Let's Talk About Fear: Illuminating the Shadow

Let's Talk About Fear: Illuminating the Shadow

Let’s talk about fear.

Fear drives our impulses to forcibly control others, and to try and make the whole world behave as we want. Fear stimulates our mistrust of one another. It fosters close-mindedness, terror, judgment, bullying, frustration, and the awful destruction of human-on-human violence. Fear explains why we fight endlessly for our “cut” of turf, resources, money, power, status, position, etc. But why does fear rise within us today in such ever-increasing waves, and how can we encourage our fear to abate?

I invite you to notice that fear arises because we all sense, at the deepest level of our very beingness, that we humans are out of alignment with the flow and intention of life. For we cannot help but notice the structure of “civilization” all around us. We recognize the structure of human civilization to be a pyramid, with a few major winners at the top and a vast mass of struggling losers at the bottom—most of whom are presently groaning under the seemingly endless burden of holding the pyramid up so that those at the top can enjoy its benefits.

We like to imagine that the pyramid’s base is so strong as to be immovable and unbreakable, but in our zeal for this system we have forgotten that the ground itself is subject to random upheavals. And when the ground moves, the stones at the top of any pyramid are the ones that must fall the farthest and that will suffer the greatest damage to their integrity. The stones at the bottom remain mostly unscathed. Indeed, they gain in both freedom and capacity because they are no longer bound to a system that locks them in place, at their expense, for its own sake.

Of course, that is not the way we are taught to believe that our civilization has been structured. We are taught to imagine it to be more like a sphere, and to believe that we are all in this together—liberty, fraternity, equality, shared values, and so forth—yet the fact remains that what we tell one another “about” all our present systems of self-organization does not align with how they actually function.

Our Collective Human Shadow

The cognitive dissonance generated between what we say “about” what we do and what we actually do exposes our collective human shadow. And at this time in our evolution, the light of awareness has directed its attention rather brightly onto that shadow. No amount of political posturing, dodging and weaving, carnival barkering, prestidigitation, or even the violently melodramatic distractions of war will cause the light of awareness to cease its unstinting spotlighting of the shadow we all need to see.

The result? We are today witnessing, on a very public stage, the last gasp, dying hope of the shadow to deflect our collective attention from itself by frantically redirecting our focus to the “bread and circus” political theatre of the current moment.

Ironically, the shadow’s mad antics—which include war, the demonization of “other”, the increasing dehumanization and disenfranchisement of the bottom strata within all of our pyramidal systems, an increasing disparity between the “haves” and the “have-nots”, and the large-scale global destruction of our shared planetary environment—only render the shadow more visible to the unwavering light of awareness; not less.

From A Pyramid to a Sphere

As more and more people turn away from the power/dominator pyramidal system due to its lack of responsiveness to life’s true needs, all the existing pomp and circumstance we’ve grown so accustomed to, and that has helped to keep our decaying systems in place—including the institutional gravitas and respect we’ve traditionally bestowed upon our system’s leaders—has become so undermined from within that the very core of the pyramidal system itself appears compromised beyond all possible redemption.

This is, paradoxically, good news. For in truth, the values we have been incubating over the past few centuries, and that most of us now hold dear within our hearts, can only thrive in a genuinely cooperative (spherical) social system, not a pyramidal power/dominator structure. In other words, the values we seek to embody appear to be fundamentally incompatible with the systems within which we operate today.

Every insincere attempt that has been made over the centuries to convince us that we indeed occupy a spherical system have only caused us to notice that we do not…at least, not yet. As a result, we no longer respect our leaders because we cannot trust them to tell us the unvarnished truth about anything. Instead, we must watch what they do and extract from their antics a better understanding of the system that they are promoting, versus the system that they are claiming to promote.

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Network Of Human Rootedness And Interconnectedness

We are also observing their growing frustration with the peoples’ right to discuss our life experiences with each other without being subjected to the distorting influence of propaganda that seeks to “spin” our stories so that they fall in line with the message of the power/dominator paradigm.

Even so, as “peer to peer” engagement strengthens and spreads its connectivity across the planet, we are creating a living neural network of human rootedness and interconnectedness that cannot be destroyed by those who fear its power. All attempts to destroy this newly birthing mycelial system of consciousness must fail, because what is collapsing is losing its power to uproot what exists well beyond its own narrow root base.

Once the roots of a tree give way because they are too shallow to bear the weight of the visible tree, the tree then collapses of its own accord. When it strikes the ground, the highly intelligent, diverse, beneficial mycelia (the mushrooms and fungi) then get to work repurposing the tree so that its newly freed resources can be redeployed.

At this time, we humans are living during an era of the Great Falling of our power/dominator system. The toppling, once begun, cannot be reversed because the tree is already uprooted and has become incapable of surviving for much longer. The time lag we are presently experiencing between the roots breaking free and the tree striking the ground represents the space and time within we presently live.

