Some days ago, my wife sent me this blog post. The following remarks resonated with me rather well:
While life looked great for the most part, I found myself occasionally experiencing sharp anxiety over things that seemed relatively insignificant to others around me. I related to these moments as personal setbacks in my otherwise happy journey of spiritual growth. Of course, being that harsh on myself made it worse.All the same, with continued reflections, I could begin to see a pattern. I had a strong, an almost innate, sense of aversion – an aversion to pain, loss and to any kind of suffering.I subconsciously detested multiple things, big and small, including the idea of falling sick, getting into an argumentative discussion, excessive socializing, meeting aggressive people or missing my daily dose of meditation or exercise. I was also averse to making blunders (perhaps minor mistakes that appeared major only to me) and harbored a subliminal fear of potential loss – of losing a loved one, my reputation or my new-found sense of peace.
I certainly could relate to this part of the blog post than the earlier part where he wrote about discovering an inner strength. Perhaps, I did so too in the last two years or I did not. I am not sure of that. But, the above part is something that I had experienced and am still experiencing.
It set me thinking on why it ought to be the case and I came up with the following explanations. Needless to add, the explanations are not mutually exclusive.
(1) Having given up (for the most part) on the pursuit of material goals and acquisitions, one naturally finds inadequately or not at all motivated to pursue certain activities whose ends would have been these. So, some activities and engagements drop out. There is more time. There is a certain incremental idle time in that sense. Hence, other thoughts come in to occupy the idle time. Vulnerabilities and fears get accentuated and get extra attention.
(2) As long as one feels that one is the ‘master of the universe’ or at least the ‘master of one’s personal universe’, one is driven by a sense of (false) belief in one’s abilities to handle things. As that feeling of ‘ego’ shrinks a bit and as becomes aware of one’s vulnerabilities, initially (‘initially’ has no reference to chronological time; chronically, it can last very long and it is, in my case) one feels a greater sense of vulnerability and experiences more fears. Logically, the next step in this process should be total surrender as one comes to terms with and accepts one’s vulnerability. For Yours Truly, it is still a work in progress, to put it positively.
(3) Both the realisation about the relative uselessness of material and other goals and the heightened sense of vulnerability could be due to some common underlying biological change. Who knows?
In a different context, my friend wrote to me that
“The illusory ‘I’ has to be ‘sustained’. otherwise the bubble will burst. But we are afraid of the emptiness. The great say that that emptiness is fullness’
He was responding to this blog post at ‘The Gold Standard’ blog that I maintain. He is right: even the partial realisation of the emptiness is unsettling. I am yet to come to terms with it.
Do you want to share your experiences and progression or tips for progression that helped you overcome this sense of vulnerability or fears?