Fear of the Dark


Namaste!I am very scared of the dark.I feel as if some ghost will pop up from somewhere.It feels very stupid.I have tried reasoning with myself but the feeling persists.So much so that that I generally avoid looking outside the window at night.Once i did and saw clouds making a shape of demon..i think this all is coming from my subconscious mind..how do i get over it? please help.

—Devika, India


Dear Devika,

Being afraid of the dark is quite common, so don’t feel that you’re the only one.

You are dealing with a deep subconscious reaction. Reason doesn’t always work so well with such things, so I’m not surprised that your efforts to reason with yourself have not worked.

Fortunately, there are other ways to solve this problem. One powerful way is affirmation. Paramhansa Yogananda was very specific about how to make affirmation an effective practice, not only to alter your subconscious reactions, but also to connect with the Light of superconsciousness. This book excerpt (from Affirmations for Self-Healing, by Swami Kriyananda) explains how to practice affirmation most effectively. Here are 2 affirmations that can be helpful for your needs; choose your favorite:

  • “I live protected by God’s Infinite Light. So long as I remain in the heart of it, nothing and no one can harm me.” (from the above book)
  • “God is within me, around me, protecting me, so I shall banish the gloom of fear that shuts out His guiding light and makes me stumble into ditches of error.” (from Metaphysical Meditations, by Paramhansa Yogananda, 1932)

Second, I would like to offer two related suggestions for turning on the Light: Call on God, not only when darkness looms, but throughout your day. One option is continuous prayer: Keep up an inner conversation with God whenever possible; don’t talk to God, but rather talk with God. Another is the practice of japa: continually repeat a name of God or a mantra. Prayer and japa are valuable for much more than banishing fear of darkness—they help banish darkness itself (spiritual ignorance). When God becomes your constant companion, darkness cannot affect you.

All the best to you.