Why Everything Scares You To Death

The other night, while I was trying to sleep, I started thinking about the post I wrote last week where I stated that hatred is driven – at its core – by a fear of death. I couldn’t shake the idea that I was missing something fundamental. Naturally this started to make me feel a little anxious. Which then got me thinking, why I am feeling so anxious? I’m just thinking.

Anyway, I placed my mind on that fear and I asked, ‘what do you want me to figure out?’ Then something clicked. Everything I’d read, all the research I’d done came into focus and the penny dropped, and I thought, ‘holy shit, all fear is a fear of death. That’s what you’re feeling. That’s why it’s so intense. It’s simply a trick. An illusion played by the mind to keep you, and those you love, alive.’ 

Immediately I started thinking about the implications this simplicity of thought might have. How we could use it to see through and conquer our fears. But also help those consumed by theirs. So I got up and started hashing out my argument (no I didn’t sleep well that night). And well, here’s the result.

Anyway, let me start with a little biology lesson to explain my line of thinking.

The Biology Of Fear

From a biological perspective the purpose of life is life itself. That all our emotions – the full kaleidoscope of experience – can be explained, broadly speaking, by two things. The first is survival (protecting our life and those we love.) Enter fear. The second is procreation and the raising/nurturing of offspring. Enter love. 

Now, to forget love for a second (Say what?), let’s talk amount the most important of these two emotional forces – fear (Oh no you didn’t!).

Inside your brain are two little nuggets called your amygdalas. These naughty little nuggets are, biologically speaking, responsible for all of your emotional suffering. This is because they activate something called your fight, flight or freeze response system. And this has everything to do with your survival. (They love you really.)

What those naughty nuggets do when they detect, what they believe to be, a serious threat to your life, is they shut off the rational part of your brain (your frontal lobes). When this happens the only thing your brain becomes interested in is your survival. And it uses the fear of death to drive your actions. Telling you to either run for the hills (fear under flight), tread carefully (anxiety under freeze), or fight for your life (anger or hate under fight). That is what fear is, in essence. Fear is a fear of death. I say that because these responses are based on keeping you alive.

This is why I believe fear, anxiety, anger and hate, are such intense emotions. Why we have a million and one different addictions and mental illnesses in our attempts to deal with them. We are dealing with a fear of death under different guises. And that is no small thing.

The Link To Death

One of the problems I believe we have is we don’t link our fear to death. We lack the awareness. I believe this is partly because our rational minds and ancient emotional response system aren’t of the same era (your naughty nuggets are part of the limbic system which comprises the oldest part of your brain), but mainly because the ego doesn’t want us to figure this out. It’s a deliberate illusion. After all it’s not terribly useful to psychoanalyse your fear when face to face with a sabre-toothed tiger!

But you’re not actually sacred of the tiger (you are, but hear me out). No, you’re afraid of one thing and one thing alone: death. What your brain has done is attach the fear of death to that animal, thing or situation. That’s why everything scares us to death. Because we are. That’s what drives us at our core. This is also why, in the pecking order of love and fear, fear comes first (why we have something called a negativity bias). Of course this sucks the big one, however the logic makes good sense. You must first survive before you can thrive. Before you can use your big one!

In the case of a sabre-toothed tiger the link is obvious. Much like a fear of heights. However others things are much harder to link. Like onomatophobia – a fear of names. (Yeah, for real Bob.) Most often they’re rooted in our unique childhood traumas as part of our attempt to win the love of our parents who weren’t forthcoming with it (which we needed for survival). Other things are less obvious on the surface but make good sense when you consider our ancestry basically roamed around as tribes for millions of years.

It’s worth stressing that when it comes to our emotions we are working with a Palaeolithic operating system. One that’s millions of years in the making based on what the world was like for us for the vast majority of that time. It’s not well adapted to modern life. 

How To Conquer That Fear

So now you’re thinking, “Ok Sherlock, now that you’ve made me aware that my crippling anxiety is actually a fear of death underneath, how is this suppose to help me?”

Because now you can ask yourself a couple of important questions. The first is obvious. Is your life really at risk? To use public speaking as an example, is getting up on stage really going to end in death? No, of course not. Then are your feelings rational or irrational? We know the answer to this of course. Now we have awareness on our side. Suddenly it’s clear as day. Now you can look through it because you understand why the feeling is so intense. 

