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 Post subject: What is the opposite of fear?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 12:49 am 
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This thread is really just an excuse to post some awesome quotes. But as I was reading Gates of Fire, I ran into an idea that I'd seen before, so I figured I'd gather them here.

These first two rather large quotes are from that fantastic book. Fear is a major theme. One character, Dienekes, is particularly interested in it. In this first part, he's asking the question, and they discuss it. In the second quote, he gets his answer. There are a few other awesome passages about fear in the book, but these will do.
Quote:
“All my life,” Dienekes began, “one question has haunted me. What is the opposite of fear?”

Down the slope the boar flesh was coming ready; portions were being shared out to eager hands. Suicide came up, with bowls for Dienekes, Alexandros and Ariston, and one apiece for himself, Ariston’s squire Demades and me. He settled on the earth across from Dienekes, flanked by two of the hounds who had noses for the scraps and knew Suicide as a notorious soft touch.

“To call it aphobia, fearlessness, is without meaning. This is just a name, thesis expressed as antithesis. To call the opposite of fear fearlessness is to say nothing. I want to know its true obverse, as day of night and heaven of earth.”

“Expressed as a positive,” Ariston ventured.

“Exactly!” Dienekes met the young man’s eyes in approval. He paused to study both youths’ expressions. Would they listen? Did they care? Were they, like him, true students of this subject?

“How does one conquer fear of death, that most primordial of terrors, which resides in our very blood, as in all life, beasts as well as men?” He indicated the hounds flanking Suicide. “Dogs in a pack find courage to take on a lion. Each hound knows his place. He fears the dog ranked above and feeds off the fear of the dog below. Fear conquers fear. This is how we Spartans do it, counterpoising to fear of death a greater fear: that of dishonor. Of exclusion from the pack.”
Suicide took this moment to toss several scraps to the dogs. Furiously their jaws snapped these remnants from the turf, the stronger of the two seizing the lion’s share.

Dienekes smiled darkly.

“But is that courage? Is not acting out of fear of dishonor still, in essence, acting out of fear?”

Alexandros asked what he was seeking.

“Something nobler. A higher form of the mystery. Pure. Infallible.”

He declared that in all other questions one may look for wisdom to the gods. “But not in matters of courage. What have the immortals to teach us? They cannot die. Their spirits are not housed, as ours, in this.” Here he indicated

the body, the flesh. “The factory of fear.”

Dienekes glanced again to Suicide, then back to Alexandros, Ariston and me. “You young men imagine that we veterans, with our long experience of war, have mastered fear. But we feel it as keenly as you. More keenly, for we have more intimate experience of it. Fear lives within us twenty-four hours a day, in our sinews and our bones. Do I speak the truth, my friend?”

Suicide grinned darkly in reply.

My master grinned back. “We cobble our courage together on the spot, of rags and remnants. The main we summon out of that which is base. Fear of disgracing the city, the king, the heroes of our lines. Fear of proving ourselves unworthy of our wives and children, our brothers, our comrades-in-arms. For myself I know all the tricks of the breath and of song, the pillars of the tetrathesis, the teachings of the phobologia. I know how to close with my man, how to convince myself that his terror is greater than my own. Perhaps it is. I employ care for the men-at-arms serving beneath me and seek to forget my own fear in concern for their survival. But it’s always there. The closest I’ve come is to act despite terror. But that’s not it either. Not the kind of courage I’m talking about. Nor is beastlike fury or panic-spawned self-preservation. Those are katalepsis, possession. A rat owns as much of them as a man.”

He observed that often those who seek to overcome fear of death preach that the soul does not expire with the body. “To my mind this is fatuousness. Wishful thinking. Others, barbarians primarily, say that when we die we pass on to paradise. I ask them all: if you really believe this, why not make away with yourself at once and speed the trip?

“Achilles, Homer tells us, possessed true andreia. But did he? Scion of an immortal mother, dipped as a babe in the waters of Styx, knowing himself to be save his heel invulnerable? Cowards would be rarer than feathers on fish if we all knew that.”

Alexandros inquired if any of the city, in Dienekes’ opinion, possessed this true andreia.

