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Category Archives: On Fear

I’ve been thinking about confidence lately. And how the ladies like or are more turned on by a confident man. But if self doubt is necessary for the striving for Truth and living of our individual truth then self-confidence, especially too much of it, is the opposite of truth seeking and can be considered a form of violence and death.

I had a dream recently, and it was about Love. I was with a girl and we were going around doing things and hanging out. But when it came to the end of the dream, a song by Meat Loaf popped up and I sang this:

I would do anything for Love,
O I would do anything for Love!
But I won’t do that,
No, I won’t do that.

Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this you will understand the purpose of this dream. And what it means for me and all of us.

“…in order to understand ourselves we need a great deal of humility. If you start by saying, `I know myself’, you have already stopped learning about yourself; or if you say, `There is nothing much to learn about myself because I am just a bundle of memories, ideas, experiences and traditions’, then you have also stopped learning about yourself. The moment you have achieved anything you cease to have that quality of innocence and humility; the moment you have a conclusion or start examining from knowledge, you are finished, for then you are translating every living thing in terms of the old. Whereas if you have no foothold, if there is no certainty, no achievement, there is freedom to look, to achieve. And when you look with freedom it is always new. A confident man is a dead human being.”
– J.Krishnamurti (Freedom from the Known)

So, in regards to dating Women; What is the Man, who doesn’t want to be a dead human being, to do?

Can he really be with a Woman of today, if she is like this? That is to say, who looks specifically for a Man, who, being confident, merely fits into his society and so is never truly free? And who, if she doesn’t, herself, acknowledge that she is projecting from knowledge and conclusions, can therefore be considered not free and also then, not helpful in regards to Humanities higher purpose or calling?

For if the higher purpose of Humanity, is to “Know Thyself”, and if knowing thyself requires one to admit that we do not know ourselves…then what is the “new” Man, or “Present” Man to do? (Present, is here being taken as “on time”, or aware of Humanities new situation)

What can we say about Women, who, being stuck in the past, and not present, because they want a “confident” man, i.e. want a Man who makes them feel secure and safe. To help make them feel confident through his confidence. What can we say about Women, who want a Man who is certain of himself? Who themselves want comfort and security over the Truth, and the striving for it?

Can we ask this? Can Women acknowledge the new situation and properly step up to the plate? Are we “Men” forever having to give in to, what could be called–which I would prefer not to have to say–the “weakness” of Woman?

Can women face the uncomfortableness of truth, or will they always want to feel secure and therefore shun it? For if, as wisdom says, Happiness comes from within not without, then how can woman, consciously, seek a partner who will hide them from the truth and allow them to live an illusion?

I mean, if this is the “new” situation; that we have to be lacking in certainty, to be full of self-doubt, or rather, to maintain that innocence of the child; who is open to anything because he never thinks he actually knows for sure; confidently.

Am I missing the proper understanding of Confidence? Is there something that is hidden from me in regards to Woman? Supposedly, she, wants to be free and treated more equally. Well, if that is the case, and Women have a “new” demand based on their “new” situation. Then so do we Men, now have a “demand”, which really isn’t “our” demand but one based on the Truth. That we need you to work with us. That if you want to be “equal”, that you too have to change and adapt and strive for truth. That you too, have to share the weight and burden of “not knowing”, of uncertainty. That you, can no longer shift the responsibility onto us. Can no longer judge us from the past and what you have concluded is being “confident”.

In the past, you were sheltered by the Patriarchal. And this sheltering, that allowed you to remain freer from hardship, has also held you down. The situation has changed. And what once was helpful, to both Men and Women, has now been stifling you. And you, in your turn, being more reactive than responsive, have contributed to the disruption of the Family. Of the foundation of relationship between the sexes and therefore, also, within all Relationship. We, too, have not been very helpful. We also reacted to your reaction instead of responding. We are both at fault and yet, we are both free from blame. For, we both, do not know. And we both, are having issues coming to terms with the new situation. With having to forego a “foothold”. To having to be open and think and feel anew in every moment. For, just because someone says something or does something, that in the past, hurt us, does not mean that it should in this new moment. That just because I feel a certain way doesn’t mean that my feeling is a proper response to the new situation. And this also applies to Thinking, that just because, what I see, looks similar enough to a previous situation does not mean that I can, without re-thinking or re-looking, assume a conclusion or apply a solution that I have had or used before.

