The Connection Between Choice and Fear

I thought the following was a particularly thought-provoking look at how what we focus on is what we create. It's taken from a series of "Master Essays" that Story Waters created some months ago. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.


by Story Waters, TheOneSelf and Limitlessness


In the previous essay (Essay Two: The Infinite Matrix) we looked at how the One Self uses selective focus and unconsciousness to create an infinite number of experiences of individuality. It does this by focusing on the Self it wants to be and forgetting that it is all other Selves. By doing this, it can create realities like the Earth where we experience ourselves as being different from each other even though we are in fact all the same consciousness. In this essay we will look at how, within the Human Experience we continue to use focus to create our experience of free will. You can listen to an audio version of this essay as well as read the text. Bold paragraphs are summaries of the section just read.



by Story Waters

The most consistent and fundamental choice you are always making is the choice of what you are focusing upon. The Infinite Matrix represents the possibility of everything that could ever exist and we create a life by navigating it. Whatever it is you choose to focus upon within your perception is what directs the unfolding of your reality. In just the same way that a car moves towards whatever you steer it at, you are energetically moving towards whatever you are focused on. To move towards anything energetically is to be on a continually unfolding journey of coming to know it better.

A significant difference between human focus and steering a car is that cars have brakes to bring them to a complete stop. Within the human experience, though you can do your best to put everything on hold, you are always energetically travelling towards your focus. The only way to stop moving towards it is to either focus upon something else or become unconscious. Whilst we are conscious our perception never stops, so neither do we. You are always travelling into your perception. You are always receiving information from whatever you are looking at. Whatever you are focused upon, you are absorbing.

When this is understood, the human dilemma of choosing what we enjoy over what we fear becomes powerfully evident. A simple understanding of this process would make it seem that if you focus on the things that you fear, then you will lead yourself to more fearful experiences. And if you focus on what you enjoy, then you will have more joyful experiences. However, this basic understanding of our focus points more towards our original experience on Earth than what we experience today. It was a time when human life was polarized in a simpler way into choices that were more clearly either following your passion or falling further into fear.

The human experience is a highly developed system. Evolution and specialization in almost every area has occurred. It has been significantly transformed from its original state and the mental fears we deal with today are far more complex than the more instinctual and associative fears from past times when we lived in a more primal way. (Please remember that past is only being used to point to what we call the past – see essay two for the concept of linear time as an illusion).

To be able to consciously move our focus from what we fear to something we enjoy (meaning our fears are no longer controlling us) is a cornerstone of learning to master your focus. But the human experience is far more than a challenge to focus on what you enjoy rather than what you fear. The very nature of fear has evolved over history to become something less instinctual and simplistic into something more mentally convoluted, nuanced and particular. In describing it as such I do not point towards us going down a ‘wrong path’. I point towards us evolving into something far richer and more complex, something that is more akin to a maze to navigate, rather than an adversary to flee or fight. We chose this evolution of fear, and through it we directed the evolution of the human experience. As such it is not some unfortunate by-product. It is a prize. The transformation of fear is one of the primary qualities of life that we have come to experience.

Summary: The most profound choice you are ever making is the choice of what to focus upon as it steers the unfolding of your reality. Whatever you are focused upon, you are absorbing. Though the ability to shift your focus from things you fear towards things you enjoy is a key part of being conscious, life is not purely about focusing on joy rather than fear. A part of the human experience that we have significantly evolved is the experience of transforming our fears. We have evolved it from an instinctual fight or flight response into an emotionally charged maze that we have the power to transform (learn and resolve). We do this not as a mission for a greater good or to achieve a destination. We are doing this because we find it is our joy.

Deep within us we know and feel that life should be about joy. Because we tend to see fearful experiences as being the opposite of joyful experiences we can end up labeling fear as a wrongness that should be eliminated. When fear is prevalent this leads to an experience where you are resistant to life and seek to control it in order to minimize feeling fear and maximize feeling joy. When we have such a finite view of what we are, it becomes the norm to experience ourselves as controlled by our fears in this way. However, when you view yourself as eternal, non-physical consciousness, you will enjoy the richness that arises through the transformation of fears just as much as you enjoy the more obvious, positively labelled human experiences.