“Of all in Lakedaemon, our friend Polynikes comes closest. But even his valor I find unsatisfactory. He fights not out of fear of dishonor, but greed for glory. This may be noble, or at least unbase, but is it true andreia?”

Ariston asked if this higher courage in fact existed.

“It is no phantom,” Dienekes declared with conviction. “I have seen it. My brother Iatrokles possessed it in moments. When I beheld its grace upon him, I stood in awe. It radiated, sublime. In those hours he fought not like a man but a god. Leonidas has it on occasion. Olympieus doesn’t. I don’t. None of us here does.” He smiled. “Do you know who owns it, this pure form of courage, more than any other I have known?”

None around the fire answered.

“My wife,” Dienekes said. “He turned to Alexandros. “And your mother, the lady Paraleia.” He smiled again. “There is a clue here. The seat of this higher valor, I suspect, lies in that which is female. The words themselves for courage, andreia and aphobia, are female, whereas phobos and tromos, terror, are masculine. Perhaps the god we seek is not a god at all, but a goddess. I don’t know.”

You could see it did Dienekes good to speak of this. He thanked his listeners for sitting still for it. “The Spartans have no patience for such inquiries of the salon. I remember asking my brother once, on campaign, a day when he had fought like an immortal. I was mad to know what he had felt in those moments, what was the essence experienced within? He looked at me as if I had taken leave of sanity. Less philosophy, Dienekes, and more virtue.’”

He laughed. “So much for that.”

My master turned sidelong then, as if to draw this inquiry to a close. Yet some impulse drew him back, to Ariston, upon whose features stood that expression of one of youthful years nerving himself to venture speech before his elders. “Spit it out, my friend,” Dienekes urged him.

“I was thinking of women’s courage. I believe it is different from men’s.”

The youth hesitated. Perhaps, his expression clearly bespoke, it smacked of immodesty or presumptuousness to speculate upon matters of which he possessed no experience.

Dienekes pressed him nonetheless. “Different, how?”

Ariston glanced to Alexandros, who with a grin reinforced his friend’s resolve. The youth took a breath and began: “Men’s courage, to give his life for his country, is great but unextraordinary. Is it not intrinsic to the nature of the male, beasts as well as men, to fight and to contend? It’s what we were born to do, it’s in our blood. Watch any boy. Before he can even speak, he reaches, impelled by instinct, for the staff and the sword – while his sisters unprompted shun these implements of contention and instead cuddle to their bosom the kitten and the doll.

“What is more natural to a man than to fight, or a woman to love? Is this not the imperative of a mother’s blood, to give and to nurture, above all the produce of her own womb, the children she has borne in pain? We know that a lioness or a she-wolf will cast away her life without hesitation to preserve her cubs or pups. Women the same. Now consider, friends, that which we call women’s courage:

“What could be more contrary to female nature, to motherhood, than to stand unmoved and unmoving as her sons march off the death? Must not every sinew of the mother’s flesh call out in agony and affront at such an outrage? Must not her heart seek to cry in its passion, ‘No! Not my son! Spare him!’ That women, from some source unknown to us, summon the will to conquer this their own deepest nature is, I believe, the reason we stand in awe of our mothers and sisters and wives. This, I believe, Dienekes, is the essence of women’s courage and why it, as you suggested, is superior to men’s.”

My master acknowledged these observations with approval. At his side Alexandros shifted, however. You could see the young man was not satisfied.

“What you say is true, Ariston. I had never thought of it in that way before. Yet something must be added. If women’s victory were simply to stand dry-eyed as their sons march off to death, this would not alone be unnatural, but inhuman, grotesque and even monstrous. What elevates such an act to the stature of nobility is, I believe, that it is performed in the service of a higher and more selfless cause.

“These women of whom we stand in awe donate their sons’ lives to their country, to the people as a whole, that the nation may survive even as their own dear children perish. Like the mother whose story we have heard from childhood who, on learning that all five of her sons had been killed in the same battle, asked only, ‘Was our nation victorious?’ and being told that it was, turned for home without a tear, saying only, ‘Then I am happy.’ Is it not this element – the nobility of setting the whole above the part – that moves us about women’s sacrifice?”

