Fear Has Many Uses

Fear is a powerful evolutionary response that is hardwired into our reptilian brain. Everyone has fears that are so deep seated, so ancient, that our responses bypass the relatively slower decision making process of reason. Fear has many uses, it can keep us out of danger, out of the jaws of predators, out of harmful relationships, it is such a successful trait that it has been conserved by evolution since the mud first looked up.

Fear can also be used by others to control us. All religion, for instance, is based on fear-fear of the unknown-fear of death. In the case of religion, we are easily manipulated by anyone or any set of ideas that offers a simple panacea to these fears. Once convinced of the simple panacea, a human will do anything to protect/support the relief they now have from their existential angst. "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction" - Pascal

Fear is a powerful force, it is created by the each of us internally, it is not an uncontrollable externality. When we feel that sinking feeling in our stomach it's our primitive brain, the limbic system including the hippo-campus and amagadyla, pumping adrenaline through us in aid of our immediate 'fight or flight' mechanism. Though very difficult, with practice, a person can sometimes learn to step into their fear and ride its power. Remember the time when water was a frightening place in which to be immersed until you learned to use its buoyancy to float.

Right now i'm reading 'Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam' by Robert Dreyfuss, it's very timely. In it Dreyfuss details the history of The Muslim Brotherhood and the Great Game that spawned it. Knowledge can provide a way that allows our brain to create the connections between our primitive brain and our prefrontal cortex necessary to take that first step into our fears.

IMO the only way out of Plato's Cave is to harness our fears so as not to be controlled by them and perhaps recognize that we are all victims of the same oppressors.