The real, unseen cause of our fear is the false belief that life can throw something—anything—at us that’s greater than our ability to change it. But this is simply not true. No matter what our culture, tradition, or religious background, within each of us lives a fearless immortal Self: a transcendent nature that never fears unforeseen changes in life any more than the sun trembles before the temporary appearance of some shadow cast by its own light.
Question: Do we develop character by working to eliminate bad habits, or is it only by creating good habits in the first place that character is built?
Answer: Here is a short poem: “Thoughts turn to acts and habits are born; from habits the shape of character is formed.” We drop self-defeating behavior by coming awake to the fact that each negative act to which we give our life is first a bit of life stolen from us. It is not well understood, but before it is possible to defeat ourselves, we are in unconscious relationship with a defeated nature that is not our own. By working to be awake to ourselves in the moment, our awareness of these destructive energies permits us to actually experience their dark nature before that nature has a chance to deceive us. And how does it deceive us? With its promise of relief from the very pain its presence within us has produced! Once you can see this truth, you will also see that all self-defeating acts are the effects of our unawareness. Awareness ends this downhill relationship and sets us upon the Upper Path where our developing True Character ensures that our dark days are put behind us.