Our mission then, is not to fear our own destruction beneath the falling tree, or to frantically seek to prop it up a bit longer. Our mission is to bear witness to the tree’s inevitable collapse; to learn as much as we can from its failure to thrive; and to lovingly repurpose all the resources that its collapse will release so that our next iteration of civilization does not repeat the mistakes of our last iteration.

Fear of the Unknown

We can (and must) be forgiven for feeling fear of the unknown, because what we face at this time is nothing less than a catastrophically immense reconfiguring of our entire species from the inside-out. What rises from the compost heap of our decaying tree of civilization once it has struck the ground will not be another tree like the one that collapsed.

The new human iteration that emerges will put down deeper roots in the ground of beingness, and will conform much better to its environment. It will grow and fruit slower, more thoughtfully, with greater sensitivity, and in ways that are more consciously interconnected and symbiotic than was our rapid-growth, earlier iteration of human civilization.

The longstanding assumption we’ve held that massive pyramids are the most stable, dependable forms in the universe will give way to a deeper truth: that spheres reflect the chosen form of creation, and that life serves itself by branching out, like mycelium, into every crevice and corner of cosmic existence. By extension, we will realize that we can serve life best when we follow its awesome blueprint for success, for it knows much more than do we about what works and what does not in this universe.

Going Extinct?

I doubt that we are going extinct as a species in the near future. It is human-on-human violence that is going extinct. Who we are will, of course, be radically changed by this shift in our behavior, to the point where what emerges may not very much resemble what disappeared. We might not even call ourselves “human” in the future, because our capacity for life-awareness will expand so far beyond ourselves that we will no longer view ourselves as set apart from the rest of life.

What does all of this mean for those of us who live in this gap between what is done and what is finished? Clearly we have the power to help render our pyramidal systems extinct by compassionately hospicing out of existence all forms of human violence—be they physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual. Or we can, out of fear of losing our collapsing social structures, infuse additional energy into the falling tree to try and keep it alive for another painful moment.

It’s up to each of us, as individuals, to decide where we wish to direct our own energy. Do we cling, out of fear of falling, to our collapsing systems of power and domination, or do we slide gently down the toppling trunk to the vast ground of beingness of our own volition?

Once on the ground, we can afford to wait patiently to gain access to the abundant nutrients that will be made available to us as a consequence of the tree’s falling. Those resources will be more than we need to fuel our rise as a more spherically-configured (compassionate, caring, regenerative, loving) species. Ultimately though, we will need to surrender our perch in the tree and trust that the ground of beingness will lovingly catch us.

Trust…or Fear? Which Energy Do We Wish To Feed In This Moment?

It seems clear that fear is arising within us to press us into deciding whether to leap or to keep on clinging to the tree out of fear of falling and dying. Sadly, our fear will remain our companion until we decide. Our fear remains because we are perched in a tree that is already falling—and we can all feel it even if we refuse to allow ourselves to admit that we’re already falling.

The catch? The tree that is modern society is both dead and not-yet-dead. Because it’s still in motion, and because it still appears alive at this time, its momentum convinces us to hope that the tree can yet survive, and that we can remain right here, where we are perched. How aware we allow ourselves to become of the tree’s trajectory will help determine what choices we make for ourselves in this moment. I therefore encourage all of us to relinquish our fear of falling (because the tree is already dying and cannot be saved) and instead immerse ourselves in a deep trust for life, because we are that.

Do you hear the melody in your own heart calling out to you to set your spirit free of the fear of dying? That is life communing with you, out of love, beloved. I therefore invite you to listen to life and become love, fully embodied. We are here to consume the tree, not to occupy it.

© Copyright by Eileen Workman.
Reprinted with permission from the author's blog.

Book by this Author

Raindrops of Love for A Thirsty World
by Eileen Workman

Raindrops of Love for A Thirsty World by Eileen WorkmanA timely spiritual guide to surviving and thriving in today’s pervasive, gloomy atmosphere of alienation and fear, Raindrops of Love For a Thirsty World, lays out a path to life long self-actualization, and reconnection through a shared consciousness.

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About the Author

Eileen WorkmanEileen Workman graduated from Whittier College with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and minors in economics, history, and biology. She began working for Xerox Corporation, then spent 16 years in financial services for Smith Barney. After experiencing a spiritual awakening in 2007, Ms. Workman dedicated herself to writing “Sacred Economics: The Currency of Life” as a means for inviting us to question our longstanding assumptions about the nature, benefits, and genuine costs of capitalism. Her book focuses on how human society might move successfully through the more destructive aspects of late-stage corporatism. Visit her website at www.eileenworkman.com

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