I’ve posted today, as a note on my Facebook Profile a Zen story that I would like to share here, asintroduction of this short post.
Zen stories are very wise, and everyone of them hides a deep teaching for those who can “read between the lines”. So, let’s read this one trying to put aside our logical mind.
This is the story:
There was once a man who was terrified of his own shadow and lived in fear of the sound of his own footsteps. Walking along one day he entered a panic and tried to flee at top speed. But as fast as he ran, his shadow and footsteps kept up with him and made him run all the faster, until he finally collapsed of exhaustion and died.
If he had only sat down in the shade of a tree, he would no longer have have been able to see his shadow or hear his own footsteps.
What is the origin of “fear”? Why does it exist? Why somethimes we find ourselves living this emotion? It’s posible to overcome, transcend or transform it?
It’s really very difficult, almost impossible to answer to such complex questions, this is an argument who represents one of the crucial points of the whole humanity. It’s a legacy of our past,when the environment appeared as a dangerous reality from which protect ourselves finding every kind of tricks and ploys to survive.
Trough Millennia all this has evolved from the physical field (the need to survive) to the emotional and mental, permitting the arising of various emotional insecurities. Trough centuries, the human brain evolved, te society became more complex and rich of “hints”, so even fear has assumed new,more complex and refined forms.
Fundamentally, and almost without doubts, we can affirm that fear is the result of the unconscious perception of our littleness. Even if he pretend to don’t know anything about that, every human being knows that he hasn’t any control on his life and doesn’t know almost anything about it. Formerly, Religion-seen in her deepest aspect- had the task to exorcise that sense of inadequacy. Today, science has took the place of religion: we try to exorcise our fears by convincing ourselves that we are able to control the Nature and the Laws who manage her existence.
However, this isn’t an act of doing, conscious doing, but only an attempt to be reassured. The feeling of not having almost any control toour destiny makes us unsafe in all the aspect of our existence. many of us, humans, tries to overcome this sense of inadequacy trough achieving of psychological and material safeness. But, this fact that we are less than a glimpse in the whole Universe, is still present. This knowledge generates fear and insecurity who reflect themselves in all the possible fields of our life: fear of robbery, of abuse, of illnesses, of being misunderstood by whom loves us and so on.
There is only one positive and effective response to overcome every kind of fear: knowing ourselves and the true meaning of birth and death. Every other system is only palliative and temporary- in fact, they vanish towards the stupor of the unknown.
There’s only one way who can drive us to the realization of ourselves and our life: the Inner Research.