All of us go through seasons of fear. Sometimes, there are good reason to have fear; oftenimes, though, it is what The Urantia Book calls "unreasoned fear" that can get its grip on our minds, and lead to great distress - needless distress. This article in the Christian press: Remedy for worry comes from placing our faith in Jesus by Matt Mylin is quite good, and helps us see this issue from the Christian, Biblical perspective. Below, we'll blog on this topic using Urantia Book teachings; but first, a snip or two from the article to whet your interest:
"Have you ever worried about someone or something? Worry is a natural response when the uncertainty of life collides with the human desire to know. In those moments, is it really that simple just to follow the directions from the song "Don't Worry, Be Happy," or even the words of Jesus? As part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, "That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life — whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing?" (Matthew 6:25 NLT) Then Jesus said to look at the birds and the flowers as our example. It seems like he is saying, "If the birds and the flowers don't get stressed out about life, you shouldn't get stressed out either."
"I don't think it's possible to just will our way out of worry; however, I do believe there is a remedy for worry that comes from placing our faith in Jesus.
"Jesus did not say, 'Do not work,' 'Do not plan' or 'Do not be responsible for what you need to do to live.' He simply said, 'Do not worry.' "
Click to read more
Worry and fear have been companions of mine for much of my life. Can you relate? Not everyone can, and for those who cannot, I applaud and even envy you. It has taken me many years to overcome the toxin of fear and its effects upon my inner - and outer - life. The teachings of The Urantia Book have been a large part of my victory over fear. I still struggle at times, but the bulk of that destructive emotion has been tamed and subdued through spiritual means. It is possible to recognize this nemesis and address it before it becomes a problem.
For many souls, fear is born at an early age, when circumstances of life hurl one into uncertain situations that DO feel very threatening, and actually ARE threatening to one's well-being. Unfortunately, though, the stain of fear, panic, or anxiety can be imprinted on a developing person, coloring their entire subsequent life - even after the original stimulus has been long relieved. Maybe it is a remnant from our legacy of our animal origins, but in modern life, fear plays far too great a role for some of us. Maybe you are one of them. I hope tto lend a hand to you here, friend.
One passage in The Urantia Book that has been helpful to me is this somewhat obscure one, in the papers on world religions; this passage is from the section about Buddhism:
131:3.3 Those who avoid evil by seeing things as they are gain joy by thus embracing the truth.
This is a comforting thought. Seeing things as they ARE - not as I fear they MIGHT be - is a reality check. Fear is evil; embracing it ourselves, or or fostering it in others is likewise evil. That is why we are so often admonished to overcome it. Fear is a "spirit poison."
Unless we are being faced with a real and immediate threat, worrying about what COULD happen in the future, or what HAS happened in the past is placing my life on a plane of unreality. Seeing things as they are - right now - is a far safer course. Not only seeing the facts of the NOW, but being grateful for the fact that there's really nothing going on RIGHT NOW that I need fear (unless in a case of real physical danger!). Knowing that God is present to me in this moment, and this moment alone can return my mind to sanity.
Symptoms of fear include anxiety and chronic worry; these can lead to more serious repercussions: a pervasive sense of doom or dread, panic attacks that can make one's heart rate accelerate, racing thoughts that overwhelm one's rational mind altogether and that leave one breathless and one's will paralyzed. Fear can also lead to depression, and worse.
As an important aside: if you find yourself a victim of fear, if you feel helpless, suffering under the clouds of nameless dread and panic, I urge you to try the spiritual tools and Urantia Book teachings outlined here; but if that is not helping you, please find professional help as soon as possible. These are issues that can escalate if not addressed. You are not alone.
Long after the causes for fear have been erased, the phenomenon of "unreasoned" fear can rear its ugly head. The Urantia Book's teachings help us to identify and defuse it:
48:7.4 Few persons live up to the faith which they really have. Unreasoned fear is a master intellectual fraud practiced upon the evolving mortal soul.
"Unreasoned" is the qualifier; "faith" is the antidote. Living up to that faith - seizing on it - can defuse unreasoned fear
When we really examine our fears, one question we might ask ourselves is:
Is something happening right now that is fearful? Am I in danger? If the answer is no, then fear is not reasoned. Am I projecting into the future or into the past? That fear likewise, is not reasoned. Bring your mind back to God, to reality...cling to him as a child clings to its parent's hand and claim his help and protection in full faith that it is yours.
