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All Fear Is The Fear Of Death

 
 
boagie
 
Reply Sun 28 Jan, 2007 05:35 pm
All fear is the fear of death.I do not think it is acknowledge as such in the psychological community,though it puzzles me why it is not given greater consideration.In this enclosure called society things which would normally be immediate to the understanding become abstract and distant when removed from the context of nature.

We have names like worry,stress,aniexty and fear which in society is suppose to have,in most cases, nothing to do with the fear of death.This is a little strange I think,for in nature there is only one fear,and that is the fear of death.It is I believe in society a matter of distorted perspective and/or distorted instinct.Here mortal danger if it is a shotgun in your face is acknowledged and the accompanying behaviour for the most part is appropriate.

Think of the simplicity of the fight or flight response to which we are still subject,this is hardwired,the emotions connected to this response are simple and direct as well.There just is not time in nature to create abstract thought about immediate danger,if any of our ancestors had such a trate,they certainly never lived to pass on their genes.Yet in society when we feel the danger in the form of worry,stress,aniexty or fear we often must ignore it because of societal conditioning,after ignoring these fight or flight signals for a time,we have a stress problem,a mental health problem or we just become somewhat strange to those around us.

All fear is the fear of death,no matter how remote or distanced it might at first seem from the reality of its object of fear.Our hero sees a distant light,a spark of light in the blanket of darkness across the valley he starts to feel uneasy.Those around him are unconcern,the light is the beginning of a forest fire which will consume them.The analogy is pretty poor but you get the idea--------yes? What are your thought on this premise?

Just an added thought,the fear of death as modivator,life and death are a polarity are they not? What moves a man to get up and go to work every day to a job he hates?I agree it is somewhat remove from the object of death,he is not really afraid of starvation,of being out in the cold but all the linkage is there.Perhaps you can come up with some examples of where that polarity of life/death can be seen to be in healthy operation.Death as a life force.The fear of death certainly defines foolish, foolish behaviour is that which only moves one closer too the danger---lets hear some other points of view before I babble myself to death.
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Refus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jan, 2007 03:50 am
@boagie,
Fear is what we fear, if we did not fear fear, we would have fear. Either way, we fear.

And yes, you're right.
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jan, 2007 08:17 am
@Refus,
Refus wrote:
Fear is what we fear, if we did not fear fear, we would have fear. Either way, we fear.

And yes, you're right.


Hi Refus!

I am just trying to wrap myself around your logic here,I don't think it holds up."Fear is what we fear"-------no,fear is an emotional physiological response to the concept of possiable death--you do not become the object of your fear,unless it eats you."If we did not fear fear we would have fear.Either way we fear".Sorry my friend I cannot make sense of this at all.There is such a thing as the psychological problem of being afraid of becomeing afraid,but it is not applicable to most situtations or individuals.I am very happy that you agree with my premise,but if you got there with this logic I am totally amazed.Check out the art of the syllogism under logic,I think that is what you intended here, but it didn't quite work.
0 Replies
 
Refus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jan, 2007 09:10 am
@boagie,
If there was nothing to fear we would not fear, hence it's logic to fear to fear, since if you do not fear to fear, you would continue to fear. It is the situation we fear, and we fear being in the situation.

Though I'm sometimes wrong.
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jan, 2007 09:28 am
@Refus,
Hi Refus!

I still don't quite get it,could you perhaps try to link it to the fear of death.I am sorry I do not follow your logic presently, but yeah,"A lone voice does not make one wrong",Dr Laura. Perhaps you could put your syllogisms into situtational form,example,in the verious forms of the fear of death.Perhaps we should try to work this logic problem out in the PM system,so as not to kill the thread.
pilgrimshost
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jan, 2007 10:54 pm
@boagie,
Right, lets get this one straight. There is an entire concoction of things going on with our bodies and minds as regards to 'fear'.

It starts like this; when the organism (us, the human) senses a danger, a risk to our survival we get a boost of adrenaline. This happens in many different ways, according to the different situations. This activates the 'fight or flight' response mechanism. Depending on our 'super-ego' and how we subconsciously deem the situation should be handled, we react accordingly. Usually running away (this can be symbolic, it could be just avoiding the 'confrontation') and of course it is perfectly normal to do so-no such thing as a coward.

