How to Overcome Fear | What Is Fear?

The first step on how to overcome fear is to understand what fear is. What Is Fear?

"If you can't explain it simply, 
you don't understand it well enough."
~ Albert Einstein

We seem to assume we know what fear is and we approach the solutions to overcoming fear based on this assumption.

"Fears are educated into us,
and can, if we wish,
be educated out."
~ Karl Augustus Menninger (specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders)

I heard once that the real meaning of the word FEAR could be broken down like this:

F=False

E=Evidence

A=Appearing

R=Real

"Of all the liars in the world,
sometimes the worst
are your fears
.
"
~ Rudyard Kipling (Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907)
Have you ever woke up inside a dream? When you're aware that you are dreaming. This is a process called lucid dreaming. While lucid dreaming you can think, say, do and create anything you want since it is your dream, the only limit is your own imagination. All content is a product of your own self.

Who sees all beings in his own self,
and his own self in all beings, loses all fear.
~ Isa Upanishad (185 BC nonduality scripture)
 
Experiencing No Fears
In a lucid dream, you realize that you can control and shape anything you want since all content is product of your own imagination, consequentially, unconsciously you realize you have no fears. You do not consciously question it or even realize that you are experiencing no fears because there is no reason to, you are in a dream, and obviously, nothing can harm you.

Creating the Creation of Fears
In order to overcome fear in a lucid dream, you would have to create it first, then any further act of resisting the fear would only keep creating the illusion that the fear needs to be disciplined. Therefore, the conflict is in the defense against the fear. Hence, what you resist, persists. In other words, if there is no defense, then there is nothing to push up against.

Control doesn't come from power or force, but from the ability to understand that there is nothing to control. If a monster appeared to you in a dream, in which you are fully aware is your dream, you do NOT need to defeat or concur the monster, you don't even need to overcome the fear of the monster; you control the scary monster only by understanding that the monster is created in the mind alone. You see, no control is needed, only the pure understanding of what is actually happening.

What is a "Fear-Related Pattern"?
An example of how fear is created in only the mind:
  • A young driver is driving a car and gets in an accident. After the accident, she or he fears driving an automobile. 
Given the example, a "fear-related pattern" was created, that states; driving = accident. I coined the term "fear-related pattern" to represent what the mind does when it misunderstands the true relationship between the cause & effect of an event and oversimplifies an event based on that misunderstanding.

In other words, a "fear-related pattern' is when the mind relates to a pattern with fear, instead of understanding. Simple put, a "fear-related pattern" is a condition that is created when misunderstanding is present. Hence, all fear is a product of misunderstanding.




Natural Replacement of Fear
The fear of driving an automobile is false, created by not understanding the patterns that actually cause accidents and how to avoid them. One who is fully aware and conscious of all the factors that cause accidents, will much more likely still be confident in driving. They would understand where their fault resides and how to avoid such events in the future when driving. It's not a matter of who was actually at fault, every experience builds upon the present awareness and expands more conscious experiences. As a result, they would natural be more aware of how to spot non-confident drivers and proceed driving with this new flex in awareness. Hence, no fear, only a larger understanding and better driving skills.

"If we can understand fear,
go into it fully step by step,
explore the whole content of it,
then fear will never return in any form."
~ Jiddu Krishnamurti (World teacher of philosophical and spiritual subjects)

Update:

Let's take a different perspective, for just a moment. Let's say you are having a dream, where you don't know you are dreaming. And in the dream, a car suddenly comes out of nowhere and is about to hit you.
As another example, let's say you're watching a movie, and you are so captivated by the movie, that you forget you're watching a movie. In the movie, it's first-person perspective and a car is about to run you over.

In both of these examples above, fear is possible. Even though your experience of fear would be based on false evidence.

The only difference between the examples I used and the one you used, is that in your example, the danger is real.

However, in all three examples, the fear that is experienced based on a projection of the future. "OMG, a car, I'm going to die!" The fact is that you could possibly die, but in the moment that the danger is happening, you're not dead. The only thing happening in that moment, is danger. Any fear to that danger is related to a future outcome that might happen (it's a story).

We tend to think that we need to experience fear first in order to know what is dangerous, but the danger is always noticed before the fear kicks in.

There is a natural way to experience danger, without experiencing fear. Instead of fear, you notice the danger, you naturally remain calm and collected. And in that naturalness, you instantly know what to do without a thought about it. It's intuitive knowledge that kicks in instantly and effortlessly.

It's when we refer to our thoughts about what is happening, that fear is experienced. Danger + thought (story about the danger) = fear. Danger + "I'm going to die!" = fear.

Danger by itself doesn't cause paralyzing fear. Danger causes reaction. Danger and reaction are both one movement that happens in a sequenced process, in the moment that danger is noticed. It's fear that stops that natural and automatic process from happening smoothly.

No fear is ever real or justified, it's a learned condition, taught to us by the culture and society we were raised in. The danger is real, but the fear is not, it's a learnt behavior that we call real because it's experienced as such.
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