Freedom from Anxiety
Many people live with anxiety as a continuous background vibration to the stress of modern life. Being exposed as a separate body in a divisive world and vulnerable to physical injury makes for a pretty tense existence; and yet we take our chances and get on with living, as do the rest of the species. But only we humans suffer from anxieties engendered by our emotional way of living. This is because anxiety is a symptom of the global western culture – an effect of the progressive drive which has choked the revitalising flow of life. The presence of anxiety numbs the subtle quality of wellbeing and conditions the person to be emotionally primed whenever provoked by the circumstances of life.
The more extreme the anxiety, the greater the strain on the natural function of the physical organs which sometimes results in a panic attack. The emotion is kept alive by feeding on the natural vitality of the body; after a bout of anxiety what follows is a feeling of coldness, fatigue and even paranoia. The person becomes a slave to the anxiety patterns, often in a perverse pay-off providing an incestuous experience of self which strengthens the attachment to the negative symptoms. Some people become so accustomed to an anxious way of life that to suggest there’s a way out is likely to be emotionally disturbing. Even people who thrive in the bustle of the world are not immune and can feel apprehension, perhaps on a Sunday night about returning to work; or children who feel the trepidation of going back to school after spending time at home. But anxiety is far more deep-rooted as an emotionally degenerative energy which, until inwardly resolved, will keep the person a virtual prisoner attached to the uncertainty of living.
When it becomes chronically persistent, the anxiety patterns develop a separate psychic vibration within the emotional body of self. Able to anticipate what’s coming from past experience, the discursive substance of emotion shifts position to avoid detection within the body. It’s this tricky manoeuvring of self which often makes it difficult to pin the negative energies. When one area of anxiety is temporally relieved, another quickly pops up in its place. So what can be done? Firstly it’s to attend to the outside circumstances and relationships to clean up the external life. And equally important is self-observation. As someone becomes more conscious without judgment of the negative effects within themselves, there’s a gradual separation within the psyche from the symptoms. Even though there may be still be some agitation in the body as the emotional cycle runs its course, the bouts of anxiety will become less troublesome and unable to upset the inner state as before.
We all have to cope with difficult circumstances, and often situations causing concern and a sense of urgency, especially in these times. However, when the mind takes something out of context, concern quickly turns to worry. An example is when a loved one is late coming home and unable to be contacted. The mind will try to conjure up different scenarios to create a circuitous pattern of anxiety. The truth is that things rarely unfold as any of the imagined negative scenarios and we always get through. And so the case is usually that the person returns home and explains that there were roadworks and the battery on the phone had run out. We may see the absurdity of the anxiety after the event, but it’s not long before the next bout of worry begins again.
One of the unseen negative effects of anxiety is to delay the natural solution to whatever is causing the inner conflict. In the spiritual process it’s sometimes necessary for someone to bring about even greater anxiety to break a particular attachment to whatever’s holding them back. But it will be impossible to halt the destructive cycle while the mind is allowed free rein to continue to think aimlessly at any time when the pressure is off; the undisciplined thought processes will then run amok when a potentially challenging situation arrives. When someone has sufficiently practised stilling the mind while the emotions are quiescent, there will be a greater effectiveness in dealing with any crisis. It will then be possible to focus on what needs to be done (which may be just to wait and do nothing until the opportunity for action presents itself). This introduces a power of consciousness which creates the circumstances and eventual solution to bring about a greater fulfilment in the life.
There’s no allowance for anxiety in nature as any emotional worry, but there is for stress. The purpose of stress is to provide the fight-or-flight instinctual responses within the species to the innumerable threats from the environment. However, in our human interactions it’s to ensure that stress doesn’t accumulate as a debilitating factor by consciously dropping the tension down in the body. (I refer to how this is done in many of my other articles, books and videos). From the spiritual perspective, the challenge is to be able to accommodate the natural stress of being in existence while remaining stress-free within the equilibrium of being. When anxiety is transcended, the uncertainty of living is no longer feared as before. Anxiety is then unable to accrue as an emotional blockage that would stifle the joy of life.