Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fear

Fear is little known or identified as one of the strongest forces driving our society. It is a highly complex and hidden emotion capable of taking a multitude of forms, establishing itself in different ways in every person's mind, almost as if it is self-aware of the substantial role it plays and wants to remain unidentified and obscure to the naked eye.

You may not all agree with this statement but chances are that by the time you finish reading the following passages, you may have had some of these described experiences that shall at least lead you to believe the reality of fear.

Often, most of us can recognize only the very obvious, ever present physically/ socially metamorphosed form of fear. Be it the fear of the known or the unknown. In a free society, you may be repulsed at the idea of someone controlling you/influencing you by force or the very notion of having physical confrontations. Another such omni-present form of fear is what society and it's rules inadvertently inflicts on it's denizens: fear of failing a driving test, exams, fear of having a lie discovered, fear of not confirming to society's apparent law or to the ostensible, less enforced, moral law. There's also the fear of the unknown: the fear of strangers, the fear of situations that might result in losing someone or something (possessions) and last but never the least, the fear of death itself.

Beyond all of this, is the fear that manifests itself in our sub-conscious. The effects as well as the power that we only have glimpses of from time to time but one that we never can quantify.The force that is so well connected to the real world as well as the sub conscious world and is one that influences your decisions in highly abnormal ways. I have had personal experiences that motivates me to shed some light on this topic, while helping me understand the reason for normal people making decisions that they are not usually capable of. I feel the urgency as well as the importance of others recognizing, if not attributing, the reasons for life molding changes in their lives.

For ease of conversation, let me address this fear as the sub-conscious fear. The origin of it is deeply interconnected to the fears mentioned earlier, hence in many ways, this fear differs by society, the law's existing during that time,and the person that this fear resides in. This sub-conscious fear, affects a person in his sleep during the time when his/her body and mind are in partial states of rest. Based on the person's past experiences it almost plays out the fear thereby allowing the person to experience an alternate reality's nightmare, in his sleep.

To clarify by an example, if a doctor's main concern or fear is losing a patient and at that point in time, let's assume that he/she is involved in saving another individuals life. Now, if this doctor accepts either his/her self prophesied failure (arising from lack of hope in general and/or belief in themselves in specific) or does not trust the patient's ability to fight and live, the doctor's concious fear migrates into the sub conscious world. When here, the worst of the physical world's nightmare, plays itself out in the sub-conscious mind of the doctor in their heightened state of sleep. This play of events is completely based on the doctor's past experiences, usually bad ones, and is metaphysical, i.e. lacks or transcends the concepts and rules of our physical world. This may be what we call night mares, and when this person wakes up from his sleep, his/her perception of the situation is altered. In some cases, it may also influence him/her to take action in a direction that their normal state of mind wouldn't allow them to. The reason why we must understand this concept is because it explains the single most influential cause of a person's actions. When we scoff at someone's decision or just plain wonder at the reasoning behind it, we must understand the the underlying fear behind it.

Personally, it has helped me understand why someone does what he/she does. It makes me sensitive to their pain and suffering and most importantly their fears. Now, this may not hold true to everyone and sometimes it may even be unidentifiable to many.

Now that we know what it is, how do we deal with it? A great philosopher one said, and I am paraphrasing here (not to achieve greater clarity but due to my lack of memory in recollecting the words) 'the only way to deal with fear is to look straight into it's eye, and question the very basis of it's existence'. I believe this is what we must all be aware of and practice in our day to day lives. Humans are frail creatures, for all their intelligence and physical endurance, they are not invincible or infallible. But we must make an effort to comprehend and be in touch with ourselves as well as people around us. Our friends, families, partners, neighbors are all affected by such situations and purely by understanding the complexities of fear and thereby our very existence, we may be able to forgive, forget, love and accept everyone for what they are, even if the situations demands us to think so otherwise.

aK