Haig Point; Daufuskie Island
“He is a God fearing man.” - Common expression
“F E A R = Fantasized Events Appearing Real.” - Anon
Lately, I have heard numerous people refer to others as being a “God fearing man – or woman.” The notion that “being afraid” of God is some sort of virtue has been around for a while. To fear means to “be convinced that something or someone is dangerous, threatening and likely to cause harm.” Antonyms of fear in the dictionary include faith, comfort, courage, faith joy and trust. These words are often thrown about as virtues as well. It seems like an awfully mixed message.
In order to fear something, one must see themselves as separated from it. Now, regardless what name one wants to assign to that greater consciousness that is woven throughout all, it seems to me that the point of every spiritual and religious approach to life that I have heard of is for one to merge themselves as closely as possible to the will of that essence in order to better follow the path that is laid out for them. And separation is certainly not compatible with this. In fact, in Judaism most scholars believe that the notion of hell is actually a reference to the possibility of being permanently separated from that spirit.
The American president F.D. Roosevelt stated that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. If I afraid of something, any cooperation I give it will not be in the spirit of cooperation, but as a form of appeasement. I cannot partner with something I am trying to appease, and I certainly cannot merge with it. And I cannot find courage, faith, joy, trust, comfort – I cannot find any of these things in appeasement. In fact, the only reasons I pursue the path are first, that it is much simpler and more effective than following self-will and second the fact that there are so many rewards that come from doing so. So in this case, perhaps the only thing there is to fear is separation.
Besides, the only time and place we can ever connect with that spirit is right here and right now – and fear requires time. Fear says that we in the future something or someone is going to cause us some sort of grievous injury. And if we are living in the future we have no chance of connecting with the spirit in the only opportunity there is to do so. We have a way of manifesting our fears. So if we are harboring any feelings along these lines, we would do well to draw them out, examine their roots and yank them out. Otherwise, we are cheating ourselves of the greatest benefits of the spiritual life.
Today, may I know trust.