cover image When Fear Falls Away: The Story of a Sudden Awakening

When Fear Falls Away: The Story of a Sudden Awakening

Jan Frazier, Author, Barbi Schulick, Foreword by . Weiser $16.95 (201p) ISBN 978-1-57863-400-2

The summer she turned 50, Frazier suddenly lost the nearly crippling fear that had plagued her for decades. In its place came love, tears, laughter, ecstasy, delight, bliss, understanding and, eventually, an unshakable "undercurrent of fundamental contentment." This book, she says, is not self-help but a "testimony to a life transformed" and a promise that her experience is open to all. Frazier, a poet, knows how to turn a phrase, but her dated commentary, covering 18 months beginning in August 2003, often evokes the self-absorption and inchoate emotion of an adolescent's diary: "Every single thing I do is a total blast. It's like being stoned, only it's entirely clearheaded." Interspersed with celebratory journal entries are lyrical descriptions of her worshipful encounters with Gurumayi, the controversial "perfected master" whose Siddha Yoga mantra is translated "I bow to my inner Self, who is God." Some readers may find Frazier's unremitting attention to her emotional state tedious, if occasionally worrisome ("I expend a lot of energy to keep from whirling in circles with my arms out to the sides"), while others will perceive deep wisdom in her awakened realization "that being released from fear was independent of being released from bad things happening." (May)