Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Fear and Awe: the Mind Killers

Thinking is a good thing.  Being aware is a good thing.  Being aware and thinking allows you to make choices.  Things that destroy your abilty to think are therefore not good.  There are two things that destroy the ability to think coherently: fear and awe

If you are afraid of something then you end up becoming like the proverbial rabbit in the headlights: you're stuck staring at the thing that is coming straight towards you and cannot move let alone think.  This is like neurotic suspension, which is when someone is overcome by one neurosis or another and stops responding like a normal human being.

Alternately, if you are in great awe of a thing, then your own mind stops scrutinising that thing and accepts what it says without question.  So, effectively, your mind stops working in much the same way as when you are struck with fear.

One method of disempowering these two things of their ability to stop you thinking is to simultaneously step closer to the thing (to scrutinise it, subject it to tests, prods, pokes etc), and to step further away from the thing (to over-arch it, to gain perspective of it relative to something else).  Scrutiny means that you gain an understanding of the thing in greater detail.  For instance if you have arachnophobia, then you could scrutinise different aspects of the spider: it's legs, it's eyes, it's body, it's bodily movements, it's life cycle etc.  Over-arching means that you see the thing within the context of something else, be it something spatial or temporal (the past, the future, what the thing has done and where it is going).  For instance people with potamophobia have a fear of running water (waterfalls, rapids etc), so over-arching in this instance would mean seeing the running-water within the context of the whole river.  This would mean that you would see where the water has come from and where it is going to, which for some reason or another, causes you to think.  And thinking is what helps to defeat fears.  It helps to defeat anything that stupefies be it fear or awe.


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