APRIL 28, 2019
JOHN 20:19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”
It’s interesting, the “water-cooler”* definition of fear is anxiety/ reaction to danger, while peace is essentially, NOT fear. If fear is reaction to danger, then the “fear-scale” for reactivity varies from the edge of pleasure to nuclear winter. My therapist once said, “Your problem, John, is you don’t know the difference between scared and excited.” Definition by absence is rarely helpful.
The reaction of the disciples is surely understandable. Lackluster with Jesus, without Jesus, they had no luster at all. Their leader had offended every power broker in the country. If they murdered Jesus what would they do to them? Lock-down mode was prudent. Leaving the guys huddled by the fire with the curtains drawn, let us consider fear.
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain. – Paul Atreides
From Dune by Frank Herbert
I recall no need to exegete science fiction before, but then Frank Herbert was specialized in comparative religions. Actually the litany of fear is pretty good advice.
First: I must not fear. Not very realistic. What if we said, “I must not become my fear.” (Suspect that is his intent).
Fear is a mind-killer, tolerated long enough will destroy. I knew a woman that as soon as her family departed each morning began running horror movies in her head of what awful things were befalling them all day. This continued until they returned.
We face our fear, name it and allow it to pass over and through. Avoid psychic stickiness. When it is gone past, in the rear-view mirror I see there is nothing. Dreams are not corporeal, there is no trace. Only I remain. This is the discipline of the mind, taught by the Spirit.
It interesting where we find spiritual resources, even speculative fiction.
In hope, in spite of the facts