c.a. davis

// filmmaker | editor | storyteller \\

T-Minus 20 Minutes

I've been wanting to try this exercise for some time...

Namely, the practice of writing a stream of consciousness for approximately 10 to 20 minutes. So... Here we go.

Prompt: what is fear?

Before we get too deep into the matter, let's just go ahead and head straight for the message of the post. Fear does not exist.

What does this mean, fear doesn't exist? After all, I feel fear tighten my chest, seize my lungs. It's a feeling isn't it? It makes you react in a certain way given a certain context, so it must be real. Well, what is real about your fear? I mean, is it the thought of a spider biting you that makes you squash the venomous fiend or is it the tiny creature scurrying away in its own desperation that makes you squirm? Fear is the filling in of certain gaps, automatic false assumptions of certain pretexts. For instance, if you saw a spider crawl on your hand you would react not in the response of the physical touch with its eight legs. You would react based upon the description of what's going on in your own head. In other words, the spider on the hand is (usually) not correctly interpreted in the image and sensation you create in your own mind. If you were blind, you may just as much assume it was a fly, or the wind tickling your hand instead of, say, a black widow.

All of this is to get you thinking, you see, in terms of reality versus perception. You perceive reality in that you literally see it into existence and, because you are the sensations of everything around you culminating in the epicenter of your cognizance i.e. your mind, what you see is what you choose to see, in a kind of weird halfway point between freedom and automated thought patterns. All of this is to say that the way you see the world is the way you end up believing the world to be, so much so that you build established physiological boundaries that we call "fears" in order to cope with your perception of what is actually going on.

And just what is it that is going on? Well, if you're asking yourself that sincerely, then go stare at a wall or sit under a tree for a couple hours. If that doesn't get you thinking then go for a run and count your steps. If that doesn't work then ask yourself, "Well who's asking the question?"

You see, fear isn't anymore real than the thoughts that provoke it, and I mean that both in the sense that you bring the fear about in the first place and then prod it with a stick until the fear eventually learns to bother you instead. It sticks, you see, and it then gets harder to overcome the fear not because it is such a powerful fear but because you've duped yourself into thinking its real.

But fear is vaporous -- it comes and goes. So when it comes, let it go. Don't fight it, don't deny its existence. Let it run through you and let it scare you. Only then will you understand that fear is no thing. It is just the thought of some things.