The Road to Undoing Insecurity and Realizing True Security

It is my perception—drawn from listening to many individuals relate their personal histories—that insecurity is the most common underlying cause for the majority of the problems from which we suffer. So we need to find a remedy for this condition if we hope to be able to make practical spirituality our way of life.

Such widespread insecurity is understandable when we consider the manifold symbols of hoped-for security that people strive to attain—none of which are lasting or can guarantee permanent security. The more people strive to attain some measure of the security they crave, the further it recedes, like a will-o’-the-wisp, forever beyond their reach.

Different individuals express insecurity in various ways, according to their supposed needs. Some people think they will feel secure if they find the perfect partner, while others concentrate on securing a safe occupation, or a certain amount of money. Still others believe they can achieve their goal by attaining a degree from an accepted college, or through promotions to important and influential positions at work or in the community. So many people are desperately trying to find that magical and mystical state in which they will feel safe and secure.

One’s heritage, education, and the opinions and values current in the world all point to specific panaceas for this chronic disease of insecurity. We are persuaded by the media that if we buy a particular product or attain a specific goal, we will feel satisfied and fulfilled. But the reverse is the inevitable result, and we are forced to look further and more feverishly for the illusive state of security.

As this situation persists, more and more people exhibit signs of insecurity in their behavior, both consciously and unconsciously. This results from a desire to convince others, but primarily themselves, of their own value, ability, prowess, knowledge, importance, attractiveness, or any other proof of their superiority that they can accept as convincing. Often this attitude smacks of “protesting too much”; assuming a role of appearing utterly secure and sure of themselves, their attitude is actually but a mask concealing their self-doubt.

Some people resort to the cruel habit of criticizing others, not only to boost their own importance, skill, brilliance, or other attribute in the eyes of others, but also to reassure themselves of their own superiority.

Other people openly reveal their lack of confidence and self-esteem in bids for reassurance from others that they are worthy of approval, since they themselves have no confidence in their own value. Still others consort with people whom they consider to be important in some way, erroneously believing that this “importance” will reflect onto them, but this establishes only a temporary, borrowed sense of security. Such are the hangers-on who gather around famous people, hoping to ride to fame or fortune on another’s coattails. These are just a few of the many ways people fool themselves in efforts to overcome the gnawing feeling caused by insecurity.

What Is Security?

But what actually is security? Is it so important or worth all the effort expended to attain it? And why does worldy security always seem beyond our reach, despite every effort to achieve it? The answer lies in yet another question that Sri Sathya Sai Baba repeatedly urges us to ask ourselves: “Who am I?”

He supplies the answer in many different ways, usually by showing us what we are not. When we have discarded at last all the things we are not, we can be free to discover who we are, for Baba assures us that we are all God. But this assertion is difficult for most people to believe, since they are accustomed to identifying themselves with their physical-body-mind-personality-ego complex, forgetting that this is merely an illusory container for the real Self.

Insecurity is completely unnecessary; in fact, it is a futile waste of time and energy, simply because people have sought their security in the wrong direction—in the outer world instead of within themselves. If we expect security to be granted to us by attachment to anyone or anything outside ourselves, we are doomed to disappointment. Security can be found only when we identify ourselves with who we really are: the unseen Spark within the outer observable sheath in which we exist in the world, which is of equal value to the Spark in everyone else. So, where is the need for insecurity, if we are all equal in value? And why do we try to be “better” than anyone else?

Our heritage and early conditioning are the cause of our mistaken identity and the resulting insecurity that it causes. We have been taught in each recurring birth into this world to identify ourselves with our physical bodies and its attendant thoughts, feelings, speech, acts, desires, and senses. We have all been taught untruths about our true identity, from the very beginning of our many sojourns on earth, resulting in the haunting sense of insecurity that we have suffered continuously.

In each successive life we have continued to seek security, only to be left even more insecure by having failed to find it. Many people have been driven to depression, insanity, and even suicide by the failure of their search. And in each new age, the situation has worsened, as this pattern has become more deeply etched on the human psyche. The resulting dejection leads to even more control by the “monkey mind” in its search for security.

