Letter: Beyond fear
Excellent column about fear. Roosevelt’s perspective was “all we have to fear is fear itself,” however this tends to back one into a corner.
To delve a little deeper, fear of fear is somewhat the problem. Statistics are useful if we aren’t underneath ours fears. They go by the wayside when they are.
The actual emotion stumbling Western civilization isn’t fear but an underlying apathy. Our acquiescing the necessities of facing pain and suffering, the resulting antagonisms and fears and losses to some proxy responsibility. Which leaves us needing to transcend this formidable ladder of emotions every time we seek rational solutions.
Back in the ‘50s, the soul-searching philosopher L. Ron Hubbard stumbled onto how emotions release in a specific order. Apathy, grief, fear, covert-hostility (fear of anger), anger, antagonism and pain. He rediscovered something the Christian world should know from the Beatitudes. Something brought home to me when attending my niece’s graduation, where my brother-in-law admitted his being an absentee father for the 10 years since his eldest son (a two-tour Iraq war veteran) committed suicide.
Him being a chapter-and-verse Christian, my advice was to look up Matthew 5 and become poor in spirit to come into the kingdom to grieve in a manner that shall be comforted. Though the lesson didn’t abandon him there but elaborated, these things expand concentric, and once comforted he will find himself meek, receiving the inheritance of the earth. In more secular words: You must go through admitting your apathy and grieve this “you,” such admittance poses to be grounded in the reality where fear blinds us and causes the hunger and thirst for righteousness (covert hostilities) not to be directed by the angers and antagonisms we’ve yet to work through.
Up at the top of the Beatitudes one becomes a peacemaker. On Hubbard’s scale of affinities, we become interested in life, enthusiastic, creative. Christ says something about those gaining the peacekeeper’s mantel shall be persecuted. Fear of blame-free responsibility is what actually keeps us divided.
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