Sunday, September 6, 2009

Living With Fear

Living With Fear

September 6, 2009

My last Blog on why so many people deny the existence of things like UFOs and other paranormal phenomena really must have struck a chord with a lot of people. I received more responses to this than any other blog I’ve written (and some have gotten a lot of response).

I have a lady cousin who phrased it very simply: Fear is debilitating. It’s the reason we don’t do many of the things we would like to do…like sky-diving or deep-sea scuba diving…or why many teen-age boys and girls are afraid to yield to their burgeoning hormones…fear of pregnancy…fear of entering a forced marriage…fear of being snubbed by your peers…fear of not being accepted, fear of God’s wrath, etc., etc., etc. I could go on endlessly.

I think President Franklin Roosevelt said it all when talking to this nation about the Great Depression: “The only thing we have to fear…is ‘fear’ itself.” And he was so right! Our present economic recession could and should have ended long ago but the fear of things worsening sent many home and business owners into a panic and they started reducing the prices on everything… which, of course, sent prices spiraling further downward, made employers cut back on their staffs and production, etc.

There can be some positive aspects to fear: We don’t steal from someone else because of the fear of being caught and the fear of being sent to prison. There is always a significant amount of fear present when you violate any law.

The simple act of driving a car: Fear is everywhere! We watch other vehicles for fear that they will hit us; when we drive over the speed limit or don’t come to a complete stop at a stop-sign, we look around for fear that a cop will give us a ticket; we watch every other vehicle on the road suspiciously for fear they will take some sudden, unexpected, action. Fear is everywhere.

Probably the singularly biggest fear that people have is “fear of the unknown”. What will really happen when we die? What will life be like if we are permanently injured? What will happen to us in our old age if someone steals our identity and empties our bank accounts? Is there really a Heaven and Hell and which one will I go to when I die? To quote Hamlet, “…thus would we rather bear those ills we have than go to others we know not of…”

It was fear that kept mankind from inventing fire for centuries….and once it was invented, it brought great advancement to civilization…but it also brought with it a whole new set of fears. The same can be said of the invention of the wheel, of nuclear energy or heavier-than-air flying machines.

Certainly the same thing is true about UFOs and other paranormal things. If we get to the point (and it will happen) that the world proclaims the reality of these mysterious things, it will probably bring forth a great advancement to civilization and it will bring with it a whole new set of fears. Only the brave will venture forth to see what they really are, what they want and how they may become an asset to life here on Earth. Most people tend to shoot-first and ask questions later. Just look at how the fear of a free Black man created things like the Ku Klux Klan, the lynching and the unfair treatment of Blacks…until we finally came to the realization that the Black man was the same as the White man with a darker skin color.

If, as so many allege, UFOs are manned by aliens from somewhere else, you can bet that we will treat them the same way: shoot first, ask questions later. We fear the unknown. We have become so smug and accustomed to the little that we know that anything we don’t know looms like a monster and must be feared.

If some astronomer says that a 20-mile wide planetoid is going to collide with the Earth, panic sets in around the world! Not because we know how it will affect the Earth…but because we don’t know. Fear of the unknown!

When it comes to ghosts, some movie-makers and science fiction writers have pictured them as monsters with all sorts of incredible powers to harm us. So we fear ghosts. We enter a cemetery at night with our fears in control of our minds. Every rustle of leaves in the wind sparks an adrenalin rush in our stomachs. Every shadow caused by the movement of a cloud in the sky fills us with panic. So, when you actually come face-to-face with a ghost, you are paralyzed with fear. Of what? Of the unknown, of course. We will often encounter ghosts in our dreams…but in our dreams they are rarely fearful. It’s like they are alive. And, that’s how it would be if you ever did come face-to-face with a ghost.

Of course, the majority of the population still lives in denial. Despite millions upon millions of verified ghost stories (none of which have ever shown themselves to be harmful to the living), people living in denial will be scared-stiff. Those of us who have accepted the reality of ghosts (even if only by the weight of numbers) will have that fear replaced by curiosity…and maybe we can learn something about the “hereafter”. But those that live in denial can never learn…the fear prevents them from learning.

The same thing is true about UFOs, genuine psychics, astral projection, faith healing and a myriad of other paranormal topics. Those in denial will never learn.

Virtually all paranormal things exist. That’s how the study of the paranormal got started. People experienced things they couldn’t explain. Those who were brave began to study these happenings without fear, while the bulk of our population looked down on the brave and sneered… because most people were (and are) living in denial. Much in the same way everyone sneered at Madam Curie when she believed there was an important element called “radium” that had never been seen by anyone. In fact, most paranormal things have been documented thousands (if not millions) of times more than Madam Curie’s “radium”…but they are still sneered at by those in denial.

As my cousin said: “Fear is debilitating”. It prevents learning and prevents civilization from advancing.

There is much, much more to learn about the world of science, the paranormal world and the everyday world in which we live. Using “caution” is always a good thing. But don’t be so cautious that you allow fear to control what you may find. Acting on the basis of “fear” will rarely benefit anyone.

Don’t fear writing to me at I don’t bite, and I do respond to all e-mails.

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