We all have things inside of us that we fear: haunting thoughts and dark feelings we sense are down there, but that we’d rather not face for fear they may drag us down into their domain. So instead of questioning any of them, we let them work in the dark while we go out of our way to avoid becoming aware of them. And so it goes. Our lives are unconsciously directed by the invisible hosts dwelling in our internal haunted house. Who are these unseen goblins whose presence we know but upon whose faces we won’t look? Think about it for yourself! Isn’t anger a demon? Our discomfort at being alone a gloomy specter? And what about that phantom fear of growing old? Instead of looking at these internal chain-rattling entities to see whether or not they really have any power to hurt us, we keep them out of sight. We walk the other way whenever we distract ourselves from some unwanted condition or blame some outside cause for the way we feel.
There’s more. Hidden down in the same uninvestigated depths of ourselves are beliefs that we hesitate to examine: our theories about God and reality, about what our true place is in the universe. Most of us have few ideas of our own, relying mostly on what we’ve taken from others, from books we’ve read, or things we’ve heard from seemingly knowledgeable people. So, we’re reluctant to examine the validity of these ideas, thinking that if they were proven wrong it would be the same as finding ourselves wrong, and then we’d lose the foundation of our lives. It’s one of Truth’s greatest paradoxes, but exactly the opposite of our entrenched fear holds true: admitting we don’t know these things from ourselves is the first step toward real knowing and a real life. The extraordinary thing is that, to our present nature, it all seems easier to just ignore these inner issues. Here again, just the opposite holds true: it’s the tip-toeing around our own uncertainty and self-confusion that makes our lives so very complicated, and often incomprehensible. Yet, something within us prefers the resulting difficulty to facing what we fear.
As long as we accept ideas about ourselves and our lives from others, and do not do the work of investigating for ourselves, even our comforting ideas will not be a real help in a crisis. We will always be afraid that something incomprehensible and all-powerful is lurking below the surface. Only the truths that we know from ourselves can sustain us through any storm. We are defeated because we are acting on the basis of artificial truth — false ideas that we never examine and that rarely change based on the lessons of experience. But, when we discover the Truth for ourselves and let it teach us how to react correctly, we will, always be victorious.