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Fear leads our actions far much more than what we would like to admit. We will run in a direction, with all our might, because of fear. BUT, did we mean to go in that direction? Or perhaps we should have managed better our reaction because we are running in the wrong direction? Is our fear reasonable or is it half reality half imagination? What is behind our fear? Fear is one of the two driving forces of our lives, the other is Love. 
 
But we are here to talk about fear. 
In yoga philosophy, Patanjali, the philosophical father of all yogas, clearly states that the 5 reasons for suffering are: ignorance, ego, attachment, aversion, and fear of death. All spiritual paths refer in one way or another to fear of death as one of the things to overcome. Let us then dive into what does this fear represents. 

The fear of death represents the fear of the unknown, the fear of uncertainty, and the fear of facing the consequences for our actions. This is, in short, the essence of all our fears. 

 

The unknown. 

Life is by definition unknown. Every day is a new day regardless of what we have lived, regardless of the former day. The new day is brand new for the 8-year-old kid or for the old man of 71. Basically this means we naturally face the unknown daily. What is our problem then with it? Why don’t we get better at facing the unknown? I believe that what lays behind it is our imagination. No one has expressed it better than Seneca: “We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality”. Our fear to the unknown is ignited and boosted in so many ways by our imagination. So, can we take a moment, sit with our fears and determine which ones are real, and act upon and which ones are in our imagination and just let them go? It is also of the Stoics school of thought; of which Seneca is one of the most relevant thinkers, that we can even melt down better this fear management process to: is it under your control, then do something; is not under your control, forget about it. 

I believe that if we take the time to revise our relationship with the unknown, realize that much of our fears are just “monsters beneath our beds” and we can separate what we can and what we cant control, then we would make peace in many ways with this crucial aspect of our lives. I invite you to check: Tim Ferris Ted Talk is priceless regarding this: Why you should define your fears instead of your goals.
 
And now, the second element behind the fear of death, Facing the consequences for our actions. 

We are all trying to be good, but also, we all know that we are not so good. Face it, is liberating. I love how Osho states this when he says something like: you do not want freedom, because freedom brings responsability, you just want to what ever you want without facing the consequences. Voilà! Exactly that. Look at how we eat, drink, work, produce; look at the planet, the family model; just look around. What to do? Well, be honest, that is all. Your thoughts are not so pure as you wished, then work on that. Your actions are not so healthy, then work on that; you are not so nice, lovely and in peace as you would like to be, well, work on that too! But not with torture, not with guilt but will responsability and the knowledge that we are aiming for progress, not perfection. 

 

My friend, we will die, yes, you and me, we will die. As this is a fact let us face life with less fear. Let us embrace the unknown and allow life with all its might to surprise us every day; and regarding facing the consequences of our actions, be honest, be who you are, and then pay whatever price there is for that. I believe there is no other way. 
 
This week in our Live sessions in YOGA BREAK private Facebook group we will be sharing practices regarding this, do not miss it!
 
Pedro Misle

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