Its now that the 'rogue-hormones' that were not used in the 'fight-or flight' situation get left to damage our internal organs and build up with the following missed opportunities to spend the trapped hormones on. This is what we know as stress. And it has to come out, the best way is some sort of 'molar-activity' where groups of muscles are used, and no more stress is acquired. Otherwise 'negative-displacement' occurres and the wife gets a shouting at, and the cat gets a boot.

Our 'fight or flight' response is primitive, it sees every threat as a man eating lion, we should know better! But because of ignorance and the fact we don't even know ourselves (the inner man) at all, we dont know how to deal with it! So the fear stops being about the 'man eating lion', and more about the adrenalin releases in our body which we mistake as fear, or anxiety or whatever. And it terror fies us and controls us, even when the lion turns out to be a huge fluffy kids toy of a lion!

We then have developed learned responses to fear (or the fear of stress). 'The inner opponent', the small voice in our heads that constantly feeds us with negative crap about whats going to go wrong or what we cant do becomes the object of our fear. Years of not challenging but cowering makes our 'Wills' non existent, captives of our own minds. So everytime we feel the sensation of 'fear' and the voice warning us of the terminal risk of failure, we back down under another type of defence mechanism. Yet because the root causes are not dealt with, we build up stress, using up more vital energy than we can afford to use which seriously damages our health. Not to mention our personal lives and work. This, not dealt with can lead to constant failure, a life without achievements, recked relationships, nervous breakdowns and even death.

So the mechanism originally designed to enable us to survive in the event of attack can kill us. So the important thing to remember is read the signs properly, because you have adrenalin pumping doesn't mean its fear, its energy. Take control, dont be told by the weak inner voice what to do, say to yourself ''I can handle this''. live positively, and challenge your fears.

The friend of the most extraordinary peoples that have ever lived is fear!
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 12:00 pm
@pilgrimshost,
pilgrimshost wrote:
Right, lets get this one straight. There is an entire concoction of things going on with our bodies and minds as regards to 'fear'.

Pilgrimshost,

Right, "Lets get things straight." First, the physiology and/or chemistry is not what is in quesion here.On to the topic at hand!

You are on course at first here, until your logic goes astray."So the fear stops being about the man eating lion,and more about the adrenalin releases in our body which we mistake as fear or anxiety or whatever."

So my good man,we are then afraid of our adrenalin? The physiological/chemical response is fear, but it is not fears object.Whatever that object might be,it is a mortal threat.Again in nature there is only one fear and that is the fear of death.These are the conditions under which the strategy of fight or flight became instinct.It seems obvious that the first step in the process is on a congnitive level,if you do not precieve danger,the physiology of fear will not follow.

What is it with people here not wanting to address the topic of a post directly------I don't get it! The rest of your post sounds like a wonderful self help post, but does nothing to address the topic directly.
pilgrimshost
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 10:14 pm
@boagie,
Yes our mid-brain that deals with 'fight or flight' operates on a what would seem innate process to help enable us to respond to a 'mortal' threat. But being primitive (the mid-brain region), all threats are now seen as a mortal threat, there is no other alternative.

Thus I propose that when we often acquire fears of nonsensical things such as Harmless moths, or even bits of fluff, then this isn't a 'mortal' threat at all. So the fear or adrenalin release along with our quick reactions in response to the feelings adrenalin gives causes us to run for safety from nonthreatening things, so now fear has a monopoly on its control over us. We now feel fear for all kinds of reasons such as marriage disputes, talking in public, business deadlines, confrontation with the boss, exams, personal challenges, traffic jams etc. Your case in principle is correct and it is in effect true, but today, our brains have far more complex 'components' that are still attached to 'old software'.

So now fear is not the fear it used to be as it was in the old days, and we, if we developed our will power can over power the inner opponent that still tells us that the spider crawling towards us over the seatie is going to bite our heads off!
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Jan, 2007 10:16 am
@pilgrimshost,
pilgrimshost wrote:
Yes our mid-brain that deals with 'fight or flight' operates on a what would seem innate process to help enable us to respond to a 'mortal' threat. But being primitive (the mid-brain region), all threats are now seen as a mortal threat, there is no other alternative. "

I agree,it is reasonable to assume that this characteristic would be ancient.As the brain evolved from the inside out,the R complex which is said to be the reptilian aspect,controls emotions and territoriality.As there is only one fear in nature,the fear of death,the programe was necessarily limited in complexity,no need for alternatives.

