12.8.06

The Genesis of Fear

Sitting in my living room on a Sunday afternoon I was indulging myself in television.
This absolute peace of nothingness was rudely disturbed by a loud yelping sound from outside. I turned to see a squirrel, sitting on the parapet of the adjoining building about 4 meters from my balcony, raising a sonic storm of its own.

When the racket didn’t stop for a good 2-3 minutes I decided to go out and investigate.

As I stepped into my balcony, within a fraction of a second, or even less… a huge eagle swooped down and carried the squirrel away.

Do squirrels have a sixth sense? Probably not… but what they have and share with most of the animal kingdom is the survival instinct. And the almost fearless approach to life.
The yelping of the squirrel was not out of fear my friends. The yelping was to alert the rest of the pack to take cover as one of them had been spotted as prey.

To understand or rather overcome fear, we must understand animals.
The herds are aware of predators in the woods they live in. They are aware of their vulnerability to become dinner at any given point of time.

In the interim, do they stop grazing? No.
Do they stop moving around in the woods? No.
Do they loose the playfulness with the young ones and teasing of the older ones? No.
Do they fear the predator hiding in the woods?

No.

Because they are also aware that the predator will strike when it has to strike. They cannot stop it. But what they have stopped is the fear factor.
They let fear in when the predator charges. And then they run for it with all they got.

Till then, they live their life to the fullest.

Somewhere I feel the insurance industry has spoilt the human race. We try to apply the same value model in out daily lives.

And then as human complications multiply, we now see many faces of fear all focused at the wrong areas…leading to many forms of subjective unhappiness.
Here are a few examples taken from a set of close friends.

Fear of visibility – the tendency to hide even when we are not being hunted.

Fear of loss – even before we gain something, we worry about losing it.

Fear of pain – even before we are hurt, we like to imagine the pain.

Fear out of self importance – everyone out there is looking for a chance to harm me and will do so at the moment opportunity arises.

Fear of attachment – self explanatory (for those who don’t get it, please see ‘Heat’)

Fear of the peer - will they agree with and accept what I do or think? Though we only use peers to echo our prior decisions.

Fear out of lack of trust – we fear what / those we do not know. But we can never know them till we trust them.

Fear of the past – the belief that the shit will always hit the fan as it did yesterday. And when you let your yesterday decide your tomorrow, your today is always full of shit.

Fear of no fear – addiction to torment. Life would be incomplete without a lurking fear inside…

Fear of denial – even before we ask for something, we like to believe that there is good reason we shall be refused.

Fear of no returns (expectations) – the belief that the effort one puts in will always be more than the results achieved. Hence the fear revokes any hope of human efforts.

Fear of joy – a true killjoy. If it makes me happy, it’s too good to be true. And too good to last.

A dear friend, who besides being one of the best writers I know, is also the most adorable person ever. But in varying degrees of recurrence and magnitude, she embodies all of the above forms of fear. God bless her.
She can inspire M. Night Shyamalans’ next ‘spine-chilling’ flick.
It’s too scary and too cold around her. Her spine definitely resides in the range of -20 degrees centigrade… I feel sad, because she deserves to be happier.

I do not claim that fear is alien to me. I do not preach that fear is unnatural. Nor do I intend to take a high ground of fearlessness.
But what I want to say is that I do not like fear. I like my life and like to live it to the best I can. Hence I face fear head on.
To drive it away.

Let me leave you with a catch 22.

The genesis of anger is fear.
The genesis of fear is the fear of pain
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
Uncertainty is inevitable. Fear is optional.

What is better?
Existing in fear or living in joy?

Kya Darna Zaroori hai?

Go figure.

70 comments:

Zarine said...

You took your own sweet time to update didn't you...

a nice post harjee. a retrospective self analysis truth.

it is ideal not to fear. but ideal is not always practical...

as for your friend, besides a pang (small) of envy of how much you care for her, i also feel you should understand that she is reacting to experience. And you know it... so cut her some slack. She's your friend and a sweet kid HK... try explaining rather than mocking... We've discussed this before... right?

otherwise, you're still my favourite writer.
Actually, you're my favourite ;) period.

muwaaah...

