Monday, May 09, 2005

Litany against Fear

The “Litany against Fear” from the book Dune by Frank Herbert:

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
--Litany against Fear, Bene Gesserit school

The first two sentences come to me often when the cold wash of fear threatens to overwhelm me. It can be when I’m worried about money, or one of my kids is late getting home, or a friend calls with bad news. It’s that sudden irrational surge of adrenalin that makes it hard to think clearly.

The one good thing about fear is it’s obvious. Fear makes its presence known unmistakably. So at least I know what I’m fighting.

And I believe in the end, it’s always fear we’re fighting. We have to put our fear aside in order to intelligently address whatever it is we’re facing.

Once I had a huge decision to make. I became pregnant after a weekend with a friend, and realized I was going to have to handle the whole thing myself. My fear was strong. One night in particular I kept trying to think clearly and I just couldn’t. My prayers to divine Spirit were desperate, incoherent. But still those prayers were answered. One beam of thought got through to me. It was, “What would you do if there was no fear?”

My response was immediate. I would go ahead with the plans I’d already had in place before the pregnancy. I was set to move across country to pursue a new line of work. Getting pregnant had made me doubt my ability to see it through, but now this calming thought – I’d say divine message – got my attention.

So I put my fears aside. I went ahead as though they didn’t exist. I did move across country, and got a good job, a nice apartment and a new car (well, new to me). I felt that Spirit was my partner every step of the way. By the time the baby came – a little boy, and the light of my life – I was settled and doing well.

I’ve realized since that fear is never helpful. And I don’t mean the gut instinct that keeps us from danger, like, “Don’t get too close to the edge.” I mean the mental fear, the ruminating and obsessing, the dire predictions for the future. I’ve heard it said, “Fear is believing in a future without God.” But God was there then, is here now, and He will be there forever.

Herbert ends his Litany with: “Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” I’d have to add to that. God is there, too.

Some more thoughts to combat fear:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear. (I John 4:18)

Fear is the fountain of sickness, and you master fear and sin through divine Mind; hence it is through divine Mind that you overcome disease. … Fear, which is an element of all disease, must be cast out to readjust the balance for God. Casting out evil and fear enables truth to outweigh error. The only course is to take antagonistic grounds against all that is opposed to the health, holiness, and harmony of man, God's image. (Science and Health)

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home