"Your case in principle is correct and it is in effect true, but today, our brains have far more complex 'components' that are still attached to 'old software'."

Actually the brain has not evolved in the last twenty thousand years.Those subtle examples of precieved dangers which are not life threatening or are indeed far removed from the reality of a mortal threat are precisely my point.In so many instances in modern society fear cannot find its object and in these instances we have learned to put into a gradiant system the broad term fear,we now have worry,anxiety,stress and irrational fears or phobias, even the terms on this list have their extentions.

All I am saying is given the reality that there is only one fear in nature that being the fear of death,it should be apparent I think that a linking back is necessary to understand these instances of fear without its object or fear without an adequate object.For no matter how remote fear seems from mortal threat,its object proper.It should always be seen as related to,linked back to,indeed it is what makes it possiable for the gradiant system we have developed in the form of worry,stress,anxiety,phobia ect. Any fear which cannot identity its object will be judged irrational, I just don't think the human mind and body are that flawed.
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Feb, 2007 09:36 am
@boagie,
Is there a psychologist in the house----------I'll settle for a student, prefered customer or resident--------I am over hereeeeeeeeeeeeee!
0 Replies
 
Passer Outre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Feb, 2007 10:11 am
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
All fear is the fear of death.I do not think it is acknowledge as such in the psychological community,though it puzzles me why it is not given greater consideration.


Hi, boagie. Actually, the fear of death is one of the fundamentally important movements within psychology--existential psychotherapy (and it's corollary existential counseling, which was waned somewhat in recent years). At root, there are:

A. The the fear of death plays a major role in our internal experience. It "haunts" us at deep levels continuously and relentlessly.

B. It begins as children and grows progressively more apparent as we age. With this, as we age, one of the fundamental developmental tasks is dealing with these fears of our finitude.

C. To cope, we build all sorts of defenses against death fear/awareness. Including denial, maladaptive syndromes, ego defenses, etc. All to ward off the fact that once I'm dead, it's just me and the dirt (not that I'd notice, of course, since I'll be dead).

D. Finally, an affective disposition toward life means dealing with this fundamental fear and dealing with it in constructive ways. Accepting my finitude and making the most of the life I have left (albeit I have no guarantees of its duration).

I could go on and on--I think existential psychotherapy is on mark. Existential psychotherapy owes a great deal to Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Camus, et al., and if you want to know more about it, Rollo May is a readable exploration of the topic.

Cheers! And here's to our impending doom!

http://www.u.arizona.edu/%7Ekopp/Mementomori.gif
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Feb, 2007 10:25 am
@Passer Outre,
Passer Outre,

I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to finally get acceptance of this premise.You say today in psychology this is an accepted premise!! Great stuff,and thank you for the related referance material,which I shall put to good use. Welcome,you certainly are a welcome addition to these forums,I am particualarly greatful today.I shall be watching for your further posts.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 07:20 am
@boagie,
What is death without the fear. There is more there in empty air.

If you ever tire of thinking about death, consider zero, or a vaccum, as each trades the same life for the same space. People are matter and the sweet something called life. If you remove the life the matter is nothing, was nothing. Life does not become. Life is or is not. Life is not nascent. It is not being or becoming, but beginning and end. The life growing up around us grows up from the root of time. We live and die. Humanity lives on. Life lives on, and to give the existence of all life meaning we have to give it some of our life. We have to feed life. Everyone should leave life a better place for the living. We really cannot give to death any more than death will take, and that is everything. Why invoke death with false praise? Why not invite life to a dance of joy?
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 07:37 am
@Passer Outre,
Passer Outre wrote:
Hi, boagie. Actually, the fear of death is one of the fundamentally important movements within psychology--existential psychotherapy (and it's corollary existential counseling, which was waned somewhat in recent years). At root, there are:

A. The the fear of death plays a major role in our internal experience. It "haunts" us at deep levels continuously and relentlessly.

B. It begins as children and grows progressively more apparent as we age. With this, as we age, one of the fundamental developmental tasks is dealing with these fears of our finitude.

C. To cope, we build all sorts of defenses against death fear/awareness. Including denial, maladaptive syndromes, ego defenses, etc. All to ward off the fact that once I'm dead, it's just me and the dirt (not that I'd notice, of course, since I'll be dead).

