Friday, July 20, 2007

on fear

The world, I don’t need to remind you, can be a scary scary place. I mean really. And we all see it, every day; there’s the horror movie of knowing that there are people out there who want to hurt our country for their beliefs, there’s the pressure of the importance of our own capacities, there’s the often constant fear of losing the things we hold closest, the overwhelming, and consequently massively irresponsibly ignored, fear of our effect on the world we live in on a foundational level; the list is colossal. And from this it goes right down to the microcosm of sudden attacks of irrationally intense fear about what we should or shouldn’t wear, or how we look (although that could just be me). What I want to know is how something which (although it can work for good occasionally and in moderation) is largely a negative and damaging emotional influence on us has become so innate a part of human nature. It’s a torturous question to ask yourself because, nervous-laughably, the answer is a considerably frightening one. Now, I do often emphasize my own ignorance, & I will do so here also-any knowledge that I have is acquired from my puny sixteen years of experience (a period of time which has unfortunately not yet proven sufficient to rid me of the urge to put “and a half!” after my age, I might add. After all, I am nearly seventeen. Hahaha. Back to business..), and, although I reckon I’ve spent these first years observing and thinking with considerable fervor (I love that word), I can and will not be so arrogant as to hold any conclusions which I come to as some kind of high fact. They’re works in progress and so attack all you want; that’s what life is for to me at the moment-learning. There it is again! Now I’m covering my back out of fear that post-posting I will be caught unprepared for some kind of moral duel! And here lies my, as usual irritatingly long-time-coming, point. I think that perhaps our fear isn’t as irrational as we consider it to be on an intellectual or moral level; I think we are scared because in creating a society where even our celebrities, supposedly the people we admire and love most (after all we made them famous) are relentlessly criticized and attacked for their appearance among other things, and I’m talking world level problems here, we have built something scary. A society with a fear pandemic, born from some other disorder-so what creates fear? When I last visited my Grandma she gave me some books, one of which was Louise L. Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life”, a work which explores the author’s belief that anything, including severe and otherwise allegedly incurable illnesses, can be solved by a change in thought patterns. In reading the book, I picked up on Hay’s evident suggestion that what really terrifies a human being is a lack of feelings of trust and love. This concept comes through in her diagnoses & “new thought patterns” and, although I remain unconvinced about her theory’s accuracy on a large scale, I can see the logic in the correlations she makes: if fear can, as I believe from experience it can, be placated by love and a feeling of safety, then it follows coherently that the cause of it must be the awareness of a lack of love and/or trustworthiness in a person’s emotional, political, social, work; life, environment. And here again lies the reason this is a difficult issue to take on-that is one scary answer, because it essentially points to the difficult to refute or swallow conclusion that our society hugely lacks in something as fundamental and, frankly, important, as love. So there you have it-my point at last-I think that we’re scared because we don’t make eachother feel safe in the way that we should and I believe (hope) used to. So, instead of worrying our frightened little souls about it, I would hope that if you take anything from this it is to consider a) trying to change the things that scare you about our society, and b) trying to help yourself and others to feel like this world is and can be a safe, loving place. Good god I’m a hippie.




Oz said...

You got it : peace and love. They've been telling this for nearly 40years... it's kind of time we try and listen to them/to us (kind of a hippie myself).

Anonymous said...

Fear is weakness.