Zee...

Harjee Kapur said...

thank you for the kind words darling... you do wonders for my ego :)
as for your pangs of envy, i can do nothing about them.

you're a victim of 'fear out of lack of trust' yourself ;)

sorry if you felt that way zee but i was not mocking anyone... just stating what i felt.
have tried explaining but you cannot explain what one doesnt even want to hear.

Zarine said...

try harder :P

Anonymous said...

you deserve fear... you deserve to rot...
and you deserve no love of mercy at all...

kitsch said...

Well, what can i say?
fear is the path to self preservation. yeah?

Harjee Kapur said...

Zee: Will do.

Anon: Thank you :)

Kitsch: Self preservation comes with control. Fear comes when you realise you are or 'might' be losing control :) and ‘might’ itself is fiction born out of ambiguity. due to fear :)
All one needs for self preservation is courage. Grab some courage, gain some control, and then one fears only what one needs to fear. Fear in perpetuity becomes a habbit. And pointless.

Anonymous said...

Get lost you khalistani. Die.

silverine said...

Darna mana hai if you want to live life King and Queensize. Well said, but fear is what keeps us safe, hones our instincts and helps us survive so that we have a life to enjoy. But as the gist of your post suggests living in fear is no life after all.

the pooh said...

wow!something ive been struggling with myself for ages.really well put..not sure how we would go about living the joy when the fear has already been embedded in our sysytems.

ANSHUBABA said...

Harjee.....Hummnnn...pajji...yarra.....Achha likha hai!

ishita said...

an update after ages...!

will comment later...just got here to read the post...and that's done!

tc

Yashita said...

hmn...something to think about...what you said makes sense...would be philosophicaly correct...but wait...think about it for a minute...why do we have a emotion called "fear" in the first place? if it were so detrimental to our very existence, it would enever be there...fear, yes, we need it.it is a form of self-preservation after all. I, know I have many fears...some justified, tho you wouldn't agree, some plain silly...but who said they are stoppin me from enjoying my life? they are just helping me be careful whom i trust and who i open my heart to...where i go and what i shun...fears justs makes me more cautious...atleast helps me from not getting hurt for the nth number of time! I mean wen you are hurt, hurt hurt...you don't want to go through the same thing the next time too...you know wat happens...offcourse it might not happen atall...but then does that mean I just jump in without testing the waters first? no,experince teaches a hell lot...one thing I ahve learnt is well...fear is not bad.

ravali said...

this post really is something, especially at a time like this when i search for courage.

Noojes said...

Harjee

I have to admit - an interesting perspective

~noojes

Psyche said...

am here am here!! *bobs up and down*

Liked the catch 22. Who wrote that, you?

Aditi said...

Yet to feel joy you have to feel fear. Because only when you conquer those fears or step beyond them do you truely experience the joy.
Nice writing.. you should write more often...

Anon-y-mouse said...

Sometimes a debutante leaves, but an almost friendly shadow always avoids contact with the barely irreconcilable marzipan! A cup befriends a bicep from a tea party. A thoroughly friendly piroshki is sprightly. The Interloper and I took the menagé à trois about a bodice ripper (with a philosopher for a cream puff, a amour-propre from a clodhopper, a few bubbles, and a bodice ripper) to arrive at a state of intimacy where we can greedily inexorably brainwash our fetishist.

Bodice Ripper said...

Most people believe that a rhetorical mastadon hosts the slyly friendly necromancer, but they need to remember how feverishly a seldom self-actualized tenor takes a coffee break. A bodice ripper makes a truce with the amour-propre, and a tea party throws a bubble bath at a curse. The bride inside a taxidermist knowingly gives secret financial aid to a darling cup. Mitzi, although somewhat soothed by the irreconcilable tenor and a girl behind a piroshki, still finds subtle faults with her from a lunatic around the bodice ripper, secretly bounce her the ruffian with some tenor, and finds lice on the dark side of her cup.

scorpio said...

