Faith and Fear Part I
We must whisper ever so quietly amongst ourselves. It will not do for those with pricked ears to hear us. There are so many ears listening for dissension that they no longer know what they are listening for. We must speak up, and make a din for them to hear; something for them to hear, and then to mute. The more we are muted the more we obviously have to say worth being so silenced. As of now we are muting ourselves. We are gagged by our own hands out of fear. Fear. Fear is the most pathetic word in our language. Fear represents all that has befouled and violated the mind of the human species, and everything that we must reject if we wish to escape this plight. We are dying one and all, all at once, and inside out. All of us are infected with this disease called fear. How is this horrible malady able to penetrate our remarkable minds? There is one reason that has become abundantly and awesomely clear to me: faith.
Faith is the syringe that plunges the poison of fear into our veins. Marx insinuated that faith was the drug of choice for humanity. This is not the case; faith is the means fear has to achieving its end; that of consuming and usurping the human potential for reason and imagination. Faith is a vessel for fear, and perhaps the chief vessel. Faith teaches us nothing more then to fear our world, our bodies, our passions, and our minds. When we look out a high window our minds want to see a beautiful panorama of images and ideas; potential. What faith makes our minds see is a deadly fall from a dangerous place; a place to be avoided. Faith has for thousands of generations shuttered our windows upon the world, and closed our minds to the wonderful symphony of enlightening ideas. Instead, we are made to sit trussed and mute before an alter, and listen aptly to a cacophony of fear. When we hear a prayer we are told that we are listening to a communication with god. What we are in fact listening to is a terrified fool muttering reassurances to himself in the face of darkness. This darkness is the shadow of an imagined hulk; a Gollum created by humanity to protect itself from its own dynamic mind. Why did humanity feel the need to so strenuously protect itself from itself? This we may never know, but we can guess as to some reasons. Perhaps it is the very nature of the self-reflecting brain to question and fear its own potential? Perhaps fear is a tool used to hone the mind, to keep it sharp in a world where there may be challenges around every rock and corner? Perhaps— But I do believe that fear of reason and of thought is not innate in the minds of men.
Before I elucidate further on what use fear truly comes to, I feel that I must first discuss briefly the distinctions between two different kinds of fear. There is first instinctual “fear” (I hesitate to even call it so), the deep seated skepticism with which we view unknown or unknowable objects or sensations. This sense of “fear” is motivated by our desire to survive as an animal, and to prosper in life. When we tense or shudder at the roar of a bear, we are in essence attempting to process the sensations we are receiving so as to react to the situation. The bear is not in and of itself the object of fear so much as the potential harm to be done by the animal. This “fear” is a self-preserving agent, and largely beneficial in nature when applied to the real world and real challenges. We are able to use the information we receive to decide upon a course of action. The bear is roaring, but my eyes inform me that he is in a cage, and my memory tells me that cages keep those within from escaping to do me harm. Therefore I do not run, but I continue as if the bear where not there at all, and truly as a threat it is not there.