Fear: Root of Vice (Part 1)

Dec 7, 2011 by

            It is man who can deceive the mind of man….. but it is a monster who can deceive the heart… There is no forgiveness for such a monster.

Fear is the antithesis of Justice.

Fear is what separates us from our perfect form. Fear makes us feel inadequate when we are equal. Justice is what occurs when we use the gift of curiosity and our reason for an outcome that is good for the community, such a good that it eventually comes to us in a different form. The essence of that good action is there when you look for it, regardless of its physical configuration. But like the good, Fear also takes on many forms. Among these are Greed, Lust, and Pride. Greed for anything, be it power or money, is a manifestation of Fear. It is fear that a person does not have enough no matter how much they are already in possession of for they worry that another may take what is theirs and that they will not be left with enough for themselves. This is seen in individuals that partake in substance abuse. They feel the need to use an outside force to modify their physical condition of feeling because, by one way or another, they have arrived at the conclusion that feeling good physically = happiness. But that is not happiness and such a person curses themselves into believing that they have found salvation through the use of a chemical.

The true essences of all things are eternal, and a manifestation that fails to embody the essence of such a thing is not truly representative of such an essence. If I have believed that 2+2=5 my entire life to be true but later, through reason, I come to find out that the fact of the matter is that 2+2=4, then I know that since my previous belief that 2+2=5  did not survive the test of logic it was presented with, I can say with confidence that my previous belief is not eternal, unlike 2+2=4, which will always be true.
Lies are temporary. Truths are eternal.
As such, a person that finds “happiness” through usage of a chemical substance, or by lusting after other people, or by continually feeding their pride telling themselves they are better than others, finds that they must continue to repeat and repeat and repeat these actions over and over again in order to continue to feel “happy”. This dependency becomes habitual and the moment we allow ourselves to become habit oriented, we conform to an unnatural hunger for repeated stimuli. We become beasts of habit and slaves to passion. But this is not our nature. The great thing about being human is that we have all the tools necessary to overcome our weaknesses. Using what we have, we can help ourselves to make the distinction between what is a temporary “truth”, and what is Eternal Truth.

Now, about things such as drugs or sex, these things require repetition and the wasting of valuable resources in acquiring them, such as our attention and time, to name a couple. To better explain this, these things require an example. Let’s say I am in a house that is cold and that in order to become warm, I start a fire. At first I throw things like magazines and newspapers to keep it going, but then I soon run out of those resources, so next I begin to throw in my clothing to keep it alive, it is warmer but the fire is almost out…. I know! I’ll throw my mattress and furniture into the fire to keep it going so that I’m warm! But now the spark of the fire is diminishing yet again….. I know! I’ll tear apart my house and use the wood from the framework as well as the insulation! My home is gone and now the wind is beginning to blow the fire out…. As you can see by this example, it is simply not affective for my action to have a permanent consequence in order to address a temporary problem. I allowed my desire to consume my decision making rational mind, and I chose a solution which had permanent damages. Instead, I could have simply resorted to a simple solution: Turning on the heater. The heater can be turned on and off at will with no permanent effect. It is a temporary solution to a temporary problem.

Thinking to the point of obsession in terms of the past or the future are hints to the presence of Fear. We must come to terms with the present state of things and live the moment for what it is. Regret occurs when looking at the past and expectation occurs when we look at the future. Things are much simpler and easier to handle when we look at what’s in front of us rather than obsess about what may come about if we are to fail. Worrying is a waste of time because you spend the time worrying when you could have used the time in order to improve things so that you wouldn’t have to worry about anything. Worry is different than concern however because worry is fear oriented while concern is an enlightened preoccupation of the mind which comes about when one acknowledges that an issue must be addressed. Worry that is fear oriented will lead us to utilize an expedient solution that will fail to address the complete scope of the problem. We are so used to instant gratification and instant access to information that we have unfortunately allowed ourselves to weaken our character by attempting to find quick solutions and on the spot fixes to every issue.