That is a good reason to show those feelings love and compassion. That is a good reason to tell yourself it’s ok. And now you can remind yourself what your higher purpose is. What your loving motives are for standing up on that stage. And suddenly that fear starts to loosen its grip.

This allows your naughty little nuggets to calm down, which allows your frontal lobes to come back online. What you’re doing is placing your emotions back in the passenger seat of your car as opposed to the drivers seat. Which is exactly where you want them (except when your life really is threatened.) And so you go ahead and make most passionate speech of your life.

What you’ve done is used love for the purpose it was intended, to overcome your own fear of death. Not only that, you’ve just told yourself you conquered a fear of death which is massive.

Now, here’s where I address the large Woolly Mammoth in the cave room: If a fear of death comes first in the order of our emotional makeup, then perhaps all of our emotions stem from it, including love? And if you think that’s a rather dark hypothesis to end, I would counter by saying how beautifully poetic I believe that is.

Love was nature’s antidote to prevent our own fears from destroying ourselves. It was designed to give us the courage to overcome our fear of death to protect our offspring. To protect our tribe. To protect our larger self. 

In an increasingly interconnected world I believe we must use that to cultivate and serve a higher purpose that includes all life on this planet. We must use that to overcome – quite literally- our own fear of death in order to do so. I fear if we don’t, that fear, will consume us all.


Thanks for reading everyone. So what do you think? Are our fears simply a fear of death underneath? And is love the antidote to those fears by design? Thoughts and opinions keenly anticipated. Warm regards, AP2 🙏

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You can see find more of AP2’s nonsensical world views and poor self-help advice here at: https://clear-air-turbulence.com

126 thoughts on “Why Everything Scares You To Death

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    1. Thank you Leigh. Our minds play all sorts of tricks. I believe most of them are rooted in survival. If not for ourselves then our beliefs. Wishing you well 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Anxiety is a form of fear. Certainly deep breathing techniques are very helpful. Becoming aware that your life isn’t under threat is equally important. Thank you Nadine 🙏

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Anxiety is a form of fear. As is anger and hate. People who are angry are scared. It’s just expressed in a more, for lack of a better term, masculine manner. We all have anxiety. I believe it’s a good thing. It shows you care about yourself. To live without fear would be very dangerous indeed. Thank you for stopping by. 🙏

      Liked by 3 people

  1. I like science. It’s interesting. My own amygdalas make me quite testy no do have one question: the two biological drives – they seem similar. I’ve always thought it was one – reproduction of our genes. I wonder what not doing so does at a biological level?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a good question. Which came first love or fear. It’s a bit like the chicken or egg debate. I believe survival comes first simply because you have to survive before you can reproduce. That’s why I believe we have a negativity bias (why we should spend a lot less time on our phones!) Thanks for weighing in Em. I appreciate it. 🙏

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  2. Literally describes the phrase “scared to death”. Fear was made to protect us from life threatening situations. But we have inturned crippled ourselves with it by allowing it to rule aspects of our lives it wasn’t meant to have a say in.
    Thank you for showing us that it serves only one purpose.
    Leads me to think of another phrase… “Courage is not necessarily the absence of fear.” That seems to mean that courage is purely inspired by love. Because when fear comes over you, let’s say a lion threatening to devour your whole family it’s your love for them that inspire you to put yourself in harms way and fight the Lion to give your family a chance to survive.

    Loved the two posts bro. Gave me a new set of eyes on the matter of fear and death. Shout out to you.

    Have a marvelous, beautiful and joyful day sir…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Francis. Exactly. We should listen to our fears when it comes to survival. For everything else we should listen to love.

      Re courage. I think courage is acting despite your fears – in the face of them. Not in the absence of them.

      Wishing you a wonderful day too 🙏

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  3. There is a book on this topic called ‘Denial of Death’ by Ernest Becker.

    The writer Sam Keen summarizes the thesis nicely, “The root of humanly caused evil is not man’s animal nature, not territorial aggression, or innate selfishness, but our need to gain self-esteem, deny our mortality, and achieve a heroic self-image. Our desire for the best is the cause of the worst.””

