It seems, as fear is a lifelong presence in each of us. We get rid of some of our apprehensions, but then the one that are left, suddenly become more vivid and painful. Why?
The fear itself has been around for eons. It is present even in the simplest one-celled organisms – Amebas. When the Amoeba feels endangered, the Ameba squeezes out the cytoplasm, shrinks, like in attempt to disappear. The lizard looses its tail; the ostrich hides its head.
Nature’s function to protect and preserve is great. Our nature as Homo sapiens cannot be changed under the technological development; we are still the same inside, as we were million years ago. Even though now the risk of being physically eaten is less, undoubtedly today we have increasing variety list of different dangers. (Including the threat of being scared to death – possibly from all the TV med commercials.)
Animals also experience the symptoms we all are well familiar with: anxiety, panic, fright it is a multilevel spasm. Everything contracts – muscles, vessels, bronchi, diaphragm, stomach, intestines, heart…Sometimes the reaction can be the opposite – involuntary relaxation, paralysis….
The fear is like a virus, parasite that lives with us but is not who we are. Often in western psychology, we get the idea that it is we who are damaged at the core. This can not be farther from the truth. We, human beings, are not and have never been damaged goods. We are fascinating beautiful beings when we know who we are.
So who are we and what is the nature of our relationship with fear?
Fear is a tree with many branches. There are various attempts made to classify and clarify this phenomenon. The trunk of this ancient tree is fear of Death from one side, and fear of Life from the other. The fear of Death is actually a fear of the pure unknown, “nothingness”. It is impossible to imagine your own Nonbeing. This fear is stronger that the dreads of suffering, which can be understood, endured and overcome, but the uncertainty – what do you do with it? The fear of Life is the second wing of the same bird. The fear of Death is a concept that belongs to our consciousness. Nevertheless, our deep unconscious levels, where all our terrors reside, do not have this concept. It is just “before the tension takes form – mass”.
It is not rare for human beings to have one “general” irrespective trepidation, but usually it “specializes” in concrete areas:
– Mystical and psychic- all religious punishments, fear of God, Devil, superstition, magic…. FEAR OF YOUR OWN THOUGHTS
– Social-evaluative – exam anxiety, fear of communication, public speaking, the opposite sex, shame, guilt, to be bad, ugly, not smart enough, fear of responsibility/failure, to be seen as weak… NOT GOOD ENOUGH
– Common fears or phobias- fear of the dark, loneliness, getting old, fear for the life of your loved ones, war, natural disasters…FEAR OF NOT BEING IN CONTROL
– Panic attacks- objectless sense of apprehension, fear of everything = fear of nothing… I AM HELPLESS
– Decision making phobias – fear to make a choice of spouse, job, profession….I AM NOT COMPETENT
– Fear of space – agoraphobia- fear of wide-open spaces, claustrophobia- confined space, astrophobia …. WHERE IS MY PERSONAL SPACE
– Fear of authority and aggression- physical insult, psychological, from your boss….I AM A VICTIM
– Dependence fear – soteriophobia, fear of deprivation of different agents – drugs, tobacco, alcohol, people, food, money….I AM ALONE
– Physical fears- fear of pain, dentist, blood, diseases, health, germs….I AM IN DANGER
Between all this concrete object fears and the “general” primary fear, we can insert the so-called transition fear – “floating” fear, looking to attach to something. (Similar to the Anger, looking for excuse to explode.) The powerful hovering mass of unattached fear is rooted deep in our unconscious being. The absence of desire to know and study yourself and not understanding the root of the feelings and emotions we all go trough can cause much dysfunction and confusion in our lives.
It is logical than to conclude that Fear is nothing more but absence of consciousness, focused, directed willingness to explore our minds, investigate our soul and discover our limitless potential.
No one is to blame for any dysfunction. Our parents, siblings, guardians, friends, enemies or you – are our hidden teachers that challenge us and make life interesting. In one respect, all this people who caused us problems and pain, are victims of a heritage dysfunction themselves, that goes back to the distant past.
Human experience and folklore tell us that each one of us is responsible for making changes and enlightening ourselves. We can turn our own fears into our strengths. We can support the other person’s efforts at becoming free. In order to be successful we must draw a clear distinction between our dysfunctions/fears and ourselves.