In the article I cite above, the author has done a good job of helping us see that fear - apart from prudence and reasonable care of oneself - is a terrible trap. He talks about the birds, and how they spend their time feeding, and preparing safe nests as a means of prudence and insurance against future troubles, and this is a good lesson for us, too. The exercise of prudence and care in all of our affairs can help us avoid occasions of fear, also. What Jesus tells us in The Urantia Book echoes the bible, but expands on it, as is usually the case:
165:3.4 Jesus says: "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And yet, when these birds flit about in quest of their sustenance, not one of them exists without the knowledge of the Father, the source of all life. To the seraphic guardians the very hairs of your head are numbered. And if all of this is true, why should you live in fear of the many trifles which come up in your daily lives? I say to you: Fear not; you are of much more value than many sparrows.
And this is significant, for this admonition was given during a sermon called" "Trust and Spiritual Preparedness."At this time, Jesus was well aware of the plots that were underfoot to derail his mission and arrest him, and worse. If anyone might have embraced a sense of fear and foreboding, Jesus might have. But he did not. He states:
165:3.3 "Soon, very soon, will the things which our enemies now plan in secrecy and in darkness be brought out into the light and be proclaimed from the housetops. But I say to you, my friends, when they seek to destroy the Son of Man, be not afraid of them. Fear not those who, although they may be able to kill the body, after that have no more power over you. I admonish you to fear none, in heaven or on earth, but to rejoice in the knowledge of Him who has power to deliver you from all unrighteousness and to present you blameless before the judgment seat of a universe.
Read the entire sermon HERE
And one of the best Jesus stories of all is this one, as the Master comforts and advises "The Young Man who was Afraid."
The sure antidote
As mentioned, FAITH in God and his goodness is the sure antidote to fear. Knowing that he is in charge and that his will for us is only good and loving. And I might add that living in the NOW is also a necessary antidote. Being entirely present in the moment, connecting with God through sincere prayer, relaxing the body with meditation techniques such as mindful breathing or the 4-7-8 technique can greatly reduce anxiety and place the mind on a more positive, prayerful course. Both of these techniques can be accessed through a Google search; as a former sufferer, I highly recommend them. They can be accessed in a moment, with just a switch in thinking - a choice to feel better.
We are intricate, sensitive beings; the mechanisms of our minds and bodies are intertwined; and Spirit can be the mediator between these two, if we so choose. As with so many other eathly matters, connecting with our Spirit-within can allay fear and put our minds at rest, which in turn will make our bodies follow suit. This promise is outlined here
116:6.1 In the evolutionary superuniverses energy-matter is dominant except in personality, where spirit through the mediation of mind is struggling for the mastery. The goal of the evolutionary universes is the subjugation of energy-matter by mind, the co-ordination of mind with spirit, and all of this by virtue of the creative and unifying presence of personality. Thus, in relation to personality, do physical systems become subordinate; mind systems, co-ordinate; and spirit systems, directive.
There are many manifestations of fear that we can recognize; this blog has been pointed towards the kind of nebulous, unnamed fear that poisons our rationality; the kind of fear that paralyzes our will and leaves us shaking and quaking. The kind of fear that distracts and derails our minds. But fear as a general topic is one that we could all could likely use help with. Not all fear is of the debilitating kind...The Urantia Book offeres all of us practical wisdom to understand fear.
Please see our topical study of Urantia Book (and Jesus') teachings on the subject of FEAR ... including a history of us and how fear played such a major role in our evolutionary development.
Finally, this passage about the faith of Jesus, and how that faith made him a force to be reckoned with. And we can follow Jesus in this regard - by placing our trust in the heavenly Father just as he did:
196:0.11 In the earthly life of Jesus, religion was a living experience, a direct and personal movement from spiritual reverence to practical righteousness. The faith of Jesus bore the transcendent fruits of the divine spirit. His faith was not immature and credulous like that of a child, but in many ways it did resemble the unsuspecting trust of the child mind. Jesus trusted God much as the child trusts a parent. He had a profound confidence in the universe—just such a trust as the child has in its parental environment. Jesus' wholehearted faith in the fundamental goodness of the universe very much resembled the child's trust in the security of its earthly surroundings. He depended on the heavenly Father as a child leans upon its earthly parent, and his fervent faith never for one moment doubted the certainty of the heavenly Father's overcare. He was not disturbed seriously by fears, doubts, and skepticism. Unbelief did not inhibit the free and original expression of his life. He combined the stalwart and intelligent courage of a full-grown man with the sincere and trusting optimism of a believing child. His faith grew to such heights of trust that it was devoid of fear.
Happy trails to all...and a faith-filled,journey be yours, free from fear!