We can either spend our lives fearful of any unwanted event that comes along to challenge our sense of self — or we can use that same situation to help set ourselves free. Presently we see whatever troubles us through the eyes of a false nature that believes protecting itself from what it fears is the same as being fearless. The only way this idea makes sense is if we think that avoiding a problem means we’ve overcome it. What other way is there of dealing with what frightens us if all forms of resistance are futile? Here’s the one true solution: it is possible for us to know so much about the nature of fear that, one day, it simply runs out of ways to make us believe in its shaking.
The following three insights are designed to help us look at our old, familiar fearful reactions in a whole new way. But taken altogether, these key ideas tell the story of a whole new kind of self-understanding powerful enough to penetrate fear’s protective shell — dispelling both the feared and the fearful at once. The Light that remains is freedom.
1. Self-awakening, and the new order of freedom that attends it, begins within seeing through what is not real, just as freedom from the terror of a nightmare begins with discovering you’ve been asleep, having a bad dream.
2. No fact is frightening unless it runs into conflict with what we want. When this happens, the fear is not in the event, but in us–who have decided that in order to feel secure, life must jump through our hoop. So, the fear we feel is in our hoop, not the fact that life may have jumped unexpectedly.
3. It is in our power to discover that who we really are has nothing to fear, but that we make ourselves fearful each time we look outside of ourselves for some power to make us feel fearless.