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Looking through history, the most prominent fact standing out in the clear light of retrospect is that man, in many of his activities, has been ruled by fear. Both religion and state have controlled people by fear. Fear of punishment - whether it be in cell or gallows, or in the vividly imagined fiery hells of damnation - was the ruler. As mankind evolves toward its potential, we will no longer be ruled by fear. Mystical students learn that the only thing to fear is fear itself. Impersonal (Divine) love is the best and most fulfilling way of life.

When we speak of love, we are not referring to the self-centered kind of love which is really only desire. We are not speaking of that emotion which is centered on the personality and those that the personality loves. We are speaking of that all-encompassing love that cannot be possessed. This all- encompassing love holds mankind within itself and directs the constructive activities of mankind. Imagine, if all the children of the Cosmic, every segment of the Divine, were to live completely by love, everyone would refrain from harming others, not because of fear of punishment, but because of respect for the rights of all humanity. We would then be loving our neighbors as ourselves. Let us take an inventory and see how, in everyday life, we measure up to the balance of love-fear.

Let's start our inventory with the dawning of the new day. When we awaken and face a new day, are we full of fears? Are we afraid we might have to try something new, or have to learn something new? Possibly we are afraid of failing in something we must do. Or we might be afraid of criticism - afraid that others will look down on us. But there is another way of meeting the new day. Why not meet the dawn happy for the opportunity and challenge? Do we know that with the force of impersonal love we will have the right action, right motive, right speech, right thought throughout the day?

Many of us drive cars during the day. When driving, do we obey the traffic laws and rules of courtesy? If so why? Is it out of fear of punishment? Are we afraid of being caught by the police, and having to pay a fine or suffer imprisonment? Most traffic laws exist to protect our safety and that of others. One outstanding example is the speed laws. It is well known that annually thousands of people die or are injured by driving too fast. And people who speed are constantly in fear of being caught by policemen. However if everyone drove under the influence of love, caring for the safety or people in other cars, caring for the children beside them, there would be far less speeding. The fear factor would be removed and the speed laws would become guidelines that would be followed by everyone to protect themselves from harm and to protect others. Fines and other punishments would no longer be necessary.

There is another form of fear that causes people to break laws, harm others and take their property. Battery and assault are often committed by persons fearing that they have been wronged and they seek revenge (retaliation) for the real or imagined wrong. Fear of being without material possessions can lead to theft. When we learn the true meaning of love, seeking revenge and coveting our neighbor's possessions will have little meaning in life.

Often, someone is slandered in our presence. Gossip and outright lies are told about another person. When this happens in our presence do we agree with the lies? Do we fear being alone in the defense of that person who is the subject of gossip? Do we fear to show the truth because others in the group would not like us? Remember, failure to speak the truth in the face of lies does more than harm the subject of the gossip - it harms all present, and yourself especially. We know that we acted not out or love but out of fear.

We have faced several fears of everyday life. We haven't looked at all of them, but we have examined fear enough to realize what it does to our lives. Let us abolish fear and all of its destructive manifestations. Let us use love in all its divine purpose to rule our lives. It is only when we live by love and not in fear, that we can be truly free.

   
  Questions
   
  1. (a) How has man been controlled by fear ?
    (b) What neutralizes fear ?
    (c) Describe Divine Love.
       
  2. (a) Compare opportunity and fear.
    (b) How will impersonal love help throughout the day ?
    (c) Explain the comparison made with driving.
       
  3. (a) What causes people to break laws ?
    (b) How can we face up to fear of approval on the subject of gossip ?
       
  4.   For each of the following words give one word or short phrase ( not more than seven words ) which has the same meaning as it has in the passage.
      i.   prominent   v.   opportunity
      ii.   fulfilling   vi.   protect
      iii.   segment   vii.   abolish
      iv.   dawning   viii.   manifestations
       
  5. How does the writer compare fear with love. Summarize in less than 160 words.
       
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  Answers
       
  1. (a) Religious and political leaders have used fear to control people.
    (b) Love neutralizes fear.
    (c) Divine love is all encompassing and cannot be possessed. This love holds man and directs the good activities in the world
       
  2. (a) We could meet the day in anticipation of opportunity, of what great things it may bring or we can meet it in fear.
    (b) With impersonal love, we will have right acts, wishes, words and thoughts throughout the day.
    (c) When driving there are two reasons for obeying the laws. One is out of fear authority and the other is out of love and consideration for other road users.
       
  3. (a) People who break laws are those who live in fear. They are those who fear that they have been wronged and want to take vengeance on society.
    (b) When someone is being gossiped about we should be brave and speak the truth about the person, instead of fearing for the disapproval of the group.
       
  4. i outstanding
    ii satisfying
    iii part
    iv beginning
    v chance
    vi guard
    vii destroy
    viii forms
       
  5. In many of his activities, man is driven by fear. Organized religion and the state have through history, dominated man's thinking through making him  fearful of pain of body and of the soul. This belief is being ousted by man's progress. Mystical students learn that Divine Love is most fulfilling. Love referred to here is not the self-centered love which is actually desire. It is the all encompassing universal divine love that cannot be possessed and which hold man together and direct all the goodness in the world. If all men were to live in love, then they would not harm each other and they will have respect for the rights of others and actually learn to love everyone else as we love ourselves. even in simple activities like driving, we could be motivated by love instead of fear. Criminals too act out of fear. If they could be taught to love then there would not be anymore crimes. ( 160 words )
           
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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