A few days ago there was an earthquake, just off the coast of Ishikawa prefecture. That is next door to Toyama prefecture, where I live. Akiko, her mother, and I were eating breakfast. I had no particular thing happening in my mind. I don’t remember anything being in there at all. The house started to shake a little bit. We live close to the flight path from the airport in Toyama, so there was no thought of other possibilities. The shaking continued and became more pronounced. All three of us realized what it was, at that moment. Since my event occurred on December 1st of last year, I have had no fear experiences to speak of. No near hit-and-runs, no muggings, no house fires, etc., so I was curious as to what would take place in my mind. The house shook more intensly and I was observing my mind, curious as to how it would react. I wanted to anticipate, almost wanting fear to be there, so I could obsevre, but it never came. Not even so much as a flutter in my blood pressure. The earthquake came and went, and I was still empty.
I could not anticipate, because I could not project the past. I could not bring up my memory, to give me some idea of what might happen. It was not there at all, and without that projection, fear was absent. It must be obvious by now that fear is not based on any actualities at all. It is not real; not sticking with the present moment. Fear is thought. Thought projects what could occur, we believe it, then we are afraid. Our continuity is threatened, either physically or phychologically, and we project a fantasy of what could happen. Even at the very moment of the stimulus, we project onto it what could happen. But none of it is real. All fear is based on these fantasies we are constantly inventing.
When we are afraid, why is it that we never question it? We never question the fear itself. Why am I afraid? If you blame it on something outside of yourself, then you have stopped inquiring and are not serious about it. The source of fear is inside of us and can’t be found in an external event or circumstance. If there is a person in front of me intending to do me harm, why should I be afraid? Am I to believe that somehow, he got into my mind and made me feel fear? He has some supernatural power to alter my thoughts to make me believe something that is not real? That is crazy. If I believe that something outside of myself can cause fear, I am absolutely INSANE. Lock me up and throw away the key.
Remove every external circumstance and ask yourself again, why am I afraid? If you penetrate deeply inside of yourself, give your ego a rest, and take a long look, what do you see? Could it be that you are afraid of losing your continuity? That some change would be too much for you to accept? If you fear a recession, it challenges your continuity. If your life is threatened, it challenges your continuity. If you are afraid of losing your loved one, that certaily challenges your continuity; the way you live your life. I am just asking about it. I am not saying anything to the effect of “this is the way it is.” Just take a look inside.
Why do you fear? Take any small step you can to really see it. Is it because security is threatened? Physical or psychological? If that is the case, do you seek security outwardly? Do you have security in only what has been given to you? Your knowledge, social position, or your seat down at town hall, your position in the church or in your job. Do those things make you feel secure? Why? Have you ever asked? How could you possibly feel any sense of security from things that could explode at any moment? Someone could lie about you, and your social position would be gone in a second. The economy could bust, and you’d be left with nothing. War could break out in your neighborhood and leave you homeless. I am not saying that these negative things will happen to any of you, but how can you have complete security there, in those things? Don’t go into a cave and pray, or sit on a cusion and meditate forever to find an answer; just see it for what it is. There is no real security in those things. The only real security comes from within all of us. It starts and it ends there. There is no blame, there is no fear, and there is no real outward security. Ask yourself. Just look to the best of your ability, without your knowledge of who you are, and try to see the source of this.
I still do not have complete command of the language to make this read the way I want it to. But I will keep plugging away. It gets easier with time. I have a great sense of peace knowing the only security that exists is within myself. I cannot put my life on the line by trusting outward events and circumstances. It just doesn’t make any sense.
Is that what enlightenment is? To be free from all of this stuff? When you are free, then what? Is there anything to be free from? Have you asked these things? Get to it, if you haven’t. You won’t live forever.