The overcoming of fears has become as intrinsic to the human experience as the finding of love and passion. Without the realization that you wanted to experience fears within this life, you will always feel yourself to be, at some level, a victim of this life, a person controlled by your fears. It is vital in the leaving of victimhood to understand that you are willingly and with joy creating every aspect of your life, even those aspects causing you to feel fear. This is the realization that you are an empowered creator versus the fallen being described by most religions.

Even people who have left the conditioning of religion still tend to believe that we must endure experiences that we do not want, in order to have the experiences we do want. This is the limited idea that we must endure the dark cloud in order to experience its silver lining. You have the ability to experience any variation of the Earth you can imagine. Your reality is the precise manifestation of your choice and you did not make a single compromise in its creation. Two of the most profound experiences you can have on Earth are first, realizing there is only one consciousness, and second, realizing that every aspect of life that you have ever experienced is not only exactly what you wanted, but you are the one that created it. Many people are resistant to this idea because it takes away the comfort of blaming other people or other forces for what you do not like about your life. Blaming others, no matter how logically justified, is a state of disempowerment.

We have each chosen experiences that have left us with fearful beliefs because within those fears is an experiential journey. Where that journey will take you as a Self is beyond where you were before you entered into that journey. For example, a Self that overcomes a fear of dogs contains experiences of Self that are different from someone that never feared dogs in the first place. We enjoy the process of facing, and thereby transforming our fears because we enjoy both the process of doing it and the transformation of Self that it leaves us with.

When you look at the entertainment industry you will clearly see that we enjoy watching movies about the overcoming of obstacles, hardships and fears, far more than movies without that kind of drama or hardship. If you cannot believe that you would choose a particular fear, then ultimately you can only see yourself as a victim of that fear, forced to either live with it or face it. Do not fear taking complete responsibility for your life. See that you are that which chooses every one of your experiences. This is the path to transform your experience of fear itself.

Deep within us we know life is about joy. The deeper realization is that even though we may complain while within the experience, we actually find great joy in facing, navigating and transforming experiences that evoke fear within us. We desire both the process of transforming our fears and the feeling of Self that the journey of transformation leaves us with. Our choice of movies and TV shows clearly shows we are beings that like challenges and drama, far more than stillness and harmony and there is nothing wrong or inferior about that.

Focusing upon a fear does not necessarily take you further into that fear. When we face a fear there is always the choice of how we choose to interpret what we are experiencing. This is why perception is a creative act. When you understand that there is not a singular, objective world out there to observe, but infinite versions of every potential, then perception is far more about choice than observation. Perception is not, “Report what you objectively see before you.” Instead it is, “Choose how you want to interpret what is before you. What meaning do you wish to assign to it?” That meaning is then what determines the trajectory of your focus, which then determines the unfolding of your life. In any situation with emotional significance to you, this trajectory will either reflect a choice to allow or resist / fear the experience.

This means that when we focus upon one of our fears, there is a choice. We can either use how we are interpreting what we are perceiving to send us deeper into fear, or we can use it to become more conscious of the feared-thing (by being open to new information) such that we come to better understand it. In the realization of the One Self it is understood that everything is a reflection because the only thing we are ever perceiving is the One Self (as there is nothing else in existence to perceive). This means that becoming more conscious of anything will only ever lead us to the realization that it is a reflection of something within us, and that whatever was feared was caused by a lack of understanding either of it or ourselves.

The absorption of whatever we are focused upon is therefore neither intrinsically positive or negative. For example, if you spend time looking at murders it could make you incredibly fearful of the world or it could lead to an in-depth understanding of what leads to murder, or how to identify a murderer, such that you feel safer in the world. Different angles of perception on the same event lead to different experiences of reality. A person who studies murder with passionate curiosity and a positive view of innate human nature will have a very different experience from someone seeking to validate their belief that humans are murderous and cruel by nature. Perception is a creative act and we continually choose to create experiences that have the potential to either empower or disempower ourselves.