D. Finally, an affective disposition toward life means dealing with this fundamental fear and dealing with it in constructive ways. Accepting my finitude and making the most of the life I have left (albeit I have no guarantees of its duration).

I could go on and on--I think existential psychotherapy is on mark. Existential psychotherapy owes a great deal to Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Camus, et al., and if you want to know more about it, Rollo May is a readable exploration of the topic.

Cheers! And here's to our impending doom!

http://www.u.arizona.edu/%7Ekopp/Mementomori.gif

Wouldn't you agree that the fear is the issue; and that those who are afraid of death are afraid of life, and are, primarily, Afraid. You can't say: Brave up Brother! It's a good day (to die). Unlike savages, we are used to death staying respectfully away. But if fear is ones problem, there is no common cure. Life is far more dangerous than death. What is death compared to a hangover or a boken heart?
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 09:08 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
Wouldn't you agree that the fear is the issue; and that those who are afraid of death are afraid of life, and are, primarily, Afraid. You can't say: Brave up Brother! It's a good day (to die). Unlike savages, we are used to death staying respectfully away. But if fear is ones problem, there is no common cure. Life is far more dangerous than death. What is death compared to a hangover or a boken heart?


Hi Fido,Smile

SmileI do not believe Passer Ourtre is still with us,. You make an excellent point Fido, one vital to living a full life. It needs to be remember to through, that fear serves us as much as it is a disserves to us. Fear keeps us from doing many foolish things, it is you might say the guardian of one's life. The answer lies somewhere in the limitation of its functionality, at what point does it become your jailer. Both philosophy and religion are said to be preparations for death, one trying to figure out how it works and what it all means, the other nihilistically devalueing its present reality for a much better imaginary life in eturnity and heaven.

Smile My point in starting this thread was to establish that all of ones fears are in an obscured way the fear of death. When one is quite a distance from the fame one can no longer feel the searing pain of the flame, but perhaps an uneasy warmth or just an awareness of the flame. I am begining to feel myself that when one becomes aware of what life is, or rather what the living of life is, then one can more easily let it go. What are your thoughts, what should we be teaching our children about how to leave a rich life in the presence of this fear of death----------keeping in mind the very young are as yet in their own psychology immortal.


Smile Death don't take it personally!! boagie
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 10:04 am
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
Hi Fido,Smile

SmileI do not believe Passer Ourtre is still with us,. You make an excellent point Fido, one vital to living a full life. It needs to be remember to through, that fear serves us as much as it is a disserves to us. Fear keeps us from doing many foolish things, it is you might say the guardian of one's life. The answer lies somewhere in the limitation of its functionality, at what point does it become your jailer. Both philosophy and religion are said to be preparations for death, one trying to figure out how it works and what it all means, the other nihilistically devalueing its present reality for a much better imaginary life in eturnity and sky.

Smile My point in starting this thread was to establish that all of ones fears are in an obscured way the fear of death. When one is quite a distance from the fame one can no longer feel the searing pain of the flame, but perhaps an uneasy warmth or just an awareness of the flame. I am begining to feel myself that when one becomes aware of what life is, or rather what the living of life is, then one can more easily let it go. What are your thoughts, what should we be teaching our children about how to leave a rich life in the presence of this fear of death----------keeping in mind the very young are as yet in their own psychology immortal.


Smile Death don't take it personally!! boagie


I don't think anyone should let go of life. Every living fossil craping in a plastic bag, eating and breathing through a tube is a testament to life. Is that the fear of death? Or the love of life that makes so many claw through humiliation for it. One thing you can say about the ancient. They are not fearful of much, because fear exhausts the spirit and shuts off the lights. Fear kills people in middle age, old before their time. So I can't say all fear is the fear of death. I can say all fear is fear; and that fear is the central issue, anxiety, apprehension, and fear. Death is but a focus to the fearful. Do you fear tomorrow? Death is like tomorrow, inevitable. If you fear the inevitable your fear is inevitable because the inevitable is always before us. You fear death, you fear life, you fear everything in between, then the problem is fear. People who can't buck up some courage on reason alone don't make the impediment of spit on a side walk.
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 11:01 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
I don't think anyone should let go of life. Every living fossil craping in a plastic bag, eating and breathing through a tube is a testament to life. Is that the fear of death? Or the love of life that makes so many claw through humiliation for it. One thing you can say about the ancient. They are not fearful of much, because fear exhausts the spirit and shuts off the lights. Fear kills people in middle age, old before their time. So I can't say all fear is the fear of death. I can say all fear is fear; and that fear is the central issue, anxiety, apprehension, and fear. Death is but a focus to the fearful. Do you fear tomorrow? Death is like tomorrow, inevitable. If you fear the inevitable your fear is inevitable because the inevitable is always before us. You fear death, you fear life, you fear everything in between, then the problem is fear. People who can't buck up some courage on reason alone don't make the impediment of spit on a side walk.


