Juxtaposition of Fear and Love

Beneath an ocean of fear are the plunging depths of mantle and core — the root of all we are and that which clutches the mass of our being — the gravity of our ground, the Self.

The causal forces of emotion, lie both below the roots of fear — fear of who we really are, and above the tree line of hubris,fear of who we’ll become. Fear is self-effacing love — love which mistakes itself as weak for having no attachments and only flourishes when worn as an accessory or talisman. Pure fear is the perfect absence of love, and it stands to reason that it carries a certainty that is inversely proportional to the possibility of realized potential; potential to be who we are already destined to be, or to attain, or to love. Fear is a misperception that all we can ever have is all we can hold today — to a point where all we hold in the moment then exceeds all we’ll ever have in moments to come. Fear carries weight, love is weightless and without volume… it simply is. Nothing to collect up; it holds us.

“… when we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all…” ~ Hermann Hesse, Baume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

Fear is not of a ghost, it is the ghost. The more we fear, the more certain we become that we are destined to remain our own ghosts; neither feared nor loved. Fear is a threat, disguised as a promise and what scares us is the promise. Part the ocean, strip the surface and you’ll see the truth about fear; a hollow, transparent, and forlorn apparition. A brilliant master of disguise.

“Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.” ~ Rudyard Kipling

Fear never begins, it never ends — it cannot be measured, it is not greater than the sum of it’s parts; it is other than the sum of it’s parts. Its dissected meaning is as diminutive and sharp as the edge of a scalpel, and to analyze our fear is to simply lose ourselves in the waning interstitial space of nothingness. It stands for nothing unless it stands in the foreground of our own awareness, and then it is only seen as a dark silhouette postured in the brilliance of destiny. If we cast light on fear, we’ll find it is simply love in the shadows of the unknown. Turn this light on ourselves… therein lies comfort.

“My imagination persisted in sticking horrors into the dark- so I stuck my imagination into the dark instead, and let it look out at me.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

We all fear something. I feared my father until the day he died and even after. It made me stop and reconsider that I’d rather love the departed as they fade to a point of light in their future, than fear the darkness of their growing memory in times gone by. Fear is a lonely sort, looking for companionship in our memories… stand inside of fear, give it the company of love.

“The sun, red and enormous, began to sink into the western sky. And simultaneously the moon began to rise on the other side of the river with its own glorious shade of red, coming up out of the trees like a russet firebird. The sun and the moon seem to acknowledge each other and they moved in both apposition and concordance in a breath taking dance of light across the oaks and the palms. My father watched it and I thought he would cry again. He had returned to the sea, and his heart was a low country heart.” ~ Pat Conroy, Prince of Tides

Fear and love reflect the divine in their juxtaposition. It’s apogee and perigee. Gravity pulls us in, centrifugal force pulls us away. Fear is neither here nor there and does not reside in now or later. It lets out a gasp with any adjustment of vision, parallax. My father lives in the hinterland of my heart, if I shift this way or that, I see him as a memory far from fear. Like tears of fear, washing away into obscurity in an ocean of, of… no, I couldn’t possibly say something that saccharine.

Let’s turn our heads to look toward the direction we wish to go, not from whence we came — it’s alright… the importance of those who do not follow will be realized in the promise of those we’ve yet to meet. Imagine a translucent fear, and we’ll begin to see the core of ourselves — perfect a transparent fear, and we’ll find pure love.

“…Close your mouth against food.
Taste the lover’s mouth in yours.
You moan, But she left me. He left me.
Twenty more will come.
Be empty of worrying.
Think of who created thought.
Why do you stay in prison
when the door is so wide open?
Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence.
Flow down and down
in always widening rings of being.” ~ Rumi

I love my children, I fear their harm. I love my sacred union, I fear it’s end. I love myself, I fear the commitment. See, for me, fear and love are two reflections within one mirror. Whichever one has the breath to fog the glass remains the truth.

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