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Fear is Copyright © 2000 by Ralph Robert Moore.

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I've spent my life writing fiction.

I realized there were some ideas I wanted to express without the distraction of characters. Fear is the first essay I wrote in response to that need.

Every day we encounter positive energies and negative energies. Most of these energies are not external to us, but come from our own thoughts. Throughout each day we have good thoughts and bad thoughts: a remembrance of a happy time we had with someone, an anticipation of something fun we're going to do this evening; or a bad memory of when we felt we were wronged which we can't seem to prevent dragging ourselves through again and again, or the indulgence of violent thoughts in reaction to a perceived insult in the present. What we continually forget is that most of our lives occur in our minds, and we have control over our minds. We don't have to be unhappy. If we are unhappy, if we are plagued with bad thoughts, it is because at some point we retreated to that punishment, which we don't deserve (we forgive others much more generously than we forgive ourselves).

an essay by ralph robert moore

Fear is anti-life, and anti-nonlife.

Expressed in terms of Western religion, God is life and Satan is fear. "God" and "Satan" are not antonyms, nor are "life" and "fear" antonyms. "Satan" is one of the definitions of "God"; "fear" is one of the definitions of "life". One of our greatest impediments in life is our trust in antonyms.

Life and death are equal, and therefore indistinguishable from each other. It is impossible to tell at any given moment if we are alive or dead. Think of it: Who would tell us?

Fear manifests in many forms. The most common manifestation is anger. Whenever you are angry, you are angry because you are afraid. It is impossible to be angry except to be angry because of fearfulness. Example: Think of the last time you were angry. Trace it back, and the source will always be fear. The source cannot be anything other than fear. Repeat: Whenever you are angry, you are angry because you are afraid.

Therefore it follows: To conquer your anger, you must conquer the fear at the source of that anger. For if you fail to conquer the fear, the anger will continue to manifest.

Some other manifestations of fear: impatience, frustration, cruelty, self-hatred, jealousy, envy, prejudice, tiredness. Chronic depression is not a form of fear. Chronic depression is a local chemical condition.

Fear is present in you in two forms: fear of specifics, and the fear which always lives within you.

The fear of specifics is the fear of "the other". "The other" is an example held up to you, the attributes of which you perceive (correctly or incorrectly) in specific people. Your subconscious admiration of a trait (which you believe you don't possess) causes your fear of a specific person you believe possesses that trait, and who you believe you cannot assimilate through love, friendship or acquaintanceship. Alternatively, your fear of "the other" is your perception of another as corrupted, meaning someone who does not appear to possess the attributes of the example held up to you. The key seems to be assimilation or avoidance, but it isn't.

The key is acceptance.

The fear which always lives within you is the fear you are inadequate.

The truth: You are inadequate. The truth: You will always be inadequate. The truth: It is not wrong to be inadequate. The truth: It is impossible not to be inadequate.

Your life is a struggle to conquer fear. Fear can only be conquered when you are about to fail, or fail. Only when you are about to fail or do fail do you confront fear, and only then are you therefore offered an opportunity to succeed. It is impossible to succeed when you are a success. You can only succeed when you are about to be a failure, or are a failure. Success offers few opportunities; failure showers you, dazzles you, with them.

When we are afraid, we experience a false sense of helplessness. We are never helpless. Fear is the decision to relinquish our powers. The relinquishment is always a conscious act, although so quick we may miss it, consciously, especially if we are used to preferring to be afraid.

When we prefer to be afraid, it is always because we wish not to be responsible for our actions. If we are in that mode, its source is always hatred of the world. "Hatred of the world" means "self-hatred", because each of us owns our own world. Frequently, we hate ourselves/our world, because we have not diminished our parents, in our mind, to the mere people they are.

We love fear in art, on the highway or in the news because it externalizes what is too long internalized. It is a release on a rubber band.

You completely control your own life, because you do not need to control what happens to you in your life; you only need to control how you respond to what happens to you in your life.

The opposite of the word "fear" is the word "cooperation". The opposite of fear is awareness of oneness.