11 January, 2009

A note about fear...

Why do i Fear? And do i fear? Its a natural instinct and everyone faces in in some form or the other at some point in Life. You love someone, there is the fear of loosing him/her. You put in a lot of hard work in something and there is the fear of failing. You aspire to reach a goal and there is the fear of loosing track and reaching somewhere else…You want to learn swimming, but there is the fear of drowning even in three feet of water.. You are out in the woods and fear the trees would eat you up or the cliffs engulf you… There is fear all around.

I remember this description about Fear in one of my favorite book “The life of Pi” by Yann Martel. It is definitely worth pondering over the words here.

I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread.

Fear next turns fully to your body, which is already aware that something terribly wrong is going on. Already your lungs have flown away like a bird and your guts have slithered away like a snake. Now your tongue drops dead like an opossum, while your jaw begins to gallop on the spot. Your ears go deaf. Your muscles begin to shiver as if they had malaria and your knees to shake as though they were dancing. Your heart strains too hard, while your sphincter relaxes too much. And so with the rest of your body. Every part of you, in the manner most suited to it, falls apart. Only your eyes work well. They always pay proper attention to fear.

Quickly you make rash decisions. You dismiss your last allies: hope and trust. There, you’ve defeated yourself. Fear, which is but an impression, has triumphed over you.

The matter is difficult to put into words. For fear, real fear, such as shakes you to your foundation, such as you feel when you are brought face to face with your mortal end, nestles in your memory like a gangrene: it seeks to rot everything, even the words with which to speak of it. So you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.

Oh lord, help me remove all the fear and be a brave soul that I have always been.

The only thing I fear is you.

7 comments:

iya said...

I bought Life of Pi today :) Will read it on my flight to LA tomorrow.. Thanks !!

Kshitiz Anand said...

:) Great ! I hope you like it!

~mE said...

Amen !! to the last line

anewlife said...
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anewlife said...

fear: hmmm...natural instinct??? am not so sure...it is acquired..by your social and familial conditioning....watch a small child...they have no fear !!! not of people not of losing..of falling...of failing...it is the parents and teachers and friends ....and society that teach about fear....

things like fear of loud noises etc..are an instinct to protect our lives..all other fears are acquired....

god is all loving...he/she/it is not angry or vengeful human beings are...and they tend to think god is like em....there is nothing to fear from him!!..he loves all of us including hitler and osama..and bush :))....when through your meditations you start travelling in the inner world..you will experience a god....and his bliss...hope that happens soon...god bless...so be it !

nitesh said...

I can never mediate and I'm also full of fear and neither do I read books except cinema. So look like I'm stuck even further- deep into fear...and can't meditate so looks like I'm stuck. :)

Swati Seth said...
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