Relying on the Inner Reality

Now the time is approaching for a new and very different way of life to be ushered in, heralded in large part by Baba’s life and ministry. In the coming New Age, we shall all be taught who we really are, and our erstwhile hidden identity will be revealed to everyone, so we can learn to feel secure in the knowledge that we are all equal in our God-selves—none better or worse, wiser or more stupid, stronger or weaker, richer or poorer—but all one, and of equal value, with a common source. But in order to move freely into this new and very different way of life, relying more and more on our inner Reality to direct us, we will need to detach ourselves from all the old, false, and disappointing pseudo-security symbols, and replace them with the only security that is permanent—identification with our real Self, which is perfect and therefore completely trustworthy.

Some of us will undoubtedly be pioneers and make the first leap in faith from the “known” to the “as-yet-unknown,” where none of the old rules and codes of behavior will be of any use and where there will be no certainty of what will happen at any given moment. None of “our own” plans will be valued, only those that are initiated and then directed by the Source of Wisdom within each one of us. This will mean giving up the familiar, and we all dislike having to face the unfamiliar. Many people even prefer a painful but familiar situation to an unknown future where there are no familiar ground rules to follow, but only the direction of the High Self to guide us one minute at a time. Yet this is the place where Baba is seeking to lead us, and it is the main reason he says he has assumed human form at this time. So he urges us to “love my uncertainty,” which is the cure for the insecurity we have all suffered so long.1

An Exercise: Surrender, Trust, and Accept

One of the best and easiest ways to free ourselves from our mind’s tight grip on our many and varied false security symbols or attachments is to take time to sit quietly and ask Baba for help.

Baba himself suggests that we first concentrate on his form and repeat his name, or that of our chosen form of divinity, so that we feel we are actually in his presence. Then, quite simply, talk to him as if you were with him. Tell him your desires, addictions, weaknesses, insecurities, and ask him to help you to overcome them, so that you will be able to “love his uncertainty” and learn to develop true Self-confidence.

And excellent aid is to say, “I surrender myself and my whole life, with all my desires and fears, into your safekeeping. I trust you to give me only what you know I need for my spiritual growth, and I accept whatever that may be.”

To surrender, trust, and accept helps us to take that essential step of letting go of our ego’s control and asking Him to live through us.2 Baba tells us that all work should be accompanied with an attitude of worship. All our activities, even the smallest detail of the most seemingly insignificant or menial tasks, should be divinely inspired and offered as worship. But it can be divine only if we relax and let Baba—or our own God-Self—act through us. Then he can use his divine energy to accomplish so much more than we can do with our limited, ego involved selves, and without the frequent tension or exhaustion.

To do so calls for surrender, trust, and acceptance. If we can surrender to his will and direction, trust him with every aspect of our lives, and accept—instead of resisting whatever happens—we will be free to flow with him in a lighthearted daily dance, instead of being depressed by worry and sorrow, fear, guilt, insecurity, and all the other negative emotions or attitudes that plague us and rob us of our sense of wellbeing. When these no longer control our lives, their place will be filled by positive and beneficial attitudes and emotions, such as love, compassion, kindness, generosity—and true security.3

—Phyllis Krystal

Zurich, Switzerland

Excerpted and adapted for Sathya Sai Newsletter- from Taming Our Monkey Mind (2004) and Ceiling on Desires, Expanded Edition (2009).

1 Krystal, Phyllis, Taming Our Monkey Mind (York, Maine: Samuel Weiser Inc., 1994), pp. 143-146.

2 Krystal, Phyllis, Ceiling on Desires, Expanded Edition, (Edmond, Oklahoma: Legendary Press, 2009), p. 17.

3 Krystal, Phyllis, Ceiling on Desires, Expanded Edition, (Edmond, Oklahoma: Legendary Press, 2009),  pp. 34-35.