It’s so very normal for this question to come up in the exploration of our essential nature. But in my experience it’s always a move towards what’s more aligned — and therefore what feels better — so what’s to fear?
It’s so very normal for fear to arise in the nondual awakening exploration. Particularly with the direct path (as opposed to progressive path) because with the direct path we look directly at who you are and directly at what you’re not. It can be done gently and lovingly, which is totally my preference, but ultimately there is one recognition of who you really are.
When you’re identified with the mind, you don’t want to look at this and the obvious next question is ‘what will become of me?’
Why does this fear and question arise?
Because when identified with the mind you believe that what you’re not is who you are. Read that again — there’s a belief that what you are not — what is not essential to who you are — is essential to who you are.
Can you feel the confusion that arises from believing that?
Can you see why the fear makes perfect sense?
Imagine it like this.
There’s a person who was born holding a hat. They didn’t know they were holding a hat. It had always been there so it was invisible to them that this was an additional object.
One day someone pointed out to them that the hat wasn’t essential to who they are. Instinctively they pulled the hat closer. And told the other person to go away and leave them alone.
This is the fear that arises.
And so, given we’ve grown up collecting more and more hats, with nobody telling us they’re not essential to us, it’s understandable that fear will arise when this is suggested.
Because by this time you’ve come to identify with the hats, and you’ve collected so many of them, and they all look necessary for you to continue being you. So yes, you don’t like it when someone says they’re not who you really are.
If you do manage to entertain the consideration that they’re not who you are, the obvious question then arises “but what will become of me if I don’t hold onto all these hats?” (You get it that the hats are like thoughts and ideas, right?)
So therefore, in more detail, the question (and fear) is “what will become of me if I don’t [do this / behave like this / enjoy that / speak like this / have those people in my life / have this reputation / job / income]?”
I get it.
On my journey I had the fear of becoming an unmotivated blancmange in the corner (it was always a blancmange for some reason!).
I had the fear of becoming weird. Or woo woo.
Fear of becoming like ‘those’ nondual teachers.
And yet — the pull of the exploration drew me on. It far outweighed any fear that the mind could bring. And I was helped by my own coach reassuring me that the exploration doesn’t lead to a cookie-cutter outcome.
My clients tell me this too.
These same kinds of fears about who they will become if they keep exploring.
And yet I’ve never met or worked with anyone for whom these fears came true.
It doesn’t mean things don’t change. Friendships might change. Preferences might change. Your job might change. The kinds of things you talk about might change. And they might not.
We can’t predict it. And we don’t need to predict it because:
- These things are not essential to who you are and so you are unaffected by them coming, going or changing.
- If and when they do change, there is a known perfection to that. It’s often a relief. Always a move towards what’s more aligned — and therefore what feels better — so what’s to fear?
Have you been afraid of what will become of you?
How does that feel now?
Much love, Helen
PS If you’re reading “The Complete Book of Awakening” and noticing fears like this arising, there are numerous ways Sara and I can guide you through the process, whatever your budget. Have a look at our courses, our community, or get in touch, and tell us what you’re looking for.