The Antithesis of Fear

The illusion of fear cannot be broken because fear is not an illusion. I believe fear is the one true emotion we can all experience without delusion. Science, I read once, has suggested that depressed people have a clearer, more realistic view of the world we live in; that happiness itself is not merely an emotion, but a mask, a lens that obscures the truth around us and lets us soften the corners of these sharp edges in our minds.

When we feel an absence of fear, it is only the alleviation of that fear that we are experiencing. When we feel fearless, we have not known bravery or courage, but have not yet seen a reason to challenge ourselves, to cause that fear plagued upon us each differently to rear its head and demand our attention.

But perhaps there is an antithesis to all of this. Perhaps fear, as the other end of an extreme spectrum, is not itself the only true emotion, but the only one within which our human minds can identify.

There is nothing more cutting to the soul than complete honesty. It is worse than any sword, for it pierces and severs, and worse even than your average kitchenware, for not only it slices and dices, it minces and purees, too, turns what at first seems like a solid self into a mess of liquid feeling and formless thought. It is easy to lie, to fabricate, to ensnare what we fear in place of allowing ourselves to glimpse that monster. Honesty is harder.

As is often the case when words won’t pave my way, I turn to poetry. Its inherent call for a general lack of structure allows me to frame what otherwise I cannot capture in a single box, not even in a small collection of thought, not even in a journal so tightly woven with the pages of my own personal history.

“Three Years” (December 2008)

I thought of you again tonight
when I wrote another poem
(you made me write
more poems
than anyone else)
(you make me want to write
more poems
than anyone else)
I saw you with an apple
like that day at school
you were beautiful then
(you still are
but now you’re not my friend)
It’s been three years
three long years too many
and I’m still not over you
I have to wonder
if I was ever on you
to get over you
or if
you’ve become the personification
of my idealization
I don’t like that line break
two—now three—lines back
it takes a scenario
—an if—
and turns it into fact.

My first true love–that man who made me feel in love first, a feat he never did reciprocate–introduced me to a breed of confusion that was careless and deep. Perhaps it was not my love, but my fear that I had found so inspiring, this word-lust that had kept my pen pouring on paper so many times and then some more. What reminded me of this poem tonight, however, was not him, not him at all, but those last fives lines.

I don’t like that line break
two–now three–lines back
it takes a scenario
–an if–
and turns it into fact

When we can plainly state that which we fear most, we see that fear in its deepest shade of purity. It is at once amazing and terrible. Did you know that awesome and awful share the same root of awe? It is this awe that paralyzes us in the midst of our deepest darkest fears. I wrote about two weeks back that I have three fears: the deep dark depths of the soul, the faceless future forming before us, and driving. Driving I can conquer, but the rest I can never face.

While I was still crawling around in the closet, I attended a showing of the Lifetime movie Girl, Positive. About, you can take threes guesses if you need more than one, a high school girl who gets diagnosed HIV+ after having unprotected sex with a guy who used unsafe needles. One of her friends is gay and he makes some comment about HIV. I forget what he said, but I think it echoes what we all say: It won’t happen to me.

Only a few minutes before I began writing this, I watched the docudrama called Pedro. About, you can take three more guesses if you need more than one, the Real World cast member who had AIDS and passed away in 1994. How far we’ve come in the years since then, and how far we still have to go. At one point his sister is telling him that they’ll find a cure for this, and I rent my clothes and cried out. This was seventeen years ago! We still haven’t done it.

The truth is, for any gay man, HIV is terrifying. We all say, It won’t happen to me. Then under my breath I add, Please, God, don’t let it happen to me.

Safe practices and openness, communication and information can easily mask this fear that bubbles up from those deep dark depths I spoke of, but nothing can guard against that imposing shape of the faceless future forming before us. Together they create a sort of cocoon around everything: They are that which is deepest within, and that which is furthest without. In this middle ground we can look sideways and channel into something innocent–like driving–all the apprehension we have in looking either way, so we forget them. We become ignorant. Ignorance is bliss. But if we gander a peek, if our gaze slips for a second sideways, we are reminded how awe-ful they really are.

