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Fears

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by arshdeep88, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. arshdeep88

    arshdeep88 India
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    Sat Sri Akal to all respected members
    hope you all are in progressive state. :happymunda::mundahug:

    The Human mind has number of fears in the mind which stops him from moving fearlessly in the world ahead.With time it becomes habit of living in such fears.
    These fears can be anything from fear of failures,fear of rejection,fear of society ,fear of death etc and many more which one may experience in his/her life time.
    Fear is just like a negative hurdle which stops us from being our true selves and i believe it exists in everybody's mind its just some move ahead with courage and faith on their journey which differentiates them from others who are not able to.
    i know once how crossing the road few days back one day i feared being moved on to death by passing cars,it was strange and new to me as never before i felt such as all my life i have crossed many more busy roads ,though later on it made me realize only that our time is limited in the world so it should be utilized in the best possible way.

    What are your personal views on the fears in one's life and i would like to know how Gurbani asks us to live fearlessly in our journey and how by gurbani we can move ahead by eliminating such fears.
    All the views of the members will be much appreciated

    Thank You
     
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    #1 arshdeep88, Aug 2, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    arshdeep ji

    This is a wonderful topic. I would like to start by stating that fear is an innate response and therefore completely normal. By fear we attain the sensory and mental level of awareness to anticipate danger and to decide what to do about it : flee or fight.

    If you open the boot of your truck and see a couple of green snakes, breaking out in a sweat is a healthy response - particularly if you live in an area where there are many poisonous snakes.

    Fear is a problem when it is aimed in irrational ways - at situations where there is no objective danger. Fear under many of life's circumstances is not only normal but healthy - an inbred response that suits us up to deal with danger.

    Gurbani is telling us to conquer a different kind of fear, fear that stands in the way of doing what is morally right.

    Fear of tyrants makes a lot of sense if they hold all the high cards.

    Fear of standing in opposition to tyrants, fear of doing the right thing, lives in the mind. That is where fear needs to be conquered, and courage found.

    It is always annoying to me when someone goes off on a mission of personal discovery describing how they achieved a high spiritual level where fear exists no more. I am always skeptical. Rather I turn to lessons in fearlessness from the Gurus, in particular Guru Arjan dev, who had everything to be afraid of, but who was nonetheless courageous, because he had conquered the place where fear resides - The Mind.
     
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    #2 spnadmin, Aug 2, 2013
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  4. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    ਸਿਰੀਰਾਗੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥
    Sirīrāg mėhlā 1.
    Siree Raag, First Mehl:
    ਭਲੀ ਸਰੀ ਜਿ ਉਬਰੀ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੁਈ ਘਰਾਹੁ ॥
    Bẖalī sarī jė ubrī ha▫umai mu▫ī gẖarāhu.
    It all worked out-I was saved, and the egotism within my heart was subdued.

    ਦੂਤ ਲਗੇ ਫਿਰਿ ਚਾਕਰੀ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਵੇਸਾਹੁ ॥
    Ḏūṯ lage fir cẖākrī saṯgur kā vesāhu.
    The evil energies have been made to serve me, since I placed my faith in the True Guru

    ਕਲਪ ਤਿਆਗੀ ਬਾਦਿ ਹੈ ਸਚਾ ਵੇਪਰਵਾਹੁ ॥੧॥
    Kalap ṯi▫āgī bāḏ hai sacẖā veparvāhu. ||1||
    I have renounced my useless schemes, by the Grace of the True, Carefree Lord. ||1||

    ਮਨ ਰੇ ਸਚੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਭਉ ਜਾਇ ॥
    Man re sacẖ milai bẖa▫o jā▫e.
    O mind, meeting with the True One, fear departs.

    ਭੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਕਿਉ ਥੀਐ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
    Bẖai bin nirbẖa▫o ki▫o thī▫ai gurmukẖ sabaḏ samā▫e. ||1|| rahā▫o.
    Without the Fear of God, how can anyone become fearless? Become Gurmukh, and immerse yourself in the Shabad. ||1||Pause||
    35|

    Egotism may be the root of fear. And Mind its dwelling place. That is something I am going to think about. When fear is irrational and when it stops us from achieving some level of moral courage, is that because we are afraid to take the risks that will put our Self-Esteem in jeopardy. We are afraid to lose something. Mind tells Ego, "you" might lose something. You might lose respectability, social status, personal control, power, identity, reputation in the eyes of others, our wealth, our sense of emotional safety, our domestic peace. Mind tricks Ego into making a deal with Maya, because respectability, status, reputation, material security, emotional safety, control: are these not mental concoctions anyway? Are they useless schemes?

