurdjieff Work, much of this is called Inner Considering. Everything is based on us, how the world might see us and if we are doing anything right by those standards. It makes us regret the past and dread the future, living most of the time in our heads. We create unbelievable stories and “narratives” and because we are so identified with these thoughts, we are affected in deep ways.

This means unmanageable anxiety, reactions of deep fear and anger, and/or outrageous self-loathing. Conversely, we compensate with a false sense of self in the form of narcissism and self-importance. Both are two sides of the same coin.

If we don’t recognize fear for what it is…a mechanical reaction to the unknown, we may never find our way to what truly lies beneath all this inner considering and identification with thought.

Let the fear lead you to what is really bothering you by staying present with it in a way that is rather inaccessible at first. With time, learning the tools to experience it will reveal what is actually fueling it.

We each have our work to do regarding fear and what truly lies behind it. The daily small fears camouflage our deeper chief feature, the root cause that we are trying to unearth, see, and feel. These span the spectrum of inherent insecurities like not being enough, not being included, not being loved, not being accepted, and many more.

No matter which aspect it may be, we still must see it in a new way that sheds light on the illusion that it is. We then see how it influences our actions and leaves us devoid of true choice. We see how it colors our world and keeps us small, powerless, depressed and disconnected from one another, from nature, and from our own divinity. When we see in this way, we heal, we don’t bypass, and we remember our wholeness.

My weekend revealed things I fear on a deep level. The subsequent vision quest weekend with the Awareness School simply reinforced that we all suffer from this. The new property offered so many ways to see it, from working on the land to sitting in nature, to campfire discussions and of course our ever striving to uncover what is actually going on within us.

The bravest thing we can do is to be with and acknowledge our fear in order to understand more fully what it means.

Remembrance knows love in all its forms and we are part of that love. When we remember, we remember our connection to each other and allow love to stream in. We remember our wholeness in a way that does not need to be defined by others. We realize that the unknown reveals itself as life happens and is not frightening at all.

We see that our greatest fear is love.

Learning to trust life and what comes our way is our work.

Have a great week,



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