How Fear Works

Pain from your past moves through your actions without you even realising it. The reason is due to how your brain works. In order for us humans to be here today, we needed a fight or flight reflex, otherwise we would have been wiped out long ago. In order for us to develop that reflex in times of danger, we needed to be able to learn which situations were dangerous and which were not. For example – a prehistoric human may have walked past a log and disturbed a snake which was sleeping underneath which then jumped out and bit him. In this moment of pain, the brain registered that logs = danger and they would be more cautious walking past logs in the future. Of course this is a very simplified version of the truth, but the fundamental principle is there.

If we fast forward to present day, we see this mechanism working in more subtle ways. Now that humans are the dominant species on the planet, the fight or flight reflex is no longer critical to our survival. Fear no longer prevents death, it prevents life. Of course the reflex is useful in some situations, such as a physical fight or an emergency situation, but it has gotten out of control and the majority of people live plagued by a constant level of fear. Unless we develop the self-awareness to reverse this process and keep our minds still, we will never reach our full potential.

If someone was bullied as a kid, that carries through to their interactions with people further down the track. They may feel more prone to lonlieness and they will crave attention and affection. They will feel a need to prove themselves to people and may find themselves in an abusive relationship where the other person leverages and amplifies this weakness. Social anxiety is common and there may be a constant voice in the back of their head telling them that they ‘aren’t good enough’.

If someone was neglected by their mother or father when they were young, they may feel that absence for the rest of their life. In relationships they may be needy and clingy and look for the qualities that the parent failed to give them. You may again feel the need to crave attention and justify yourself to that person.

These are just two common examples, but there are many more. Whenever we experience a similar situation which reactivates our defence mechanisms, it takes over the mind and we experience emotional pain. We go into a reactive state and may act completely irrationally. Unless we bring conscious awareness into these moments and make our mind still again, it will dictate our actions and we will live in a state of pain and fear. Emotional pain has the same quality as physical pain – we experience both as a form of discomfort and it stops us from fully relaxing and being happy.

Without finding a state of constant inner love, people cling to things in order to fill this void, because it is way easier to have something or someone else do it for you. Relationships are the main culprit here. When you are in a relationship you share affection with someone else and this takes you out of yourself and you forget about all of your problems for a while. But the real you is lying dormant underneath the whole time and when that person leaves or you break up you are back where you started. Any relationship will inevitably bring out these old insecurities as you come back down again and again from this ‘high’ and you are rudely presented with yourself. My advice – don’t enter into a relationship until you know yourself a lot.

People will cling to anything that makes them feel good instead of just appreciating it for what it is- drugs, partying, eating, exercise, socialising, sex, you name it.

We are born as babies into this world with a genetic survival instinct hardwired into us, we don’t have any choice. Fear and pain was necessary in order for humans to get to this point. Without that drive to survive, we wouldn’t have evolved and learnt and grown. However, we have reached the point now where we can drop fear and experience love. We DO now have a choice to drop the unnecessary pain and suffering we hold onto. 

This all sounds nice in theory but i’m here to say from first hand experience that you can and will change if you try. It takes a lot of time and effort, but just keep going.

“Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move – not out of fear, because all so-called religions are based on fear. Their God is nothing but fear, and their heaven and hell are nothing but projections of fear and greed. Rumi’s statement is very revolutionary: ‘Do not move because of fear.’ All the religions say to people, ‘Fear God!’…
You all have been living out of fear. Your relationships are out of fear. Fear is so overwhelming – like a dark cloud covering your life – that you say things which you don’t want to say, but fear makes you say them. You do things which you do not want to do, but fear makes you do them. A little intelligence is enough to see.”
Osho
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Categories: Bodhi Blog | 1 Comment

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One thought on “How Fear Works

  1. Alyce

    Good read! 😆 Always look forward to your blog emails Lorin. 💗 keep em comin; x

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