‘FEAR’ from a Buddhist Point of View
By Jackie Sand – 15.05.2017 – Photo by: Christopher Michel
Thoughts on Fear
Our human life is full of secret fears instilled in us since the first day of our existence. Fear in general is an inborn and ‘healthy’ emotion and is and has been necessary for our bare survival in nature.
Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger, if we wouldn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats.
But along the way of growing up we develop and attach to fears which are not vital for our survival and are inhibiting us to live our full potential as a healthy and a free human being. We are feeling many different forms and stages of fear like: not succeeding, wanting material and personal things, sickness, old age and death, starvation, loss of love and so on.
As infants, we started out with fear of falling and loud noise. We accumulate all other fears during our life time. In Buddhist Philosophy Fears are nothing more than states of our mind. One’s state of mind is subject to control and direction. The negative use of thought produces our fears, the positive use of thought realizes our hopes and ideals. The choice rests entirely with ourselves. Every human being has the ability to control his own mind.
When envy, hate and fear are habitual, they are capable of starting genuine diseases.
The cause of all fear is self-grasping ignorance and all the delusions, such as selfishness, attachment, and anger, which arise from that ignorance. Therefore, to find freedom from fear, we need to identify and uproot all our delusions, and especially our self-centered and self-grasping ignorance.
The World is Like a Dream
Just as all the fear, danger, and suffering we experience in a nightmare we might have during the night comes from not realizing that we are only dreaming, so all the fear and suffering we experience during our life comes from not seeing the real nature of our world and our experience. The world does not exist separately from our mind. Our conviction that things exist out there independently of our mind, is the source of all our fear. We suffer because we are asleep and lost in our dreams, and we will stop suffering only when we wake up and see things as they really are. The purpose of all Buddha’s teachings is to help us wake up.
Fear can be dissolved by our acts of love, compassion and kindness.