This is the basis of one of the most powerful spiritual teachings – Know Thyself. It is the realization that the best route to knowing everything is to know your Self, because you are the One Self. It is the realization that there is nothing in existence that, when understood, is feared. It is the realization that all fear is caused by ‘unconsciousness of what is’, rather than ‘consciousness of what is’. It is the realization that there is no force of darkness or evil outside of us that can be called ‘other’. All we may experience as darkness within us, is the shade caused by temporary unconsciousness. All unconsciousness is temporary because all systems are circular in nature and always eventually return to their starting point of consciousness. Because all unconsciousness is temporary there is no need to fear it, as you cannot become lost or trapped within it.

In facing fear there are two choices: the choice to go further into that fear by interpreting your reality through a lens of victimhood, or the choice to interpret your reality through the empowered perspective that you are willingly choosing to experience it in your exploration of Self. Within any fear there is the potential, through knowing it better, to see that it is only a reflection of yourself. And that whatever it is you feared about it was based upon a lack of understanding it. Looking unconsciously at your fears is to fall further into negative interpretation, thereby further cementing the fear-based meanings you live within.

We most commonly experience choice in the expression of our preferences, such as the choice of how we take our coffee. Choices like this do not seem to be particularly consequential in terms of the direction our life is taking. However, because fear is such an intrinsic part of the human experience, the choice of either going further into or out of fear is always present at some level. For example, if you don’t order your coffee the way you enjoy it most, but instead order a lower calorie option, then fear-based beliefs are at work. This does not make the healthier option ‘wrong’ because there is a fear, it just means it is reflecting a fear that is in the process of transforming (potentially in either direction). In our example the choice may be the result of an increased consciousness of a tendency to emotionally eat and will thereby feel empowered. Or, it may be the result of eating a tub of ice-cream earlier that day and stem from feelings of self-loathing. See here that even in the empowered option it still holds true that the person is exploring their fear-based issue. They are however bringing more consciousness, rather than unconsciousness, to it through an empowered point of perception.

Our coffee example demonstrates how this kind of dilemma is within the heart of the human experience as our fears tend to permeate our very perception itself. In the vast majority of other reality systems, whatever it is that you want is instantly experienced. Whatever you desire, you ask for, and it is received. That is just how it is. There is not even a choice to ‘not ask’ for what you want. When you do not contain fear-based limiting beliefs, wanting and asking are the same thing. Only in a reality like the Earth can you want a sweet, creamy coffee but instead choose to ask for a soy latte with artificial sweetener. Remember here that this does not make artificial sweetener a bad thing. It is all about where the choice for it comes from within the Self. Another person may choose the sugar because they fear the sweetener is carcinogenic.

The distinction that is being pointed to here is best expressed as the separation of will and desire such that there can be contradiction between what we desire and what we actually set about willing to happen. We can will for something to happen that we do not desire, or we can desire an experience that we choose to not focus our will upon. For example, you may desire to tell your boss they are a bigot, but you do not will yourself to say the words when you are stood in front of them due to fear. Or you may focus your will towards earning extra money because you fear not having enough, when you really desire to spend that time on a personal creative endeavor.

This divide between will and desire can be seen partially as a split between the inner and the outer, with desire being what we ideally want in relation to our deepest inner feelings, and our will being a force of intention that is made outwardly visible through our words and actions. When understood through these definitions, our desire is what we would ideally like to happen, and our will represents our highest belief (limited by our fears) about what we have the power to create. As such, our words and actions will always reflect our will, but the manifestation of that will may be more a reflection of our fearful beliefs than our heart’s desire.

