Yet while fear in prehistoric times was a primal reaction to danger and indeed a protector, in modern man it has morphed into a major source of suffering and an inhibitor of clear thinking and action. The same is true for all five skandhas. We must be clear that our feelings and perceptions do not in fact protect us from the world around us. On the contrary, they are like a straight-jacket that makes it impossible for us to do what is in our best interest.
Being aware of this, and having had direct proof that fear together with all the skandhas are just a product of the mind (see my post, “Proof of the Nature of Mind”), I have been going through a process lately, which I’ve described in other posts, of facing feelings and perceptions as they arise … or better put in my next meditation … and saying to them “Not me!”
As I peel off these layers of my psyche, I get closer to being free of my ego-mind and all five skandhas and thus closer to being one with my unborn Buddha mind. I take refuge only in my unborn Buddha mind; only it and the dharma will truly protect me from the world around me, by changing how I relate to myself and the world around me.
In describing a bhikkhu, the Buddha said, “He is content with robes to protect the body, with alms food to sustain the belly, so that wherever he goes he takes everything with him, just as whenever a winged bird flies it flies using its own wings.”
So too, when we have discarded all our feelings and perceptions and are one with our unborn Buddha mind, it is our robe, it is our food, and we are content to look to it to protect and sustain us. Wherever we go, like a bhikkhu, we never leave home because we carry our home with us. We are dependent for our happiness on nothing outside of ourselves.