Monday, February 11, 2013

On Fearlessness

Don't Fall, Tel Aviv, Israel, November 2012, Nikon D600 with FX 28-300mm VR lens, 
28mm, 1/500 sec @ f3.5, ISO 100, -0.3 EV, no flash © Steven Crisp  [Click on the photo to enlarge]

Stop!  Don't Jump!  Or Slip and Fall!  Or get accidentally pushed over the edge!

Do you ever have that feeling of vertigo when you get near the edge of a top floor on a tall building?  What is that exactly?  I'm not sure, but it does lead me into my topic today.

And that is fear, and its alternative, fearlessness.  It's something I've been struggling with a little just under the surface of my everyday existence.  

Things going well, life arranged as one had planned, financial situation comfortable, family situation wonderful, etc. etc.  Pretty much the definition of happiness.  And yet there is the small tingle of underlying fear.  Nothing grave.  Just that lingering worry that at any instant, something beyond your control could completely topple your well organized life.  A major illness, or an accident, or a financial scandal, etc.  (I know, this is the kind of problem many people, facing real tangible crises and challenges, would like to have.)

I think these fears are common, but my sense is they are preventing deep, abiding inner peace and contentment.  This morning I received this article on fearlessness by one of my favorite spiritual authors, Thich Nhat Hanh.   My plan is to reflect on it and see to what extent I can work on addressing this underlying fear.  We'll see how it goes.

Oh, and have no fear ... no flowers were hurt during the photo shoot ;-)


Honeybee said...

I have left some comments and now see they are not listed...I obviously did something wrong. So, just wanted to say I like the perspective on this photo and that I hope the article addressed your issue with fear. :)

Steven Crisp said...

Thanks Honeybee.

Sorry the Blogger swallowed your comments; bad Blogger!

I've been reflecting more, and alas posting less, so I now need to merge the two.

Your comments may just be that push over the edge I need (see how I tied that right back into the post ;-)

Honeybee said...

I like the tie-in

Freedom_Unbound said...

Interesting Steve, thanks for that link, as usual, I have a few thoughts on this, since I have a few thoughts on almost everything I encounter. This superb writing by Thich Nhat Hanh puts me in the mind of the versatility, and the imagination we have to conjure up all kinds of illusions to amuse ourselves with, or torture ourselves with. Considering this for a while, we can not help but to consider and bring into view, the limitations, the sufferings, the confusions, of the human condition. How instructive and liberating this can be. And though there is nothing certain, except illusion, and it is all illusion, even for those who can realize this...the suffering is real. It seems there are several ways out, and the way I choose recently, is to hold this suffering with tender compassion, as this brings forth a resilience which further instructs me in the wondrous art of living while maintaining balance in the midst of what arises...

Basically we encounter one mystery in this life...and we don't need any is called Being Alive.

Steven Crisp said...


"Basically we encounter one mystery in this life...and we don't need any is called Being Alive. "

I think that is an excellent observation, and I will ponder that more.

It seems to be a foundation for always remaining open (expansive) rather than closed (contracted).

If I'm part of the vast mystery called Being Alive, I want to examine it, dwell upon and within it, be receptive to learning its secrets, and be willing to go along with its flow.

Such an approach to encountering that which arises -- be it pain or pleasure, fear or tranquility -- seems like the right Rx.

Thanks again for your visit and observation.