In this sense, the desire for security, comfort; a safe haven, as J.Krishnamurti would say, is precisely what keeps us from the Truth, and from real relationship. We conform or run away. We keep things easy and light. We are afraid and we won’t face the fear. It is easy to judge and then run. It is hard to maintain uncertainty and meet each person and situation fresh, anew, free from past conclusions and ideas.

This has to be done together. I can’t stress this enough. I am not capable of always and forever maintaining the tension that creates the freedom to look, with living eyes, into every new situation and moment. Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep or maybe, for you, it is that time of the month.

Part of Relationship is to help each other “Know Thyself” and to understand what “self-knowledge” really means: That we “do not know”. That I am, we are, changeable, within a continuum of constantly changing relationships. And through this continuum of change within relationship we have to acknowledge each other and all of our relationships.

Our relationship with the Whole; the Universe, which we seem to have named God, or Cosmic Spirit. With each other. With our own selves. With Ideas.

But perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps this is merely the end of a previous situation and relationship. Perhaps there has finally been a revolution and this scribbling signifies my resultant liberation. Regardless, the point was to make you think, as this dilemma has made me think.

solitudinus

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“Making good”, as understood by the old ethic, with the attendant repression of evil and obedience to convention, is often enough no more than an easy way out, which shirks peril and clings to established security. Yet “where peril lies, grows the remedy too”, and the voice of the new ethic, or so it seems, is determined to accept both peril and remedy at the same time- since the one is not to be had without the other.

This in itself makes it perfectly clear that the way of the new ethic is anything rather than a “way of making one’s own life easier”. Quite the contrary. To surrender the moral certainty about good and evil provided by the old ethic, stamped as it was with the approval of the collective, and to accept the ambiguity of the inner experience is always a difficult undertaking for the individual, since in every case it involves a venture into the unknown, with all the danger which the acceptance of evil brings with it for every responsible ego.

-Erich Neumann (Depth Psychology and a New Ethic, p. 108)

Katharsis: thus the Greeks called the state of mind produced by the spectacle of the tragedy, the stillness of heart in which compassion and fear have been dissolved, the purification of the soul which springs from having grasped a deeper meaning in things; which creates a grave and new preparedness for acts of duty and the acceptance of fate; which breaks the hybris: as it was seen to be broken in the tragedy; which liberates from the violent passions of life and leads the soul to peace.

For the spiritual clarification which our time needs, a new askesis: will be necessary. The bearers of a purified culture will have to be like those waking in an early dawn. They will have to shake off evil dreams. The dream of their soul which grew up out of the mud and would sink back into it. The dream of their brain which was but steel wire and their heart of glass. The dream of their hands growing into claws and the tusks between their lips. They will have to remind themselves that man can will himself not to be an animal.

The new askesis: will not be one of renunciation of the world for heavenly bliss; it will be one of self-domination and tempered appraisal of power and pleasure. The exaltation of life will have to be toned down a little. One will have to remember how Plato already described the occupation of the wise man as a preparation for death. A steady orientation of the life-consciousness on death heightens the proper use of life itself.

The new askesis: will have to be a surrender, a surrender to all that can be conceived as the highest. That can no more be nation or class than the individual existence of self. Happy those for whom that principle can only bear the name of Him who spoke: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

-Johan Huizinga (In the Shadow of Tomorrow, p.234-5)

These rules in their turn are a very important factor in the
play-concept. All play has its rules. They determine what “holds”
in the temporary world circumscribed by play. The rules of a
game are absolutely binding and allow no doubt. Paul Valery
once in passing gave expression to a very cogent thought when he
said : ” No scepticism is possible where the rules of a game are
concerned, for the principle underlying them is an unshakable
truth. . .” Indeed, as soon as the rules are transgressed the
whole play-world collapses. The game is over. The umpire’s
whistle breaks the spell and sets “real” life going again.

