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Fear and the Everyday Mind



Colin Bondi, Guest Writer
Waking Times

Fear is a force to be reckoned with there is no doubt about it. There is hardly anyone alive on this planet that does not to some extent have to contend with fear. I want to be clear as to what I mean by the word fear. Fear is a psychological state which has nothing to do with real world danger. If you are walking down the street and a man jumps out and sticks a gun in your face you could say you would react with fear. However what happens in such a situation is really a biological reaction to danger, its the fight or flight response and all animals have this to some extent. Its natural and part of the survival mechanism of the species. Usually in an acute life threatening situation the mind and its thought processes freeze and we are thrust intensely into present moment reality as the body forces us to deal with the immediate crisis.

However unlike any other animal human beings project a label on the intense energy of the danger response and call it fear. The problem with this is we create a mental/emotional entity called fear which we then experience in relationship to imagined situations that have nothing to do with any real world event. We might fear that we will be robbed on the way home or that we could be fired tomorrow, even though in the moment neither of these things is happening we feel a low level danger response. A mental construct is connected to a biophysical response which gives a feeling of reality to the imagined situations we fear. They seem real because we feel some of the same physical response to them as we do to a real world threat. Low level fear is often referred to as anxiety and you could say that almost all of us experience some level of anxiety regardless of our life situation.

So why does the mind do this? It is an extremely dysfunctional way of existing as it distorts the experience of life and puts the body under much unnecessary stress. But thats my point right there, the everyday mind is fueled by fear and its counterpart, lack. The mind is often fearing some kind of internal or external threat or its in fear of not having what it wants whether thats money, sex, love or a material object. Its a process of continual fear and deprivation. At times this may not be apparent when things seem to go well but its just that these things are operating under the surface and so aren’t as easily noticed. But again why does the mind do this?

This brings us to the root of it. What we call mind is simply a process of consciousness, the process of thought and memory. The mind is thoughts and without thoughts there is no mind. In a state of complete internal stillness (called Samadhi) there is no mind just consciousness or awareness. However, we tend to collect bundles of thoughts and create an identity out of them and then take that to be who and what we truly are. We identity ourselves as being the body and the mind but the body is a temporary thing and the mind is just a constant flow of thoughts. So this identification is both very unstable and very limited. We’re so used to taking ourselves to be the body/mind, to be something tangible that there is intense fear at the thought that we might be no-thing at all.

The body was born and its going to age and die. The body will get sick and it is very fragile and subject to damage at any time. The mind when you really look deeply into it doesn’t exist except for thoughts that constantly come and go. Both of these things are going to generate fear if this is all we take ourselves to be. Our existence is like a bubble on the front of a wave. We usually deal with this fear by distracting ourselves from looking into it. We project the fear and its protective expression, anger, onto external objects such as partners, governments, groups we don’t agree with, bosses, society or just about anything that takes us away from looking within. The real distraction however is the incessant thought process of the mind. Most people’s minds almost never stop except for deep sleep and its a good thing for that because we sure need that rest. The mind must remain in motion, that is, generating thoughts or not only will it soon be shown to be nonexistent but what we take to be the world will fall apart. The world as most of us know it is a screen of our projections. This is why so many people have a hard time with silence and stillness and deep meditation. The mind cannot afford to be still lest it lose its illusion of existence. Boredom is a version of fear in disguise causing us seek stimulation, anything other than being still. The mind is very adept at keeping the illusion going.

None of this reflects our natural state or who and what we truly are. On a spiritual level I think the challenge and the opportunity for us all is to confront the root fear of our own nonexistence to uncover the truth beneath that. This root fear of the mind is a threshold we must pass through if we are to truly know ourselves. To pass through this threshold requires the absolute surrender of everything we have ever taken ourselves to be. The fear must be transformed into fearlessness, the unknown embraced unconditionally. Given the temporariness of the body/mind we really have nothing to lose in this surrender that we aren’t destined to lose anyway. Why not consciously intentionally dive right into the truth of who you really are right now? The gift is the freedom of reality but that is nothing we can conceive of, all thoughts and imaginations about the Divine are not it. What we are cannot be grasped by the mind. There is an intelligence somewhere deep within us that is calling us home to the truth, to freedom, its just a question of when we’ve had enough of the fear based illusion?

About the Author

Colin Bondi is the author of the website, AwakenInTheNow, where this article was originally featured. Please visit his excellent site.




ZenGardner.com welcomes differing viewpoints and thought provoking opinions that add value to the discussion. For the interest of the community and a healthy conversation, please refrain from posting attacks and offensive content. Inappropriate comments and spam will not be published.