HARJEE...
Exquisite... almost profound....
It was worth the wiat for your update....

fk

Spazsim Chasm said...

hey long time...
was one of the friends me?
i think i have a lot of those fears..
dammmmnnn....

CJ said...

hmmm growing up...is a painful process... dont become too philosophical there is a lifetime for that,....right now is the time to Party!!...live for today think for tomorrow but Party tonite...

Big Brother CJ from Mumbai

Anonymous said...

well writen!

AakASH!!! said...

Kal ghar se waapas aa rahaa tha, toh train mein ek aadmi ke munh se yeh suna:

Ki jo darte hain, woh kya marte nahin?

Aur fir tumhari yeh post.. kuch baat toh hai!

Monika said...

like most of the comments mention, it surely gives a new perspective. All of us have some fears… would love to overcome all my fears and live a bindaas life… but then if I think of it some of the fears are actually helping me living a sane life :-) god knows what will I do if I don’t have any of my fears

jokes apart… aren’t there are some fears which are an absolute necessity of life... ask a mother who has embedded a fear of fire of of strangers in her young ones what it means to her, what will she do if the kids suddenly grow out of that fear?

Then there are some fears which keep people human (aleast to an extent)... fears which control the animal inside all of us… fear of GOD… fear of being punished by the almighty.

Fears which have let the human leave the nature to its own (if not totally leave it atleast not completely destroy it)… fear of the unknown?

But all said and done… amazing post which makes u think about a lot of things in life… and ya I loved the catch 22

Astral said...

Hi Harjee, my first comment on ur blog and ye!!s I am SO GLAD I came to ur blog. Have been fearing a lot off late including my own self. So it is surely not the fear of the unknown but the fear of rejection, the fear of being alone, and above all the fear of the past.....
~*~ Fear of the past – the belief that the shit will always hit the fan as it did yesterday. And when you let your yesterday decide your tomorrow, your today is always full of shit. ~*~

THIS IS SO TRUE!! Thanks dear and GOD bless yu for this post. Love the music tooooooooooo. Take care.

Arunima said...

'fear of the past' was interesting. It had a funny element to it.

nowheregirl said...

the thing is most people either dont realise or refuse to accept the presense of fear....

tamarind said...

tamarind says my new blog is tangledtresses.rediffblogs.com. i have finally posted my story and a raunchy poem...

post said...

i have a fear of loss (among other things, haha). reading your post just makes me re-realize this...

Madame Mahima said...

im here :)
and i read it..and thought 'wow..im familiar with all of this..'
and then i read the next bit


thank u :)
i'll get over it..itll take a while but i will

lovemarks said...

Well put...you gave words to everyone's thoughts! :)

Anonymous said...

why fear



why fear



why fear



when harjee is here?


( A secret admirer)

Me.. said...

but boss.. i feel.. not just about fear.. the whole aspect of living.. if seen and lived the animal way.. whoa.. how interesting would it make life.. to mix the intelligence of humans and the animal senses..!!

shikha said...

Harjee..Think is the best post of yours..however I think Fear and Love are the two strongest emotions between which life dwindles....:)

karmic_jay said...

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on -- Henry Ellis.
It's a fine balance and I am still learning...whether it is living in fear or something else.

DysfunctionaL said...

I like the post..
however when I look at myself.. I see uncertainty in my future life..
professional uncertainty, marital uncertainty etc.. and that is what causes fear in me for my future life.. what if it doesn't turn out the way I've pictured it and want it to be?

how about does that work?

Anonymous said...

harjee ji aap kahan chale jate ho...agree wid zarine, aap aur vyom mere favourites ho..par aap ne apana blog aise bana rakha hai ki main anonymous hi ban ke rah jaati hoon....bikhri zulfe hamesha gumshuda nahi rahena chagi..

