Saturday, November 12, 2005

Fear is death

When I think about fear, it seems like a kind of death, an everyday death that we put ourselves through.

If I fall into the trance of fear, and the #1 trance for me, I know this by now, is fear over letting others in and revealing all of myself.

I've learned that that could bring rejection -- or at least I've talked myself into believing that.

So, an 'everyday death' for me means cutting myself off from others, and myself.

It feels cold and there are no options. No light.

Life, on the other hand, means letting that light in...and accepting myself (both at peace and in turmoil...regardless of how I feel at the moment). It means accepting others, too, just the way they are.

Recently, I had a revelation about fear...and death...and something that's always been a stumbling block of sorts for me.

It's like this: I have to confess, I've always had a bit of trouble understanding the whole rationale for Jesus' presence here on earth. I've been taught that he died for our sins; to open the gates of heaven.

I guess that's always been hard for me to understand. It's such a big concept, and rather fanciful at that. Maybe I need to follow a more tangible thought process.

Well, I think I've found it.

Try this one on for size:

Maybe Christ showed us how to die to ourselves -- that is, let go of our fears and let God take them on...to completely wrench our hearts from fear and open them far enough so that we can accept and trust God. His way.

Perhaps He wanted to teach us how to die to the self (our learned fears, prejuidices) and accept and trust God, the spirit, the universe -- whatever.

Death on the cross is the ultimate trust in God. Death is the ultimate fear...and he confronted that, and accepted it...and overcame it...to gain everlasting life.

And maybe, when we shed fear, we gain everlasting life. We catch a glimpse of that life with God...through compassion for ourselves and others. Our connection with the divine.

I'll have to think about this for a while.

2 comments:

Jeff Pioquinto,SJ said...

i'm reviewing heidegger now in my philosophy class and incidentally it was about death. death according to him is an existential indubitable. it will lead us to "dasein," to the realization of our existence. when we accept death as part of "dasein" we become true to ourselves and it's everybody's responsibility to be true to oneself. just my reflection. thanks

Buddy said...

Fascinating point of view. I see some truth in that, too. When we can view death as part of life, or, perhaps a new phase of another kind of life, we can drop the fear of death, and get on with the business of living -- being present for this collection of moments (whatever they bring). Thanks for your wonderful insights, Jeff!