The apprentice approaches the master and asks if he can learn the secrets of the universe, and learn to avoid suffering.
The master says he will teach the initiate, but first he must face a trial. The initiate must enter the cave up on the hill, where he might meet a strange spirit. The master says it might be more difficult than it seems, and offers this advice: don't fight - if you want to best the spirit, you must surrender.
The initiate struts off cockily laughing to himself, saying "I'm sure I can handle some ghost in a hole."
Fear of death
As he enters the cave, the light behind him closes off and he's sitting in extreme blackness. He starts to see things attacking him... a giant serpent devouring his body. Scared for his life, the initiate tries to fight off the snake, trying to beat its head or pull it off from his body.
At some moment he looks in the eyes of the serpent and acknowledges its presence. Suddenly, the serpent disappears.
Fear for others
Soon enough, another vision appears. The initiate sees his own mother being devoured by some sort of wild beast. He tries to look closer and closer. He resists... The vision appears so real, he believes the vision to be true. Even though he believes it, he can't accept it. His heart is broken with the anguish of seeing his mother die a gruesome death.
He looks a little closer... He sees that every one of the beasts has his face. Again, he acknowledges it, and the vision evaporates.
Fear of the unknown
Then a third vision appears... Something not so substantial, even more unusual than giant snakes or wild beasts. It is so strange that he can't help but feel overwhelmed with terror. What he is seeing is not human, not of this world. The thing isn't threatening him, but just the fact of it being so unusual is so frightening to him.
Again he resists, fights, tries to struggle against what he's seeing. He remembers the words of the master, and surrenders to the unusual vision. In that moment he realises he's staring at his own face, in a mirror. He has been looking at himself all along.
What the initiate learned was that every time he was afraid, no matter how bizarre the threat, the face of fear could only ever be his own face. No matter how foreign something seems, fear is always something familiar.
There is nothing to fear. Normally when we feel fear, we resist, and end up feeling more afraid. Just as the initiate in the cave, we must yield to overcome.
Why is this video vertical?
In the past month I've been doing a lot of Facebook Live videos with the intention of calming the fear that's present all over the world. I hope you tune in, and I hope they bring you greater peace and perspective in your life.