#6 Fear of Aging

“I am luminous with age”
 Meridel Le Sueur
I am perhaps misleading you in the title of my post.  You may hope for some advise on staying young – fighting off the old boogy man – handling wrinkles – keeping healthy – or any other secret recipe for keeping our deepest fear at bay…for after aging, is not death that much closer??
No, my take here is, as always, from the view of the Mystic who asks the question from the perspective of light – or enlightenment – and so it will sound unusual in our culture that values the practical and pragmatic.  
The energy center that brings this energy home is the 7th crown chakra of enthios and joy – or lack thereof.  Navigating this territory requires that we die to our former smaller self and embrace the SELF realization that is waiting to be born.  In order to do this we must die to what holds us back from it’s presence…
Which brings me to how we might do that.
My heart breaks for the common “practicality” of taking drugs to handle our anxiety.  The side effects alone are enough to  give anyone pause, let alone the complete bypass of addressing the reason for their need.
So I came across the following treatise on Theism, Athiesm, Yoga and Fear by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati and I think I’m on to something here that clearly relates.  
Bear with me. Read the article for yourself, but do not get mired in who is athiest and who is theist and who is what and why.
Rather recognize that there is a pervasive fear base in our world – one that takes sides – one that presses on you to be somewhere – anywhere – besides deeply embedded in the flow of life and death and all that is or will be.  
We reach for this new place through the state of meditation, which is a state of being rather than an ideology.
The author speaks about the fear of a yoga meditation practitioner who seeks independence from the cultural mind and actually finds himself “going against” the subtle pressures of the human environment, which in itself causes undiagnosed fear, and so he butts up against the unexpected.  The author says:

If Theist or Atheist polarities are present in your family, social and career worlds, the unspoken (or spoken) pressure to conform, follow, or convert to their views can be a tremendous threat to your sense of well being, both in terms of emotional response and the realities of functioning in a world of such people.

This fear can have a devastating effect on ones feelings of safety in family, community, and professional life, and, in turn, on spiritual life. It can cause hesitancy, timidness, reluctance, mistrust, self-doubt, and other such emotions and reactions, which are often projections of an underlying fear.

These, in turn, are antagonists to the tranquility or peace of mind consistent with meditation and other spiritual practices.

The effect of this fear can be an unconscious reticence to pursue the deeper teachings, or to explore and surrender into the subtler processes such as with advanced meditation or contemplation. Or, the fear may be strong enough to completely stop you on your inner journey of enlightenment, even though it may remain undetected by the conscious mind.”

I find I agree.  If we do not pursue the deeper teachings – if we will not surrender into the subtler processes – what are we left with? I see the fear of aging everywhere as I myself age.  I see the unbelievable resources we spend – millions, billions, trillions – keeping it out and away with the fear of looking at it or feeling it or embracing any part of it.

As deeply as we are scared silly of aging, so too are we refusing to enter the 7th chakra territory of surrender and death, and so how can peace exist in us when all we do is resist?

When all we do is resist.

You do not resist you say?

Ahhhh…how willing are you to meditate then? Deeply, truly, really meditate… 

“The fear often manifests as feeling you “do not have time” to meditate or do other practices, as if some invisible force is blocking the path in front of you. It can manifest as feeling you are “not ready” to go ahead on the journey.

It can feel like you are “not worthy” to have the joy of direct experience of your own true nature. It can leave you “deciding” to follow the inner journey later in life, maybe after you have a different circle of friends, after you have moved to a different city, after your children are grown, after your relationship with your spouse has changed, or after you retire from your job.”

 What is the answer then?  I agree with our author who says:

“If you are a sincere seeker of direct experience, it is imperative to see the nature of this fear so that you can develop the will power, the sankalpa shakti, the determination to move forward, right through the middle of these obstacles, regardless of the opinions and actions of your fellow humans, whether Theists or Atheists. 

This is done by cultivating an active, passionate conviction to seek that for which your heart longs. With this awareness and commitment, and an attitude of loving perseverance, the fear is ultimately seen as a phantom and gradually dissolves into just one more past habit that no longer binds, or blocks the finer realization being sought.”

We are shapeshifters you and I.

We have all the tools at hand.

We have the possibility and the charge to move beyond the stops and blocks of fear thoughts.  Just think – the entire subject of delving deep into self-realization is a NEW one for our culture! We are just beginning to embrace age old practices of meditation and concentration and make them our own.  In years gone by the student would have had to prove themselves to be worthy to study.  The subject itself was considered so powerful it was reserved for the few.

Now – today – we all have the freedom to shape our minds and open our hearts to what is true and enlivening without the spectre of fear running our circuits.  There is work to be done, but this kind of work is love made manifest.

Make the plunge! Take charge! Be self-realized. If you are the “different one” in your family, workplace or group, I salute you.  Keep going. Trust your heart.  Believe in yourself.  You will find the way.

If I can help you I will.  Check yokibics.com for many opportunities to listen to guided meditations on many topics, or come join me or another teacher for meditation training via skype or in person.  Whatever you can do – do it.  You are a necessary part of new world thought and new world mind.

Let me know how it goes!

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