my greatest fear is enslavement by fear

As a cycle tripper, people often ask me, “Aren’t you afraid of trucks or robbers or snakes or whatever?” Lions and tigers and bears, essentially — mythical fears.

The question often surprises me because I think my greatest fear is enslavement by fear.

This dawned on me this morning as i was commuting from the lake where i’ve set up camp, to Kerang where i come to work.

I remembered the question and thought, Sure i’m a little bit afraid of those things — i have a natural and healthy wariness of them.  But i cycle because i value freedom, i camp because i cherish nature as a cathedral, and i trust people because i’m a philanthrope — i love humanity.

The alternative, which i experienced for a decade in publishing and i guess the twenty years before that, is no longer tenable to me.

The alternative to freedom is the enslavement of fear.

No thanks! I’ll try my luck with the lions and tigers and bears.

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2 thoughts on “my greatest fear is enslavement by fear

  1. Great post!

    Indeed ‘ enslavement by fear’ is an universal occurrence even though many of us may not care to admit it.

    So, what would you say, is at the core of this fear?

    To me, this arises from the way we tend to partition ourselves “in here” , which we need to protect from everything else in the world ” Out there”. We create this separation between us and the universe, the genesis of all our fears. Would you agree?

    Shakti

    • Dear Shakti,

      Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

      The core of this fear and fear in general is something i have wondered about for sometime. Your speculation resonates with me in a big way — i think you’re right that fear comes from our separation from nature. I have been wondering: at which point in the evolution of humanity did we arrive at the tipping point where before we existed in harmony with nature, to now where we live in fear of it, a consequence of which is our ongoing futile attempts to “master” it?

      Does that make sense?

      Another way i think of it: at some point we decided it was necessary to shelter ourselves against legitimate threats of nature (dangerous animals, invading tribes, inclement weather, etc.); but how did this need become the neurotic obsession that has led to skyscrapers, air-conditioning, air-fresheners, and other built environments that intrude upon our natural relationship with the universe around us?

      And how do we move away from these built environments so that we might come back toward harmony with the natural environment we come from?

      Oh it’s a big one! Thanks for getting in on the conversation.

      Abhijan

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