Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fear and Arrogance

Arrogance is nothing but a method of overcoming fear. Arrogance works to some degree, but is generally not very successful. Fear is fear, and masking fear with devices such as Ignorance, Arrogance and Anger (amongst others), is never going to be the best solution.

The trouble is, that Fear is an animal instinct that has evolved because it is so successful. Yet in the modern world, it has to be used in situations very different from how it evolved. For example, fear is useful when you're driving a car and you see a patch of slippery oil or ice way ahead. But it isn't useful if you see it and don't do the right things (slow down and engage anti-lock brakes if necessary). The modern world, you understand, is not what we evolved in.

Doing the right things when experiencing fear is without a doubt the most difficult part of life itself. Ignoring, being arrogant, and getting angry are seldom the best things, even though they sometimes get lucky. What is the best thing?

Feel the fear and challenge it? How?

- I am afraid.
- What are you afraid of? So what are you going to do about it? Are you going to just sit there and be afraid? Not very clever. Are you going to get angry? Not very clever. Are you going to believe that you will conquer your fear just by the force of your will? Not very clever.
- No, Mr Spock, you're absolutely right. What do I need you to tell me that for.
- Because you're a stupid animal.
- You're not as good as a Vulcan, you know, but you're amusing...

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