Wherever we focus attention, we create a direct relationship with the object of that attention. It may be through aspiration towards a higher consciousness, devotion to an ideal or through love for a revered guide or teacher; or it may be through the reaction of fear about some person, event or circumstance. However it comes about, this focus creates a beacon or signal to the object of focus to interact with us. Thus, through aspiration we work to create a new level of consciousness within our being; and alternatively, through fear we bring toward us the very thing about which we are experiencing fear. This is the underlying and essential principle behind what is being called today ‘the law of attraction’.

The reaction of fear results from the awareness of the ego-consciousness about its own fragility and weakness as a ‘separate being’ in the wider universal creation. This ego-consciousness is a somewhat illusory construct as we are never actually separated from the universal consciousness in its manifestation. It serves a purpose of creating a nexus or point of concentration for the manifestation, yet it is not in fact something separate and apart. When the ego-consciousness is in the forefront, we experience fears of death and dissolution, of pain, and of separation. Through our experience, our education, and our perceptions, including our consumption of information through media and inter-personal relationships, we internalize certain dangers or concerns that become the basis for fear. The very focus on these things, however, opens a connection between ourselves and the forces that we fear, and thus, we become locked into a structure that forces us to face, and either overcome or fail in the attempt, the objects we fear.

As we shift our standpoint away from the ego-personality toward the divine standpoint, we begin to recognise that there is no ultimate cause for fear. As we focus our attention on the divine creation and the next phases of its evolutionary development, we create a positive relationship with that next future and bring that towards us.

Another aspect to consider is the impact of negative and positive emotions on the vital sheath that surrounds us as an individual nexus of energy. Negative emotions, fear, sadness, depression, anger, hatred, unhappy feelings tend to open ‘holes’ and weaken the vital sheath, which normally acts as a protection of the individual from attack and destruction. Similarly, positive emotions, happiness, love, goodwill, compassion, act to strengthen this vital sheath and thus, afford more protection against forces that want to weaken, destroy or devour, as part of the dynamic of creation and destruction in the universe.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “It is true that what one fears has the tendency to come until one is able to look it in the face and overcome one’s shrinking.”

“It is a mistake to think that by fearing or being unhappy you can progress. Fear is always a feeling to be rejected, because what you fear is just the thing that is likely to come to you: fear attracts the object of fear. Unhappiness weakens the strength and lays one more open to the causes of unhappiness.”

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, Disturbances of the Vital, Fear, pp. 50-53

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at http://sriaurobindostudies.wordpress.com and podcast at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky He is author of 16 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.