Saturday, October 1, 2011

FREEING THE SOUL FROM description..October1, 2011

This book by Robert Sardello Freeing The Soul From Fear is one of the most practical and insightful  I have seen regarding fear in our post-modern age. He states up front that our way of 'talking about fear' often strengthens fear itself  in our souls. And with that he begins an in depth  sensible exploration for defining fear. And guiding the reader to places where fear's life destructiveness can be reduced  compared to what it is  in so many of our lives. 

I've had a strong interest in fear and the ways I've seen and felt it expressed in our modern day lives. We have many descriptions including chronic  and acute 'anxiety' , post traumatic syndrome and 'panic' attack. Sardello helps one see that fear is far more 'with us' than these more obvious and  individual suffering ways. He addresses how public terrorism is turning us fearful individually and collectively.   I personally wonder if how we have  inadequately approached the fears produced by 9/11 have helped spawn our national doldrums and  lack of confidence  on most every front?  He explains that most therapies approach helping  one  find some freedom from fear by 1. Seeing fear as totally something that is 'within' and not acknowledging it is also a very real phenomenon and activity outside of us as well and 2. By strengthening the  'conscious ego' to help it 'overcome' fear. Recognizing that fear is something in the outside world helps one to understand that fear is not primarily a 'weakness' in themselves to be over come. This changes how one begins to think about fear and how one might actually become more free from its effort to rob one from a  fuller  life. To strengthen the ego can help one cope with paralyzing fear but  Sardello says this deals primarily with the symptoms of fear. And what is worse the approach  tends to  'cut one off from the created world' which is exactly the goal of fear. To 'harden' and 'strengthen' ones ego in regard to fear keeps a person from being fully and 'soulfully' connected to the world which is of course 'our intended home.'  

I think Sardello would be leading us to reexamine some of the basic suppositions we have inherited from orthodox Christianity. For example the mandate to ' love not the world' and the famous hymn ' This World Is Not My Home' I believe in our day have come to serve fear and to lead one into fear rather than helping them to be 'freed from it.'   Such mandates teach one to harden the ego 'against the evil of the world' which in turn tightens  and retracts one's soul and interferes with taking more seriously the Christian description that, 'God so loves the world.'  And we too stand in need of loving the world as an avenue to free soul from fear.

Sardello seems to say  that the only balanced approach to dealing with fear is not turning away from  or against the world and all the good in it  as our human  home, but to learn, maybe  for the first time, to embrace the world. This would mean coming to connect with the outer world as Soul with our own Soul. Such a happening would be how Sardello would define a meaning of Love. So the scriptural wisdom comes back to us and in a totally real and fresh way that the human expectation of being free from fear is to experience that only 'love casts out fear.' It does not do that by separating the soul  from the world, but  by soulfully embracing and participating in the tangible world.

Sardello,  as I've tried to show here gives fresh but  ancient perspectives on fear and how to better handle its horrible onslaught on post modern human life but he does not just address the reader's intellect. Throughout he offers non threatening activities and exercises that are designed to practice what he is teaching. Do not read Sardello as a 'how to' book in the typical fashion but read it with an openness, not just to his explanations but with an opening to a clearer reliance upon Soul. Sardello's style makes believing and trusting in  'Soul' a natural and fitting  thing. This is something that our Western religions have not been skilled at teaching people. To most Westerners 'soul' is word void of  real meaning, yet  the Christian tradition has Jesus implying that Soul is the highest value; its loss being the greatest human tragedy.   I believe that many of us are open to and crave religious understanding  that puts us back in touch with soul for that is the essence being fully  human. Sardello helps with that.

I think of Jesus of Nazareth as being one of those great Souls who was able to help others live from that Sacred place just as he did. And this book  has much to do with a sound approach to 'casting out our demons of fear' that are as real now as then. Participate in  Sardello's  experiments as you read him , not for an immediate and complete solution to how you experience fear but as strong tools that will help you change the nature of the whole battle field you have experienced regarding fear. Sardello would say that our goal should not be to eliminate fear but to cast it out of the superior and ruling position is can and does so insidiously take in our individual and collective lives as modern day Americans.(These pages become larger when you click on them.)

So , for anyone concerned with the meaning of fear and its capacity to make humans be less alive, less whole and less 'at home in the world', I highly recommend Sardello's book. I am attaching  a few typical pages of his writing. Jim

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