Joseph Campbell was right when he told us that we had to go down into the abyss in order to recover the treasures of life. Oh, but that is a scary proposition and that is true because of an enormous driver of all of our reluctance to grapple with those things that go bump in the “night” of our minds—fear. It has been said that there are only two emotions, which drive us as humans—love and fear. Every other emotion in the human continuum fits in one of these categories.
It is fear not love that drives us to actions, which result in war, murder, divorce, theft, unforgiveness and many other unthinkable behaviors. Often our devotion to fear threatens to obliterate our God given core emotion of love. So just exactly what is fear?
Fear is trusting in your own power. It spawns many things and one of those is unhappiness. Unhappiness is simply buying into the illusion of fear for fear is an illusion. The Course in Miracles teaches us that everything in our life is illusion except love. So love then is the antidote for fear. Many wise thinkers and spiritual gurus have told us this and tried to teach us to embrace the fear and love it fiercely in order to remove our negative reaction to it.
When I was trying my best to deal with my husband’s traumatic brain injury and bipolar disorder fear was my constant companion. I did not know what to do with it or how to respond to it at first. I eventually learned that to beat fear back and remove it from your life you have to first look it straight in the eye. You cannot run from it because you will never be able to outrun this stubborn emotion. You must acknowledge it then turn the full force of your love on it no matter how counterintuitive that may seem.
The Course in Miracles teaches us that it is up to us whether we learn to love. We may always invoke our free will to buy into the fear and refuse to love but sooner or later we must come to the place where we acknowledge that in order to find inner peace, which is the practical goal of life, we must learn to love. Learning to love and through that love forgive is the only thing we have to do. It is why we are here. When we are able to do that fear will be in our rearview mirror.