Yes, I have said that the awakened are without fear. Fear is based within the identification with the body-mind…another way of saying it is that fear is based on otherness. We are afraid of “other things” and in reference to how it impacts this body-mind (or other body-minds we care about). If you realize you are not just this separate body-mind and there is no other, then what is there to be afraid of?
Fear is also not required and needed for the continue existence of this body-mind. Fear is only necessary when wisdom and understanding are not present.
As a child we burn our hands, and learned fire was dangerous and we feared it. As we get older we learned about fire, what it is capable of doing under what circumstances. We came to understand fire. Then we all happily sit around camp fires cooking hot dogs and marshmallows….and we are not frightened by the fire or about getting burned. We are careful. We respect fire. We don’t fear it.
Wisdom and knowledge override fear. Fear is about the unknown. When something is truly known, you don’t fear it. People once feared solar eclipses; and now most barely notice when it happens because it is not a big deal. Why, because we understand what is going on.
People who work with snakes (even venomous ones) are the same way…they don’t fear snakes…but they respect them and what snakes can do. They have come to understand snakes – what the snakes like, don’t like, what threatens or scares them, and so forth. To fear the snake only makes the snake nervous and makes you more likely to be bitten while working with them.
Being free of fear does not mean you don’t bother looking both ways before crossing the street…that would be unwise and not respecting what being hit by a car can do. Being free of fear does not make you stupid. Being free of fear just removes a reaction that often protects us when we just don’t know better. But when we know better, fear doesn’t help…and actually may be a hindrance.
Actually, being free of fear liberates one’s actions and allows wisdom and understanding to dictate the course of action instead of the typical fight, flight, or freeze reactions based on fear. Back to the fire analogy…although not fearing fire, we would understand it, respect it, and be careful around it. That does not mean we would never put our hands in the fire. If there was a reason to put your hands in the fire, you would.
Again, this does not mean the lack of fear makes you unwise. So, if you dropped your keys accidentally in the fire, you would not immediately pick them up and get your hand burned. That is unwise. There is no reason to do it this way. It would be wise instead to get a stick and push your keys out of the fire and let them cool. The burns that would result from putting your hand in the fire to get your keys are simply not worth it.
However, if a young child was playing around a big bonfire and tripped…falling into the fire, you could easily and quickly put your hands in the fire to save the child. That action is worth the consequences (burns). Now, if you were ruled by fear…the fear of being burned may make you hesitate in saving the child or perhaps not bother to try to save the child at all and instead go with self-preservation.
Wisdom and understanding really are needed to be without fear and it just so happens that the awakened tend to be very wise. So there might be times when there is a reason to put oneself in harms way (when the potential consequences are worth the act and potential results). In those times, it is best to be fearless.