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s funny you mention that book. As soon as I came to this insight I decided to do some research and this book popped up. I’m halfway through reading it now. Great quote and thanks for the recommendation. 🙏

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  4. So, I don’t fear death. But if you continuously talk about it maybe I start fearing.
    My fears are fear of snakes, ghosts, losing the people you love so much etc.
    We should talk more about solutions. Let’s be strong. “ Fear of suffering is more painful than suffering itself ”. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’d add that suffering is inevitable. To fear it will only make it worse when it does. What we need to do is suffer with purpose. That’s what makes suffering bearable. To suffer without purpose is torture.

      My thinking with our fears is that they are all rooted in survival. Why do we fear snakes if we don’t fear death? A more difficult question to answer if fearing the loss of our loved ones. Again I believe the things we’re attached to are what we see as part of our larger self. So we fear losing those parts of ourselves too. I believe it’s our own fear of death transferred onto what we love.

      Thank you weighing in. I appreciate your comments. Wishing you well. 🙏

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I believe many of us live in denial about our mortality. That many of us work ourselves to death trying to make sure our ego lives on in some capacity or, at least, the beliefs we have attached our egos to. The great paradox is our fear of death drives the beliefs many of us are willing to die for. Of course we need fear for survival but beyond that I think we need to be very careful.

      Talking of discussions it occurs to me that when our children are first aware of their mortality that parents often brush it off. Telling them we all go to heaven even if they don’t actually believe it. I think it might be one of the most important conversations a parent will have with their children. We should take the time to properly discuss it with them when it comes up.

      Thank you Michele. I appreciate your thoughts. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are most welcome. I appreciate your thoughts! Your reply resonates with me. So much so, I could spend the next hour adding to your comment. Since my time is limited this morning, I will add these quick thoughts. Denying the reality of mortality limits one’s ability to fully live and not talking to young people about death causes them to do the same. I have many personal examples to illustrate these points, but I must run. Have a wonderful day, living! 🌞

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you Michele and no worries – It’s a conversation that I could also talk at length about also. Of course we all live very busy lives. Anyway I completely agree with you. Have a wonderful day too! 🙏

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  5. “Why we have a million and one different addictions and mental illnesses in our attempts to deal with them. We are dealing with a fear of death under different guises”

    This is interesting. Never thought of it this way.
    Very informative post, AP.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nor had I. When I had the insight I was reminded of your article about connecting the dots looking backward. I knew my thoughts and writing were leading me somewhere but I couldn’t figure it out. Then something clicked. All the psychology and philosophy books were pointing toward this idea it’s just no one had really explained it to me like that. In such a direct way.

      Thanks freethinker. Always appreciate your comments. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a lot to think about. Requires some digging but the science is there. All fears are rooted in survival. That’s what drives them. What is survival if not a fear of death at its core? I may be wrong of course but if it gets people thinking a differently at least then I’m happy. Thanks Barb. Wishing you well 🙏

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    1. Thanks Cheryl. That’s a good point! Although I believe the pandemic is a direct result of not looking after this planet. If we want to avoid further pandemics in the future we need to start doing much more. Wishing you well Cheryl 🙏😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. An interesting take on the subject. Our minds sometimes perceive things incorrectly as they have been programmed by past stimuli.
    I appreciate your writing and look forward to future works.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I figured it was an interesting idea if nothing else! Thank you for leaving your thoughts – I certainly agree that former programming is part of the problem. Wishing you well 🙏

