Overcoming Fear


I recently read about an initiation
ceremony that was used anciently in Egypt to help people
reduce/eliminate fear. These Egyptians understood that Fear was a
barrier that prevented people from ascending into a higher
consciousness. So they spent many years training their students until
finally they came to one particular challenge to assess where there
students were at. This is what they did:

There was a small hole, just large enough to fit one person. Within
that hole was water and it was pitch black. The student was instructed
to swim down into the hole that was filled with water and find another
way out. That was all they were told. As the student swam straight
down, there were ledges that jutted into the column of water, so the
student had to carefully navigate himself/herself downwards. At about
20 feet, the wall on one side opened up and the student was able to
swim underneath it to a section that was lighted. So, as the student
enters this area, he/she starts to swim upward and that is when it
becomes apparent that there are many alligators within the pool of
water. However, because the student is about to run out of air at this
point, he/she has to go up in between the alligators in order to get
air. What the student doesn’t know is that all of the alligators were
already fed, so it is unlikely that the alligators would attack the
student. Regardless, it would be quite the “Fear Factor” adventure.
Then to top it off, the student is told that he/she failed because
there was a different exit point than the one they used. So, after more
training, the student enters the dark abyss again (knowing that there
are alligators) and find the opening at the bottom of the wall on the
other side, which is also pitch black and go up through that.

Although I doubt I’ll ever go through that kind of “overcoming fear”
adventure, I think the topic of overcoming fear is interesting and
important in our spiritual development. There are so many fears that we
have that can stifle our growth. They say the #1 fear of all people is
speaking in public, followed by death. But there are so many other
fears, such as fear of germs/diseases, fear of failure, fear of
rejection, fear of opening yourself up to someone and communicating
your true feelings, etc.

But rather than list all of the various kinds of fear, I would like
to point out an example that I like to think about. Remember when
Christ walked on the water? He wasn’t the only one who did. Peter also
walked on the water (at least for a little while) and then he sunk in
the water. And then Jesus asked Peter the question, “Why do you
fear?”…. So, it is apparent that it was the fear within Peter that
caused an abrupt halt to Peter’s miraculous feat. Although we would
expect Jesus, to be able to perform a miracles such as that, the fact
that Peter was able to do it is amazing because it helps me to
understand that I, too, have the capacity to perform miracles and fear
is the number one enemy that gets in the way of our spiritual
advancement. The Egyptians understood this and that is why I believe
they were so focused on helping people face their fears and then
overcome them. Christ was not fearful, even in the face of death… and
if we can even come a little closer to overcoming more of our own
fears, we will become more like Christ and only accelerate our
spiritual growth. In the next blog post, I’m going to share an
experience I had that deal with facing my own fears.

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