Submission to Fear is the Death of the Individual…

Worse than a life of fear is a life of willing submission to that fear. Because fear is normal, after all, and can be a valuable survival instinct, especially when you’re swimming in the ocean and the sharks just happen to be biting that day. In other words, fear can save your life. The problem is irrational fear, fear for the sake of fear, fear that has no meaning outside of the singular fact of its existence, disembodied with no antecedents and no outside connections beyond itself. And for many people, this is all too real, that fear becomes a way of life, and acquiescence a way of self-deceit, the belief that certain things are pre-ordained and that certain kings will rule domains regardless of any attempt to limit them. This defeatism thus becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, the idea that nothing can be done, so nothing is worth doing. This was once a stumbling block for me with Buddhism, the perception based on certain SE Asian countries that they were too passive, that they would give up important liberties without even a fight. The problem is self-correcting, though, of course, by Buddhism’s own middle path, neither too passive nor too aggressive being the brilliant compromise. After all, I certainly know of a few Western countries that I wouldn’t care to emulate, whether Christianity is the problem there or not. But many of the judgments are superficial, based on superficial readings of transient situations, white noise that crackles loudly, but means little. Bottom line: many of the world’s problems would be solved if people listened more and talked less, and that is a relative certainty…