"Fearlessness is the first requirement of spirituality. Cowards can never be moral." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Gospel of Fearlessness

Unlike many Christian ministers who preach the gospel of a salvation aimed at an idyllic rather than a horrific and tortuous afterlife, the Rev. Theodore (Ted) Nottingham, of Indianapolis' Northwood Church, preaches the power of a fierce present-moment spirituality that addresses at a deep psychological level the existential problems that all individuals face in this life. In the attached video, Nottingham addresses the principal psychological problem that we all suffer from, namely the self-centered fear that establishes and maintains the human ego.

"Every one of us has fears," Nottingham observes. "Fears of what people think of us, fears of what is going to happen tomorrow, fears of illness and unemployment. . . . What is this fear that is behind all of our distress, he asks, "this fear that keeps us from living in freedom and joy?"

"When you begin to realize that to live in those fears and anxieties that have tortured us for a lifetime is to live turned towards one's 'self.' You might," he observes, "call fear an exaggerated self-interest."

"There is power available in any situation," Nottingham notes. "We just have to get our head out of that which keeps us in the basement of our 'selves,' in our negativity, in our imaginations. Imagination," he notes, is just thoughts . . .  thoughts of what could happen if . . . of what that person is thinking right now about you."

"How many of you," he asks, "have had a whole scenario go through your head about what is going to happen at this meeting, and it was totally different and everything was fine? In the meantime, you have lost so much time, so much energy, so much forgetfulness of God. Learn the discipline of directing your thoughts," he urges, "of choosing not to go with the emotion of fear. Remember what you know, and not just what you feel."

"Remember," he says, "that negative thinking always lies, because it only gives you a little piece of the picture, not the whole picture, (but) just a little edge of it. Some of us," he notes, "get addicted to that . . . (and) enjoy our negative emotions."

"We are not our fear," says Nottingham, "and we have to learn from the Master who walks the way for us. Be willing sometimes to do it (while) afraid," he advises. "You are not your fears!"

No comments:

Post a Comment

There was an error in this gadget