SOM: Fear seems to lie behind most negative emotions. How can it be released? You speak about a process of disidentification. How does it work?
Tolle: Fear arises through identification with form, whether it be a material possession, a physical body, a social role, a self-image, a thought, or an emotion.
It arises through unawareness of the formless inner dimension of consciousness or spirit, which is the essence of who you are. You are trapped in object consciousness, unaware of the dimension of inner space which alone is true freedom.
Every fearful thought is about future, is about something that could or may happen. Most people are familiar with the “mental movies” that cause stress and anxiety and keep you awake at night, while your body lies in a warm and comfortable bed.
The moment you recognize a fearful thought for what it is, that is to say futile and self-destructive mind activity, you begin to disidentify from it. Awareness or Presence then takes over from thinking.
I am not saying that you don’t think anymore, just that you no longer confuse it with who you are. Thinking becomes rooted in awareness rather than being autonomous and self-serving, which is the ego.
Every pain-body contains a great deal of fear, since fear is the primordial negative emotion. How do we deal with that? Here again, you recognize it for what it is: the pain-body, an accumulation of old emotion.
Once you recognize it, it cannot take over your mind, feed on your negative thoughts, and control your internal dialogue as well as what you say and do.
Once the pain-body has come up, don’t fight or resist it. It is part of the “isness” of the present moment with which you always need to be in inner alignment. So you allow it to be there.
If you don’t feed it anymore, it loses its energy charge and the negative emotion undergoes transmutation.