The Power Of Fear

by Evelyn Pelczar

An overwhelmingly disturbing force of the human mind, fear has the power to sway, distort and rupture the conventions of the human psyche. The mind, body and spirit succumb to its ghoulish atrocities as we find ourselves piecing together a distressing puzzle of digressing emotion. Yet this very same fear can unite the scattered to become an entity of impenetrable fortitude while enabling us to understanding our own personalities.

Day-to-day life is a gamble that can change with the tick of the clock. The uncertainties of life are around every corner and they plan to meet us head-first whether we are prepared or not. Danger and fear are prominent components of life that knock us off our feet with tragedy, surprise and remorse. But more importantly, danger and fear enable the human-entity to harden itself to the unimaginable realities we never saw coming. Through understanding fear, we can begin to tap into the recesses of our own personalities.

Fear almost always correlates to a fear of death. Fear of death is the primordial, instinctual fear that promotes the human-race to strive for longevity and safety. It is responsible for the precautions we take in every day life, to looking both ways before crossing a street to taking the long way home through the brightly-lit city streets on a late Saturday night.

Yet fear is unique to almost everyone. While the first waves of fear may supply the mind with incomprehensible pulses of anxiety, the aftermath can provide a deeper insight into the effects the surrounding world has on mankind.

Think about it: everyone has that friend who is afraid of spiders or heights. While these examples are classified as anxiety disorders or phobias, arachnophobia and acrophobia respectively, they are still derivatives of an inert fear of death, a fear that these objects or circumstances may lead to a death.

Consequently, people with these fears know to avoid what they are afraid of and indirectly comprehend their personality traits/faults. There are obvious circumstances surrounding phobias that can’t be helped considering the large spectrum of them, but understanding the elements of a phobia is a learning process in itself and deserves the attention.

We are a species which was meant to learn. As human beings, we witness and observe to process and break down information. Learning from others serves to be one of the best manners in which to learn, particularly from older-siblings and relatives. But learning internally can be one of the best avenues for learning. Fears and dangers have the capacity to hinder this process only if we let them.

A particular book I recently read, Hagakure, is a psychological and spiritual guide to the life of the samurai in feudal Japan, which teaches some of the essential lessons towards living a righteous, peaceful life.

I know, bear with me folks.

This being said, one of the first “lessons” the book teaches is how to cope with and accept fear and death as a natural form of nature. Applied to our modern-age this seems a bit radical, but its moral is absolutely relatable.  We are all on a journey with an inevitable end, yet we cannot allow the looming conclusion to disrupt our pleasures and successes in life.

These lessons teach peace of mind and acceptance of the cycles of nature, but also allow the mind to become a shield to the external forces that rupture our path of “enlightenment” or personal happiness. Learning about you from yourself can’t hurt.

Fear is both an enabler and a teacher to its own forces. While I call fear a teacher, do not misunderstand when I say it is a deterring feeling of loneliness and helplessness. However, a person afraid is a person learned. If survival is a result of being afraid, then fear has taught you what you find comfortable and what you find completely unbearable.

Fear created arguably the greatest comic book hero of all time in Batman, a direct product and literal representation of fear. So should we all break out the capes and strive to be like Batman/Bruce Wayne?

Kind of…

Not everyone is able to curb their fears or get over them. Not everyone is in the psychological or ethical circumstances to overcome fear, particularly if a severe phobia or foreign body/entity is the one causing said fears. But being afraid should not be something to look down upon, but more importantly as a process that we as a species should cope with. While “The World’s Greatest Detective” may have taken it to an extreme, there is an admirable charm in coming to “own” our deepest fears.

Embracing the fears that haunt you produces proprietary feelings of owning your emotions. There is no better feeling than being able to know who you are and recognize what makes you tick, jump, swear, smile, laugh and cry.  Owning and understanding your body and mind are pivotal to success. Being afraid does not lead to success, but learning from fear is a method toward understanding. Knowing yourself can provide fruitful insights on the nuts and bolts of your own psyche as we all as preparing for the dangers of the world.

Andre Simpson | Elite.