Fear is one of the least discussed emotions by mystics and occultists, yet it is one of the most important aspects in our work of self-awareness. In his work, Darkness Technology, the famous Qigong teacher, Mantak Chia, discusses the negative effects that fear has on the human body:
“Fear is the oldest negative emotion. It is felt by all animals, and is even stronger among humans since they have so little power to protect themselves, especially the newborn. The longer history organic development makes fear the basis of the entire civilization process: to protect ourselves and achieve our highest potential. Fear is closely connected to the kidney Chi (via the adrenal glands), and when the kidney Chi is diminished, the brain slowly begins to pull back, and disengage from the fantastic worlds of the Divine. The upper brain becomes the observing brain, dedicated to worldly tasks of sending, receiving and processing sensory signals related to daily living.”
In the work cited by Chia, we see that fear is one of the oldest negative emotion. When we are born the doctor smacks us on the buttocks and fear is induced. Fear is one of the first emotions that we experience in life, yet we are never taught or trained how to make use of fear or overcome the fears we face within our society. If anything, we are bred to invoke fear into our lives through the constant consumption of fear, which is made available to us through news outlets and the mass media. We are only taught how to avoid situations that we fear, and so we live in fear and fear rules what we call civilization today. It is this very same fear that robs the body of its natal chi. The result of this fear-induced lifestyle, can be seen by the billions of aging human beings living in the world today. Fear is the cause of some of the most notorious crimes is human history, as it is the father of negative thinking. Inappropriate forms of discrimination find their origin in fear also.
For thousands of years, the Traditional Chinese Medicine has associated vibrant health and longevity with both abundant kidney chi and strong libido. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) your kidney chi directs your sexual development and keeps your libido healthy. Interestingly, the kidneys are associated with the planet Venus, which rules the astrological sign of Libra. In essence, improving the health of your kidneys often means increasing the health of your libido. In TCM, the kidneys (yin) and the urinary bladder (yang) are associated with the season of winter. The kidney organ is responsible for filtering waste metabolites in the blood and sending it down to the urinary bladder for elimination. The urinary bladder, in return, is responsible to collecting and holding the waste fluids and excreting them as urine. This is what happens on a physical level, but according to acupuncturists, these organs are far more important energetically.
The Kidney Meridian is considered the “Root of Life” because it houses the essence, the prenatal force, which we are given from our parents at conception, this essence being yuan chi (Qi). Although this meridian is named for the kidneys, it also includes the adrenals (which physically sit on top of the kidneys.) The adrenal glands secrete a wide array of essential hormones that regulate metabolism, support immunity, and control sexual potency and fertility. (The kidney system also includes what the Chinese call the ‘external kidneys’: the testicles in men and the ovaries in women, so is very important in sexual vitality.) Additionally, the kidney energy controls the growth and development of bone and marrow, which the authorities in TCM consider to also include the brain and the spinal cord.
The Urinary Bladder Meridian is considered the “Minister of the Reservoir” because of its ability to excrete waste products. This meridian is associated with the autonomic nervous system as well. Stress and tension play a key part when bladder chi is dysfunction.
The kidneys are the seat of power, courage and will power. When the kidney chi is vital, one is centered, fearless, rational and clear thinking, leading to gentleness and understanding, a compassion both for self and mankind. But when the energy is imbalanced, there is fear (often accompanied by intense urination, i.e. when you are scared you often feel like peeing!), paranoia, jealousy, suspicion and a lack of moral character.
In the martial arts’ classic, The Demon’s Sermon on The Martial Arts by Issai Chozanshi, it states the following on page 150:
“All of the functions of man’s body are operated by ch’i. Thus, a person with a vigorous ch’i will have no illnesses, and will not be sensitive to wind, cold, heat, or dampness. The person whose ch’i is weak will easily become ill, and will be quick to feel pestilential vapors. When the ch’I is infirm, the mind is difficult and body is exhausted. In a medical book it states, ‘The hundred diseases all spring from ch’i.’ The person who does not understand the changes ch’I goes through will not understand how diseases come about. Thus, it is considered fundamental that a man cultivate a vigorous ch’i.”
Fear causes blockages in the fluency of the body’s chi (vital energy), and also in the “chi” of life. Famous writer, Florence Scovel Shinn, once wrote:
“Nothing stands between man and his highest ideals and every desire of his heart, but doubt and fear. When a man can “wish without worrying,” every desire will be instantly fulfilled….one can only contract germs while vibrating at the same rate as the germ, and fear drags men down to the level of the germ. Of course, the disease laden germ is the product of carnel mind, as all thought must objectify. Germs do not exist in the superconscious or Divine Mind, therefore are the product of man’s “vain imagination.”
In the Art of Ninzuwu (Koshinto), we say that one’s emotional state creates their condition in life. When the emotion of fear directs one’s thoughts and actions, it is like an arrow that is shot from earth to heaven that will one day return to the sender. This is emphasized in the Shinto mythology of Ama-waka-hiko.
Ame-waka-hiko was sent by the other gods to rule the earth after Ame-No-Hohi disappeared. Eight years passed with no word from Ame-waka-hiko, so the gods sent down a pheasant to find him. The pheasant perched in a tree outside Ama-waka-hiko’s house, where a woman noticed it and told Ama-waka-hiko that it was an evil omen.
Ama-waka-hiko shot the pheasant, but his arrow passed right through it and shot on to heaven, where it fell at the feet of Amaterasu-Ohmikami and Taka-Masubi. Takami-Musubi recognized the arrow and, angered, threw it back to earth, where it killed Ama-waka-hiko.
In the mystical teachings of Shinto, the arrow shot by Ama-waka-hiko represents fear. In the myth Takami-Musubi recognized the arrow and threw it back to earth, where it killed Ama-waka-hiko. Interestingly, Takami-Musubi is the “great generative spirit of divine love from whom all beings spring.” This myth shows us that “fear” cannot exist in the space of divine love.
In many ancient traditions of religion and shamanistic practice, it has been long understood that benevolent spirits, gods, or divine beings, cannot inhabit an unclean place. In the example of Ama-waka-hiko, we learn that fear puts us in a state of spiritual uncleanliness and draws upon a force, opposite of that which is divine.
When we understand the pattern of how we create fear, and where it appears in our lives, we can then begin to “take what is not useful and plant it in a good place,” as mentioned in the Ivory Tablets of the Crow. When we can see fear coming into our lives, take it as an opportunity to replace such fear with divine love. Recite an affirmation. Perform a visualization, or call a friend, whether they be visible or invisible.
In conclusion, let us remember the words that are written in the Yi Jing Apocrypha of Genghis Khan:
“The only difference between the Magician and the Common-folk is that the Common-folk allow their ambitions to become their fears. These fears were once goals that were ripe for the harvest, but were left unattended and soon decayed. They now haunt the minds of the people who planted them. The Magician is the cultivator of changes and plants his own ambitions. He has no desire to purchase them at the market like the Common-folk. The Common-folk will always leave what is in his field to buy what grows in his own yard from the marketplace.”