The Purpose of Fear

Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

We know from experience that fear can be crippling. We also know that fear keeps us safe. Fear does have its place, but fear can be a great intruder. It makes its presence felt in negative feelings, in anxiety and superstition, in hopelessness, in doubt and more.

Fear has a very specific place in our development; it is not there for us to simply experience it, but to give us the opportunity to overcome it. If we can do this, we are strengthened. Yet we can go to great lengths to avoid experiencing fear.

Fear not only comes from the outer world, it also comes from the experience of our Higher Self, our “I”; we can feel like we are being taken over, something disturbs the status quo. We can understand this if we look at the origin of the word.

The Greek word for fear is phobos which means causing flight. This means it is the precursor to flight, it is up to us to actually take off. Nothing can fly without overcoming resistance; lift has to overcome gravity, and friction has to overcome drag. Fear is our drag and gravity; we will never experience what is higher if we don’t overcome the instinct of fear. Of course, we are also aware of the fear of flying. We should also be aware that when fear is not overcome it causes intense pain.

When we realise the nature and purpose of fear – by observing it in our daily life – we will begin to consciously connect with all that is higher within us. It will be liberating and exhilarating as the feeling of flight should be.

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