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  7. If one can make peace with death (or with the thought that one is going to die) would this make fear disappear? I ask this question because I am greatly influenced by the Stoics and the Buddhists. Are you familiar with the Stoics? I make a daily practice of thinking about my death and to study my slow disintergration. I’m convinced our greatest challenge and the secret to leaving peacefully is to take note of one’s daily decline–to study it objectively. There is nothing more defeating (and draining) than to struggle against those things that can’t be controlled. Clinging to things is also exhausting. Clinging to life is so tiring. Let it go. I’m not being defeatist at all. In fact, I’m preaching that we must conquer. Conquer our fear–the greatest fear of all, as you point out. Nice piece.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Tory – Yes I am familiar with the Stoics. Part of my reasoning follows what I’ve read about them. I have also started to make meditating on my own demise a daily practise. The stoics use something called Negative Visualisation which I’ve found to a very powerful exercise – where you imagine your worst fears coming true – losing what you love the most. This helps to eradicate the fear and lesson the emotional impact when/if it does. It also helps to cultivate more gratitude for reality as it stands in the moment. I agree – clinging to things – wanting them to remain including our own life and/or ego as it is. It’s exhausting and ultimately self-defeating. I’m beginning to think that making peace with death might be the ultimate way to circumnavigate all other ones. Thanks for your thoughts. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Good morning!
    This one I can not let go by…Here a little comment:
    Yes, eventually, all fear/ anxiety is fear of death and a waste of imagination. Fear of death is the very core of it. No one is “afraid of heights”, but of consequences of falling.

    We feel what we think. Basic principle.
    Think high quality thoughts, feel good quality stuff (love it is). Think low quality thoughts, feel danger when there is none.
    The background of this reasoning is that we “think” from different levels of consciousness. So, flight/ fight/ freeze is “low quality thinking”, low quality of perception. As you also wrote: a part of us (low quality thoughts, reptilian brain) judge a situation. And based on that judgement, we act… and so on.
    I would not go into “antidote” version of love/ fear. Sounds better to educate oneself to be more conscious, more present, to awake more often and observe the quality of thinking. From that place (observer) there is a solid ground to be more picky about thoughts we think (and how they make us feel).
    Hope this has been helpful
    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hear what you’re saying. Negative thoughts = negative emotions. However I think what you’re talking about has more to do with prevention whereas my thinking here is more concerned with cure. As in what should you do when you already feel fearful (angry or anxious).

      When we feel fearful we need awareness – yes absolutely. But to do that we need to know the truth of our own past – our own traumas and beneath that, the fact that our fear is based on survival – that it is a fear of death. Many people don’t connect the dots. I believe it’s important because that’s what allows us to see through it. For many people telling them to think positive is terrible advice. Their thought patterns have been formed over many years. It’s hardwired. They can’t help but think a certain way. The same regarding our fight or flight response. Depending on our unique trauma many things could trigger it. But often it’s not based in reality because our life isn’t under threat (any more). When we feel fearful it’s acceptance (love) for those feelings as they are that allows them to pass. But to do that we have to acknowledge our truth. Hiding from our truth (that we will die) does more harm than good. In fact people ending dying for and even killing for their beliefs simply because they refuse to acknowledge and accept their own mortality. Their ego has to live on.

      But they are just thoughts. They are just feelings. Being able to see through them is very important. Fear isn’t bad. It’s trying to keep you alive. It’s our relationship to the emotion that’s bad. So I firmly believe showing compassion towards “negative” emotions and thoughts is very important indeed. It is an antidote.

      I’m not disagreeing with you – I think what you’re getting at is right, but I believe what I’m talking about is an important part of the puzzle as well.

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and making me think 🤔

      Like

      1. I really liked to read your observations… and I enjoy attuning my own discoveries when reading. Makes my understanding shift a bit. Thank you for that.
        You are right saying that urging people to think “positive thoughts”, is going nowhere. I am not talking about that. It does not work. Old patterns of thinking will prevail. If I understand you right, it is a way of dealing with fear, for instance, when a person accepts it (with love) and moves on? Ok.

        Whatever we feel, fear included, is a signal. This system that is giving us a signal is there with the intention- as you have well said it- to keep us alive, to keep us going and being well. In this light, feeling uncomfortable feeling is a signal that our mind is engaged in corresponding thought. There is a gap however between the thought and signal. Our level of understanding, our level of consciousness will be decisive in how we act on it.
        Enough for me for today. Have a nice day 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Completely agree with your assessment here. (And sorry if I misunderstood you re positive thoughts) Yes I am saying that – acceptance for what is is key in my book. Wishing you well 🙏

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  9. There’s also fear of the unknown because we can’t figure out something, we automatically deduce that thing as something that can bring potentail harm. I guess, yep, fear exists due to our need of self preservation

