THREATS AND “FEAR”
DIFFERENTIATING AS TO WHAT IS A LEGITIMATE (REAL) THREAT
(While this piece identifies and differentiates among the types of fears or threats, conceptually you shouldread and heed True Fears, Basic Fears, And Unreal Fears and the other pieces in the sidebar to the left.)
WE "MIS" TAKE OUR PRIMITIVE SIGNALS
We do not understand the danger signals from our body/mind as being primitive signals, often no longer relevant, so we take them as "facts" to react further to. If we understood them as merely "associations matched by the primitive brain to similar situations, for the purpose of providing data up which to act" and as "unthought out, not necessarily accurate data and responses", then we would have sufficient perspective to question them:
I see the signal. Am I really in danger or is this just a random association?
Is my core threatened at all?
In perspective is this just a small, passing thing that has no significance?
Am I really just fine right now?
WE CANNOT OPERATE WELL IN FEAR
To manage our lives properly we need to be able to operate from a positive point of view and cannot possibly operate well from fears.
We fear “consequences” and the threat of them happening or the thought of the threat of them happening. That's what fear is.
We fear we will lose something.
However, there are legitimate fears and fears we think are legitimate but which aren't and are therefore useless and/or harmful, in terms of stress and how we feel.
Legitimate fears are:
In a realistically threatening situation, loss of one’s life.
Basically, the only legitimate fear is non-survival. (Death, we need not be unhappy
Semi-legitimate fears are:
Loss of a limb
But it is proven that after a year, someone who has become quadriplegic is just as happy as before.
Illegitimate fears are:
Illegitimate fears are fears strictly involving the mind and something we made up in the mind, but which are not real in the physical world. They are not true as they are based on falsely perceived threats which do not exist. If the threat is false (faux), then the fear is faux also and therefore not legitimate.
We hold onto this one from childhood, where we were legitimately not capable of feeding and caring for ourselves so that our survival would seemingly be threatened without the love. When we are no longer helpless, this fear is no longer legitimate.
This will take various forms like: (use the site search engine to link to these)
Not being good enough (so might not be loved and then I’ll not survive)
Not being able enough (so might not survive [which of course is BS].
Fear of abandonment (so no one to take care of me, so I’ll not survive)
Fear of shame (we’re shameful so we won’t be loved and we’ll die)
Fear of being thought to have a character flaw (so not be loved)
These are just unexamined, unrevised, outdated misbeliefs! They are simply made up and not real!
The irony is that we proceed to make up stories and gather evidence that support these misbeliefs and then we think our stories and our evidence are legitimate and true! But they aren’t. They are only “made up”. So we need to learn the difference between Truth and “Not-Truth”, between the “what is” and the “story”. While we would "prefer" to have better results, most of our results are "deminimus", of no real consequence, strictly existing in our mind as a mental construct (i.e. just made up). The only legitimate undesired results to fear are listed above in the legitimate fears category. But note that those can be without any agony, as our primitive brain system will guard against those rationally and emit signals which will cause discomfort - but such signals can be acted upon promptly without adding suffering to them. [See Getting Rid Of Suffering - Second Darts.] Undesired results will happen, but they can be a big "so what?" in almost all cases. They happened, but I need not resist them or agonize over how bad they are or insist they shouldn't happened - they happened, and we can't push them back into whence they came. I need not suffer. I need only note "what is so", classify it asking "so what?" and then ask "now what?" and just act on the answer - and make myself happy no matter what occurs in life. [Basically, the secret of how happy people think, as they know they can rely on themselves and that things will "work out" ok.] [Accepting reality is one of the key philosophical understandings that affect happiness very significantly!] There is a mental construct that in words reads like this: "I fear that I am not capable enough to handle what is needed for me to survive." (Lack of survival is a real concern, of course, but there is no real threat in the mental construct "I am not capable enough".) [A relevant piece, even if you think it is silly or not necessary or that it doesn't apply to you, is Why And How I Can Handle Life.]
YOUR JOB IN LIFE IS TO...
Your job in life is to identify and correct the beliefs that have you fearing threats that are not legitimate..
This is not difficult, but it can take some "reprogramming" as some of these are "learned" in the primitive mind, which has a kind of fixed pattern around these that you must disrupt and then replace.
Recommendations for developing insights and some abilities that will support this type of thinking:
Landmark Education has developed this to a high level. Take the Landmark Forum – see www.landmarkeducation.com for information, surveys of effectiveness – just plain take it – it is one of the most valuable experiences you can have in your life and will help you form a much better philosophy of life.