“Such wisdom from the mouths of babes!” Dienekes laughed and rapped both lads affectionately upon the shoulder. “But you have not yet answered my question. What is the opposite of fear?”
Quote:
I thought of the merchant Elephantinos. Of all in camp, Suicide had taken most to this gay, ebullient fellow; the pair had become fast friends. On the evening before the first battle, when my master’s platoon had settled, preparing the evening meal, this Elephantinos had appeared upon his rounds. He had traded away all his wares, bartered his wagon and circulated with a basket of pears and sweetmeats, distributing these treats to the warriors as they sat to their suppers. He stopped beside our fire. My master often sacrificed in the evenings; nothing much, just a crust of barley loaf and a libation, not praying aloud, just offering within his heart a few silent words to the gods. He would never reveal the contents of his prayer, but I could read it upon his lips and overhear the odd mumble. He was praying for Arete and his daughters.

“It is these young boys who should practice such piety,” the merchant observed, “not you grisly veterans!”

Dienekes greeted the emporos warmly. “You mean ‘grizzled,’ my friend.”

“I mean grisly, weck up to thees!” [wake up to this]

He was invited to sit. Bias was still alive then; he joked with the merchant about his want of forethought. How will the old-timer get away now, without his ass and waggon?

Elephantinos made no reply.

“Our friend will not be leaving,” Dienekes spoke softly, his gaze upon the earth.

Alexandros and Ariston arrived with a hare they had traded for with some boys from Alpenoi village. The old man smiled at the comradely ragging they endured from their mates over this prize. It was a “winter hare,” so scrawny it wouldn’t flavor a stew for two men, let alone sixteen. The merchant regarded my master.

“To see you veterans with gray in your beards, it is only right that you should stand here at the Gates. But these boys.” His gesture indicated Alexandros and Ariston, including in its sweep myself and several other squires barely out of their teens. “How may I leave, when these babes remain?

“I envy you comrades,” the merchant continued when the emotion had cleared from his throat. “I have searched all my life for that which you have possessed from birth, a noble city to belong to.” His smithy-scarred hand indicated the fires springing to life across the camp and the warriors, old and young, now settling beside them. “This will be my city. I will be her magistrate and her physician, her orphans’ father and her fool.”

He handed out his pears and moved on. One could hear the laughter he brought to the next fire, and the one after that.

The allies had been on station at the Gates for four nights then. They had observed the scale of the Persian host, on land and sea, and knew well the odds insuperable that faced them. Yet it was not until that moment, I felt, at least for my master’s platoon, that the reality of the peril to Hellas and the imminence of the defenders’ own extinction truly struck home. A profound soberness settled with the vanishing sun.

For long moments no one spoke. Alexandros was skinning the hare, I was grinding barley meal in a handmill; Medon prepared the ground oven, Black Leon was chopping firewood, with Leon Donkeydick upon his left. To the startlement of all, Suicide began to speak.

“There is a goddess in my country called Na’an,” the Scythian broke the silence. “My mother was a priestess of this cult, if such a grand title may be applied to an illiterate countrywoman who lived all her life out of the back of a waggon. My mind is recalled to this by our friend the merchant and the two-wheeled cart he calls his home.”

This was as much speech at one time as I, or any other, had heard Suicide give voice to. All expected him to halt right there. To their astonishment, the Scythian continued.

His priestess mother taught him, Suicide said, that nothing beneath the sun was real. The earth and everything upon it is but a forestander, the material embodiment of a finer and more profound reality which exists immediately behind it, invisible to mortal sense. Everything we call real is sustained by this subtler fundament which underlies it, indestructible, unglimpsed beyond the curtain.

“My mother’s religion teaches that those things alone are real which cannot be perceived by the senses. The soul. Mother love. Courage. These are closer to God, she taught, because they alone are the same on both sides of death, in front of the curtain and behind.

