If we can understand the potential, power, impacts and effects that fear can create in all of us we have a greater chance of avoiding suffering and being a victim of fear, and able to understand the causes and signs. I write in the belief that this can empower many others.
Fear, a trilogy – part 3
Since I have been writing about a wide range of topics around personal health, growth and development, I have entered into a lot of research so that I can learn more about the topics that appear in my thoughts. Over time, there has been an aspect that keeps entering into the conversation I have in my mind. That conversation often occurs after I have finished an article and rarely before. My articles are produced in way that even I an not totally clear about, but I welcome. It can feel as if the words, phrases and concepts that emerge to form an article, have all been there waiting to be linked up until I am ready to learn for myself. From one spark in my mind it activates a flow in a synchronisation as I hit the letters upon the keyboard. A kind of symphony of clicking and clacking while a flashing cursor marks time.
It’s not a surprise that the topic I focus on here is the subject of Fear. I refer to it as the ultimate power, because that is the conclusion that I have arrived at, and it feels right in doing so. I am encouraged to write and share my thinking as a result.
I want to get a few basics out of the way early to allow for a wider spectrum of thought to take place. I begin by suggesting that most people can and do suffer from fear and are aware of that.
There are rare cases of people who are literally fearless, one of the reasons is due to a rare genetic disorder called Urbach-Wiethe*. In this instance the lack of fear affects the amygdala damaging the two almond size parts on each side that form the gland. The amygdala is the centre for our fear processing and works like a switchboard to the brain.
*A woman referred to as SM suffered from a rare genetic disorder called **Urbach-Wiethe that affected her amygdalae and subsequently she did not experience or have a concept of fear. She underwent tests from an early age and was diagnosed with the condition. Researchers spent two decades studying her, but no matter what she was subjected to she was never able to feel fear. While studying for a PhD in clinical neuropsychology at Iowa university in 2006, Dr Justin Feinstein who specialised in anxieties and how to get over them, met SM.
Dr Freinstien with a group of neurosurgeons, psychologists and research assistants set up an experiment. For the experiment SM was fitted with an inhaler and face mask to delivery a mixture of 35% carbon dioxide and ’room air’ connected to an inhaler bag with a mixture of 35% carbon dioxide and 65% ’room air’ never in any real danger and closely monitored. When the experiment began Freinstein and his team did not expect there to be any reaction.
As soon as the the carbon dioxide was released into the air mixture SM reacted quickly. Her breathing became laboured and she grabbed at the desk. She cried for help, yelling through the mouthpiece, screaming that she could not breath. All the time being sufficient oxygen in the mixture that her body needed. Soon after the mask was pulled from her face she calmed down and regained her composure. She had felt fear for the first time !
Science had gone out of the window, text books were no longer correct. The amygdala could not be the only cause of a feeling of fear and emotion, there must be another way of sensing it. This was tested again by Freinstein using the same experiment with German twins who had lost their amygdalae and suffered the same condition as SM. A single inhalation of carbon dioxide created the same sense of fear in them both.
The need to breath is monitored and activated by a cluster of neurons called the central chemoreceptors situated at the base of the brain stem. This is a theory and under further examination, but may have established another way that we can experience fear by the sense of lacking oxygen and perceiving a life threatening danger, not caused by the amygdala
If it is possible, try for the briefest moment to imagine a world where we didn’t feel fear and had no need to feel it, how wonderful a world it really could be! What would humanity be able to achieve if it was not distracted, limited, disabled, imprisoned by, tormented by, if it were not a part of our lives. If our energies were directed to positive and constructive actions, beliefs and a sense of purpose, where could that takes us to grow and expand all of our finer qualities. I doubt if we will ever know if that is remotely possible in our lifetime. One principle I think may not allow it to become a reality, is there appears to be requirement for an equal and opposite of everything. I have yet to discover the contrary, but happy to learn anything new. We must go forward with an open mind, and not for one second believe that we know everything. Without that open mind it is not real progress in life, but a directed path that we are on now.
One of the simplest ways to take away the power and effect of fear before it can seed itself in our minds or lives, is to be aware before it happens. By having an overall awareness of ourselves and lives as best as we are able while living in the present moment, we can prepare ourselves. We can give thought to a perceived threat, danger or anxiety, thereby pre-empting the outcome and being in a state of mind, that should that something happen, we can process events in a calm and clear frame of mind. Not being a victim of Fear.
If we can reach a level of understanding of who and what we are with a deep spiritual connection to all life, the probability of being less affected by fear can be increased hugely. By not fearing death! Death of the physical form is a certainty in life but not the end. This is a belief that is becoming a more widely accepted concept across the world, a reaction to present day circumstances as a direct result of the threat and use of Fear that we are subjected to from countless sources around the world.
To find the strength and courage to stand in that pain and work through it, not run away from it, can be empowering and bring about epiphany moments in peoples lives. It can be compared with transformations of lives of those who have had a near death experience (NDE), or a situation of extreme adversity when there is only one good option remaining in life.
Facing up to our fears can allow us to conquer them. Don’t expect a smooth ride achieving this, as the journey can be deeply emotional in dealing with the roots of fear. Fears that keep us from feeling good about ourselves, happy, confident, trusting of our own mind and power. The loss of our basic senses and natural ability to feel things can permit us to fall prey to fear and suffer its consequences. The education and comprehension of learning about fear prevention has never been a part of any teaching curriculum that I am aware of.
The further I delve into our history and what humanity is capable of, the more I discover failings in education of basic life skills that could keep us healthy without modern medications. Reducing the need for such a large scale medical systems through the world. Fewer people would need health care if they were able to better understand some simple but critical ways to stay healthy and not live in constant fear.
The root of all evil?
Fear has been so firmly set into our culture that I have to question how it came about? Where did aggression come from? If we are such an integral part of nature why do we not function in a fully co-operative way like nature? How did humanity become divided to the point of fighting amongst itself? Are we not supposed to be the most intelligent life form? That is highly questionable if you accept fear and aggression exist as a natural human trait regardless of how society may operate.
In the laws of nature and survival, animals do not relentlessly attack and kill another species because it doesn’t look, smell, eat or act the same, or to pursuing it to it’s extinction. Nature creates a balance that works in cooperation with a mutual respect for life. We cannot know if animals have beliefs, but what if they did? Perhaps they wouldn’t refer to it as beliefs, they might call it instinct.
It is important not to be focused on one’s self and view the world as a total being, or entity. We are simply humans who have been entrusted to prove that we can identify our mistakes and be honest enough to acknowledge and correct them. To know that by hurting another we hurt ourselves. We live in a world that struggles right now to remain in a sense of balance and is damaged across the spectrum of life.
We and the world need things to change quickly as there are many changes taking place now at an increase speed. Humanity is basically good, loving and caring, but is in a state of fear that can set us back so far, while minds. thoughts and beliefs try to push us into an unconscious submission toward fear states. Fears that stem from the pressures of money, governments, corporations, society, politics and law. Generally from external sources that we have little control on, or personal effect to, regardless if we agree with any of them or not.