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Thursday, June 16, 2011


Fear is a distressing negative emotion induced by a perceived threat to the self. The perceived threat is usually one which can cause harm or even death, and death is from where all other fears originate. The world in which we live is challenging and uncertain and death is a constant factor.
The fear of death is the mother of all fears and all other fears can be grouped into three types: loneliness, helplessness and nothingness. By recognizing and understanding which one these you fear the most will help unlock the door to pure awareness.

Loneliness is a very subjective experience. You can feel lonely in a crowd of people, at a party, with friends and family as well as in isolation. The feeling is usually one of emptiness and meaningless. If you feel lonely you are lonely.
If you love the stimulation of conversation and social interaction, the thought of no social interaction would be very fearful. Almost everyone feels lonely at one time or another but loneliness is not everyone's biggest fear. If one of your values is belonging or acceptance (discussed in earlier posts), chances are your biggest fear is loneliness. No one to talk to, to confer with or to exchange energy with would be the closest thing to death.

Another fear, helplessness, emerges when you feel contrained, locked in or out, trapped and unable to be free. Being unable to take care of yourself would give you a feeling of helplessness. If you value being in control (discussed earlier) helplessness would probably be your biggest fear.
Some people describe helplessness as a "feeling of being restrained, powerless, like a sinking ship, an animal in a trap." You might say that if you are helpless you might as well be dead.

Finally, there is nothingness. Nothingness is the great space where you evaporate into nothing at the end of your life. Nothingness has everything to do with what comes after death rather than the experience of being helpless or lonely prior to death.
In the Never Ending Story nothingness is described as "drowning in the swamp of sadness." This is a good analogy because when you fear nothingness there is a sadness which prevails in the mind - there is nothing after life, so why make an effort to do anything? Nothingness is the fear that death results in a dark, evelasting void with no soul, sense of being or consciousness - a state of nonexistence - a vacuum.

So, considering all three fears: loneliness, helplessness and nothingness, which one would you least like to experience?

Tomorrow the topic will be pleasure.

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