When we consider things mentally we are living in the past. Merely living in the past, in all actuality, is not truly living. Past structures past recognitions, past images and patterns are restructured and re-manipulated. This re-manipulation may seem new, but if the components of it are of images and memories of the past — which they usually are — then what seems somewhat fresh is, for the most part, merely a restructuring of the same old stuff.
In psychoanalysis, looking into the past to get at the source of one’s fears usually isn’t treading new waters whatsoever. It also is a continuation of the past. This past is never truly liberating, for it is an extension of the remains of the stale, the old, and the accumulated. Bringing up old accumulations doesn’t — in any profound way — produce anything liberating and fresh for the mind. The mind that probes into its past is that past; and what it perceives with is dictated by (and actually is) the very past that it is desiring to look into. In actuality, it is very much like a dog chasing its own tail.
Instead of trying to find out about the source of the fears that one thinks one has, it may be much more prudent to perceive that one is not psychologically separate from what fear is as it occurs. Being in right relationship with fear doesn’t take time. Probing into one’s past and psychoanalysis take time. Time is not profoundly liberating in this… because like a dog that chases its own tail, it is a waste of energy. Looking at the past with the past is, for the most part, often a waste of time.
Trying to analyse fears takes time. Trying to control fear takes time. (And trying to control fear presupposes a segment of the mind that is separate from fear and that is capable of manipulating it.) Trying to suppress fear takes time. Escaping from fear, though various forms of entertainment, for example, takes time. Being in an intelligent relationship with fear (as it occurs) does not take time; there is no separation (i.e., no conflict) in that intelligence.