THE Chhandogya Upanishad has a beautiful story.
Satyakam asked his mother, Jabala, “Mother, I want to live the life of a student of supreme knowledge. What is my family name? Who is my father?”
“My son,” replied the mother, “I don’t know. In my youth when I went about a great deal as a maidservant I conceived you. I do not know who is your father. I am Jabala and you are Satyakam, so call yourself Satyakam Jabala.”
Then the boy went to Gautama, a great seer of those days, and asked to be accepted as a student. “Of what family are you, my dear?” inquired the sage.
Satyakam replied, “I asked my mother what my family name was, and she answered, ‘I don’t know. In my youth when I went about a great deal as a maidservant I conceived you. I do not know who is your father. I am Jabala and you are Satyakam, so call yourself Satyakam Jabal.’ Sir, I am therefore Satyakama Jabala.” The sage then said to him, “None but a true brahmin, a true seeker of truth, would have spoken thus. You have not swerved from the truth, my dear. I will teach you that supreme knowledge.”
We are unnecessarily afraid of saying the facts. What is require is little courage to whisper the facts.
Fear, which stems from our ego’s sense of separation. Not realizing that it is an inextricable part of the universe, the ego feels vulnerable and constantly struggles to survive in what it perceives as a hostile world. This is why the ancient sages of India taught that fear is born of duality. When human beings think they are separate from the universe, spirit, God, or whatever name you prefer for this infinite field of pure potentiality, they immediately become afraid of what might happen to them.
At bottom, the reason why we’re scared of rejection, failure, intimacy, embarrassment, abandonment, loss, the unknown, being judged, being alone, losing control, expressing our true feelings, and so many other things is that we’ve mistakenly identified ourselves with our limited ego self. When we know ourselves to be one with the ground of all existence, then nothing is separate or foreign to our nature and all of our fears dissolve.
Learning from the story Truth At Any Cost: Drop Fear
Just for a moment, ask yourself, What would I be afraid of if I didn’t have a past? The answer is evident: nothing. Fear is the product of memory, which dwells in the past. Remembering what hurt us before, we put our energy into making certain that an old hurt will not repeat itself. For instance, if we experience a wrenching break-up or someone betrays our trust, we may become fearful of being open and intimate in our relationships. We may do almost anything to avoid another painful experience of rejection or betrayal. But trying to impose the past on the present will never eliminate the threat of being hurt. That happens only when we find the security of our own being, which is love. Motivated by the truth within, we can face any threat because our inner strength is invulnerable to fear.
Keep in mind that moving from fear to love is most often a gradual process of remembering and forgetting and then remembering again. For a few moments, a few days, or longer, we remember that who we really are is love. Then some old conditioning reasserts itself, we forget who we are, and we find ourselves immersed in anxious thoughts about the future. As you go through these natural cycles, a technique from meditation is invaluable: As soon as you’re aware that you’re acting from fear or telling yourself stories about the future that create feelings of anxiety, simply notice what you’re doing, without judging yourself or getting caught up in yet another round of stories. There’s no need to force or concentrate. Just observe yourself. See yourself, notice what your body and breath are doing, watch your behavior, hear your tone of voice − all of it. Then ask yourself, Who is it that is observing all this? That is your core self, your quiet center that exists outside of and independent of your fear.
Shift your center of identity to your authentic self, and from that place you can be with the fear without being in its grip. The fear then is only a disturbance within your larger field. This settled presence of your awareness allows the fear to be dissipated and resolved in the context of your love and acceptance. One day you will have eliminated all illusions and barriers to your awareness of your connection to spirit, but in the meantime, you have a way to deal with the doubts and fears that come along.