“Over the recent past – whatever length of time that has been – I’ve been conscious of the all-invading feeling of fear that exists in our world today. Narrowing this down, I mean the feeling of fear that exists in my world and the world of those who read my blogs and others who live in this part of the world. OK, fear in the Western World. For none of us can even imagine the lives of those living in third world countries who literally have nothing and fear that this might never change. Oh, what a fear this must be.”
The above paragraph was an introduction to an article I had published recently in a magazine. I had always intended to send it out as a Blog to Life Again readers with some adjustments to meet our specific followers. Nothing too drastic. Then along came Corona Virus (COVID-19). It totally changed the landscape on the discussion of fear, just as 9/11 changed the reality of terrorism in the Western world and the Banking collapse of 2008 showed what a Global Financial Crises (GFC) really looks like.
It all adds a massive overlay to what I had intended to say. Already there was absolutely no question that the modern world is driving us into some dark places, places we have never seen before. It is often a world driven by greed, hate, anger, frustration, power: a world that pits people against each other, colour against colour, nation against nation, and sections of nations against their own people.
It is often a world driven by greed, hate, anger, frustration, power
It had always seemed to me that the media drives fear and this has been ramped up to a whole new level with Corona Virus. It’s a no-brainer for the news networks in all forms of media who survive on a daily diet of murder and mayhem in the streets and suburbs of the world. There is almost no angle of the virus which isn’t analysed from every viewpoint on a daily basis. Fear begets fear and we know it sells papers. Add to this is the fact that it is analysed to death on Social Media, with “To Death” being the operative words as amateur medical “experts” and witchdoctors all have it on “Good Authority” that we are heading towards our own Armageddon. This is scary territory.It is not for me to underestimate the potential outcome of the spread of CV. I totally understand that. It would be naive of me to think otherwise and every citizen of the world family must be wary, not only for themselves but also for their fellow man.
But is it any tougher than it’s ever been?
But is it any tougher than it’s ever been? I don’t know and in this short essay I am unable to dig too deep. I remember reading about Jerusalem, one of the holiest cities, twice being rampaged and sacked in earlier centuries, with over 30,000 beheadings each time. Imagine. We had the Cold War from post WW2 until 1989 with its constant spectre of nuclear attack. We developed an ability not to live in a perpetual state of fear in order to function.
And Corona may not be as bad as it first seems. Roosevelt’s famous lines from his First Inaugural Address are oft quoted where “fear itself” appears in one of its first lines. I want to add the rest of that paragraph.
“…let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…… fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyses needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigour has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory…”
the only fear we have to fear is…..fear itself
This is what I believe is the essence of dealing with fear. It is ever-present in the lives of all sentient beings. Imagine the fear in the jungle where the winner always takes all and their prey live in constant fear of making sure that doesn’t happen. Does the trapeze artist balancing on his or her rope let fear prevent him/her from proceeding?
The irony is that, in living boldly and making big decisions, new options begin to pop up at a rate you never imagined beforehand. Fear is rendered useless.
This is how we must proceed at the moment. Don’t stop. Have we all been cosseted and coddled so much that we are almost frozen to the spot? That we turn on the hourly news to hear the latest stats? It staggers me as to how many people have bunkered down for the duration.
Worry about what might happen when it happens. Remember also, the trauma of negative stress can be as life-threatening as any other health issue. We live in a world of worst-case thinking. It wasn’t always this way. We think too much. Don’t set yourself up for a bad outcome.
Therefore, live without fear, or at least as much without it as possible. Is fear of flying a reason for stopping joy and adventure? Fear of approaching the beautiful person? The fear of rejection.
Life begins where fear ends
Osho, the enlightened 20th century Indian Bhagwan said “Life begins where fear ends.”
Don’t let the fear of Corona Virus slow you down.