White Magpie said...

badhiya post paaji

White Magpie said...

badhiya post paaji

Anonymous said...

nice post, harjee.
But who the fuck is this anonymous person who keeps posting trash on your blog?
Must be a bed-wetting, limp-dick-maturbating, genital-herpes-ridden bastard who's gets off abusing other people but is too cowardly to tell us his name.
Dont mind this idiot, Harjee, let the bitch bark.

Meeta said...

Harjee-ji, kahan hai aap?? darwaaza khat-khatakar nikal gaye...

Yashita said...

yup, where are u?

Anonymous said...

Hi Harjee,

"Suffering is optional"

It is.

Thank you.

Thanks dude.

AB

still life said...

the catch 22
its like from star wars i agree i am the geek who saw that movie about 100 times

fear leads to anger and anger leads to hate,hate leads to pain,pain leads to suffering.

still life said...

btw amazing post dude

Psyche said...

look who's talking. Time you updated as well. and mine's just about coming up ok?

DysfunctionaL said...

update!!

Anonymous said...

I am appalled by the number of comments you get on your blog!
u can get away writing anything!

justme said...

I truly believe that Darna Zaroori Hai
Teaches you to be careful, alert, aware, sensitive, spiritual, respectful and a lot more..

About your friend- sorry but i feel people get/ experience things that they deserve or are entitled to- nothing more and nothing less. Also who are we to decide if she deserves something else?

For me the most important of all fears if the fear of becoming 'fearless'

Shilpa F D'Mello said...

a very thoughtful post dude... but think abt it, fear has almost become like a defence mechanism for us... it keeps us safe from a lot of things.... for example the fear of pain, loss and attachment. This is kalyug my fren, and not everyone here is to make yu happy. These fears make us tread carefully, so that later we are not hurt. I have seen both phases - the fearless phase and the fearful phase. and on the hindsight, i think i was happier when i when i was fearful. it sort of prepared me for the future...

aakriti said...

Hey Harjee.
I can't stop thinking about the poor little squirrel :(
Anyway, I think you've managed to define all types of fears here :D And you're right, we should take some inspiration from the animal kingdom and save fear for last.

White Magpie said...

Yaar, tum bade soost ho..Update karo abhi..

AB said...

kidhaan ??

Idle Mind said...

here's a HI as promised.

cheers

- no more ms. rude

lovemarks said...

Kuch nayaa likh!!! :p

Mojo said...

Insecurity? Or self-preservation?

White Magpie said...

Hadd ho gayee paaji

Tony said...

aasoon na baha, fariyaad na kar, dil darta hai toh darne de.

Meeta said...

long time, no post...

jaggi said...

darna jaroori hai to grow & enjoy life

jaggi said...

hi HK
u r a gud writer.i am trying 2 go thro all ur written word will post my cmnts later
bye fr nw -jaggi

Monika said...

paaji... kithe gayab ho gayee tussi???

aakriti said...

hey! I've updated. :)

Anonymous said...

harjee ji marna to hai ek din toh phir darna ,par mauth mere bas me hogi..main decide kaarongi ki kab marna hai..upaar wala nahi...

aur kyonki aap mere chaukhat ka rukh bhool gaye hai isliya main appko apni pehli hindi kavta bhej rahi hoon....

main kavitri kaisi bani

dard intna samet looon
ki woh nasoor ban jaye,
aur meri kalam ki shyahi se
woh in kore kagaz pe chhaa jaye

shacune said...

I sent you an email. I said: have you read Nisargadatta? He is deep and so are your thoughts and they seem related...

shacune said...

have you read 'I am that' Nisargadatta. deep stuff and you seem related

AB said...

Aari aari aari

oh teri ki lagdi

jinae kandh te khadke akkh maari ??

kidhhan ???

Nikster said...

This, my friend, is just spectacular. Really, really good. Once again, very, very true..loved it..I seem to be surrounded by such people....somewhere, I think we all suffer from it..in one way or the other..there is a way around it but to what extent, im not sure...

Anonymous said...

now i'll answer this question.
its obvious, isn't it - living in joy ;)

Anonymous said...

Approached your blog randomly. This post caught my attention. You write well, with strong ideas. Very interesting.

= Riddhi