    Fear of losing these things is a poor substitute for fear of forgetting, and therefore losing, the One who is fearless.

    So perhaps the only fearless place is in the house of the satguru. Maybe it also takes time to reach that place, therefore we should give ourselves time to get there. And perhaps we find in turning our faces to satguruji, being Gurmukh/face to the Guru, we find our moral courage.

    These are my questions.
     
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    #3 spnadmin, Aug 2, 2013
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  5. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    The rahao verse sums it all up. One has to go through fear in order to overcome it. Once that happens, then Nirbhau sows its seeds within with the help of Guru Shabad.

    Spnadmin ji: Thanks for posting the Shabad.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  6. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Tejwant ji

    I believe that both Western psychology and Eastern philosophy miss that very point you have made. Western psychology says fight your fears through rational thought, rid yourself of the plague of fear. Eastern philosophy says cleanse yourself of the evils, and you will proceed to a state were fear is irrelevant. In the shabad, Guru Nanak says you will make the evils your servants.

    Both east and west are preaching a kind of escapism. Guru Nanak's message is different: understand that in awe of the Satguru you will cure yourself of any delusions and clever tricks of mind (reason or cleansings).

    In awe of the Satguru immerse yourself in His bani,
    and to quote you "the seeds of nirbhao will be planted" and you will find courage.

     
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    #5 spnadmin, Aug 2, 2013
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  7. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    Fear is too often associated with weakness. The fear of standing up to tyrant implies that we somehow feel weak in this encounter.
    But we should feel weak with respect to God only and as in the rahao line below-
    This weakness should be expressed with a fear for God.

    ਭੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਕਿਉ ਥੀਐ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
    Bẖai bin nirbẖa▫o ki▫o thī▫ai gurmukẖ sabaḏ samā▫e. ||1|| rahā▫o.
    Without the Fear of God, how can anyone become fearless? Become Gurmukh, and immerse yourself in the Shabad. ||1||Pause||
    35|

    I don't see this fear as in 'He watches over us' or 'He knows ALL',
    but I see this fear as me being the weaker one and he obviously The Almighty.
     
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  8. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    My greatest fear is probably -failure.
    Failing to be a good father,failing to be a good husband, failing to be helpful, failing to be of non conditional benefit to others.
    Failing to succeed, failing to achieve and most importantly failing to be true Sikh.
    I think I do have concerns about the effect of me and my actions to all those around me more than what the personal benefits may be.
    Although this fear is like a weakness, it somehow seems to have more power in controlling my mind compared to any strengths I may have in my character.
     
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  9. findingmyway

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    That's a very powerful thought. Thank you.

    Fear itself is not to be feared, but understood....
     
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  10. angrisha

    angrisha
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    Fear is defiantly an interesting topic....

    Fear for me, whenever it does arise is always a moment where I have to see actually what is actually driving that fear. More often than not, what we are afraid doesn't really exist in this present moment. Sometimes it our past that creeps up and causes it, sometimes its something in the future that were thinking of losing.... so I often find my mind will make up fear.

    That being said, I think it defiantly serves as a place of contemplation and learning. For me currently, where this tends to come into play is full faith. In the sense that, no matter what happens it is in accordance with what the universal plan is for me. So, if you can truly surrender yourself to "GOD" then there really is nothing to fear.

    The question becomes with fear, you can actually convince yourself that, whatever you are mentally afraid of is real right now. What happens then we actually have a physiological response (anxiety) to something that isnt even actually occurring at the moment, but our bodies cannot tell the different it will react the same way. Anytime, fear arises I think the important question to get to is, what is this here to teach me? There is a reason why your experiencing it, and finding out what it is, is important.



    This is an interesting thought, I havent associated fear with Ego in a while. I wonder, what about in situations where where there is no loss of social status, money etc. but your afraid because of an experience of an similar situation you had in the past and how that had turned out? (for example: Trauma? when someones gone through something traumatic and they're faced with a similar set of circumstances... or trigger situations) I wonder if that is still considered ego, because your judging it to be the same as before? Ego is an complex term as well, so I think ill have to consider this a bit further.