“When I first came to Lakedaemon and beheld the phalanx,” Suicide went on, “I thought it the most ludicrous form of warfare I had ever seen. In my country we fight on horseback. This to me was the only way, grand and glorious, a spectacle that stirs the soul. The phalanx looked like a joke to me. But I admired the men, their virtue, which was so clearly superior to that of every other nation I had observed and studied. It was a puzzle to me.”

I glanced to Dienekes across the fire, to see if he had previously heard these thoughts articulated by Suicide, perhaps in the years before I had entered his service, when the Scythian alone stood as his squire. Upon my master’s face was written rapt attention. Clearly this bounty from Suicide’s lips was as novel to him as to the others.

“Do you remember, Dienekes, when we fought the Thebans at Erythrae? When they broke and ran? This was the first rout I had witnessed. I was appalled by it. Can there exist a baser, more degrading sight beneath the sun than a phalanx breaking apart in fear? It makes one ashamed to be mortal, to behold such ignobility even in an enemy. It violates the higher laws of God.” Suicide’s face, which had been a grimace of disdain, now brightened into a cheerier mode. “Ah, but the opposite: a line that holds! What can be more grand, more noble?

“One night I dreamt I marched within the phalanx. We were advancing across a plain to meet the foe. Terror froze my heart. My fellow warriors strode all around me, in front, behind, to all sides. They were all me. Myself old, myself young. I became even more terrified, as if I were coming apart into pieces. Then all began to sing. All the ‘me’s,’ all the ‘myself’s.’ As their voices rose in sweet concord, all fear fled my heart. I woke with a still breast and knew this was a dream straight from God.

“I understood then that it was the glue that made the phalanx great. The unseen glue that bound it together. I realized that all the drill and discipline you Spartans love to pound into each other’s skulls were really not to inculcate skill or art, but only to produce this glue.”

Medon laughed. “And what glue have you dissolved, Suicide, that finally allows your jaws to flap with such un-Scythian immoderation?”

Suicide grinned across the fire. Medon was the one, it was said, who had originally given the Scythian his nickname, when he, guilty of a murder in his country, had fled to Sparta, where he asked again and again for death.

“When I first came to Lakedaemon and they called me ‘Suicide,” I hated it. But in time I came to see its wisdom, unintentional as it was. For what can be more noble than to slay oneself? Not literally. Not with a blade in the guts. But to extinguish the selfish self within, that part which looks only to its own preservation, to save its own skin. That, I saw, was the victory you Spartans had gained over yourselves. That was the glue. It was what you had learned and it made me stay, to learn it too.

“When a warrior fights not for himself, but for his brothers, when his most passionately sought goal is neither glory nor his own life’s preservation, but to spend his substance for them, his comrades, not to abandon them, not to prove unworthy of them, then his heart truly has achieved contempt for death, and with that he transcends himself and his actions touch the sublime. This is why the true warrior cannot speak of battle save to his brothers who have been there with him. This truth is too holy, too sacred, for words. I myself would not presume to give it speech, save here now, with you.”

Black Leon had been listening attentively. “What you say is true, Suicide, if you will forgive me for calling you that. But not everything unseen is noble. Base emotions are invisible as well. Fear and greed and lust. What do you say about them?”

“Yes,” Suicide acknowledged, “but don’t they feel base? They stink to heaven, they make one sick within the heart. The noble invisible things feel different. They are like music, in which the higher notes are the finer.

“This was another thing that puzzled me when I arrived in Lakedaemon. Your music. How much of it there was, not alone the martial odes or war songs you sing as you advance upon the foe, but in the dances and the choruses, the festivals and the sacrifices. Why do these consummate warriors honor music so, when they forbid all theater and art? I believe they sense that the virtues are like music. They vibrate at a higher, noble pitch.”

He turned to Alexandros. “That is why Leonidas chose you for the Three Hundred, my young master, though he knew you had never before stood among the trumpets. He believes you will sing here at the Gates in that sublime register, not with this” - he indicated the throat – “but with this.” And his hand touched his heart.

Suicide drew up, suddenly awkward and abashed. Around the fire each face regarded him soberly and with respect. Dienekes broke the silence with a laugh.

“You’re a philosopher, Suicide.”

