Fear is Context

Consideration of any “thing” entails full exploration of its meaning, including all contexts and antonyms.

Fear is a context that shades meaning of each “thing”.

The unknown arises because  fear prevents its consideration.

Therefore fear, unlike joy, disgust or sadness, has to be subsumed in order that the unknown “thing” can be considered. That is, it must be seen as context, separately from the “thing”.

This perspective is achieved by accepting the worst feared outcome, by plumbing the depth of possibility.

Death is an antonym of, and also a context of life. The opposite is also true.

Fear of death is a surface reflecting our ego. It is a narcissistic mirror at the boundary of the ocean of existence. It’s reflective property is a barrier to our consideration of existence.

Fear of death prevents the conscious consideration of a deeper monster – existential angst – whereby we fear utter meaningless of infinite non-existence.

When existential angst is plumbed it is found to be a chimera, a confection of our ego; however it must be confronted and experienced for this this truth to be released.

It is by swimming naked in the infinite sea of potential meaningless that meaning emerges.

It is through integration with nothing that number and all “things” are realised.

It is through this mechanism that death is dissolved through a wider perspective, so that the joy of unification with “all that is” is glimpsed as the truth. “All that is” is synomymous with “the word existing beyond time”.

Some do not have to travel this path to truth. They are most often securely attached and live confidently (with trust). This is most often a gift from their parent, who held them in maternal reverie through their perilous crossing to the world of “things”. They are blessed.

I was afraid

I was afraid of dying last night. Terrified. Full blown existential angst. It took me back to my childhood. I lay there trying to fathom why that fear was back again – my old enemy.

I realised that it is my “I” that is afraid. My ego; the confection that has spun up in this particular life of mine.  I have throughout my life woken suddenly in the night with a sense that my heart has stopped – as it misses a beat – and with the immediacy of dying. Whilst it was frightening as a child and into my early adulthood, it disappeared as my faith grew that there is more beyond this life. (A faith built out of intense questioning). Indeed what lies beyond this virtual reality is all, everything. Not the nothing of our ego’s fear.

I am lucky because I have experienced good deaths. My mother had almost died and described her experience of moving toward light and love but being summoned back to this life – and her reluctance to return. This is of course common; but it’s difficult to be a doubting Thomas when your mother – a true glorious person – gifts you her personal experience. My father died after an operation and I experienced for the hours after his death his transcendental joy before disappearing. Literally he was bursting with excitement and joy before he finally left me. It was intense and real. Since then some part of the thought of death has been exciting – a way through the fundamental loneliness of life.

Lucky. Because I have known other deaths where there was fear, confusion and loss. Intensely painful rather than joyful, and I have seen how those deaths affect those left behind.

So, to last night..

I believe that our ego only exists in this particular life, like some kind of computer memory that fades when the machine is switched off. Of course my ego is terrified of death. “I” am not, however, my ego. I am part of all and will return to the everything beyond. In what way, is not for me to see here now,  because our senses can only see “through a glass darkly”. I do know that in order to move beyond my fear, my work is to move beyond my ego, and back to the living and loving connection that continues and is what I anyway call God. I only use that word tentatively because it puts some people off – because many “religions” hijack this personification of all-that-is for their own purpose. Political manipulation.

A rose, however, is a rose by whatever name.

In any event, I offer my thoughts not to convert – but as a witness to hope.


Are archetypes predominantly negative?

It seems to me we are mostly ruled by our unconscious. We believe we are floating on the surface of a variously sunlit or storm-racked sea. Whereas in fact we are driven by deep ocean currents far below the surface of our mind. And what forms and drives those currents? These are the tectonic plates, reefs and undersea mountain ranges and chasms that Jung named archetypes.

I’m increasingly aware of these archetypes within. It appears that what drives most societies are negative archetypes – those arising from fear, sadness and anger. Whereas what forms most personal relationships are positive – love and joy. (Incidentally – is there archetypes for surprise?).

Or rather, the archetypes for love and joy operate at a personal rather than societal level, since they arise out of intense connection. Whereas the big beast archetypes for fear and anger work at the societal level (the wolf is outside our family house – will he eat us up?)

If so, and if we do want to live in love and joy – then our journey and is a personal one and we (note to self really) should beware being drawn into societies emotional concerns.

But then I’m only rediscovering old truths. Give unto Caesar that which is Caesars, and Caritas begins at home..

love, joy, surprise, anger, sadness, fear

The Long View

I am not yet born; O hear me.
Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the
club-footed ghoul come near me

For those of us who believe that this is not the only life, whatever our persuasion, then we stand in a similar perspective to that unborn child. What comes next? We don’t know for certain and therefore we are full of fear – as is McNeice’s subject. At least though that baby – all unknowing of what will come in that next life – is assured of there is one.

The poem if applied to most of us, unborn in this life, would be a contemplation of the moment of birth/death rather than of what lies beyond. So many of us get stuck with the question “Is there life after death”, rather than contemplating what it is and beginning to live it now.

Indeed  that we spend so much of our time avoiding the whole subject of death and the wider context of existence –  is I suspect a significant driver behind the rise of materialism. (Consume to forget. Materialism – the opiate of the masses). My hunch is that the most virulent evangelical atheists are those who are most full of fear. Their need is to convert, because like any addict there is at least a temporary relief from their underlying hunger.

I am perhaps fortunate that I almost died as a toddler (meningitis), since they say that this experience in small children – if survived – gives them a glimpse of beyond this life and therefore a context for the living of it. I know someone well who had a different experience though – aged 7 or so their near death experience left them with a knowledge of the short span of this life – much earlier than most – but possibly with the fear of the unknown rather than the hope of life to come.

I will ask their permission to talk further of their experience and journey since (indeed  I would like to understand it better).

However it does seem to me that life is better lived with the long view. The context of what lies beyond this transitory set of experiences. Indeed it is this landscape that gives meaning to existence. Ours, and the worlds.

Prayer Before Birth

I am not yet born; O hear me. Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the      club-footed ghoul come near me.

I am not yet born, console me. I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me,      with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me,         on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me.

I am not yet born; provide me With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk      to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light         in the back of my mind to guide me.

I am not yet born; forgive me For the sins that in me the world shall commit, my words      when they speak me, my thoughts when they think me,         my treason engendered by traitors beyond me,            my life when they murder by means of my               hands, my death when they live me.

I am not yet born; rehearse me In the parts I must play and the cues I must take when      old men lecture me, bureaucrats hector me, mountains         frown at me, lovers laugh at me, the white             waves call me to folly and the desert calls               me to doom and the beggar refuses                  my gift and my children curse me.

I am not yet born; O hear me, Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is God      come near me.

I am not yet born; O fill me With strength against those who would freeze my      humanity, would dragoon me into a lethal automaton,         would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with            one face, a thing, and against all those               who would dissipate my entirety, would                  blow me like thistledown hither and                     thither or hither and thither                        like water held in the                           hands would spill me.

Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me. Otherwise kill me.

Louis Macneice