  1. This phrase: “To pass through this threshold requires the absolute surrender of everything we have ever taken ourselves to be. The fear must be transformed into fearlessness, the unknown embraced unconditionally. Given the temporariness of the body/mind we really have nothing to lose in this surrender that we aren’t destined to lose anyway.” has got to be one of the most important words ever put together, the truth is so simple, beautiful, and evident. I love it! Model for life! Thank you so much, I will print this post and hang it on the wall. Thank you Zen for posting this.

  2. Even without the constant apocalyptic images we are subjected to, we still have innumerable median images of pain and death to have to process, deal with, and decide on. The endgame key is, does one fear death?

    Is a man that commits suicide a coward, or an escapee from a prison of the mind?

    This circles back to to fear. The prisons and shackles of the mind are all created out of fear of what will happen if the boxes we put ourselves into disappeared? All of the negative emotions project from this state. In essence: if I don’t act this way or respond to things this way then I might die. This is the hook that we as men succumb to from the advertisements of those that know these things, and use them as a control mechanism for the masses.

    This is a major (and well known by the governing forces) factor of the human intellect. It is no secret that fear drives the masses. Every single terroristic event that is broadcast ad nauseum is put forth to make sure that the control cage of the system is reinforced. Hand in hand is the advertising that accompanies it, which ensures that the system is well funded, forever.

    Critically thinking men discern that every image put forth is analised, then realised, then turned into a single thought switch that makes the individual proceed in a manner that is befitting of a Child of the Creator. Those that are not of an aware mindset are open fodder to images that control their being, spirit and future actions based on the flight or fight process mentioned in the article.

    Those that are certain they have it all figured out are in for a huge surprise. Those in constant search for improvement are in for a huge reward. We must all teach before we can learn, and at the same point we must all learn before we can teach. This is the Yin and the Yang of all evolution of thought, spirit and action.

  3. great p.o.v. ~attachments within the belief of ‘me, I, us, them, we, etc.,’ doings, functioning within the belief systems of a collective consciousness of values, traditions of time/space-space/time within NPL programming and conditions. The limited belief systems of time in a bottle or box. Either self-loathing or self-fishing within attachments of desires, needs, wants a survival programming. I’ve fallen into these limitations, too. And, Life creates-destroys under One Coin as in ‘heads-tails’, what to do? hmmm,,, do?? who’s actually doing? I’m not taking the blame or praise, I’m playing the role of victim or villian. It’s a Happening, It’s Consciousness Aware of this happening. Try not to own what is happening or who might attach to the me doings. Life is Happening! Be Still & Know, you are Infinite limitless consciousness of all! xo

  4. I appreciate what the author is attempting to communicate, though my meditation should fear arise might be different.

    In contrast to the psychological intent here, many now are exposed to a constant deluge of fear, through media. And the idea of contact inducing consciousness is one I personally accept as valid.

    The danger I see these days, is a tendency toward bravado ill-founded. The threats facing many are real. To ignore them is foolhardy.

    If your system is signaling fear it is warranted, somehow. You have to believe your senses and past experience. You have to root out what it is.

    If it is that you are being immersed in a continual field of generated fear, which is becoming the American gestalt, you seriously need to analyze that; as to why, and where it is all headed.

    There are also different levels of this sense, varying from hysterical paralyzing fear, to vigilant awareness, and even mild but very real concern. To be immobilized by fear is bad, but one might conversely ignore it to their own peril.

    Caution comes to mind, and should one disregard that, the end could be bad. These days we tend to look to diversions that relieve our very legitimate fears. Warnings, that we should be motivated into action by, are numerous to the attuned.

    Terrible engines of change, and grandly empowered, are moving relentlessly. They portend tragedy for many if the signals for actions we should take, to get out of harms way, go unheeded.

    • Very similar to so-called “paranoia”. Fact based “fear”…with lowering levels of “respect”..are all very healthy. It’s all about knowledge and understanding and real conscious awareness. Taking action should be in progress for the conscious person or at the least on the tip of their tongue, with a clear willingness to act, move and prepare as the foremost priority.
      Follow life’s signs and live in synchronicity, without being attached to the outcome. Huge practical truths.

  5. ‘ On a spiritual level I think the challenge and the opportunity for us all is to confront the root fear of our own nonexistence to uncover the truth beneath that.’

    This statement is priceless. Wonderful stuff!

  6. Live life as though you’re already dead…therefore, everything you do is good.

    or don’t.

    I Love You.

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