reply to post by eventHorizon
eh: on an individual basis, what does it require to consistently manage one's fears?
J: The answer can be expressed in one word: courage.
Fearlessness I don't think exists, and if it does, it is weakness like sociopathy or psychopathy.
What was said on that syndrome reminds me of people who are born without a sense of physical pain. It is not very nice what happens to them. To just
touch on that, they have a problem where they feet hit the ground to hard and it ends up crippling them. What might sound like a wonderful idea,
isn't. A healthy sense of fear and pain are natural signals within the person to do things a certain way.
eh: Is it a function of practice?
J: I didn't want to get too metaphysical with this discussion, but it appears that nature is a critical portion of managing one's fears. In other
words, your fear threshold has a lot to do with what you are born with.
However, like anything, practice helps a lot and can reveal much of your potential to manage fear within yourself.
For example, there are various strategies that are incorrect. For example, panic and covering fear with anger are common incorrect strategies.
Correct strategies include learning to embrase the fear, to increase your ability to keep your higher mental functions working even during moderate
fear, and simpler techniques that include mental hygine and correct habits.
I have had an opportunity to talk with people who are adept at managing their fears. I have noticed simularities between them. A common one is that of
admitting they are feeling fear. Counterintuative, but it seems that being able to admit that one is feeling fear has something to do with surviving
it intact. There is a calmness to them.
Also, another thing that comes to mind is "Bending Blade", in that it is similar to that Dune quote, in that it has to do with the idea that a
perfect blade is not the sharpest or the hardest, but rather one that flexs a bit while under pressure. It is similar to the story of the reed and the
Oak that endure a great storm. The Oak snaps under the pressure, but the lowly reed survives. The Oak asks the reed how it did it, and the reed says
that it doesn't fight the storm but rather flexes and bends with the storm.
eh: Is it a matter of enlightenment when a bulb gets suddenly lid for all, an eureka
moment if you will?
J: I would be afraid that a eureka moment might lead to an incorrect strategy. For example, I have heard some elightenments about ignoring or denying
the existance of pain and fear. Somethings you just have to endure. If you can't endure it, get out of the situation that is causing the fear.
eh: Also, I still wonder if there are humans here on Earth living w/o any fear - information posted on Williams syndrome is quite fascinating - I
would imagine unofficial surgical or not procedures for similar kind of perception. What's your take on this info?
J: Fear is a natural impulse, like pain, comfort, hunger, thirst, desire, ambition, ego, and the multitude of various impulses that we feel everyday.
Because of this, the short-circuiting of a natural impulse leads to problems.
For example, it could be that the tendancy that some priests have towards pediphelia is caused in part in trying to totally turn off their natural
Also, bulemia/anorexia is another example of people thinking that they can control, and not manage, their hunger desire. It doesn't work well in
practice. It leads to mental and physical problems far in excess of the benifit derived from loosing weight.
For some human beings, just telling them that it is something they just have to manage isn't an option, they insist on some cure or miraculous
treatment. But fear management is about as natural as saying "If you are thirsty, drink water." In other words there is a strategy that is optim