Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What's the matter? You scared or something?

Fear is something we all feel. Permeating everywhere it is such a big part of ours lives and it is all over. There are so many different types of fears, ranging from monetary to emotional. But where does it all come from?

Fear is the reason I never asked someone out, because I didn’t want to lose what we had.

Fear is the reason no one stopped Hitler during his early invasions of neighbouring countries.

Fear has done so much.

Some of us become yes men, because we are afraid to lose our jobs. Some of us are afraid to break from social expectations because of the fear of social reprisal.

Some of us are afraid to express our true feelings about others, good or bad. Some of us are afraid to talk about the music we truly love.

But beyond being something we feel, fear can also be used against us. Fear can be a tool of control that can be used to shape our beliefs and actions. Fear of Communism was used to meet a lot of ends. Religions utilize fear as a mechanism a lot, if you don’t do this, you will got to hell or reap bad Karma. Sometimes the effects are good, like with the law, but other times its not.

The Unsilent mentioned something recently about fear of dying, but I think there are so many worse things to fear out there than death. The Demon Barber said it best, “Death would be a sweet relief!” Really it would, from everything we fear, but also everything we hope for.

Another good quote that comes from To Kill A Mockingbird, is that Maycomb county was informed that during the depression that the town had nothing to ‘fear, except fear itself.’ I remember asking someone, ‘what’s your worst fear? ‘They replied being powerless. But I think that is what fear is all about, and is a real cop out answer.

Fear stems from things we feel we cannot overcome, things we cannot control. If we were all invincible then we would quite simply be fearless. That was one concept that I really loved about the TV show Smallville. Though virtually indestructible, Clark Kent feared all the other things that you and me do. All the physical strength in the world cannot influence the emotional world. That makes a lot of sense if you think about it.

I find my fear is dissipating now. You see, no matter what happens, its going to happen. Being afraid about it makes no difference and adds no benefit.

But here is the main thing. Fear isn’t real, it isn’t tangible. It’s generated by what we think will happen or could happen, but might not even be remotely close to reality.

I leave you with the Litany Against Fear from the Dune Books:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.


  1. totally agree with u on this one..fear is something we build on our own, therefore we have power over it..we don't realize this most of the time, when we really have to.. fear is nothing..

    and when i said afraid of dying, i didn't mean death itself, i meant that i'm afraid i wont be able to complete my dreams and plans before leaving. death can definitely be sweet relief, but we have yet to find out..

  2. HHmmm...
    The Bible says Fear is not of God,

    Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave. ~Mark Twain

    I think both are true...

  3. Agree with you, fear is something we make up just like all human emotions. a constraint to act as we want but still without fear world will not be as interesting.

  4. A quote from Franklin D Roosevelt's First Inaugural Address in 1933 -

    "So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

    I think it's a nice summary, and ties in with what you've said.

    I totally agree that fear is a 'cop out' - but then it's so much more difficult to be courageous, isn't it?

  5. If I may share an anecdote, a true one about my own life. When I was 14 I used to fear dark places, like laneways that were unlit. From the safety of the night-time street, I would look into the pitch darkness of a lane (an alley way as we called them), and be afraid of someone lurking there. I imagined being grabbed and dragged into that darkness...
    But one night I decided to go into that darkness, step by step, letting my eyes adjust. I did this over many nights, each time advancing a bit further. Soon I became comfortable for I realized I was the only one there, and I could see more or less in the darkness. I got so used to it that I began to hang out in the dark lanes, smoking cigarettes. And one day it occured to me that I was no longer afraid of the dark at all for I had become that scary thing that dwelled in the DARK.