    I think Gurbani repeatedly tells us this, to turn ourselves to sat guruji and what we fear will be erased. You are absolutely right that we need to give it time, sometimes I find we'll only come into understanding when we are ready to receive the lesson fully. For me, I know personally this idea of complete faith is something that has come up repeatedly over the past few months. It is definitely something to be cultivated to live in that state that where your completely joined with sat guruji 100% of the time. For me, what trips me up is my Ego- things not happening quick enough so patience as been a big lesson for me lately, and giving up the idea that I'm in control.


    Question: How do you overcome fear in such away that it actually is put to rest? I think so many times ppl (including myself) may just forget/ignore a fear until were faced with it again... so even when a fear isn't present it is still there... so what do you propose is the best way to deal with fear when it arises to not have it come up again?
     
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  11. chazSingh

    chazSingh Ireland
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    Some good replies...

    My View...

    Mool Manter describes our True Nature...our true being...

    Whilst we are immersed in Maya we experience fear, because we are experiencing seperateness from God...created by the mind/Ego.

    God exists in the present moment...not in thoughts about the past or thoughts of the future....just here and now..

    My fear of the future, of people, events, is slowly melting away the more i experience God within myself...

    Once you know God is within you, what's to fear? Once you know god is also within everyone else,...whats to fear?
    Once you know you live forever and you (your consiosness, your soul..the real you) never dies, whats to fear...

    I Don;t buy this "fear is helpful"....all my life fear has been a road block...it has never helped me in anything...and on all occasions it removes my focus on the present and the current situation i find myself in...But i'm glad i've experienced Fear...because only going through fear can one overcome it and return to their true nature and be aware of their true state....fearless.
     
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  12. dalsingh1zero1

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    I find fear is very domain specific across individuals. So people can be fearless in certain types of situations which make others crumble and apprehensive in another which many people would feel no way about. The whole subject of how this variance comes about is a fascinating one.


    I think the worse fears can come from repeated negative experiences (especially in ones developmental years), and seem to leave some deep psychological 'trace'. Exactly like operant conditioning when I think about it.

    Sometimes being suddenly (and usually unwillingly) thrown into situations that scare us a few times has a positive effect of making us suddenly realise it isn't so bad after all and that we'll survive.

    Other times we need a more slower, gradual approach to face up to certain fears. It's too traumatic to do in the previously mentioned way. You might need your hand held in other words.

    I've had a tendency to relate certain aspects of Gurbani in psychological terms (rightly or wrongly?) and feel that at least some of those references to overcoming our own fears refer to a 'cognitive shift' brought about by deep meditation.

    I'm not sure if the experience is universal, but when I first started meditating/simran, I found that amongst the kaleidoscope and clutter of thoughts that rose to the fore of my consciousness (uninvited) where some of my deepest, suppressed fears. I can say that at least some of these don't scare me like they did now.

    But I still have a long way to go. If I'm honest with myself I know certain things block me. With grace I hope to confront as many of these things as I can within this lifetime.

    On a related note. Once whilst discussing the topic of our 'psyche' a Sikh brother posited the idea that they exist as a combination of our life experiences and as 'residue' from previous forms of existences. I found this notion fascinating, though I know not everyone believes in the idea of reincarnation on the forum.

    Sorry, I just 'expressed' without any structure here. Hope it makes sense.
     
    #11 dalsingh1zero1, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
  13. angrisha

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    Dalsingh JI, Thank you for your thought provoking post

    This thought might take this thread off topic.... You often hear ppl say they have an irrational fear of water, an they aren't sure why, someone will undoubtedly respond "maybe you drown in your past life"... I think in our culture weather it be superstition or something that we believe this idea of past life and fear definitely is present. I have a difficult time separating reincarnation and karma, so im going to speak on karma first (Also im not sure how fear an karma might play in together?).

    I havent really made up my mind about this because I believe that there is place beyond Karma. And Gurbani actually speaks of this (difference between Karm Khand and Sach Khand)... So when you mentioned past life, it got me thinking that fear actually resides in this world of duality.... because where there's fear there's also lack of fear, so ultimately there a place of being in the center where neither side is pulling at you. Thus, past life experiences or karma are also irrelevant if you can reach the center of duality.

    Im not really sure what point im trying to make, but its just a thought...
     
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  14. chazSingh

    chazSingh Ireland
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    great post :)

    i'm 100% certain we can transcend the barriers of the mind and go beyond fear, anger, revenge, anxiety etc etc
     
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  15. dalsingh1zero1

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    I think I get what you're saying Angrisha.

    I also think that in Sikhi grace (nadar) overrides karma.
     
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    #14 dalsingh1zero1, Aug 8, 2013
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