Let Go Of Hope And Fear

let-go-of-hope-and-fearWhen we think about the future it often generates apprehension and negative feelings. We are often afraid of what the future will bring because of the uncertainty and the pain that could come with it. This is called fear.

A lot of self-development and spiritual teachings emphasize as the foundation for success letting go of fear but I’m suggesting that you let go of hope and fear. We are taught to “keep hope alive” and there are times when hope gets us through difficult times but there are also times in life when you should let go of hope and fear because in a sense hope is just the flip side of fear.

When we are living in hope we are also living in the expectation that the future is going to turn out a certain way. Sometimes to a certain degree the future turns out to be something like we had hoped for but once we have invested ourselves in the future, once we have pinned our happiness on our hope that the future will turn out a specific way it opens up the possibility that the future is going to turn out another way. Therefore we can’t live in hope without having fear as the undercurrent.

In the Bible, the story of Adam and Eve is often interpreted as being about sex but I think that is just a metaphor. What does it mean to live in the Garden of Eden? I interpret it to mean living in the primordial state or perfection, in other words living in the present moment.

When Adam and Eve eat the fruit and in the Bible it says “the fruit of knowledge of good and evil.” What that means to me is that they ate judgment. They ate the dualistic judgment which says, “If this thing happens it will be good and if this thing happens it will be bad; here is my hope and here is my fear.” Adam and Eve are then cast out just as we are cast out of our own Garden of Eden. We are cast out of our innocent experience of the perfection of the present moment just as it is as soon as we invest in hope or fear.

The punishment for Adam and Even has great correlation to our own lives. Adam is told by God that the fruit will no long be given to him, rather now he has to earn it and work for it with the sweat of his brow. This is true in our own lives where once we fall into living a life of hope and fear then everything becomes work. Instead of living in the present moment which makes life seem light and effortless.

For example, when a musician is really in the moment each note he or she plays is not work rather it is a sense of flow and that’s how we become enlightened. When we lose that life becomes harder and everything we do becomes work. Life is not longer fun.

Eve is told by God that childbirth is going to be painful which means to us that all of our creations and endeavors are now going to be difficult and painful.  There is not going to be a simple easy flow.

The good news is that we can get back to that garden and we do that by taking care of ourselves and cultivating our own garden through rest, meditation and creativity. Once we start planting and cultivating our own garden it will grow pretty quickly.

As your hopes and expectations are not met you will feel increasing frustration. Stop trying to look into a future that you have conceptualized and just live in the present moment. When you let go of your hopes your future will be just as bright as if you planned every part of it. The difference is you skip all the suffering and frustration.

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