The Great Destroyer is fear, horror, apprehension of what is going to happen to me. Fear is destructive because it is based on egoism. Think how true this is. If a man utterly forgets himself, fear vanishes because he no longer thinks of the effect that anything may have upon himself. Fear is a concentration of attention upon oneself in an expectancy of disaster happening to one. Lose track of yourself, forget yourself, and fear will vanish.
Fear is often said to be a protection, but a protection only to the weak whose second nature is to fear; it is never a protection to the strong. It is horribly destructive. Of what? Of self-composure, self-confidence. It undermines will. It often makes one cruel in one's treatment of others. Fear is crippling. It stops the life-forces: it makes one shrink and tremble, for, harboring it, one no longer has the daring, the vigor, the strength and the power to go forth. Yet the timid man is always in far greater danger than the man who has no fear. Fear actually attracts danger. Your chances of safety are infinitely greater if you have no fear. Think it over.
Who would like to live in fear of his life, fearing everything that is going to happen, always slinking around the corner and running into cellars, and trying to go up and yet afraid to go up for fear he will fall? All his life would be a continuous horror. Whereas the man who has love in his heart, who recks not of what is going to happen to himself, how happy and joyful he is; and he is strong and affects others with his self-confidence. If fear ever comes into his soul, it is because for the time being he has forgotten.
Forget yourself, and fear will vanish. Do you know the royal way to the forgetting of the self — utterly losing track of the thought of self in your life? It is to love all things both great and small; for perfect love casteth out all fear. Do you fear the things you love? Never. You want them, you long for them, you yearn for them.
Learn therefore to love, and fear will go; and you become strong; for love is a mighty power enchained in the human breast.
Why is love so great a protection, outside of the fact that it casts out fear? Because its vibrations are infinitely harmonious; and fear is always shaken, distorted vibrations. The Divine is perfect harmony, and all beneath it can arise to that. But fear is inharmony, trembling, shattering, undermining vitality. Look at the picture of a thoroughly frightened beast or man. You say to yourself: Where is the love in that man's heart which would give him peace, strength and utter composure? He has lost it, he has forgotten it; if it were there, there would be no fear. And what is this perfect love which casteth out all fear? Why, it is simply living in that part of our own self which is universal. It is becoming allied with the Divine. Therein lies perfect peace, perfect harmony.
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