The player who trespasses against the rules or ignores them is a
“spoil-sport” . The spoil-sport is not the same as the false player,
the cheat; for the latter pretends to be playing the game and, on
the face of it, still acknowledges the magic circle. It is curious
to note how much more lenient society is to the cheat than to the
spoil-sport. This is because the spoil-sport shatters the play-world
itself. By withdrawing from the game he reveals the relativity
and fragility of the play-world in which he had temporarily shut
himself with others. He robs play of its illusion-a pregnant word
which means literally “in-play” (from inlusio, illudere or inludere) .
Therefore he must be cast out, for he threatens the existence of the
play-community. The figure of the spoil-sport is most apparent
in boys’ games. The little community does not enquire whether
the spoil-sport is guilty of defection because he dares not enter
into the game or because he is not allowed to. Rather, it does
not recognize “not being allowed” and calls it “not daring”. For
it, the problem of obedience and conscience is no more than fear
of punishment. The spoil-sport breaks the magic world, therefore
he is a coward and must be ejected. In the world of high seriousness,
too, the cheat and the hypocrite have always had an easier
time of it than the spoil-sports, here called apostates, heretics,
innovators, prophets, conscientious objectors, etc. It sometimes
happens, however, that the spoil-sports in their turn make a new
community with rules of its own. The outlaw, the revolutionary,
the cabbalist or member of a secret society, indeed heretics of all
kinds are of a highly associative if not sociable disposition, and a
certain element of play is prominent in all their doings.

– Johan Huizinga (Homo Ludens ‘Man the Player’, p. 11-12)

The Elders have sent me to tell you that Now is like a rushing river, and this will be experienced in many different ways. There are those who would hold onto the shore…there is no shore. The shore is crumbling. Push off into the middle of the river. Keep your head above the water, look around to see who else is in the river with you, and Celebrate.

– Choquash, Native American Storyteller

We are afraid to die. To end the fear of death we must come into contact with death, not with the image which thought has created about death, but we must actually feel the state. Otherwise there is no end to fear, because the word death creates fear, and we don’t even want to talk about it. Being healthy, normal, with the capacity to reason clearly, to think objectively, to observe, is it possible for us to come into contact with the fact, totally? The organism, through usage, through disease, will eventually die. If we are healthy, we want to find out what death means. It’s not a morbid desire, because perhaps by dying we shall understand living. Living, as it is now, is torture, endless turmoil, a contradiction, and therefore there is conflict, misery and confusion. The everyday going to the office, the repetition of pleasure with its pains, the anxiety, the groping, the uncertainty -that’s what we call living. We have become accustomed to that kind of living. We accept it; we grow old with it and die.

To find out what living is as well as to find out what dying is, one must come into contact with death; that is, one must end every day everything one has known. One must end the image that one has built up about oneself, about one’s family, about one’s relationship, the image that one has built through pleasure, through one’s relationship to society, everything. That is what is going to take place when death occurs.

J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life

Part of an email correspondence…

That isn’t quite what I am looking for. And while I do seem to have some resentment towards a particular girl, I’m not quite looking for the way out. As I see it, while one is still within whatever it is they are experiencing, they have a great opportunity to bring to words what it is like while you are in the midst of the anger or resentment…in a sense I’m looking to create a history of resentment. In this way resentment can be prevented instead of having to be “cured” after the fact. Actually one of the best paths to overcoming or undergoing a situation or emotion, from my experience, is to turn it into a sort of mission…for example I have given myself the mission of getting to the bottom of relationships, in general, and to attempt to come to see how these “misconceptions” or projections both sexes place on top of each other come to destroy relationship.

The number one thing seems to be ignorance of ourselves, that we project from society and not just from archetypes what we think each other should be and how a relationship should be…How we have defined the word Love for ourselves and of a much too judgmental attitude when it appears someone is not living up to “our” definition of love. Plus women, seem to make the same mistake over and over…they rely on their friends and other people outside of the relationship to make them feel better or stronger in their position. Which I can see why they would want to do this, however, the relationship in question is no longer between her and her man, it is now between her, her friends, and then her man. In this sense she has already switched loyalties and is actually no longer in the same relationship she was with said man. It should always be worked out together. The people involved have to workout their own definitions together. To help clarify I will use a wedding as an example: when the father of the bride hands over his daughter to her soon to be husband…this is a symbolic gesture of handing her from one Order or definition of love and life to another. She is literally being given to another man and taken into his “world” where there will be new or different definitions and rules for conduct. That is of course only the beginning of the new relationship; if it is to become a unique and individual relationship tailored to the two unique people, who will be growing into individuals together, and therefore not subject to the common, narrowed, graspings of relationship held by society, then it will ultimately go through emotional transformation(s).

