Skip to content

Fear and Fearlessness

Fierce Devi
Episode No. 70

We often hear that we need to own impermanence. But we also need to learn how to take refuge in the eternal. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi.

first words from the podcast

Tonight’s topic is fear, but it isn’t really, and I’ll tell you why in a minute. The fear that we experience is based on our either conscious or unconscious perception of our own impermanence. And when I say our own impermanence, I’m talking on a very relativistic level. If you’ve ever been in a Buddhist tradition, you’ve probably been told that you have to understand that everything is impermanence; everything that we experience here is impermanence. But what you actually have to realize is permanence. I’m not being cheeky. It’s actually the truth.

We have this construct made up of basically a jumble sale of karmas that we call our self. And that self is predicated on the experiential concept that we’re separate beings. It’s that construct that is afraid for its life. It wants to preserve itself. It has momentum, and it wants to preserve itself.

At the very, most superficial level, you could say it wants to preserve itself by avoiding illness, by racking up possessions, by hoarding various kinds of things, by being cautious, not taking too many risks, by being famous, or being respected, or leaving something behind. Many people are obsessed with leaving a legacy or having somebody remember them. And this is very silly, because whoever is going to remember you is going to be dead very shortly anyway.