The Scythian grinned back. “Yes,” he nodded, “weck up to thees!”

A messenger appeared, summoning Dienekes to Leonidas’ council. My master motioned me to accompany him. Something had changed within him; I could sense it as we picked our way among the network of trails that crisscrossed the camps of the allies.

“Do you remember the night, Xeo, when we sat with Ariston and Alexandros and spoke of fear and its opposite?”

I said I did.

“I have the answer to my question. Our friends the merchant and the Scythian have given it to me.”

His glance took in the fires of the camp, the nations of the allies clustered in their units, and their officers, whom we could see, like us approaching from all quarters the king’s fire, ready to respond to his needs and receive his instructions.

“The opposite of fear,” Dienekes said, “is love.”

Next is from another of my very favorite books, Conversations With God. Only God is speaking in this quote.
Quote:
Love is the ultimate reality. It is the only. The all. The feeling of love is your experience of God.

In highest Truth, love is all there is, all there was, and all there ever will be. When you move into the absolute, you move into love.

The realm of the relative was created in order that I might experience My Self. This has already been explained to you. This does not make the realm of the relative real. It is a created reality you and I have devised and continue to devise – in order that we may know ourselves experientially.

Yet the creation can seem very real. Its purpose is to seem so real, we accept it as truly existing. In this way, God has contrived to create “something else” other than Itself (though in strictest terms this is impossible, since God is – I AM – All That Is).

In creating “something else” – namely, the realm of the relative – I have produced an environment in which you may choose to be God, rather than simply be told that you are God; in which you may experience Godhead as an act of creation, rather than a conceptualization; in which the little candle in the sun – the littlest soul – can know itself as the light.

Fear is the other end of love. It is the primal polarity. In creating the realm of the relative, I first created the opposite of My Self. Now, in the realm in which you live on the physical plane, there are only two places of being: fear and love. Thoughts rooted in fear will produce one kind of manifestation on the physical plane. Thoughts rooted in love will produce another.

The Masters who have walked the planet are those who have discovered the secret of the relative world – and refused to acknowledge its reality. In short, Masters are those who have chosen only love. In every instance. In every moment. In every circumstance. Even as they were being killed, they loved their murderers. Even as they were being persecuted, they loved their oppressors.

This is very difficult for you to understand, much less emulate. Nevertheless, it is what every Master has ever done. It doesn’t matter what the philosophy, it doesn’t matter what the tradition, it doesn’t matter what the religion – it is what every Master has done.

And finally - and tersely (do I hear applause? ) - this one from the Bible, First Letter of John 4:18.
Quote:
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
[/quote][/quote]
What's anybody think of that answer?
____________
Highdrake's mastery of spells and sorcery was not much greater than his pupil's, but he had clear in his mind the idea of something very much greater, the wholeness of knowledge. And that made him a mage.<i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: What is the opposite of fear?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 5:09 am 
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Chatting with Kins tonight, and we were talking about this. It got me to thinking about a couple of ways I might define the opposite of fear.

1) You can experience more than one emotion at the same time. This happens often. But maybe there are pairs that can't be experienced at the same time.

2) Thinking of how they are talking in Gates, maybe the opposite is the emotion that allows you to do what you have to despite your fear, no matter what the situation. They marched off to their deaths, despite great fear, because of love. But though anger often allowed them to act despite their fear, they wouldn't have made that ultimate sacrifice for the sake of anger. ____________
Highdrake's mastery of spells and sorcery was not much greater than his pupil's, but he had clear in his mind the idea of something very much greater, the wholeness of knowledge. And that made him a mage.<i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: What is the opposite of fear?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 3:08 pm 
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WOW!!! *********

"And the glory of the world becomes less than it was."<i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: What is the opposite of fear?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 4:07 pm 
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I wouldn't be human if I said I didn't fear things-we need to- we are not invincible, it's a very important survival mechanism-perhaps THE most important. Humans are rather weak and puny in the grand scheme of things and American humans, for one, seem to be getting weaker, fatter and lazier all the time. I always think about how weak we are when I see the kangaroo fetus crawling up to the pocket or the newborn colt standing up right away...