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    1. It’s interesting isn’t it? When we start thinking deeply about our fears? If we keep asking what am I really afraid of here. I believe we can trace all of them to a fear of death. A desire for self preservation as you say. We like what we know. We like the cave that has kept us safe even if it’s a miserable place to be. Thanks friend. I appreciate your thoughts. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup. But even then, there are some things that we know about can still kill us… and there are things that we fear, even though they don’t really hurt us. Sometimes we may have no reason as of why we fear things

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      2. Things that we know about that can kill us are meant to be feared. That’s what keeps us alive. That’s why we get vaccinated and wear masks. That is fear doing its job well. I believe when we don’t understand our fears we are missing an important insight – either about our past or the fact that we are really scared of death underneath. There is something we are ignoring. That means we have to face our fears – to act despite them – which isn’t easy. Thanks friend. Wishing you well 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  10. The real reason why human life can be so utterly exasperating and frustrating is not because there are facts called death, pain, fear, or hunger. The madness of the thing is that when such facts are present, we circle, buzz, writhe, and whirl, trying to get the “I” out of the experience. We pretend that we are amoebas, and try to protect ourselves from life by splitting in two. Sanity, wholeness, and integration lie in the realisation that we are not divided, that man and his present experience are one, and that no separate “I” or mind can be found.

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    1. I like this perspective. Reminds me of the idea that Ernest Becker presents in his book The Denial Of Death – that we are conflicted because we think of ourselves as half human half symbol. We attach our ego – our wanting – to something outside of our reality. We want to be a hero – a symbol that lives on for eternity through our beliefs. It becomes imperative that our own beliefs live on even if we don’t. Ultimately we are very smart apes, but apes none the less. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. 🙏

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  11. You are correct in placing the fear of death at the pinnacle of all fear, but it’s origin is not in evolution, but where we fear we will ultimately end up after death. One of the biggest con jobs of all times is, when Satan asked Eve in the garden “Did God really say that?” Referring to the fact that God told her that if she ate the fruit, it would lead to her death. And ever since, mankind has not only questioned God’s existence, but have come up with the most intricate and sophisticated deceptions to justify our personal actions. Evolution being one of them. Proverbs 14:12 says, “there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death.” Thus, your very real fear of death is not rooted in some tribal heritage and instinct, but rather your very real fear of where you might end up after death. You can discount it, but you’ll never fully understand what keeps us awake in the wee hours of the night, when there is absolutely nothing physically present that should make us afraid. Panic in such instances is absolutely an irrational response. Finding and following Christ is the final answer to fear.. I apologize for the long winded response, but you did ask, and I am speaking from personal experience as one who has overcome this fear in which you speak. Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like what I have to say might fall on deaf ears here but so be it. I believe religion and faith are important for helping many live with and cope with their fears. I believe the moral teachings and lessons to be gained from ancient texts included in the bible are worth considering. I believe all religions point to something important, however I also believe taking what man wrote some thousands of years ago as gospel is dangerous. You shouldn’t love something so implicitly it blinds you. We shouldn’t mix religion with science. Science needs to be respected – especially in this day and age. To call evolution a deception is madness! It’s the same line of thinking and uncritical thought that people use to argue that the earth is flat, or that global warming and the pandemic are hoaxes. That is causing the world so much grief. And what about the computer or smart phone you use? The car you drive? The lightbulbs you turn on at home? The aeroplanes you fly? Are these deceptions too? We can’t simply pick and choose the science that’s convenient for us to believe in. If Satan really does exist it is misinformation campaigns and the peddling of beliefs in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary that he is responsible for. But here’s the real rub. Saying things like evolution is a deception dissuades people from turning to God. If he does exist – If your religion happens to be the right one – your not helping its cause by saying things like that. It’s religions resistance to science over the years that has hurt it the most. That in turn has hurt this world. I would never state that God doesn’t exist because there is no way to prove it. But I have to defend what science has proven. It’s the closest thing we have to the word of God if you ask me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I do admire your faith and I believe you might be onto something when you say faith is an answer to fear but I simply can’t onboard with statements like Evolution is a deception. Wishing you well on your journey 🙏

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      1. Hey, thanks for your thoughtful response, I too believed once like you, but one day found that there was absolutely no conflict between science and the Bible. Those that are so staunch in their defense of evolution have rarely looked deeper than what they were taught in school. Not going to try and convince you here, but you should take a serious look into the concept of Irreducible complexity and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics as they pertain to evolution. And although I may currently have deaf ears to evolution, its not for a lack of intellectual curiosity. Thanks and best wishes to you as well on your journey.