This distinction between will and desire is entirely a construction of the human experience. This does not inherently make it bad or wrong; it is just the realization that in most realities you simply will for whatever you desire. From the perspective of other realities, the very idea of not willing for what you desire would be seen as a kind of delusional madness. As human beings we desire to thrive, but we do not bother willing ourselves to thrive because we don’t truly believe that is a personal possibility. Instead we will ourselves to survive and merely carry a hope that this may lead to us thriving. When seen clearly, that hope is not hope at all. It is the fear-based disbelief that cuts off our thriving. You must believe in your ability to thrive for thriving to be reflected.

This conflicted condition is the result of polarization within our belief systems brought about through fear. We will be exploring belief systems in detail later. For now, it is enough to understand that the distinction between will and desire only arises when a person carries a fear-based belief that what they desire is not obtainable or would be too painful to obtain. This is to understand that the only time there is distinction between our will and our desire is in the presence of fear. When this happens, the mind then goes about working out the next best thing, which represents a compromise of the desire.

Going back to our examples, instead of telling your boss they are a bigot, you may mock and belittle them to your work colleagues. Instead of spending more time on your creative project, you take on extra paid work telling yourself this choice will financially support your creative dream down the line. In this situation the person fears not having enough money, more than they fear feeling creatively unfulfilled.

Because all fears are based upon unconsciousness (a masking of the understanding of the One Self), every fear within you represents a potential journey out of fear. Every fear represents a journey to a wider, deeper experience of the Self that you are choosing to be in this life. Your fears are not thorns to be tolerated as a part of the human experience. They are what makes the canvas of life so exciting and engaging. In a way that you may need to take some time to come to peace with, the deepest understanding of fear comes when you see that you value the ways in which it makes qualities and things in your life matter to you.

In life we often find that we make choices to achieve goals that we are not truly emotionally invested in, while taking little action towards creating the reality we truly desire deep within our hearts. This arises from fear-based beliefs that tell us that what we desire is not possible. Only in fear do we willingly make choices that work against our own desires. Fear is the only difference between what we will and what we desire. All fears are rooted in unconsciousness (lack of knowledge) about what is feared. Fear has introduced conflict into our choices, because, as well as seeking what you positively desire, you come to desire the avoidance of what you fear.

Though free will and choice is most typically thought of as the positive expression of preference, what has been illustrated is that it is more an experience of navigating our desires through the fears that mask them. If ever you are willing for something you do not desire, you are making a fear-based choice. We are now at a point within the human experience where we willingly take on fear-based beliefs in order to experience transforming them. However, to look at the origin of this, we must go back to an earlier state of humanity where what we now experience as mental fear-based beliefs originated as the physical survival instinct.

One of the most significant qualities of being human is being mortal (i.e. believing that we have a finite lifespan). Because we have forgotten where we have come from, death is seen as either an ending or as the entering of something unknown. As such it typically comes to be feared in a deep primal way. Physical pain is another example of an experience which naturally heightens the charge of fear within us. This is the level at which fear can be seen to not be a mistake, but a quality of experience that leads physical beings to instinctually seek to avoid physical demise. It is a process that operates within the most basic mental structure of association (e.g. Pavlov’s dog being trained to salivate at the sound of a bell).

When it comes to that which is considered the ‘natural’ state of fear, we can look to animals and the times at which a fearful, emotional response leads them to self-protective behavior. This is to understand that in terms of physical design and evolution, pain and fear have a clear purpose. These two qualities serve creatures within the food chain well. However, in the human, where so much of our experience has become internal and mental, fear has morphed into something extraordinarily powerful; something that dwarfs the originally intended experience; something that permeates every moment because of how it interacts with our perception. This evolution of fear does not represent a mistake; it represents a path of Self exploration that we are willingly choosing.

The evolution of humanity’s mental fear has many strands. Religion stands tallest amongst them. In any discussion of how we have shaped ourselves through religion, it is important to remember that religion is not a force outside of us. We created the religions of this world and are not victims of them. Even if you are someone that wholly rejects religion, the very language, myths, rituals and traditions that permeate our cultures all birthed in a time when fear-based religion and superstition dominated humanity's beliefs. Religions have instilled beliefs throughout this world that shape us all, whether or not we believe in any particular religion.

