Consider two words: light and dark. We use those words all the time. Does that mean there are actual "things" belonging to those words? Or reverse the question and ask, are there two things that actually exist which require a word for each of them?
Light is a thing. We can measure it in physics, understanding that when a particular form of energy affects the surrounding reality, we call that "light." But what about dark? Is that a "thing?" Isn`t it instead, the absence of light?
Human beings are unique (as far as we know) in our capacity to work with non-existent ideas, things, concepts, and symbols. It`s our Imagination that allows us to see into the future or past, envisioning what doesn`t physically exist. Without an imagination we wouldn`t be able to manipulate symbols. We wouldn`t be able to use written words. After all, a bunch of black pixels next to white pixels means nothing.
Our ability to form patterns, generate symbols, and work with intangibles comes from this Imagination that nobody wants to define. We don`t understand how it works, but we use it all the time anyway. Many people have no idea how an airplane stays up in the sky, yet they fly in planes all the time.
Because of this ability to manipulate symbols, we also have the ability to form sets of information. We have sets of numbers, vegetables, cars, plants, fish, and everything else. As such, we have "the thing" and we invent a word for the "not thing." It`s for the purpose of contrast, logic, equations, arithmetic, and thought itself.
Too many people believe that they`re defining "light" by saying it`s "the opposite of dark." In fact, light has its definition, founded in energy physics. However, the definition of "dark" is actually "the absences of light." It`s the opposite of light. Without knowing the difference, we get all confused.
Does fear exist? Is it a thing? No. It`s like dark.
So what`s the thing that`s missing when we feel fear? Understand that no feeling "Just happens," either! It`s a complex interpretation of a series of biochemical reactions taking place in our body. Fear arises out of adrenaline and cortisol, along with all sorts of associated chemicals.
There are 5 great fears we all come to understand:
- Fear of death
- Fear of insanity
- Fear of dependency
- Fear of abandonment or isolation (being alone)
- Fear of embarrassment
It`s when we get older and learn to distinguish between "alive" and "not alive" that we also begin to develop a fear of not-life. We could spend our lives without ever using opposition words, but it would be very inefficient. So we learn the term for "not alive" is "dead."
As we learn about being alive, getting invested in it, enjoying it, revelling in life, we discover the upset to our comfort when something we value dies. It can be a pet goldfish, our pet horse, our family member, or whatever else. But when we first associate what "is" with what "not is" we look for a word to hold that concept.
Fear is a "not thing." On the highest level of generality, the opposite of Fear is Certainty. The measure along the scale between Certainty and Fear is Doubt. Any doubt reduces certainty, thereby increasing fear. It`s the gradual loss of the "thing" of certainty that we intepret as something else. But it isn`t something else! It`s the absence of that certainty. We have lots of words to describe increments between totally certain and hysterically panicked.
Certainty is an "attribute" of Truth. Right or wrong, in a subjective sense, when we believe we have a proof of the logical "true," we say we are certain. The degree to which we hold that certainty then generates another attribute: confidence.
The problem with any set of articles that try to set forth a single way to overcome fear is that the author(s) don`t account for the five separate realms of fear and certainty. So for example, we have a thread about the fear of delegating in a business. Is that a fear of losing control? What`s control in the first place?
Control is a certainty of resources. At 10 weeks, a newborn takes control of their vision tracking. Before that, the eyes automatically track any moving thing, with both eyes moving together. Our eyes provide us with the resources of vision, which then give us everything descendent from that vision and ability to see, extract set information, learn, and develop.
When we lose control over our vision, going blind, we become dependent on outside resource management for visual information. If we were born blind, we don`t think about it much, until maybe we`re older. But if we first could see, then know someone who can`t see, we understand that we could lose our own vision. That`s when we lose our certainty in our eyes, begin to doubt the certainty of having vision, and begin to form a fear of going blind.
It isn`t that fear is a "thing" we have to combat. It`s that we`ve lost our certainty in some area of our thinking---our conceptual view of reality.
Some people are afraid to start a business because of the chaos. That`s the underlying foundation of insanity, which is an inability to form a cause-and-effect relationship. Others are afraid they`ll lose all their wealth and become dependent. But a very strong fear is that nobody will buy the product.
"Nobody wants me, nobody likes me, nobody buys my product." That`s at the psychological heart of a fear of isolation. We inadvertently mistake the product for the self. It`s the concept of "identification" in psychology. The fear of abandonment, with the resulting being alone, stems from birth. The newborn is utterly helpless for much longer than other mammals. Without someone to care for that baby, it dies.
To counter fear we have to focus on certainty. So in the midst of utter panic, verging on insanity, the immediate thing to do is stop and ask yourself: "What 1 thing do I know for absolute certain!"
Few people are afraid to start a business because they`re afraid of getting killed. Sure, if you`re in the daredevil business, it`s a factor, but not really. Most people start a business because they don`t "fear" dependency, they don`t like it. When that discomfort of being dependent upon an employer reaches a higher level than the anxiety (not fear) of failing in business, they act.
But during the initialization phase, we focus on the uncertainty of money. In modern culture, money replaces hunting-gathering, and money is critical to independent survival. So as the money begins to run out, without there being a certain source of new money, the fear of dependency begins to grow stronger. A "successful" business is self-reliant, and the opposite of dependency is Dignity.
We`re not really afraid of the "unknown." By definition, it`s unknown so how could we know to fear it? A baby has no information about a razor blade, and fears nothing at all about playing with it...or a rattlesnake. Only the known (true knowledge of it or not) can cause us to be fearful.
Rather than try to un-fear yourself from what you don`t know, try a different approach. Examine what it is you think you`re certain of. Then examine which of those things you`re starting to doubt. That`s what`s causing your fear. If you were certain you would immediately make a living from profits in a startup, as you begin to doubt those profits, you`ll shift from certainty, to doubt, to nervousness, to anxiety, to fear, to panic.
Let go of that false premise that provided you with false certainty, or false assurances. Instead of being uncertain, think of it from a risk assesment perspective. How much are you willing to risk? If you`re certain of that, then as the risks begin to take effect in reality, you`ll be certain that you can handle them. It`s because you know those risks.
Nobody is omniscient, and you can`t possibly know everything that will happen. So a fear of the "unknown," is actually to doubt your own sanity, your capacity to adapt; to learn, and to survive. Rather than fear the unknown, which doesn`t exist, how about choosing to believe in luck?