The Other Side Of Fear

It has been said that fear brings death. That it is to be avoided, defeated, and surpassed. But that isn’t the truth. Fear is one of the greatest assets you have. It’s the primal motivation, the darkness of the abyss that keeps you moving, climbing, struggling and striving for more and better. It’s the virtuous poison; in the wrong circumstances it can drag you down and make you sick, but in others it fuels you with a reserve you didn’t know that you had left. Fear is power and energy. It’s the tickle in the back of your neck that lets you know you’re alive and it keeps you that way. Fear drags you up out of the dirt when all else fails you and kicks you in the ass until you start running again. When kindness and hope and trust and anger and sorrow all fail you, and believe me they will, fear will be your companion. It was there before all of the others, and it will be the last one to remain, unto your very last breath. Casting off fear is walking a never-ending tightrope with no net below it. I suppose in a civilized society, for people who’s biggest problem is, compared to survival, infinitely shallow, fear could be considered a bad thing. To those who let fear rule them, it could be desirable to overcome it. For those who can’t use fear, who don’t understand it, it can be a problem to surpass, to try and feel superior to because they “conquered their fear.” But for a hundred thousand years, fear was the only thing that kept us from the darkness, from obliteration. Fear is the reason, the only reason, humans ever made it to the point that they could consider fear a “problem.” It’s more ingrained in us than the need to eat and breed. However I, for one, will ever consider fear a friend, a motivator, a coach, and a mentor. I fear being mugged, so I train my body and learn to fight. I fear mediocrity, so I go to school and write stories and poems to better my mind. I fear death, so I strive to live a healthier life. I fear being alone, so I work to cultivate relationships with friends and family. I’m not particularly good at any of those, not yet. But I’m trying. I’m striving. I’m bettering. All because of my fear. Because a life without fear is stagnation, and complacency. Without fear, you’re already dead.

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The Other Side Of Fear

Some more musings

Human beings have been cursed with an intelligence that creates a desire for a meaningful life without the existential knowledge to know how to do that outside of the primal need to procreate. Being fundamentally unable to cope with that conflict, the brain creates a filter for the world to make it make more sense. It identifies the struggle as soon as it has developed enough, before it even becomes a conscious thought, and begins to filter all incoming information from the world around it so that it can seem to have a mastery over it, to feel control, however false it may be. And that grows into a perception that essentially gives you an entirely different universe than anyone else. There is no one who can see anything for what it “really” is, though people try; the monk’s meditation, the stoner’s drugs, the scientist’s night spent staring at stars or cells; but it will always be altered by our inability to handle the knowledge thrust upon us. This great mockery of our arrogance. We exclaim, “Look at all we know!” while ignoring the infinitely more profound and complex things we could never hope to, and who’s gravity literally warps the fabric of “reality” around us. As pitiful and insignificant as this may make us, as terrifying and difficult as it is, it’s also in a huge way a beautiful experience for us. This may not be what “real” can be called, but if no one can see that anyway, it doesn’t really exist does it? What you have is all of existence before you, ready to be experienced and explored in a way that no one else has ever or will be able to do, because they aren’t you. But it still has enough in common with other people’s universes, or perceptions thereof, to overlap and create shared experiences. And when you do that, when you interact with people in any way, you are sending ripples though an entirely different universe, even so far as to change how that person perceives things that they have already experienced. You are a god, acting blindly upon things you can’t see, because of forces you can’t conceive, on infinite worlds around you, because you can’t handle the truth, and the truth is this. You are not only have the potential to be the most important thing to everyone and everything you meet, you often are whether you try to be or not, and you are the least important thing to changing your own perception because that requires effort, and all it takes is an offhand comment from someone else. Everyone is in this position, everyone has this power. Everyone is unique, but no one is special. You spend your days wading through a sea of the most beautiful cosmic tapestry of constantly evolving, overlapping, and colliding universes, and you have to try your hardest to even see your own for what it is, the joke that is human knowledge.

Some more musings