In my previous blog post I had raised certain leading questions:
How often do we get caught unaware in a scary situation to find an absolutely new way out? How does it all happen? What in us makes it happen?
If we closely examine what made some of the great leaders scale unimaginable heights of accomplishment, we will find fear and the associated pain playing a significant role out there.
In the movie Pursuit of Happyness, a real life saga of Chris Gardner, one of the most successful stock brokers of his time, the fear of starvation and being home-less, drove the protagonist to display unprecedented levels of grit and determination to finally come out successful as a broker, despite all possible odds. It seemed as if he was possessed with some unusual spirit of optimism and self-belief.
Fear, by its very nature, is capable of fanning the sparks of Intent for it to catch the flames of passion. And once that happens, it not only galvanizes all energies in the individual but also magically garners support from outside for the individual to display higher than realized capacities for participation and performance.
Question is, why then, are we not always at our best, when we feel scared, frightened or threatened.
Well, what exactly did you do last time when you encountered fear? Ran for help? Took a flight into something that could make you forget it? Or lashed out to an external entity which appeared to be causing the fear?
Fighting or taking a flight from fear is the most common reaction we are conditioned to display. However, if the situation is such where you can neither reach out for help, nor fight or take a flight, an entirely new alchemy happens.
For the first time you confront fear – face-to-face. In a state of helpless-ness you tend to surrender and yet not give up the hope of staying alive. And at that very moment the transformation happens. Transformation from feeling powerless to ‘knowing’ the power you are. At that very moment, without any plan, strategy, approach or any such learned and imbibed practice you transcend your self-imposed limits to soar into a space of formidability.
For once, it shows you to yourself the true power within. It belies the smallness that you have been carrying around all these days and gives you an opportunity to begin living life from a perspective of limitlessness.
This was true of Mahatma Gandhi leading the country, against severe odds, to freedom from the colonial shackles. This was true of Subhash Bose marching in with the INA despite complete lack of cooperation from Japan. And this was true of Swami Vivekananda, establishing Vedanta as a way of life in the World Religious congress through his soul stirring speech, after being greeted with mockery by an absolutely alien crowd in Chicago.
It’s true for all of us. There is nothing great in them which is not in us. No one is insulated from fear and its associated pain. Christ experienced fear on the cross. So did Buddha. It is not about fear but what we do with it that decides between mere survival and coming alive.
Osho said, Fear is the basis of all institutions, and how can a frightened mind know the truth?
What say you?