Atanas Laskov

Fear

November 25, 2018 22:42 GMT

I feel the best that can be done, for a living creature of flesh and blood, is to follow the ways of his nature in the most honest way; And have some heuristic rules to guard against fear.

Applying these rules is the consequence of having knowledge of them, referring to them persistently, and understanding why they make sense.

Usefulness of fear; Some amount of fear and agitation is good and natural. The capacity for fear, agitation and even suffering has evolved in all living creatures because it has practical use for survival. Fear is not to be feared. It is to be understood and handled. But humans are cursed with big brains. They think too much, and start to over-analyze, over-exploitate their fears. The simple essence of fear is not inherently bad. It is the complicated form that becomes bad.

Fear reduction; As rule of thumb, it is better to fear less than to fear more. Fears are infinite in their number and variety. They clog up the brain, they inhibit and distract it. In the end, one who fears too much contributes very little to his own safety, and very much to his distraction.

Fear relevancy; If you worry, at least choose sensible things to worry about. The human mind can handle in a healthy way just a few worries. One who worries about everything and anything, clogs up his brain with noise. His efficiency and survivability is reduced, not increased.

Health; The less one fears, the healthier he is, because stress is hurtful. This is another practical reason why not to fear all the time, anything and everything. This is very much the Buddhist perspective, except my version doesn't push it to the extreme of reaching nirvana, total liberation and extinguishment of all fear and clinging; Totality is contrary to my heuristic approach.

Disambiguation; In distinguishing rational from irrational fears, ask yourelf the following: "What is the probability of the feared thing happening?" If the probability is small discard that fear. "What can be done for the prevention of the thing happening?" If there is nothing to be done, or the effort of doing it far outweighs the danger, discard that fear. "Is there observed cause to back up that fear?" If the fear is idle speculation, and not physical, then discard it.

Ambiguity; Rational and irrational fears are difficult to disambiguate. Sometimes irrational fear appear credible. To some degree, all people have this weakness. It is important to be aware that one is imperfect, that one is prone to error and misjudgment.

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It is not liberation from fear that matters to me on the most essential level; It is following my honest felt desires. As long as I persevere and succeed in these goals, other matters are of little relevance.

Buddhism also disambiguates between rational and irrational fear in order to achieve liberation. It was the Buddha's goal to resolve the impediments of anxiety and fear. However, he was a little bit totalitarian in his quest for nirvana.

Liberation from all fear is not in line with my goals. Fear has evolved to serve, and like the capacity for suffering, it has evolved into existence. All that has evolved serves life. Therefore, the problem is not in the existence of fear and suffering. The problem is that they can become overwhelming.

In final sum, I'm not looking for an absolute solution. Nature has no final solutions, and I am a child of nature. A natural solution to me, would be a practical solution. Liberation is in surviving the day, finding solutions to resolve problems, practical solutions that become better and more efficient.

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© 2018 Atanas Laskov

Atanas Laskov