I’ve always been fascinated by fear. Fascinated by other peoples fear but especially my own. We spend our lives either consciously or unconsciously trying to control our fears; trying to overcome them ; to master them. I know I have. I’ve been frozen by my own fear at times; been it’s captive; it’s muse. It has gorged itself on my insecurities and my foibles. Like an inflated leach adhered to some unseen arterial river, fear has taken the most everyday, matter of fact cracks in my ego and worked them into pagan gods that I bow down and worship most days of my life.
Clearly I’m not the only one trying to control my fears and find meaning in all of this. In much the same way as technology has become the predominant developmental indicator of the modernage, perhaps it’s antithesis is the emergence of an industry that is based on helping us mitigate our fears. We are in the Self-Help era. A whole industry has spawn from the need to control our fears and repair the damage from the asteroid-like strikes to our egos. How do we cope with the waves of defeats each of us experience every day in a world where we are told that winning is the only acceptable outcome. A world in which we have blindly accepted the greatest lie ever told to mankind; that our self-worth is the sum of what we have rather than who we are.
How we happened to imbibe this poison is a question for another time. The fact remains that it runs deep; it is in our mitochondria. It is in our cells and cell walls. It is the actin and myosin of our muscles. It is the Alveoli of our lungs. It is the emotional asbestos that holds us back from ever experiencing true freedom. Why is it that the first question we ask one another upon meeting is ‘what do you do for a living’? Why are we so interested in understanding what type of car this person drives; where he or she lives, the brands of cloths they wear, how attractive their spouse is, the value of their watch, how talented their children are and so on and so on? It is to give ourselves a marker in terms of our own self worth. We either have more ‘worth’ than the person we have just met, or less worth. So in the space of a 10 minute conversation two people have exchanged information with one another not to connect on any human, metaphysical level, but in all likelihood in the hope of feeling better about themselves when they say goodbye and walk away.
Fear drives the imbalance that I’ve just described. Fear and ego. It is fear that keeps us stuck in the ‘Me era’. It keeps us adhered to the need to win, the need to have more, the need to rise above and be distinct in the way we are perceived by those around us. Yet for some there are green shoots of self awareness. The nagging recognition that something about all of this just doesn’t feel right – that there has to be more. That we can not sustain the emotional stressors associated to participating in a game that has as its core principle the notion of winning and losing. In recognition of the fact that the game will never change nor will it ever end, and that it will never provide a means of sustained satisfaction and contentment, some of us open our eyes to new possibilities. We open our hearts and minds to new ways of thinking – new ways of seeing the world and seeing ourselves. We invite other possibilities. There is an irrevocable cosmic shift in our consciousness that sets us on a path to self awareness and enlightenment. This new journey will be different for each of us. We each will be hurtling through time and space at a different speed and on a different trajectory, yet our respective journeys will share two common characteristics; there will be no end point and there will be no returning to our former selves.