Mastering Fear

by Barefoot Doctor


Everybody behind the façade is absolutely terrified. That’s the truth of it. There are many reasons that people are scared. One of them is the fear of abandonment. On a daily basis there is the fear the other will not like you talking to them. And if say, I assume you don’t like me and you turn me off, the fear at some primal level is of being abandoned, of being rejected from the tribe, from the clan, from the pack. Another fear is of people hitting us. I’m a martial artist, have been since I was eleven. I’m aware of the ways of the fight and I know what goes on. You might walk down a street and see two guys sizing each other up. And the one who is obviously going to be the winner in the fight takes the dominant position and the other one naturally defers. Being a martial artist I instinctively defer to the other. I’ve got nothing to prove. And it makes it easier, things move faster that way. While obviously maintaining my dignity. And that’s important too. There is the fear of losing your dignity, your uprightness, becoming a crumpled person. There’s the fear of being beaten by life, the fear of humiliation, being outcast, the fear of destitution, of starvation, of suffering awful pain, of suffering loneliness, of being alone. Underneath all this, when you allow yourself to be awake to it, is the fear of the existential terror.

The fact that is we’re in a cosmos that is infinitely fierce and ferocious, and if we actually become aware of it it’s rather frightening - to know that we’re on a planet that’s spinning on its axis at 1,000 miles per hour and zooming round the sun at 66,000 miles per hour. And it’s not a flat thing, it’s not a big clod of solid stuff, it’s about twenty miles thick. And underneath that twenty miles, in most places anyway, some places are much thinner than that, it’s as hot as the surface of the sun. If you look at a volcano erupting, which I’ve had the privilege of doing, you’ll see it’s really powerful. We have the power of the cosmos right under our feet. And then we also have the power out there, which we tend to think of as up there, but that’s when we thought the earth was flat. We’re on a sphere, so it’s out there, and out there there’s nothing. And then you get to a galaxy that’s colliding with another galaxy, and you know how big a galaxy is. Imagine the power of that. And you know that life is cruel, you know that nature is fierce and cruel. It’s certainly not sentimental. Yes, it’s beautiful, but it’s fierce. Look at a cat. Cats are beautiful little things. You want to make a video go viral on YouTube, put a cat on it. Everybody loves a cat. And yet you watch the cat go for a mouse or a bird, that’s ferocity, that is the ferocity of nature, that animal is wild.

And we’re afraid of nature in its raw state and all the possibilities that nature could bring about if it didn’t treat us well. And we mask all this. That’s why we’ve built our infrastructure, our supermarkets, our distribution systems, our communication systems, and so on. It’s to mask the fiercesome nature of nature. And as we learn we can’t do that, it starts rebelling. And we’re facing these sort of multilevel, multidimensional crisis to our very survival as a result of it. But that’s how we operate, it’s how we roll. We can’t change that.

And this primal fear of being hit, this primal fear of loud noise, this primal fear of falling off ledges, this primal fear of fire, and so on is deeply wired into our circuitry from the time, however long ago it was, when we were living on a planet that had fire erupting all over the place and big wild animals and massive horrible monsters, and people with no sense of ethics, and who had no respect for other people’s lives, who would just club you if they needed to. We don’t know this of course, we’re just assuming, but we imagine anyway.

We’re all terrified of each other, we’re all terrified of existence, we’re terrified of the universe, and we cover that fear over, because if we didn’t we couldn’t function. And we have various strategies for doing that, most of which we learned when we were children when we actually didn’t know very much about anything. We feel that we’re not good enough. All of us intrinsically feel we’re not good enough. And that’s why we buy all the paraphernalia, that’s why we make all the things we do. And the fear, is that if we’re not good enough we will not be accepted into the hunting pack, we’ll be ejected from the clan, and so starve and die. That’s how it was in those days one presumes. You had to stick together.

Now this is so deeply programmed into our wiring that, firstly we can’t stop it operating, and secondly, we’re not even aware it’s going on. However, this underlying fear, if it’s not acknowledged, if it’s not adopted and embraced as a force, if we’re in resistance to it, if we’re in denial of it, works away against us, it eats away at us and it prevents us living fully. And we become people pleasers, we take second rate options, we afford ourselves much less of an experience, much less of an adventure than life is offering us.

I’m not suggesting it’s better to have a bigger adventure. I don’t know. I like it big. There are people who like it even bigger. Everybody has their own way of doing it. But what I do know is that each and every moment of being here could be the last moment, we never actually know, we mustn’t ever take continuity for granted. But in each and every moment there is this opportunity to feel beautiful, to feel like, ‘Oh this is amazing, I’m alive, I have the gift, the gift of all gifts, I exist, I’m here, thank you, thank you, thank you’. And when in that state, it seems that life presents more opportunities for fun, for self-expression, for self-development, for expressing your creativity, your original ideas, and more opportunity to connect with people in a state of love. Because that is actually what we all want. We all want inclusion, everybody wants inclusion. We go about it in the most ridiculous ways, by becoming celebrities, becoming rich, becoming a victim, becoming this, becoming that, committing crimes. People do crazy things just to be included. None of which actually works.

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