This antithesis, if it is out there, I would like to find it. It cannot be anything we know, for what we do know is all an apparition of fear, a reflection of fear, an embodiment or reincarnation or lingering shadow of fear. This antithesis would be something completely unknown before all of us. A revelation. A burning fire. Those flames of heaven that stole away Elijah and Serakh. Those flames that form the body of God himself.

This antithesis, if it is out there, I would like to know.


3 thoughts on “The Antithesis of Fear

  1. I found this interesting as I have recently been evaluating what the emotion of fear really is. & while this may not relate exactly to what you are saying, I have been testing this theory with myself and it seems to ring true for me.

    In some teachings that I have been studying intensely, they say (Abraham Hicks) that we experience negative emotion, such as fear, when we believe anything, or give attention to anything, that is not in line with what our Inner Being, or Higher Self, knows to be true, and in that moment we are negatively creating. So in other words, when fear overtakes us, that is guidance from our Inner Being who knows all and can evaluate the situation as a whole, for us to change our point of focus,

    This of course goes into the Law of Attraction,and in an attraction based universe there is no such thing as ‘no’, so by giving our attention to something, we are inviting it into our experience.

    For example, if a person is feeling fear over finances, that is their Inner Being letting them know that in order to attain the wealth that they desire, they must change their point of attraction (instead of focusing on lack, focus on abundance). And while this may in fact look to the world as denial of reality, if the law of attraction works, and a person can change their point of attraction from something that makes them fearful, to experiencing the emotion of relief and joy, then it will not be long before their point of focus (such as abundance) is drawn into their life.

    As for me, a quick example on an emotional level was this evening, when I saw a post that this guy I am talking to made on facebook, I felt an instant fear in my stomach ‘Oh no, maybe he is talking about me’. Had I not known that fear is the indicator that I am believing/focusing on something that isn’t true or doesn’t line up with my higher self, I may have let worry consume me… a few hours later I confirmed that the post was not about me and that my inner being, which knew this from the beginning, was letting me know so that I would not worry myself to death.

    How this could fit into the fear of AIDS etc., which is a legitimate fear, I have 2 theories: the LOA says that nothing can come into our experience unless we give our attention to it through thought. So, if you think ‘Please God don’t let that happen to me’, that is inviting it in. The second part of that is that our higher being knows that we are eternal creatures, and we really have eternal abundance, and disease, sickness, nor even death can separate us from all-that-really-is, and that we will continue long past this one life existence, so to think that AIDS could be the end of us is a lie in the grand scheme of things.

    Your post are always beautifully written Darren, and I hope you don’t mind me adding thoughts to this post as it is 5am and I can’t sleep.

    Love & light my beautiful friend :)

  2. I just noticed that I jumped from one type of example to another… as far as the finances thing… like attracts like, so if a person feels poor they cannot attract wealth, if a person feels ugly they cannot attract beauty, if a person feels fat they cannot attract thin, if a person feels sick they cannot attract health -for it defies the law, it can be no other way.

  3. Tiffany, thank you so much for replying! Your thoughts, as they always seem to be, were fascinating, and I appreciate your adding them here; and don’t worry about the time, it was only a few hours after I posted this anyways, now that I look at it.

    I think that’s a really interesting way of looking at fear, that it’s a signal to alert us to something that goes against our inner being. However, I personally must feel otherwise, as many things that I have felt afraid of, when faced, have brought me much more happiness and fulfillment, especially personal growth, than I ever would have been able to achieve if I had caved into that fear and ran from it.

    Have you read my post “Philosophies of the Wolf”? I think you would find it incredibly enjoyable as I allude to the Law of Attraction quite a bit in it. It’s one of my longer posts, but I feel it’s worth it.

    Thanks again!

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