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  12. Nailed it! Also our bodies then create patterns of all that emotional experience, forming our postures, how we move, how we think. We are either expanding into love or contracting into fear. Also we live in a world hell bent on keeping us from feeling all our emotions. Our society and culture would rather we drug up and just be happy, follow the status quo instead of navigating the emotional waters of life and truly healing.

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    1. Thank you! I love that statement – ‘We are either expanding into love or contracting into fear.’ I believe part of the problem we have is labelling negative (as in they feel bad) emotions – like fear – as bad. Also labelling positive emotions (as in they feel good) – like love as good. Love usually is the answer but not always. Too much fear consumes us but too much love (for religion or country or partner) can blind us. We need to listen to all our emotions compassionately – to try to understand them – but not fall into the trap of labelling them good or bad. Thank you sharing your thoughts. 🙏

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  13. Check out “Apoptosis” and a movie called “The Killing Room”. Great job with tying biology into your fear analysis. Psychologically you are in tune. Survival of Species & Natural Selection Remain. Death is a result of consequence and fearing it natural.

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  14. When I was little I used to fear death it scared me very much, I often wondered why live if the moment you die you are forgotten and after sometime when even those who remembered you die it is as if you never existed. I was also anxious and shy and feared a lot of things as I grew up I realised that there was no need to be scared of anything that I should not live with fear of anything and just appreciate the memories and time I have on earth

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    1. We only ever live in the moment. I agree, death is simply part of the process. The only thing to really fear is not making the most of this one life we have. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙏

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  15. Fascinating. My take has long been that human motivation is fundamentally a product of avoidance behaviors… in particular avoiding feelings of “fear”, but after that “loneliness”, and “boredom”. Personally, I think these are just basic survival instincts and drives wired into our brains by natural selection. That fear would be the priority makes sense in terms of immediate survival – the amygdala is an ancient part of the brain. The rub for humans is a cortex that can imagine fearful things that don’t actually exist. A cry of “Tiger!” can elicit the same response as the real thing, just as imagined futures can overwhelm the moment with fear… making it difficult to move on to addressing “loneliness” and “boredom”.

    For most Westerners, redirecting the cortex to imagine a happy immortality seems to work well enough – at least superficially so. In some Buddhist cultures, there’s a practice called “Maranasati” that’s effectively a meditation on death with the purpose off exhausting the fear it produces while affirming that we are alive in the moment… perhaps an extreme form of the Stoics “Negative Visualisation”. I can’t tell you if it works.

    An excellent, fairly recent book (2008) on the topic is, “The Science of Fear”, by Daniel Gardner. If nothing else, it’s salient in the context of the kind of messaging used in much current politics.

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    1. I agree that part of our problem but also maybe the solution lies in our imagination. That we can imagine fearful things – or attach fear to anything is a problem. Having faith or at least believing in a higher purpose appears to work for many people. Of course those beliefs can become the thing many are willing to die and even kill for as well…

      I’ve only recently started meditating on my own death. I also try to practise Stoics negative visualisation most mornings now. I find it helps to cultivate greater gratitude for the present if nothing else.

      I have put the book on my reading list. Thank you for your thoughtful comments and recommendation. Wishing you well 🙏

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  16. Hey Guys.
    that is a truly interesting piece about fear, I never thought about it
    in that way but it is something I think I ought to take a more
    thorough look into you have given me a new train of thought
    Thank you so much, Guys.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Hubert – it was a theory that came to me one night. I think it has some merit at least. I’m glad it has given you something to think about at least. Thank you for your comments. Wishing you well, AP2 🙏

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  17. You have analysed ‘fear’ very nicely. Fear in itself is just an emotion, and if we start thinking practically and rationally, then fear will be under our control.

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  18. Super interesting. Definitely love is the solution, but love that first needs to come from ourselves is the most challenging, so yes all our internal fears pile up until you decide to face them. Your post reminds me this journey of overcoming our “monsters”. Really good post.

