Fear – Its Cause and Its Cure

Fear, Its Cause and Its Cure
By Brett A. Fernau

What is it that we fear? Nothing. No, I don’t mean that there isn’t anything that we fear. I mean that what we fear is nothing, the absence of anything. In the case of a living thing, what we fear is the absence of life. More precisely, we living things fear the absence of the awareness of the state of being alive. We fear death. Death of what? Death of our own identity, death of our personality. We fear becoming nothing, we fear the loss of our personal identity. This is true of all living things. We fear that we will not survive. That fear is what gives someone or something else power over us. If that someone or something can put an end to our existence, then we are subject to fear. If you can be killed, you can be controlled. If you fear death, then a threat of death can influence your behavior.

How you react to force or a threat of force depends upon how much you fear death. The magnitude of your fear depends upon how much you have agreed that you can be killed. If you have agreed that you are a biochemical machine with no ability beyond those inherent in the machine itself, your level of fear will be the controlling factor in how you live your life. In other words, if you are convinced that you are born, live and die just this once, that this life which you are currently experiencing is a completely unique experience, then you can be made to be afraid of dying. You can be made to behave in any number of ways because you fear death. You can be convinced to act against your own self-interests and those of your fellow living creatures because anything is better that nothing. That is the key to the whole subject of control of behavior. Anything is better than nothing.

Fear is based upon agreements which you have made. You have agreed that being nothing is bad. You have agreed that you have an identity; that you have a personality. You have agreed that you are dependent upon your body for your identity and your personality. You have agreed that you are your body and that when the life of your body ends, so does your identity and your personality. You have agreed that you can die and you fear death because death is nothingness and nothing is bad. You are surrounded by these agreements; everywhere you look you see them. Everything around you is fighting desperately to survive, you, your family, your friends and neighbors, mankind, plants and animals; all the living things you see are seeking survival in one way or another, either as a species or as individuals. This is the reality we all agree upon. Survival is something one does, an activity, the most important of activities. We are controlled by those things which threaten our survival.

Every day on television, radio, the internet, in newspapers and magazines you are bombarded with reports of events and eventualities that seem to be a threat to your survival; floods, fires, disease, famine, climate change, crime, financial collapse, societal breakdown, terrorism, and more. Every day you are asked to agree that in order for you to live you ought to let someone who knows more than you do tell you what to do. You think, perhaps, that if you give up a little of your freedom to make your own decisions you will be more secure, more likely to survive. You shift responsibility for your own survival onto other things; the police, your doctor, the fire department, city, state and federal government.

How much of your life or your freedom are you willing to surrender in order to survive?

There is something you should know. You are you, no matter what happens to you. And nothing can happen to you unless you agree to it. To you. Not to your body. Because you are you. You are an identity. You are a personality. You are your soul. You can only be controlled by threat of force. What if force can’t affect you? What if you will still be you, even if your body is destroyed? What if survival is your defining characteristic? Imagine yourself without form or substance and yet possessing your present identity and personality. Imagine, too, that you have been so for a very, very long time. Imagine that survival in inherent in your very nature, as is creativity. If this is you, what could make you afraid? Nothing. Nothing but your own agreements that you are something other then what you actually are.

Look around you. Examine your agreements. Change your mind. Know yourself. Know that you are inherently good, inherently creative, inherently helpful, curious, playful, loving, moral, faithful, truthful and be yourself. You have nothing to lose but your fear.

