Our Deepest Fear
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
– Marrianne Williamson.
That we are powerful beyond measure? Is that truly our deepest fear? Or…
An excerpt from Jed McKenna’s “Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing.”
Sarah labors under the same misconception everyone does. She believes, in the broadest sense, that something is wrong and that she can make it right. What that something is, what’s wrong with it, and how it can be fixed all differ from person to person, but the general pattern is always the same: The truth, though, is that nothing is really wrong. Nothing is ever wrong and nothing can be wrong. It’s not even wrong to believe that something is wrong. Wrong is simply not possible. As Alexander Pope wrote, One truth is clear, whatever is, is right. Wrongness is in the eye of the beholder and nowhere else.
The perception of wrongness, however, is absolutely critical to the perpetuation of the human drama, right up there with the illusion of separateness and the certainty of free will. Drama requires conflict. No conflict, no drama. If something isn’t wrong, then nothing needs to be made right, which would mean that nothing needs to be done. Heights need not be scaled nor depths plumbed. Wealth and power need not be acquired. Future generations need not be spawned. Art need not be created, nor skyscrapers erected. Wars need not be fought. Religions and philosophies need not be devised. Teeth need not be flossed.
“The belief that something is wrong is the fire under the ass of humanity,” is how I explain it to Sarah.
Of course, wrongness isn’t entirely imagined. A certain amount of rightness and wrongness is hardwired into the human machine. Hunger is wrong, eating is right; celibacy is wrong, seed-sowing is right; pain is wrong, pleasure is right, and so on. But those are all biological directives, enforceable only within the context ofthe physical organism, violations resulting in progressively worsening discomfort and possibly death.
Where, then, does wrongness reside outside of our physical organism? And the obvious answer is — nowhere. But if this whole existence thing is to have any dramatic element to keep it interesting, it needs conflict, and so an artificial wrongness must be inserted into the mix:
Fear of the hollow core. Fear of the black hole within. Fear of non-being.
Fear of no-self.
The fear of no-self is the mother of all fears, the one upon which all others are based. No fear is so small or petty that the fear of no-self isn’t at its heart. All fear is ultimately fear of no-self.
“And what is enlightenment,” I ask Sarah.”but a swan dive into the abyss of no-self?”
She doesn’t answer.
Fear, regardless of what face it wears, is the engine that drives humans as individuals and humanity as a species. Simply put, humans are fear-based creatures. It may be tempting say that we are equal parts rational and emotional, balanced between left and right brain, but it’s not true. We are primarily emotional and our ruling emotion is fear.
– Jed McKenna, “Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing.”
Two sides of the same coin? It is not our death we fear, but that there is no self to kill. It is both our light and our darkness that both frightens and instills courage – because what is known as the dark void is also known as the light of the Goddess.