See, my definition of love is more based on the ability to work through any situation that may arise…for example cheating…just because a woman cheated on me doesn’t necessarily mean I would end the relationship or leave her. If we had already talked about such things and we both decided that it was something that neither of us would do then it is all on her and I can walk away knowing I did nothing really wrong…but that doesn’t mean I would. I understand that sometimes, and even though it will hurt, people can and will get caught or confused and so make the wrong choices. So if she truly was sorry and was or had really learned from the experience then Love demands of me to work through this with her. So, for me, Love doesn’t get in the way, it always wants to save the whole of a person and not limit them to a narrow common pre-judged conception. Which, of course, would only happen when I am insecure and therefore lost in the past and under the influence of misdirected emotion…ie. no longer aware of what really is.

In my personal experience the girl in question would tell me the opposite of what she really seemed to want, that there were other guys, she made a point to bring up a huge coffee cup that had the words “Bigger is better” and while she brought that up she seemed to be examining me to see how I would respond…luckily I was able to express no concern…although in that moment I turned inward and obviously still remember. I wish I could remember more, I will try to, but the question from Nietzsche always comes up…”do women really want to know about themselves?” But if I am remembering properly, from that time, it seems she was trying to hurt me and to test me. This could have been her way of trying to keep me at a distance and to maintain a sort of invulnerability. But those very actions seem to have created a sort of attachment because when I started listening to the things she was saying and started spending time with someone else she seemed to get hurt. And within this confused situation I attempted to get to the bottom of things and wanted to talk through it and wanted her to let me in…and she just wanted to drop it all and seemingly judged the state of our relationship purely emotionally.

Obviously I’m not perfect either; it still remains to be seen what my words and actions were as well. But I don’t think it is wrong for me to want to get to the bottom and to help bring to light the misdeeds of relationship.

Seen narrowly our relationship started with me helping her become more comfortable in a bathing suit and ends with her attacking my self-esteem.

Frankly, I think opening all this up would help both sexes. Particularly so if women will also come forward and bring to light the things we men do…then we could work together. But first we need to become aware of each others positions and the ways we encounter and face fear. And since I am a man I will start with our position:

So as depth Psychology says; we men, to become men, have to heroically separate ourselves from our mother, which also and therefore includes emotions…then we men are obviously kind of like little boys when it comes to going through the process of consciously re-integrating emotion back into ourselves. Which is where we would need your love the most. For we separate ourselves when we are young and so would still be somewhat at a child’s level of awareness of our emotions. Therefore wouldn’t the only thing that would help us be the loving support of a woman? Wouldn’t you then be able to help us with the very thing that seems to be a characteristic of womanhood and femininity? Shouldn’t you women be the ones to help us change? Does not transformation happen through emotion? And, on the other side, do you not like being more grounded and stable when we men help clear things up by shining light upon things that were dark and scary and hidden in shadow…ie. do you not see more clearly now that I have shown you our position and, in a sense, what is being asked of you?

solitudinus and teachers

Sometimes I wonder what we think about books and quotes and “thinkers” and concepts or ideas.

Take this quote for example:

The Greek word φιλόσοφος is put together from σοφός and φίλος. A σοφός is someone who understands something, who has reliable knowledge in a particular area, who understands the matter at hand and who enacts an ultimate decision and law-giving, φίλος is friend,φιλόσοφος someone whose Dasein is determined through φιλόσοφία(Philosophy): not someone who pursues ‘philosophy’ as a matter of general ‘education’, but someone for whom philosophy is the basic character of the being of man and who, in advance of his age, creates this being, lets it originate, drives it forward. The philosopher is someone possessed of the drive and inner necessity to understand beings in the whole, φιλόσοφία , φιλόσοφεῖν(to philosophize) does not mean science (research within a delimited region of beings and with a restricted problematic), nor is it primary and fundamental science, but is an openness to the questioning of being and essence, wanting to get to the bottom of beings and of being as such. In short, the philosopher is the friend of being.