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Emergency Preparedness for Beginners: Part 0 – Where to Begin

Emergency Preparedness for Beginners – Part 0: Where to Begin
By Brett A. Fernau

You’ve been seeing the bad news on the internet and all over the media – storms, global warming, the coming ice age, earthquakes, pandemics, this year’s flu, food that isn’t food, cops shooting people for no apparent reason, people shooting each other for no apparent reason, antibiotics that don’t work anymore, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, rapes, murders, drug abuse, child abuse, obesity, insanity, wars, jihads, terrorists, unrest, inequality, racism, sexism, immorality, no morality, judgementalism, nationalism, atheism, socialism, communism, capitalism, protests, counter-protests, tea-parties, federalism, state’s rights, human rights, women’s rights, minority rights, voter rights, union rights, right to work, animal rights, extinction, pollution, drought, plague, security, insecurity, spying, privacy, perversion, right to life, right to choose, free speech, freedom of religion, freedom from religion, free healthcare, free food, free phones, minimum wage, unemployment, underemployment, inflation, deflation, depression, mental health, homelessness, domestic abuse, workplace violence, political correctness, speech codes, censorship, bias, misinformation, deception, division – the list is seemingly endless. How do you prepare for all of that? Isn’t it hopeless? Aren’t we all doomed to a life of quiet desperation, at the mercy of whatever disaster befalls us? The answer is a resounding, NO!!

You can do something about your situation. You can.

Where do you begin?

You begin by looking. Get up from where you are. Right now. Get up, go outside and look around you. Walk around the block, or walk to the end of the block and back. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Before you read another word, GO!

Did you do it? No? Go do it. I’ll be right here when you get back.

Okay. Now what did you see? Chances are pretty good that you didn’t see any of the things in the list above. Not one. So, what did you see? People going about their daily lives, moving from place to place, getting things done, talking to each other, laughing, walking, standing, and living? That’s what I usually see when I go outside. When you despair of ever finding a solution to all the horrors which you are told surround you. Go for a walk and look around. That is where you start. You start by looking. You start by realizing, perhaps, that things are not as bad as you were led to believe they are.

If, on your walk, you saw one or more of the things in the list above, then that is another place to start. Start with the idea that you can do something about that.

But the question remains: Where do you begin?

You begin with you. You can do something about your own situation. Doing almost anything is better than doing nothing. Begin by looking. Look at where you spend the majority of your time. Wherever that is, the odds are that that is where you will be when a disaster strikes. Look around that place. What resources are available to you right there where you spend most of your time? Do you have some water on hand if you can’t leave home for a few days? Do you have a few extra cans of food in your pantry? Start there. Think about the area in which you live. I’m sure you’re already well aware of all the natural disasters that can happen there. The “news” media very likely tells you daily what horrible things can happen to you. Start getting yourself prepared for some of those things. The next time you go to the grocery store, buy a couple of extra cans of food and a case of bottled water. Clear out a space in one of your closets, or in the corner of the garage and put those items aside. That is the beginning of your disaster supply kit. Build on that foundation, a little bit at a time. Before too long, you will have a good supply of food and water that will make you independent of the grocery store for a few days should something happen that would cause the store to be closed for a time.

Now you have begun. Keep looking. Keep building. Turn off your TV for a few days. Don’t listen to the news. Don’t read the news. Sit down with your family and make a plan of how you would survive if the power and water are shut off for a few days. Talk to your neighbors. They’re still going to be your neighbors after the disaster occurs and you just might be able to help each other when it does. Talk to your friends. Where else do you spend time? Figure out what you might need in case a disaster strikes when you are there. How will you help? How will you get home?

What are you doing? You are taking control. You are learning to look and to help. You are learning that there is something that you can do. And that is really where you begin; when you know that you can do something about it and then do it.

What if everybody did that? What if everybody planned ahead and got prepared for whatever might happen? What if everybody started talking to each other and helping each other and working together to minimize the damage a disaster might cause? What if we all decided that there was something that we could do about all the bad news we are bombarded with each day? What if each one of us decided that it was our responsibility to take control and do something about it? What would happen?

Where do you begin? You begin by buying an extra bottle of drinking water and an extra can of food and setting them aside for an emergency. You begin by looking around you and finding a way to help. You start by helping yourself and your family, and you continue by helping your neighbors, and, together you help your neighborhood, your community, your city and onward and outward. But you begin with that one extra bottle of drinking water and an extra can of soup. And cat food, my cat reminds you to pick up an extra can of cat food while you are at the store.