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    1. I agree with you – Loving ourselves is the most challenging. I also believe the most important person to love is oneself. It’s very difficult to truly love others if we don’t. I have been on this journey my whole life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Wishing you well 🙏

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    1. I don’t disagree. I actually believe all our choices can be traced to one of those two encompassing emotions. However I don’t always believe love is right and fear is wrong. Sometimes your fears should be listened to. Equally love can blind us. Fear is simply trying to keep us safe. I think peoples failure to see that is what allows it to consume them. It’s when we are afraid but know there is no risk that we need love to act as a counter balance. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Pam. Wishing you well 🙏

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  19. AP, did you really read my blog, juliejotsbonjour.com? I decided to act, and not diddle over
    whether it is a ploy of WordPress, and just look you up….what a treat!! A true thinker. I
    agree with you totally….our fears are basically fear of dying. I should know. The manuscript
    I have just finished is called “Love and Seven Dyings.” What i noticed most about your back
    and forth with followers is your inclusiveness and willingness to stretch to another viewpoint, until
    you face something you can’t: Evolution a Deception. Even to that person you were civil
    and found something positive. Mes félicitations!! P.S. I need you as a follower. I only have 4. : )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Julie – your comments mean a lot. I love to write but connecting with other bloggers is what makes this such a rewarding hobby for me. I can’t say I’ve read your blog but I will! I think WordPress leaves random links to other posts to help people connect with one another.

      The subject has started to fascinate me. It seems obvious but for years – while suffering from anxiety and depression – I never made that link. Fear is a fear of death underneath. That’s what I’m really scared of beneath it all. Our fears are about survival – of course they are (or at least the survival of those we love or our strongly held beliefs)! I think/hope the idea could help people see through their own fears. And maybe even help me return love for what is an understandable fear of death underneath other peoples anger or anxiety. We have to find a way to forgive – which is really what got me started on this whole journey (I was trying to understand the purpose of hate – specifically my own contempt towards a certain former president).

      I’m currently reading the denial of death by Ernest Becker which goes deep into the subject. Fascinating read so far.

      I’ll be sure to stop by your blog soon Julie. Wishing you the very best and thanks again for leaving such kind comments. 🙏

      Like

      1. Thanks AP2…do you have a name? My blog is dual language..French and English, to help me keep
        practicing as I’m not teaching any more. Book is about 40 years of mental illness and final triumph…..haven’t feared death or life since! (Eric Fromm felt humans spend their lives escaping from freedom, not death. There’s another topic for you to explore)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I keep it under-wraps because I’m a pilot living in Hong Kong. Sometimes I talk about politics but also prior issues with depression. I try to remain careful for political/professional reasons! I’m happy to disclose my name personally via email (you can contact me any time – anxiouspilot2@gmail.com) but I won’t do it publicly – at least not for the time being.

        Ernest Becker mentions both ideas. We end up repressing our fear of death while also fearing the intensity of existence. We build character defences as children to guard against both terrors. Part of becoming an adult is breaking those defences down. Or transcending them – as he believes we must.

        Dual language – that’s good. My French could use some work. Thanks Julie 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Your example of getting up on stage made me think about the difference between physical death and what we might call “ego-death” or “identity-death.” Each of us has a lot invested in who we are, or who we think we are. To have our self-image, or societal role, or our being in relation to others, challenged or negated s a kind of death, a terror that freezes us, or makes us run, or fight. Love is perhaps then understood as the transcendence of self, the transcendence of ego, the transcendence of identity — which is why it’s the cure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you. I believe our ego is heavily vested in self preservation which makes changing it hard. I think part of our coping mechanism with our fear of death is to infuse our life with a greater meaning. The problem is when we then those things get threatened we treat it as though our very life is at stake too. Learning to accept (love) and transcend the self is ultimately the best way to heal. Of course that’s much easier said than done! Thank you sharing your thoughts. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  21. This has been where my thoughts have been lately as well. It’s amazing when people begin to understand that anger is often an easier expression of fear. By getting to what the fear is really about unclenches all kinds of anxieties, and allows the anger to go. Surrendering the ego and allowing your love to help you face your fear is exactly what it’s about. I’m glad I stumbled across this. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You said that very well. Anger is a choice based on our deepest fears. If we want to resolve any issues we have with anger or anxiety we need to understand its roots, however difficult that may be for some. Thank you for sharing your thoughts adg34. Wishing you well 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I started to read your post this morning but only got through your intro when I needed to go out. But you had me thinking about fear and its relation to death. So here I am back home and I still haven’t read your posting. But I’m going to share my thoughts and THEN read yours. (Presumptuous? perhaps lol)

