The fear worth fearing is the fear of fear itself.
Fear is a great door closer as well as it’s an opener, it just depends what side of the equation you’re on. Many times in business a deal isn’t done simply because someone gets cold feet. Innovative treatments for otherwise difficult to treat diseases aren’t being deployed as they’re new and long-term results are unknown.
At the same time billions of people around the world over the past few years have accepted experimental, non-proven (and as we now know possibly harmful)1 injections in the face of overwhelming fear.
Fear of what exactly?
A severe disease or even death?
Losing your job or being able to provide for yourself and your family?
Becoming unable to travel or being excluded from activities in society?
and many more.
The problem with fear however is that if we don’t face it, it just keeps growing. First on us, then in us. Eventually it could overwhelm our entire “Being” — our thinking, feeling and could even change our character into an almost different personality. Depression, suicides, bi-polar outburst and many more emotionally triggered mental diseases are often at the core driven by an opening of deep fear.
In order to face such fear, we need faith. Faith (or a deep inner confidence) in our “Self” (our knowledge, experiences, abilities, etc.) or our God(s) or religion, faith in science or faith in our friendships and the relationships we can rely on in such moments, and sometimes — just faith in our luck.
Faith (in something) is the quintessential fuel needed to face existential fear itself.
The Power of Belief
In the medical field, people refer to the effect of nocebo and placebo as the two major causes for whether medicines or treatments are likely to work, or not. Of course, when a situation occurs in which a “safe and effective” treatment doesn’t end up protecting from the respective disease or pathogen and sometimes even quite the contrary occurs, one loses his faith, and with it, its “protection”.
Particularly if you’ve put all your belief in a solution not proven to work, it’s even harder to wake up from such hypnotic denials.
The power of belief therefore is a two edged sword — quite literally:
The 18th Century Viennese medic, Erich Menninger von Lerchenthal, describes how students at his medical school picked on a much-disliked assistant. Planning to teach him a lesson, they sprung upon him before announcing that he was about to be decapitated. Blindfolding him, they bowed his head onto the chopping block, before dropping a wet cloth on his neck. Convinced it was the kiss of a steel blade, the poor man “died on the spot”.2
So can you think yourself to Death? I believe so. When people get a diagnosis from a doctor that they have x months to live, very often the doctor’s prediction is eerily accurate. But knowing about placebo and nocebo — was it really the disease that killed the patient within that time frame or the heavy weighing words of the “Gods in White” that eventually start to manifest themselves in the mind of the patient?
Fear vs. Terror
There are also good aspects of fear though. Many times when we’re exposed to risk, we may not notice or realize it. The experience with fear trains us to recognize risky situations and once previously successfully accomplished, help us to intuitively overcome the associated difficulties.
You may also have heard of a story where a mom lifted a car off her trapped child, giving her so-called “hysterical strength”, which is a spontaneous event that occurs when a person faces extreme distress such as the threat of peril. So whilst an adrenaline rush could well push you to the brink of death, it could also make you achieve and do things otherwise thought impossible.
The problem with uncontrolled fear however is that it eventually leads to terror. Perhaps that’s what’s intrinsically implied by Yoda’s wise words many years ago:
Could such kind of terror in our minds possibly kill us?
“There was once a prisoner who was given the "Hang to Death" punishment. The scientist met him & asked if he would like to do something for humanity while dying. They wanted him for an experiment test where instead of hanging to death he would be bitten by a snake. The prisoner found "No loss" in this deal. So the papers were signed & the prisoner was given to the scientist for conducting their deadly experiment.
In the experiment a very venomous snake was shown to the prisoner. It was told that his eyes will be closed by a cloth & then this snake would bite him and he would die. They wanted to note the reactions how fast the poison mounts the body. The prisoner agreed. They closed his eyes with a cloth.
Now instead of the venomous snake they took a needle & pinched on the forefinger of his leg. Within few seconds his body became blue & bubble & foam started coming out of the mouth just as in case of a real snake bite! Mind power over body power? What we believe happens? Does faith or reverse faith works?!! Some of this questions are still unanswered & unproved.”3
This story obviously has been narrated in many different shapes and forms and found its way to fame through social media. In one post it’s an experiment conducted by the US, in another it’s a Russian scientist doing it, etc. — so it may well be propaganda and yes, perhaps it’s not even an authentic incident as the relevant research reports could not be located4, but when prey can ‘die of fright’, why is the human “fear to death scenario” then not properly investigated?
There are other kinds of terrors we may not consciously be aware of though:
“Back in the thirteenth century, the king of Sicily, Frederick II, conducted a diabolical experiment intended to discover what language children would naturally grow up to speak if never spoken to. He thought it would be either Hebrew, Greek, Latin or Arabic.
So King Frederick the Great took babies from their mothers at birth and placed them in the care of nurses who were forbidden to speak in their hearing. But a second rule was imposed, as well: the nurses were not allowed to touch the infants.
To his great dismay, Frederick’s experiment was cut short, but not before something tragically significant regarding human nature was revealed. As you may have guessed, the babies grew up to speak no language at all because they died. In the year 1248, an Italian historian named Salimbene di Adam recorded, with an air of scientific observation, “They could not live without petting.” The babies literally died for want of touch.”5
Terror thus comes in many shapes and forms.
But why do we fear death in the first place? In fact, it’s not the only fear that can be conditioned. As the famous “Little Albert Experiment” shows, we probably have much less fears when we come into this world but once we condition ourselves with those that we meet along the way (and leave them unresolved), we gather more of them over time.
Maybe that’s why it’s so important to face our fears (ideally at the right time!) and with it, claim back our true individuality.
How to do that?
A philosophical approach I personally follow and which helps me a lot in this regard is the assumption that:
“When the dark rises, so does the light.”
It’s just that we’re often unable to see it. However if you look at the Spectrum of Life at large, how can one end of it expand and the other one not? Wouldn’t it bring the entire creation and architecture of the universe to its knees?
To me this equally applies to all of our individual lives. At the end of the day it’s upon us to find those opportunities then and make them count. To me encountering fear is one such chance we have to grow and evolve. But as with every opportunity, timing, energy and skill matter.
Therefore (actively and constantly) practising being at peace and training ourselves with inner contentment, for example by doing meditation or fasting, we can empower ourselves to have the energy and the will to overcome the adversities we meet in the face of our fears. Understanding what it is that we believe in that gives us the faith and confidence to face our fears, also helps of course. So self-analysis is key.
Of course this is a life long journey and not an easy task, but it’s well worth the reward: our freedom.
After all, without the ability to first control and then overcome our own darkness, what have we really achieved?
OSF Preprints: Ribosomal frameshifting and misreading of mRNA in COVID-19 vaccines produces “off-target” proteins and immune responses eliciting safety concerns: Comment on UK study by Mulroney et al.
Berliner Zeitung (German): Chemiker zu Impfstoff — Welche Folgen haben ungewünschte Proteine?
Slay News: Top Study Calls for Global Ban on Covid Shots.
Ravi’s Online Diary: Mysteries Unsolved — The story about the Russian experiment.