– Heidegger (The Essence of Truth, p.66-67)

Where is this thought?
And I don’t mean physically within your brain or physical being.

Where does it lay within the whole of what can be thought?

I mean thinking and thoughts take us places. We travel, by ultimately coming to conclusions based on our more or less immediate reactions and our interpretation of our, much too personal, gatherings of experience.

But if we can actually take a moment to ‘look back’ upon our decisive moments of answer creation…to experience Religio, so to speak, and become religious. Then we could see more clearly where we’ve come from and therefore see more clearly into where we are in the present.

That right there is a travelling. And even φιλόσοφία could here be said to be the way to seeing Being and Man. Ie. the Philosopher notices what is essential in the being that is undergoing the experience of religio. And then seeks to establish the –how–it comes to be by its “law-giving”.

And contained herein is a possible path into the essence of φιλόσοφία.

In short, in the above passage, I see a way to the beginning of thought. To seeing the whole of thought so as to see how it is best done. And to seeing the importance of History and of being historical.

If we can come look and see, we shall notice that every concept or idea or institution is invariably attached to man, him or herself. To his/her actual being.

Therefore History can not be accomplished without someone actually becoming the being that is capable of thinking, and therefore being, the way that can create history. Either in the form of a book or in a more direct physical action.

The same applies to all “systems” of thought. Ie. the institution of science. It requires a person to be a particular way. Although science is not the way to look-back, religio, nor the way to seeing Being, as a whole, φιλόσοφία.

This then can also become another train of thought into the depths of the essence and Being of Man. What is the essence of Man? What allows him to become able to have or take on “other” ways of being?

 

And even later, through Psychology, we can even make a trip to a distinction between the sexes, by seeing how Feminine and Masculine development differs substantially in how they tend to comport themselves to the overcoming of Fear.

The great, to some extent ultimate, task posed here is that of understanding fear in all its forms as an instrument of the self. Fear of the unknown and of all that is ego-alien turns out to be fear of the unknown aspects of “one-Self” and of “one-Self” as the unknown. In this sense the transformation process of becoming one-Self again and again embraces new unknowns, indeed, ever-new worlds of fear-inspiring unknowns.

In development through the archetypal stages, the individual must overcome fear with each transition from one phase to another, which, of course, always means the new phase of an existence unknown until that time. In this context we cannot take up the various ways in which men and women overcome fear, nor can we address the striking and as yet not well understood fact that the manner in which the ego overcomes fear is symbolically “genital,” i.e., is coordinated with the specific form of the genitals. Thus the male form of overcoming fear is active, intrusive, and pugnaciously heroic just as the typical form of fear appears as “castration” fear. Conversely, women’s fear is the fear of rape, and her way of overcoming fear is not actively heroic but passively heroic, accepting and incorporating it in her surrender to fear.

– Neumann (Fear of the Feminine, p.278-9)

With all of these possible places to go, all this seemingly infinite ability to travel; to imagine, combine and create, why do we still remain stuck in a singular way? Where is our Heroic tendency towards conscious, continuous development? Why do we not see all the possible ways one could think or exist? Why do we destroy that which we fear and do not understand? Isn’t the real point to travel freely through all thoughts, to never stay too long in one view as things should be in consciously constant flux to remain, even remotely, tied to reality?

 

solitudinus

The great, to some extent ultimate, task posed here is that of understanding fear in all its forms as an instrument of the Self. Fear of the unknown and of all that is ego-alien turns out to be fear of the unknown aspects of “one-Self” and of “one-Self” as the unknown. In this sense the transformation process of becoming one-Self again and again embraces new unknowns, indeed, ever-new worlds of fear-inspiring unknowns.

In development through the archetypal stages, the individual must overcome fear with each transition from one phase to another, which, of course, always means the new phase of an existence unknown until that time. In this context we cannot take up the various ways in which men and women overcome fear, nor can we address the striking and as yet not well understood fact that the manner in which the ego overcomes fear is symbolically “genital,” i.e., is coordinated with the specific form of the genitals. Thus the male form of overcoming fear is active, intrusive, and pugnaciously heroic just as the typical form of fear appears as “castration” fear. Conversely, women’s fear is the fear of rape, and her way of overcoming fear is not activately heroic but passively heroic, accepting and incorporating it in her surrender to fear.

