Faith, Fear, and Freedom

Synopsis: Faith, Fear, and Freedom — we get caught defending our beliefs, and then fearing others. Perhaps a bit more reflection might help…

I’ve done an update of my book, Living Life in Growing Orbits, and have now finished 1 of 2 edits. Ought to be ready by the New Year.

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faith, fear, and freedom

So, because of the precarious state of the world, I’ve been thinking about the things we believe, and how belief in a system tends to get us in trouble.

Mostly, I think, because we tend to, when discussing “biggies,” (like religion or politics…) harden our heads, and argue from rigidity, as opposed to wisdom.

Anyway, as I mentioned above, I’m editing my book, Living Life in Growing Orbits, and came upon two “weeks,” or chapters — faith and fear. I thought they fit the topic at hand, and so, here they are.


Living Life in Growing Orbits is actually a workbook, and the structure is that there is a weekly theme, followed by daily thoughts and exercises.


Faith-Week 31

Faith, by its very nature, is faith in something. Yet, most people have faith about something. There is a profound difference here.

About implies description. Most people can describe what they have faith about, but are unable to demonstrate how they enact their faith.

More problematic, such people seem to be stuck with a list of rules they picked up from somewhere, which they then try to force others to follow.

True faith is not so much an intellectual agreement as it is a felt sense. Faith is a deep knowing that has very little to do with proof.

People of faith are people of wisdom. A wise person does not believe that there is something outside of them that has all their answers. Wisdom is recognizing that each of us has our own answers.

True faith is faith in ourselves. Because this makes us self-responsible, many run from this idea, as they think it is far better to have others (or some god) to blame.

The wise person understands that life simply is. There is not necessarily a reason for everything; there may not be a reason for anything. The wise person is content despite the ambiguity of life.

The wise person learns from life. If there is a purpose, it is that we learn to be adults. That we become mature. That we gain Mastery.
~~~
What do you have faith in?

Day 1
A Word from Uncle Wayne:
Imagine! You were given a life.
Now, you are expected to actually live it.

You are the sum of your talents, minus the talents you block yourself from using.
List your talents in one column, and the ways you block yourself in another.

Day 2
A Word from Uncle Wayne:
Life is a classroom.

I do believe that we are here to learn. I do not believe that bad things happen to test us. (Such thinking makes World War II concentration camps hard to explain.)
What lesson seems to be the one you have to learn, again and again?

Day 3
A Word from Uncle Wayne:
The wise person learns lessons the first time.

One of the marks of wisdom is the ability to see what is happening, and then to make corrections.
We all fail. The wise person simply dusts herself off, gets up, and changes direction, with no blame.
How many times have you corrected your course on the first try? List examples.

Day 4
A Word from Uncle Wayne:
Wisdom / faith does not create “no problems.”

How often have you heard someone say, “Boy, he must have really done something wrong for this to happen.” Phooey. Things happen. The mark of wisdom is in the recovery.
How do you recover?

Day 5
A Word from Uncle Wayne:
Find your faith.

Faith is internal, and is reached through meditation and focus. Faith is a felt sense of peace, understanding, and contentment.
Find quiet time today, go inside, and find the place in your body where you feel your internal wisdom. Stay there for a bit.

Day 6
A Word from Uncle Wayne:
Remind yourself: you are nothing special.

Many play the game of “Why is this happening to me?” As in, “The world should treat me as if I were someone special.”
You aren’t. No one is.
Today, resolve to do “nobody special training.” (With thanks to Ram Dass for this idea!)

Day 7
A Word from Uncle Wayne:
Gaining wisdom is enough.

Let us get real here. Decide, today, what will mark success for you. Money? Possessions? Power? Prestige? All are dust. Sand.
Reset your goals. Pick something that lasts. Pick wisdom.


Fear-Week 32

Fear is faith’s opposite. Fear is the belief that we are victims. Fear comes from thinking other people can hurt you. Fear comes from thinking that external events can damage you.

Fear is a choice. Fear is not real, nor even particularly sensible.

Fear fades when confronted head on. Action defeats fear, as does a refusal to place blame.

Fear feeds upon itself, so its removal requires eliminating its root cause. We do this by rejecting victimizing ourselves, and we do that through self-responsibility.

If I do something wrong, I am response — able. I am able to respond by making amends, changes. If others wrongly blame me, I am response — able. I can refuse to play the blame game. I can refuse to get angry or get even. I can simply walk away. Leave.

The fearful person runs from self-responsibility, always in predictable ways-blame, hitting back, making excuses. And nothing changes. When you feel fear, then, ask, “Is this feeling appropriate or useful?”

Sometimes (rarely), it is-when you are threatened with physical assault, your fear triggers “fight or flight.” Otherwise, all fear accomplishes is delaying a response by keeping you stuck.

Tell yourself, “Now is the time to take personal responsibility–I will respond.”
~~~
What do you do, when fearful?

Day 1
A Word from Uncle Wayne:
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Fear feeds on itself.
What are the things you fear? What are they about?

Day 2
A Word from Uncle Wayne:
Fear blocks wisdom.

Wisdom seeks solutions. Fear seeks nothing but more fear. No matter how scary it seems, the next step is always to take the next step.
Meditate on what might be a next step, for you.

Day 3
A Word from Uncle Wayne:
Fear makes victims.

We are living in the Era of the Victim. Everyone is looking for someone to blame for his or her fear, his or her pain, and his or her failures. As we become mature, however, we have to give up victim-think. Victims wait for rescuers. The wise become response — able, and cre-ate change.
When do you feel like a victim? How old are you again?

Day 4
A Word from Uncle Wayne:
Fear makes us deaf and blind.

Fear draws us inward, to our internal theatre, where the fear plays with us, and cuts us off from the world. In that moment, we become helpless.
Think of a time when you were so tuned into your fear that you missed what was happening in the “real” (the physical) world. Today, vow to stay tuned in.

Day 5
A Word from Uncle Wayne:
Light defeats fear.

The light of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom defeats fear, every time. Light (enlightenment) comes to those who seek it, ask for it, and know who to talk to when stuck.
Today, list three people farther along the path than you, whom you would trust to help you when you are fearful. Ask them if they will do that for you.

Day 6
A Word from Uncle Wayne:
Wisdom defeats fear, using “Aikido of the mind.”

If you have ever watched an Aikido Master, you will notice that she simply redirects that which comes toward her. No matter what comes in, no matter how hard, the Master turns and redirects it.
No one controls you without your permission. (Memorize this!) See yourself, today, as someone who deflects attacks. Then try it. It works.

Day 7
A Word from Uncle Wayne:
Be of good cheer.

In the end, the mark of a wise soul is her or his ability to find joy and laughter amid difficulties. Seek the spring of joy that flows through you. Laugh a bit. Then, laugh some more. The fear will pass.


About the Author: Wayne C. Allen is the web\‘s Simple Zen Guy. Wayne was a Private Practice Counsellor in Ontario until June of 2013. Wayne is the author of five books, the latest being The. Best. Relationship. Ever. See: –The Phoenix Centre Press

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