Fido,Smile

:)In nature there is only one fear, and that is the fear of death, all living things are fearful, nature has that tension in the air, red in tooth and claw, in nature, you are food. My point was, that if there is really only one fear in nature, and man compounds this into a great complexity, it is still in essence its source. It is a matter of degree, a matter of the distance from the flame, anxiety and apprehension are simpy the individual warmed to the point of discomfort by the heat of the flame. There are people born with relatively little in the way of fear, many of these people get involved in high risk jobs, but these people are not the norm. There is nothing to admire about someone doing something dangerous if there is no fear involved. The hero overrides his fear and like virtue itself, courage does not exist in the absence of choice/fear.



Death don't take it personally!!:eek: boagie
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 12:28 pm
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
Fido,Smile

:)In nature there is only one fear, and that is the fear of death, all living things are fearful, nature has that tension in the air, red in tooth and claw, in nature, you are food. My point was, that if there is really only one fear in nature, and man compounds this into a great complexity, it is still in essence its source. It is a matter of degree, a matter of the distance from the flame, anxiety and apprehension are simpy the individual warmed to the point of discomfort by the heat of the flame. There are people born with relatively little in the way of fear, many of these people get involved in high risk jobs, but these people are not the norm. There is nothing to admire about someone doing something dangerous if there is no fear involved. The hero overrides his fear and like virtue itself, courage does not exist in the absence of choice/fear.

There is never no fear in doing a dangerous job, but the ability to put all things in perspective. If death is a constant, and fear is a constant then each can usually be disregarded while variable have our attention. Their effect is known; see, there's death, I'm shakin, now get back to work. Courage is always a moral choice, and if you don't have a spine there is nothing to stick the moral glue to. If you're scared; get out of the way, and don't pretend to be brave only to choke up the lines of communication when you decide to scatter.
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 12:57 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
There is never no fear in doing a dangerous job, but the ability to put all things in perspective. If death is a constant, and fear is a constant then each can usually be disregarded while variable have our attention. Their effect is known; see, there's death, I'm shakin, now get back to work. Courage is always a moral choice, and if you don't have a spine there is nothing to stick the moral glue to. If you're scared; get out of the way, and don't pretend to be brave only to choke up the lines of communication when you decide to scatter.


Fido,

:mad:Makeing personal inferances about people you are in discussion with is no alternative to the use of reason. The authority from which you speak is weak/poor, think about the topic before puffing yourself up in self admiration.:rolleyes:


I await, the second coming of the bosses son!!Wink boagie
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 04:28 pm
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
Fido,

:mad:Makeing personal inferances about people you are in discussion with is no alternative to the use of reason. The authority from which you speak is weak/poor, think about the topic before puffing yourself up in self admiration.:rolleyes:


I await, the second coming of the bosses son!!Wink boagie

I hope you don't think I meant You when I said you. I mean anyone. I don't care if a person is a hundred percent yard bird. Courage is essential. Back bone is essential to any moral choice. The first thing any one must bear is consequences, and what ever one does one has to accept that there will be consequences. That is the point of the examined life. It is not to know what we should do, but so we can be certain of who is making the choice. There is a story in Boswell's life of Johnson where Johnson's mother asked him if he were going to be the sort to take the wall side of the walk, or the open side, my paraphrase. I don't know what it means, but I guess a man who is certain of his moral self takes the wall knowing full well he cannot retreat, and like the wall must stand for something. So if you pass some one as you walk by a wall, do you fear being driven against it, and do you try to keep your moral options open with room to manuver? No man fears death before dishonor. Men, which is to say adult human beings will not be driven by their fear into being puny, or vindictive, or cowardly. They face their fears, and deal with them; and all nothings like death that cannot be helped are soon filed away.
 

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