I sort of view fear the way I view evil-on two different levels. Fist quoted something to the effect that: those who believe the soul continues have less fear of death. I agree and do not find it immaterial. That plus the belief that a benevolent universal intelligence is somehow pushing us towards peace as a species. What I concieve as "progress" (especially by what I refer to as the collective human subconscience (superconscience) or "The Network") somehow makes me fear less.

I don't believe a concept of a "Devil" or transhuman "evil" I do believe in the evil men do mentally and physically and what they're capable of and yes it scares me. So there you have the two levels. I am non-violent but not a pacifist. I don't have the courage to be a pacifist... I actually do believe it to be courage-some call it stupidity, especially to let yourself be run over by a tank i.e.-to me that pacifist is more alive than ever in the subconscience, heaven, nirvana for always. If I was a true pacifist maybe I too could be fearless.

I'm pretty big and know how to take care of myself so I really don't fear my fellow man-and even tho I was in the military and would defend my country on my own turf, if I was called to fight for a cause I didn't believe in I would expatriate myself. I don't know why, call it insanity or being wired different (my sister's the same way) I thrive during insane situations. I have broken up huge fights without throwing a blow and have talked people out of potentially violent or lethal sitautions with both knife and gun. I seem to automatically connect with crazy people.

And it's weird-twice a number of people either hid behind booths and tables or lay on the floor-and after I difused the situation they (all) couldn't make eye contact with me-they were almost making the sign of the cross at me warding me off- like I was more dangerous than the perpetrator!

Maybe it's that glow that the quote above talks about or maybe it's just the fact that I don't hesitate whatsoever to confront a violent situation--even tho I pretend to be a gruff old loner bear, perhaps I do have immense inner-love for my fellow humans, who knows...maybe I'm just crazy.
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Before, you are wise; after, you are wise. In between you are otherwise.
Fravashi saying (from the formularies of Osho the Fool) <i>Edited by: danlo60 at: 12/8/03 9:13 am
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 Post subject: Re: What is the opposite of fear?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 5:55 pm 
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I think to me the opposite of fear would be joy... ******************************************************

Our lives are the songs that sing the universe into existence.~David Zindell
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 Post subject: Re: What is the opposite of fear?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 9:14 pm 
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Well don't be so wordy about it! *****
Before, you are wise; after, you are wise. In between you are otherwise.
Fravashi saying (from the formularies of Osho the Fool) <i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: What is the opposite of fear?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:57 pm 
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You know, danlo, personally, I'm more afraid of there actually being an after life than not. At least if the afterlife is this consciousness/personality. I mean, enough's enough! There's days I got bored as it is, forget about eternity!! If an afterlife is a losing of Self, a merging with the ALL, so that this identity is remembered by the whole, but does not actually continue, fine. But if Eric is hanging around forever, he's gonna be a little upset. ____________
Highdrake's mastery of spells and sorcery was not much greater than his pupil's, but he had clear in his mind the idea of something very much greater, the wholeness of knowledge. And that made him a mage.<i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: What is the opposite of fear?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 5:36 pm 
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He'll be hanging around he just won't know it. Mayb a incompletely dif form, who knos, or perhaps he will decide a specific course in the afterlife b4 he dies or in the afterlife? (rebirth on Earth as another human, ant, another planet, more...) AH the joy of self discovery! *****
Before, you are wise; after, you are wise. In between you are otherwise.
Fravashi saying (from the formularies of Osho the Fool) <i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: What is the opposite of fear?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2003 3:26 am 
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In a very roundabout way, I could get to saying the opposite of fear is love, but it's never been instinctual for me to think of love in universal terms. For me, I'd say the opposite of fear is acceptance... a higher level of knowledge. ________________
I wanna feel the metamorphosis and cleansing I've endured within my shadow. Change is coming. Now is my time. Listen to my muscle memory. Contemplate what I've been clinging to. -Tool, "Forty-Six & Two" <i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: What is the opposite of fear?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 3:23 am 
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I find it very tempting to try to see every negative emotion as an extension of fear. Not exactly sure it's accurate, but it would be nice to be able to eradicate them all in one fell swoop! ____________
Highdrake's mastery of spells and sorcery was not much greater than his pupil's, but he had clear in his mind the idea of something very much greater, the wholeness of knowledge. And that made him a mage.<i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: What is the opposite of fear?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 4:49 pm 
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To me, there are different levels of "fear". There's the fear of the unknown, the fear of being hurt, the fear of death, the fear of failure. Most fear is caused by ignorance, lack of knowledge. Thomas Covenant was feared because no one understood leprosy. That fear turned into hate and bitterness. Simple knowledge would have cured that.

