What is Fear?

Based on an informal assessment and polling I’ve done recently, here’s what we fear:

  • Identity
      • Death / Pain / Insignificance
      • Self-Exploration / Failure / Change
      • Being Found Out / Self-Expression / Lying
  • Control
      • Power / Anticipation / Fear-Itself
    • OTHERS
      • Intimacy / Just Doing It / (Lack of) Freedom
      • Disaster / Crisis / Unknown-Unknowns
  • Authority
    • RIGHTS
      • Being Unworthy / Unmet Expectation / Meaninglessness
      • Unfairness / Inequality / Injustice
    • RULES
      • Doing it Wrong / Shame / Guilt

Each of us has a unique profile of what fear is depending on how we related to various value dimensions (intrinsic, extrinsic and systemic).  For me the scariest are: (1) Unknown-Unknowns (2)  Power (3) Being Wrong (4) Self-Expression (5) Injustice

How about you?

  • Lon

    Your research indicates that so much fear seems to be rooted in a form of integrity - or lack thereof. Being wrong, inauthenticity, morality, rules, are all linked to doing the right thing. Fear often seems to come from waiting for the reaction to a less-than-prudent action we may have taken. Others items are connected to matters for which we have no control. If we can re-wire ourselves to let go of the angst that comes with trying to control the uncontrollable and act with integrity much of our “fear factor” can be erased allowing us to move more freely with our mind and body.

  • I like how Krishnamurti has distilled the inquiry into fear. Not just what is fear but how best to overcome it and not simply label it. His thought processes are his and he is the first to state that those processes are simply the outcome of his inquiry and not a following of an ideology, a system or an expertise.

    I like that approach not just because it fits at least with the scientific basis of exploration but who best knows what fear is then fear itself, and this is also how Krishnamurti has explored it - that we are not separate from our fear (or in his words from later talks, that the observer is the observed).

    The Origin of Fear - Jiddu Krishnamurti