“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Our experience can be traced back to two emotional roots.
Love or fear.
Every action begins as an idea. Every idea engenders a corresponding emotion. A course of inaction or intertia may result from pleasure seeking (love motive), just as we are compelled to act when we wish to avoid a nasty consequence (fear motive). No matter what the thought, emotion or reaction it is either rooted in love or it flows from fear. It’s funny to think about being angry as being afraid. But, if you trace back how you got angry, or why you are envious, or if you search for the true source of your shame you can find a fear of something, someone or some circumstantial event that you’d rather not experience. Mostly we get hard programmed to live in fear. Parents use guilt and fear to get children to behave. School continuously reinforces fear as the prime motive. Fear of strangers, fear of traffic, fear of failure and every other source of fear. Work is a fear based culture structured usually as a totalitarian dictatorship. You fear your boss, job loss and being seen not to give a toss. All the while the media and the government heap fear on fear upon you. Its convenient for the ruling class because it makes us docile little worker drones. Fear compels us to conform rather than to stand out and individuate (express ourselves as we truly are). When we are fearful we are more easily encouraged to pass our personal power to a politician or a government to solve perceived problems on our behalf. Fear encourages helplessness.
Unfortunately there are many forces in the world that want a helpless hopeless afraid populace. Companies know people in this state are compliant little consumers. Governments fear not the people and employers are assured of compliant labour. Our fear based functioning at a societal level means we accept violence, war and military solutions. What better way to dispel your fear of a spider than to blow it up with a thermonuclear device? Still we know on a deeper level of our intelligence that there is something seriously wrong when peace is proposed from behind a rifle. We need to get over fear. Fear is a helpless, hopeless waste of energy. It directs us to solutions that can only bring death, poverty, devastation and in turn even more fear.
Sometimes my son will wake in the middle of the night terrified of monsters. I used to say “Don’t be afraid. There is nothing to fear. Daddy is here”. Now I say this to myself as a reminder to get over fear and act from more potent emotions (the love motive). Sometimes I feel envious and critical of a coworker, but what is there to fear I wonder? Other times I feel scared about the spread of disease, but instead I try to respond with a loving orientation feeling incredibly grateful and thankful of those medical personal on the front lines selflessly putting their own life at risk to ensure my good fortune. We are intimately connected to nature and to all of humanity. We need to remind ourselves constantly that there is nothing to be afraid of. By identifying the scaremongers we can start to unravel their motivations for roping us all into their collective nightmare.
Love or fear.
A simple choice.