Society is the combination of anxiety-ridden individuals with an obtuse array of stress catalysts that they have deemed necessary to function properly. We are not designed to multitask as much as we’d like to think so. Focusing on one thing at a time is living life in the present. There is no worry when you operate in such a manner because you trust yourself to do what you have to do. Going back and forth desperately between multiple things reflects our fear that we are not adequate enough to accomplish all of the tasks we have at hand. It results in a lack of patience for the self and leads to expedient solutions which, as stated earlier, do not address the entirety of the issue one is confronted with.

Fear tends to arise where there is a lack of knowledge. Inexperience also plays a large factor in the sustaining of Fear. We Fear what we do not know and what our rational minds cannot comprehend, but this is because we have preconceived notions about a new situation because we attempt to rationalize said situation in order to relate it to something we are knowledgeable about. This rationalizing is a coping method in the sense that we are not willing to give up a manner of perception in order to protect the ideals and biased principles that govern our lives and actions. Rather than making connections where connections cannot be made due to lack of experience and knowledge, we should allow ourselves to be driven by our natural sense of curiosity and approach situations… and more importantly…. human connections…. with a sense of awe and admiration instead of wasting our precious time being vicious and spitting venomous opinions against those that challenge our methods of perception.

There are two distinct dialectic approaches that come to mind when drawing the contrast. One method is one we are quite familiar with in this nation… it is the adversarial and systematic process of debating. In a debate, two parties, usually presenting two opposing points attempt to validate their ideas by presenting their audience with information gathered through research and organizing rebuttals against possible contesting points that may be made as a response by the opposing party as a reaction to one’s own claim. The second method is called the Socratic Method. One that engages in using the Socratic Method does not preoccupy their time by attempting to disprove another person and does not worry about winning a debate. This is because the Socratic Method is based upon man’s power of inquiry. The Socratic Method is used when we ask questions that are related to finding the Truth behind a specific event. Debating causes lines to be drawn between groups of people so that each side vehemently defends the point that their team is attempting to prove. Debating has “winning” by proving a point as its goal while the Socratic Method has the unearthing of the Truth as its goal. The way that this is related to Fear and the origin of the Fear we feel is that when we encounter a type of person that we do not understand, we tend to go into “Debate Mode” rather than “Curious Mode”. Debate Mode makes us much more likely to exact hostility from a situation because we feel our beliefs are being challenged, but if we were to utilize our gift of curiosity, we would not be afraid to get to know the True nature of something, or someone.

The Truth is revealed to those who seek it, and those who seek it are those that are willing to give up their “Worldly riches” so to speak, in this case the worldly riches I am referring to are our preconceived notions; the labels we apply to things because we are too weak and lazy to give them proper definitions and the respect and admiration they deserve. It is easy to be the type of person who uses the same labels as everyone else does, it is easy to be weak. But it is those that give up their possessions and walk the path of the humble and the meek that shall inherit the Truth.

2 Comments

  1. Vince Giglio

    Aristotle maintains that doing the good over and over creates a habit which becomes the norm for our conduct. How does this differ from the proposition that “the moment we allow ourselves to become habit oriented, we conform to an unnatural hunger for repeated stimuli”?

  2. Diggory

    Doing the good and then making a habit of it is different than simply making a habit of partaking in a certain vice such as drug abuse because drug abuse is a mindless indulgence, animalistic by the nature of the action (it seeks to satisfy itself for the expedient self interest of the user, indifferent to consequence or any adherence to an ethical code). However, when we do the good and make a “habit” of it, what we are actually doing is not so much a habit by today’s definition which has a negative connotation, but rather it is a repeated action that requires a sort of self control to act correctly and virtuously. This “habit” of doing good is what I would call self mastery, for the performer of this virtuous deed has developed himself into an individual that has transcended the influence of irrational desire/ fear but if he has not then he is well on his way. It is when we reason that we develop a sort of inner voice which forbids us from doing what is wrong, so that then the only choice that would keep us true to ourselves is to do the good.

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