There are ten thousand instances of fear-full, hate-full rhetoric I could point to in religion, but these represent the blunt edge of how religions turn people against their own nature. Beneath all the judgmental righteousness lies the jewel of religious beliefs which portrays the will of God as being different from the ‘selfish and profane’ desires of humans. Religion tells us that not only is God incredibly different from what we are, but in relation to God’s brilliance we are fallen, we are nothing. However, if you do what the religion says by using their book of rules, then this God, acting through its official priestly vessels, will forgive you for being who you are.

Religions like to draw a distinction between will and desire because they seek to demonize our desires as wicked personal choices. This sets us up in an impossible dilemma between our natural impulses and the list of feared consequences that the religion presents. Though I do not believe in the existence of evil or hell, I do feel that whatever seeks to get you to believe you contain evil is the closest thing in existence to the idea of evil. This is equally to see that to hold the belief that you are going to hell, is what hell is. Meaning, to truly believe that when you die a beast will come and take you for the purposes of eternally torturing you, is, in terms of consciousness, to be in a living hell. Hell is a religious construct used to instill fears that turn people against their own desire; the desire that reflects their true nature.

Fear isn’t, however, all about religion. Despite many fears having a religious origin, in this day and age there is now an incredible richness to the diverse ways in which we have come to fear life, each other and ourselves. Whenever you believe that there is a difference between what you personally desire and what you ‘should do’ then you are experiencing fear created by conflict within your beliefs. The origin of that fear will have been someone or something exerting a controlling force on you that you succumbed to and internalized. This could be a parent pressuring a child into being a doctor rather than an actor, or the family priest preaching that masturbation is the path to hell.

What I am wanting you to see is that what we call our experience of will is actually much more of the experience of dilemma caused by fear interacting with your desire. Will, free of fear, is simply allowing your focus to naturally follow your desire. Without the dilemma created by fear, there would be no conflict in our choices to the degree that they wouldn’t even feel like choices. They would feel more like floating down a river in a boat without oars and when a fork approached you would simply trust that your own natural momentum already perfectly represented your will.

The complex mental fears that we find ourselves navigating evolved from the physical survival instinct becoming a mental construction of fear-based beliefs. Religion has been a significant force in the separation of our will and desire by setting the will of God up as being opposed to our natural human desires. The result is that much of the human experience is now about navigating fear-based mental dilemmas that appear to stand between us and what we desire. This has been our choice within the exploration of beingness and is not a mistake.

What is being said in this essay is not that fear creates choice, but that most of what we call choice is in fact the moment where we are balancing our desire for what we want to happen, with our desire to avoid what we fear happening. Though this may sound like fear is a bad thing that we should eradicate, it is important to understand that the desire to overcome your own fears gives great meaning and direction to your life.

In our acceptance of our choice to be human, it is appropriate to want to transform our fears, but it is a path to victimhood to label them as a mistake or a wrongness. That said, I would now like to look at what choice without fear is so that we can better understand the unified will / desire that exists outside of the experience of fear. Please remember that though we are exploring this as an idea, this is not suggesting that we made a mistake in including fear within our experience. Fear is an intrinsic part of being human. Realities that could be called ‘humanity without fear’ do exist. They just aren’t called the human experience anymore, because without fear they look and feel completely different.

As we become less fearful, so our choices become easier as we get less caught up in the dilemma of them. This is to see that fear creates a force of resistance in our will. The more we release our fears the less resistant to the experience of life we become. The idea, therefore is that without fear we would each be meeting our lives without resistance and we would be purely focusing upon what we desire. There is, however, a strong human belief that if we all did what we wanted there would be anarchy and chaos. This primarily comes from religion which tells us that our uncontrolled desires come from bad places within us such as lust, greed and envy, and will cause us to abandon all identification with love and reason. Your own experience of Self will show you this is not so.

