- Fear is only possible when there is attachment or desire. Without Attachment it is just an abstract term. Practice every day to reduce attachment. Some examples of attachment -
- Attachment to your romantic partner, results in fear of adultery or rejection.
- Attachment to one's occupation or livelihood, result in sleepless nights.
- Attachment to success, results in fear of ridicule by others when you fail.
- Attachment to luxury or wealth , results in fear of poverty.
- Understand where attachment comes from. We get attached to anything that helps fulfill voids in our self. This void has many names - loneliness, emptiness, hollowness, lack of worth etc.
- Understand that the only way to avoid attachment is to accept that you are the "void". You are the loneliness, hollowness and emptiness.It is not a void, it is your self and the self does not need anything else to validate it.
- When you accept it you stop naming it ( e.g. loneliness, insecurity) and you stop running from it.You stop attaching to external factors which are by its nature not under your control. Lack of control leads to fear.
- One who has nothing to lose does not fear.
- Who is not afraid to die? one who "neither wishes to die or live by any means". Not attached to life.
- The same principle applies to other things like property , wives/husbands and fame.
- stoics are always prepared for and embrace their losses.
Quietly expecting everything that can happen and enduring that which has already happened.
For example, when an adult is taken to a tyrant, guarded by his body guards with dangerous weapons, he is very afraid and trembles. But when a child is taken to him he is not fearful, why ? The child is not attached to his life and other material stuff yet.
this is a fearless attitude:
"desire nothing which belongs to (which is in power of) others nor try to aviod any of the things that are in your power."
If we do not desire anything that is outwith our power and choose only to pursue things that are under the power of our will, how can we be fearful?
- If we do not desire a promotion but focus on being the best at what we do, will we be fearful? Will we not be better workers?
- If we do not desire winning a match, but practice to be the best we can be, will we be anxious the night before? Will we not play better without anxiety?
Engage in negative visualisation. Imagine loosing everything that you are attached to everyday.
- Practice hardship. For example if you fear poverty then try living in poverty.
Notes from A Selection from the Discourses of Epictetus with the Encheiridion (Greek Classics)
Notes from Total Freedom: The Essential Krishnamurti
Top up with -
On dealing with ambition
On dealing with work
On dealing with a wasteful life