Fear—The Enemy?

fear chances

How many of us go through life feeling as if there is something lurking right around the corner…something so unbeatable, something so frightening, something so powerful, something so dangerous and catastrophic—that there is no hope, no winning, no possible chance at overcoming?  Yet what is this illustrious Thing that we fear?


It has been said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself,” and Job the great Biblical debater is credited with saying, “That which I fear has come upon me.”  Yet what is it?  And better yet—where does it originate from?


If we were to look closely and ascertain where fear finds its place of origin, what we discover is that it comes from within us.  Our minds create it!  It is simply the product of our imagination—and I know—some of you right now are saying, “You don’t know what I’ve just experienced!” or “You have no idea what is about to happen to me!”  But I do—really I do.


Carl Jung stated, “Whenever there is a reaching down into innermost experience, into the nucleus of personality, most people are overcome by fear and many run away. . . The risk of inner experience, the adventure of the spirit, is in any case alien to most human beings. The possibility that such experience might have psychic reality is anathema to them.”

(Memories, Dreams, Reflections)


I heard someone speak today about the acronym for fear:  “False Evidence Appearing Real” and later retold as, “Facing Everything and Rising,” yet, I would like to offer that neither of these are even close to the Truth.  There is something within us that knows that It knows, but we typically won’t turn to that first to realize and recognize the Infinite Power that resides within us to discover there is a greater Good to be known through every experience.  So I offer that Fear is an emotional response to a subjective imprint that is seen by the conscious mind but unfamiliar to it. 


We draw upon what we know to discern that which we do not know, and this is the anathema that Jung speaks about.  We despise not knowing!  And that which we do not know, we do not know how to respond to—or so our imagination tells us.


Yet, this emotional response that we experience when fears befall us comes about through two types of stimuli:   the first is environmental and poses a direct physical threat to the perceiver; the second is strictly psychological and poses no direct physical threat.


It doesn’t take much to realize that the first is simply a rational fear and the second is an irrational fear.  Once we realize and separate these two, we can come to understand that rational fears can be overcome by some form of physical retaliation or by a means of escape; however our irrational fears can only be successfully overcome by a combination of conscious and rational control.  That rational control is simply not letting our imagination run wild in perverse constructions that point to impending doom.


Learning to differentiate between these two stimuli of fear gives us automatic control over those conditions which appear fearful.  Once we recognize fear for what it is (an out-picturing of our imagination that takes the future and projects it onto our NOW experience) we can gain dominion over our emotional reaction to the imposing event (remember—it still hasn’t occurred!).  Because we don’t know what to feel, how to respond, and what the outcome might actually be (no matter how much information we may have), we can employ a more positive approach to Fear.  So we change our old acronym into our new acronym, and that becomes:  Feeling Excited and Ready!


Each of our lives are based around events occurring, some good and some other than the good we tell ourselves we would like to experience, but nonetheless, events are occurring and we are the only common denominator in all the events we experience!  So since we are going to experience life, why not be excited about it?  Why not let our Joy replace our fear?  What have we got to lose but the fear itself?


Often I see that many people argue for their limitations believing that only the worst thing can come about—it’s almost like all the stars and all the planets have aligned to make this horrible thing come upon them, when—once we get to the root of the issue, what is discovered is that there is some imaginary idea that has been allowed to be called real and it has drawn forth from within us our own made-up stories about death, disaster, and disease!


Every time that something new comes up for us—we should express Joy—and avoid the emotional up evil from our past experiences, and try just once to be eager to have this new unknown phenomenon take place in our lives.  When we are excited to get something, or to experience something that our minds have listed as a desire, and we see its possibility nearing, our excitement stirs something within us and it’s our excitement that causes an enthusiasm for the experience.  This is fear being expressed as our acronym:  Feeling Excited and Ready!


To abolish that sinking feeling, that frightened imaginary experience and to recognize that we are about to experience something brand new, let’s utilize our new acronym for Fear and see what happens.  Don’t let the imagination create failures, frights, disasters and devastations; turn that old fear around into an exciting Truth and live from a place of Joy, Excitement and Newness.


Don’t let that which you fear come upon you—step in a new direction and let it pass you by.  It’ll find a home somewhere else if you don’t invite it in.



  1. My dear Les…this is an excellent posting. So very well written and so informative and heartfelt. I am very impressed, but of course not surprised. You quote one of my heroes here, Carl Jung. Jung very much believed in the shadow side of our psyches and felt if we repressed that shadow and did not integrate it fully into our whole self it would essentially rebel and cause great discomfort in our life. You describe here how the the conflict of a non integrated psyche can create fear of the unknown…fear based essentially on imagination rather than reality. Much of Jung’s work, as well as my own work as a psychotherapist, takes place in the limited world of form. Here the shadow may be perceived as dark or frightening, but if it is integrated into the whole it is then perceived by us as part of that whole, and of course part of God and the divine process. I believe your blog post really presents this idea so well, maybe with a different framing than what I just presented, but to me essentially the same. It is all good, it is all God. Thank you!!

    • Thank you Todd! It is so nice to hear from you and to know that we still think very much alike. I really like Jungian Psychology and appreciated the depth psychology that I studied in school. I have just recently returned to Jung after a long pause (I think it needs to sit in us like an anxious seed awaiting its sprouting toward the light) and heard one of the ministers you know speak on fear-less-ness. I tend to be a bit more absolute (so I’ve heard) about the science of mind (which I also have heard makes my view of it very narrow! LOL!) and though I trust that others may feel we are open at the top, I still adhere to open at the top being that consciousness is an upward and outward spiral and thus open at the top. Ernest said that we must leave the relative to reach the absolute…and I think fear (if not integrated) gives us a self that is a house divided. I truly believe that the unknown—the super-conscious, creates the numinous experience that we say is a “God-shot.” If we knew what it was before it came we would all run from it, but fear in its imaginative state always deals with dualistic experiences (hence—we dislike what we experience). When fear is approached from intuitive sense (and we are feeling excited and ready) we are in unitive consciousness—a Whole Being. Just throwing in two more cents. I love you Todd and miss you. Always…

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