So what is choice without fear? The clearest place to look is within an experience of preference that is based upon positive feeling, rather than negative judgment. For example, we are generally capable of having a favorite color without believing that the other colors are inferior, profane, fallen, wrong, evil, impure, artificial, un-spiritual or the work of the devil. This is what it is like to choose one thing over another without fear being a factor. You will notice that such choices carry relatively little weight and often feel inconsequential to the direction our life is taking. Though we may prefer that certain things reflect our favorite color, we are not upset if something is another color. We also realize that we generally wouldn’t want everything to be the same color anyway.

What gives our choices a real feeling of weight is when they could potentially lead to something we greatly desire or greatly fear. This is to see that fear adds a charge to our choices, which can give them a feeling of meaning through jeopardy. When it comes to our greatest desires and a choice feels highly charged because it has the potential to lead to something you want badly, then the charge is not so much coming from a positive desire, but is more often coming from a fear that the choice won’t lead to the desired outcome. This is the experience of attachment to outcome, which is a fear of loss. So even what we may call a positive charge pulling us forward is often discovered to be a fear-based charge.

So, in conclusion, it is not that fear creates choice, but that in terms of being human the two are inseparable as all significant human choices are made in relation to fear (even if it is the idea of not being contained by that fear). Choice without fear does exist hypothetically, but for our purposes let us embrace, rather than deny, that we are all choosing to live with the presence of fear in our lives. When we understand what we are at a wider level we discover that we enjoy transforming fears. This is to embrace that our most significant life-defining choices involve the resolution of internal fear-based dilemma.

What is interesting to see here is that there is a way in which choices that do not contain fear do not feel like choices at all because there is no difficulty or dilemma within them. For example, when looking at a menu, if you see a favorite specialty dish that you rarely get to eat, then you may just close the menu without it even feeling like a decision because there was no dilemma in it. Yet it is clear you have made a choice. We tend to identify choices by how difficult they are; with choices whose answers seem completely obvious to us not feeling like choices at all. They just feel like taking action. The realization is that choice without fear feels like living your life without resistance. It is simply allowing yourself to be. Life without fear is a state of ever-unfolding allowance.

A person in fear will furiously try and row their boat away from what they fear. While it is true that a person in love may furiously row towards the object of their love, when you truly come to see how your life is emerging from you, you will experience your desire as the very flow of the river, naturally carrying you towards your desire. This is the profound understanding that there is no force of resistance to your desire except your fear. Without resistance your desire is a state of flow. Oars are only ever needed to row against fear. Without fear you are naturally hurtling towards everything you desire. This is the realization that it does not take effort to love. It only takes effort to fear.

Without fear you won’t even feel the need to steer. You just let your momentum take you because you trust in what you are, in what you are doing, and why you are doing it. What you are trusting in doesn’t feel like a choice you once made that you are now hoping will turn out alright. Instead, it feels like trusting in your Self, in your own worth. It is the knowing that whatever emerges from you will always be welcome. Choice without fear feels like being welcomed into what you are. It is to experience reality continually welcoming you into further experiences of your Self.

The One Self Teachings point you towards a potential experience within the human Self which feels like the leaving of choice itself and the entering of a flow to life that offers an eternally, enriching, experience of Self that simultaneously diversifies and unifies your experience of Self. Though travelling towards this state as an ideal will give an empowered direction to your life, it is important to understand that it is not a condition you want to permanently exist in. If that were true you would have gone directly to that kind of reality instead of coming to the human experience. Though you will taste that delicious state within the human experience whenever you transform a fear, the understanding is that you would then take on new fears to transform. Whatever part of you resists that idea, is the part of you that still fears fear, is the part of you that is not comfortable with being human and believes there is a better reality you could be in.

Summary: Fear of what we do not want to happen, combined with fear of losing what we love, gives a profound feeling of meaning to our lives. Choice without fear is preference and carries little charge. Leaving fear feels like leaving choice itself, because without fear our desires give a flow to our life. This naturally carries us towards the experiences we desire. Though this sounds wonderful, it is important to understand that we prefer transforming the fears that hold us from what we desire just as much as what we desire. See how this describes an empowered vant
age point through which you can interpret your life.

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