But always and independently of any of its forms, overcoming fear represents a specific form of integration in which something alien to the ego, some piece of Not-I, is recognized and realized as one’s own. Thus the man experiences the Terrible Feminine in its character of anima and transformation as belonging to his own psyche, just as he experiences the maternal and elementary character as “his own,” and only after assimilating all these aspects of the feminine will a man attain to his own authenticity as a human Self that is male and female simultaneously. Only when the “pure masculinity” of the patriarchy has been overcome through this process of transformation does a man overcome the fear in which his “pure masculinity” screened itself from the otherness that appeared symbolically as feminine. The same holds true for woman and her fear of the Masculine, which she has only concealed by her identification with the animus world demanded by the patriarchy.

In this experience of transformation the human individual becomes conscious of the relentless power of the Self, which recasts all phases of development as well as all ego-conquests of the outer and inner worlds into aspects of Self-realization that manifest from the very beginning as automorphism, as a tendency at work in the psyche. When the personal Self that manifests as a fear-inducing world assaulting the ego from within and from without is integrated, not only the one who fears and the one who overcomes fear but that which arouses fear can be seen as belonging together. Just as the good and evil gods in Bardo Thodol are one and turn out to be only projections of an underlying third thing, here we are led to experience the unity of Self and world. Destiny in its unity of inside and outside that arouses fear from without and from within turns out to belong to humankind and to be the living experience of the personal Self. World events appearing from outside as much as inner, fear-inducing phenomena of the psyche prove to be disguises of the Self. Inner and outer realities that at first appear strange and hence frightening are later experienced and “unmasked” as belonging to one’s very own authentic being, and thereby lose their foreign as well as their fearsome character. In this transformation the ego experiences that it belongs fundamentally to the Self, and that, in the form of the ego-Self axis, this “belongingness” has determined the entire development of personality on a new level. When the ego grasps the degree to which the Self directs fear and uses it as a “tool for transformation,” it also experiences itself embraced by the Self’s demand for transformation. In this way, however, the ego unmasks its own annihilation through fear and recognizes it as a process of negation brought about by something unfamiliar that proves itself to be one’s most essential nature, and one gains a paradoxical security in the Self that creatively forces the ego into continual transformation. As the ego becomes the transparent exponent of the Self, this agent of transformation, the Self, becomes one’s most treasured essence that remains fearlessly creative throughout all transformations. Only in this way does fearlessness arise for the ego that no longer clings to itself but rather in transformation surrenders and devotes itself to the Self as to its “own.” Thus the ego-Self axis becomes humankind’s guarantee of a creative existence, i.e., of an existence of transformation. Despite this ego-Self unity, however, the opposition persists in which the ego, as a smaller part, is subjected to a Self that is existentially superior to and more than a match for the ego. This means that the ego must necessarily continue to experience fear. Fear disappears only when the ego has come to that stage of the conquest of fear in which the human being’s sense of security lies in existing not only as an ego but, in a mysterious and numinous way, also as a Self that guides the personality through all ego-phases and turns all of the ego’s fear-constellations into stages of transformation in which existence reveals itself as an unending metamorphosis of aspects of the creative.

– Neumann (The Fear of the Feminine, p.278-281)

However men may differ in disposition and in education, the foundations of human nature are the same in everyone. And every human being can draw in the course of his education from the inexhaustible wellspring of the divine in man’s nature. But here likewise two dangers threaten: a man may fail in his education to penetrate to the real roots of humanity and remain fixed in convention–a partial education of this sort is as bad as none–or he may suddenly collapse and neglect his self-development.

– I Ching (Hexagram/Gua 48)

What is convention? A rule, method, practice or custom.

Do you do what everyone else does because everyone else does it? Or have you plunged into the deep and understanding the roots gained the ability to switch things up?

In short do you think for yourself or are you too afraid to be different or unique? Are you scared of what others think and that your uniqueness has created a difference that will cause others to pull back or disregard you? Is the change you made at all necessary or did you do it on a whim and should be disregarded?

 

solitudinus