    Fear is really a primal instinct. The whole flight or fight thing. Our forebears on the African savannah one million years ago (only a couple clicks away on the DNA time clock) really did need to utilize fear for survival. Along with hunger, thirst and the need to breathe, fear was essential for survival of the individual and the species. Just before sex.

    So here we are today, living in an environment radically changed. But we have nearly the same DNA driving us. Breathing and thirst– we handle pretty much the same. But look how we have distorted our response to hunger. The same with fear?

    With the same instincts, we have learned to fear diseases we don’t have; threats of shortages and shortfalls that are unreal to our lives; people who don’t look, eat, act, speak, love, or worship as we do; and retribution from a vengeful God, who really only asks of us one thing, Love.

    Fear of death? Fear of dying? Of self or of loved ones? It’s wired in our DNA. Only awareness, intention, focus, and effort can free us of that fear of the lion in that yonder bush.

    Now: I want to see what YOU had to say! thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. AP2, Cool! As I read your post, I was pleased to see how our thoughts were mirroring one another. Yours more intellectual and scientific, but tuned to the same channel.

    Then, as I read your part about engaging the frontal lobe, I began to differ with you. I live in Hawaiʻi (34 years now) and have an affinity for Hawaiian thought.

    Which places central importance on the naʻau (gut). In Hawaiian thought, the frontal lobe can be useful to some degree, but conflict resolution would definitely need to originate back in our gut (similar to our Western sub-conscious.)

    Then as I continued reading, you returned to Love. And I said, “Bingo!” Because love can only source in our naʻau (gut).

    I think I’ve got that right. (Oh, no! There comes my fear, popping up. Maybe I’m wrong! lol)

    Fear and Love– two primal instincts. Both nurturing our need for survival. We can use our conscious mind to consider and to choose. But our action response must come from our naʻau.

    Sudden– a thought to close.
    Fear, a primal instinct that braces and defends us from death.
    Love, a primal response that embraces death. (Because don’t we all die a bit or a lot when we choose to Love?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for leaving two very thoughtful responses. I like your thoughts and believe our thinking is more or less in alignment – although the terminology is different.

      The more ancient part of our brain drive our emotions – the gut feelings we get regarding fear or love. The na’au as you call it. The frontal lobes represent the logical thinking part of our brain – which is overridden by the na’au when a conflict (or threat) is present. I think you’re right to say we should trust our gut during such instances. What I was getting at was how to reengage the more rational part of the brain when they’re aren’t any threats or conflicts present (say for someone with an anxiety disorder).
      Does that make sense?

      I would add to your closing thoughts that love is about overcoming a fear of death for the sake of our children or tribe. If necessary embracing death in order to do so.

      As a side note. I’d love to visit Hawaii one day. I’ve heard so many good things but never had the pleasure myself.

      Wishing you well🙏

      Like

  24. As a believer and follower of Jesus, the chains of death provide nothing to fear. This doesn’t mean I am never afraid, for I most definitely am. Like everyone it means I need to engage the rational part of my brain, to think through any fear I’m feeling, to help me work through and overcome it in the best way.

    This was a really thoughtful piece, and my brain is still working through bits as I write this. Thank you for taking the time to write and share. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Hamish. Thank you as always. I’m beginning to believe that faith is an important – perhaps necessary part of the puzzle for coming to terms with our ultimate fate. That said my thinking here is more concerned with the idea that we are wired to fear death for survival. It’s the reason we look both ways when we cross the street. We may be at peace in the knowledge that we will die one day, but we are hard wired to stay alive (to fear death) if that makes sense? I think being clear that fears primary purpose is to keep us alive might help with our analysis of it. To help us look through and see when our anger or anxiety isn’t a rational response to a given situation (although it may be). Hope this helps explain my thinking. Wishing you well buddy 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

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