Fear and Reason (Part 4 of 4)

Missed out the previous post? Read them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

 

Continuation:

When a belief or a hallucination refuses to permit you to hear the warning of nerves and muscles, nature will work disaster inevitably. Let us stand for the larger liberty.

It is joyously free to take advantage of everything nature may offer for true well-being. There is a partial liberty which tries to realize itself by denying various realities as real. There is a higher liberty which really realizes itself by conceding such realities as real. By using or disusing them as occasion may require in the interest of the self at its best.

True wisdom

  1. Take advantage of everything which evidently promises good to the self, without regard to this or that theory.
  2. Freely to use all things, material or immaterial, reasonable or spiritual.
  3. Embrace your science or your method
  4. Ignore your bondage to philosophy or to consistency.

So I say that to normal health the weary-sense is a rational command to replenish exhausted nerves and muscles.

Pain

It is not liberty, it is not healthful, to declare, “There is no pain!” Pain does exist, whatever you affirm, and your affirmation that it does not is proof that it does exist. For why and how declare the non-existence of that which actually is non-existent?

But if you say, “As a matter of fact I have pain, but I am earnestly striving to ignore it. To cultivate thought-health so that the cause of pain may be removed,” that is sane and beautiful.

This is the commendable attitude of the Bible character who cried: “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”

To undertake swamping pain with a cloud of psychological fog is to turn anarchist against nature. By pain nature informs the individual that he is somewhere out of order. This warning is normal.

The feeling becomes abnormal in the mind when imagination twangs the nerves with reiterated irritation. It will confused by the discord and the psychic chaos, cowers and shivers with fear.

Fear does exists

I do not say there is no such thing as fear. Fear does exist. But it exists in your life by your permission only, not because it is needful as a warning against “evil.”

Fear is induced by unduly magnifying actual danger, or by conjuring up fictitious dangers through excessive and misdirected psychical reactions. This also may be taken as a signal of danger, but it is a falsely-intentioned witness.

It is not needed, and is hostile to the individual because it threatens self-control. It also absorbs life’s forces in useless and destructive work when they ought to be engaged in creating values.

 

— end —

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