The Wheel of Fears

In my novel, two characters are having a discussion about fear and love; and the main topic of the conversation is “needs” – just as it was in the last blog entry. One of the characters is a human from this planet, asking the questions; the other one is a being from another dimension, explaining the perspective of a different realm. I would like to show part of their discussion.

“What is the root of fear?”

“It is very simple. Love brings you closer to everything and fear brings you further away from everything. In this paradigm, love is connection. Fear appears when the connection is challenged or severed… Because of the manifestation of matter, especially nowadays, earth beings have the concept of ‘connection’ as something at least partially physical. You have to learn into this. Some embryos are already widely exposed to it, through neurochemicals and hormones of fear, stress, and pain from the mother, or energetically transmitted messages of hostility and unwanted-ness. Others learn their lessons of separation later, in the first couple of years. But all of you learn it. So the root of all fear is separation. Isolation happens in multiple ways and those give birth to multiple fears. Fear of abandonment is one of the first ones. Fear of powerlessness is another early impression. Every type of fear produces many overlapping unfulfilled needs. Each has a dominant one, and you will be able to guess which one it is for each. Fear of abandonment has the most brightly rising need we can call the ‘need to be included’. Fear of powerlessness has the shiniest need of being empowered. It is not rocket science. So what do you think is the unfulfilled need that rises the most vehemently in case of the fear of death?”

“The need to live?”

“Think of a need in this case, as something others can fulfill for you. Let’s say that most of mankind strongly believes, consciously or subconsciously, that others can do things for them to make them feel better. Which, in the end, is somewhat true if you see how connection works. However, this concept of having to count on others dates back to the initial imprint of powerlessness (and need of others) you are all born with, when so helpless and premature. Later this also morphs into humans trying to do things to others in order to gain something. The belief is the same behind both – that using others will make someone feel better. It has millions of overt and covert forms, from subtle manipulation, through guilt insinuation and blame to full on physical, mental and emotional abuse. So let’s do a simpler one. Fear of insignificance. What is the need?”

“To be seen?”  

“Exactly. To be recognized. So what is the need when someone fears death?”

“To be saved from it?”

“That’s right. The need soars like a scream in the energy field: save me! Just like the other needs when they are relevant reactions to particular fears. Nurture me! Empower me! Protect me! Accept me! Validate me! Liberate me! Provide me! And so on…”

In the next chapters, a whole system of fears are examined, organized in a concentric fashion. The center of the circle is the fear of separation and there are four main secondary fears surrounding it in the next layer: fear of abandonment, fear of rejection, fear of entrapment, and fear of loss of self. There is another layer of many subsequent fears growing out of these quadrants, like the fear of lack, fear of vulnerability and fear of insignificance. They often overlap and sometimes even feel they are at a daggers drawn with each other – like the fear of abandonment stretching against the fear of loss of self – but they actually work in a symbiotic, living system with each other within each of us. Some of them are more dominant in some of us than the others, but they are all their, due to our conditioning and socialization process.

Given that these are the premises of a fantasy novel, the freedom is huge to play around with the fears, their background and their consequences. Seeing fear as the root cause of many organically developed human needs is an entertaining idea to explore in this framework. But what about what we call “real life”? What is our relationship to fears arising? Do we dislike them, deny them, try to get rid of them, suppress them, find them necessary, manipulate them, use them or want to harvest them? As we are creatures wired to survive, fear has always played a huge role in being able to foresee and avoid fatal consequences. It seems to be necessary to live. Or does it? Some say fear is only a state of mind, therefore it is optional. Beautiful teachings emerged throughout history, approaching fear from the angle of personal choices and the thinking process that creates it. Sometimes these concepts come from the most surprising places, too. Last night we saw a movie called After Earth in which Cypher Raige (played by Will Smith) explains: “Then it dawned on me. Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of a future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not and present and may never exist. That is near insanity… Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real, but fear is a choice. We all tell ourselves a story and that day, mine changed.” Buddha, Jesus, Rumi, Byron Katie, Eckhart Tolle, Matt Kahn and Cypher Raige are all on the same page regarding fear. That it is something we create for ourselves, therefore we have the ability and the choice to un-create it, too.

After all, are we the most functional in the state of fear? Do we have the best chance to do our best when focused on fear, or is it actually detrimental? Focused presence allows us to act and react at the highest of our potential. Meanwhile in response to fear we have the flight, fight or freeze reactions along with many symptomatic responses of hyperventilation, shaking, stuttering, falling apart emotionally and loosing many of our physical abilities. I am not talking against fear here. It is part of our lives from the early ages. Bypassing, suppressing and denying our fearful selves have caused enough damage in the world already. Approaching it with care and attention, however, may bring along the misconception that it will just “encourage” the birth of more fear. Is that true though, in the case of other emotions and states of being? If we see our anger for what it is, does that ever create more anger? If we accept that we are exhausted, does that bring us closer to a resolution or to more exhaustion?

There is a possibility that the inclusive approach towards fear will actually help us to understand our needs related to each other, and it may provide a possibility to look at codependency, judgment, blame and abuse from a completely different angle.  What if we breathe through examining fear; not as an enemy or an adversary, not as a flawed phenomenon that we need to rid ourselves from in order to be better (braver, tougher, stronger, faster, steadier) and not as a malicious pattern that causes panic attacks and ulcers? What if fear is there to essentially enrich our experience not only when we feel it, but also when we overcome it or make peace with it? On the same premises, we can start looking at other feelings we call negative as possibilities that has the potential to bring along double benefits: first, the diagnosis of what we do not want, what we are not willing to do, and what we do not like – then the potential freedom and joy of a solution born out of gravitating towards what we do want, what we are willing to do and what we do like.