Diminishing our fear is vitally important because fear can cause enormous suffering. It might also have the potential to destroy humanity.
The nuclear arms race is, in part, propelled by the fear that we will be attacked and destroyed by our enemies if we do not invest substantial amounts of our wealth in national security. We haven’t understood clearly enough that much of our fear is inner fear, which is a symptom of unresolved inner conflicts.
Inner fear is projected outward, causing us to “see” dangers in the world that we believe validate our fear. People are typically resistant to doing the inner work that eliminates such fear. Hence, their unresolved issues require them to see or create enemies (or imagine dangerous, overwhelming situations) in order to account for their fear.
It’s true, of course, that bad people exist in the world and we need to protect ourselves from them. But we must not do so in a self-defeating manner. Through psychological dynamics, we can contribute to the undesirable outcomes that we fear the most. Fearful people unwittingly create the circumstances through which their fears become more real. For instance, the technology that we pour into our advanced weapons systems spreads throughout the world for others to use against us. At some point, the danger becomes overwhelming. [Read more…]