But then, there's the fear of being hurt, or dying. What is the opposite of that fear? I don't think there is one. In the case of the seriously ill, like Stephen, who know they are going to die, most don't fear death itself, they fear how they will die. Will it be in unbearable pain? They fear the pain of it, death is almost welcomed, prayed for.

I believe blind fear is the worst kind. Fearing the unknown, living daily with the fear that something bad could happen at any moment. That state of constant panic that people with phobias live with. That has got to be horrible. The opposite of that would be complete and total knowledge of one's fate. But, no one has that. So, one must delve into oneself and find the courage and strength to combat such fears. Soldiers on the war front, Firemen rushing into burning buildings, policemen opening that closed door where on the other side shots were fired only moments before, children living in a village somewhere in the middle east where there could be at any second a bomb blast...All fear of the unknown, is the opposite of that courage? Or is it a fear with no good answer? *********

"And the glory of the world becomes less than it was."<i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: What is the opposite of fear?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 11:57 pm 
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Quote:I believe blind fear is the worst kind. Fearing the unknown, living daily with the fear that something bad could happen at any moment. That state of constant panic that people with phobias live with. That has got to be horrible.Since my son was born, that very nearly describes me. I'm on the edge of living that way. An uncomfortable percentage of my thoughts (Erin thinks I should see a therapist about it, but I don't think it's quite that bad. ) are outright terror of what might happen to them. Which seems especially bad now, while they're young, and would not understand why I am unable to help them in some situations.

I've never had anything else that comes close to being a phobia. Interestingly, my solution to this problem is love. When those thoughts start to take over, I push them out, and concentrate on the things I love about them.

Regarding Stephen's fears, I imagine love is, again, the answer, since his love of God did him a world of good.

But there are plenty of fears that I don't really see love being the answer to. ____________
Highdrake's mastery of spells and sorcery was not much greater than his pupil's, but he had clear in his mind the idea of something very much greater, the wholeness of knowledge. And that made him a mage.<i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: What is the opposite of fear?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 3:43 am 
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Quote:Since my son was born, that very nearly describes me. I'm on the edge of living that way. An uncomfortable percentage of my thoughts (Erin thinks I should see a therapist about it, but I don't think it's quite that bad. ) are outright terror of what might happen to them. Which seems especially bad now, while they're young, and would not understand why I am unable to help them in some situations

Every parent's worst fear is that something will happen to their child. I know it's mine. I send them out in the world everyday and worry the whole time they are out of my sight. I know exactly what you are saying. I don't find that irrational, Fist. It's parental instinct, to want to protect our children and fear for them when we aren't there to be that protection.

Quote:Regarding Stephen's fears, I imagine love is, again, the answer, since his love of God did him a world of good.

Oh yes, Stephen's love and faith in God was what gave him the strength to combat his fear of the pain. And the pain itself. It was his answer. His acceptance of that which he could not change was the first step, and then his reliance on God's love carried him through worst of it.

Peace


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"And the glory of the world becomes less than it was."<i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: What is the opposite of fear?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:31 am 
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Fire, I'd be interested to hear Shadow's thoughts on this topic. ____________
Highdrake's mastery of spells and sorcery was not much greater than his pupil's, but he had clear in his mind the idea of something very much greater, the wholeness of knowledge. And that made him a mage.<i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: What is the opposite of fear?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:31 am 
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I would like to hear it too. I don't know if he has read this topic. Will find out. *********

"And the glory of the world becomes less than it was."<i></i>


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