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What is “true fear”

We often think of fear as an inescapable aspect of human existence. When we think about fear, it is rarely true fear that we are actually thinking of. Real fear is a visceral and powerful feeling and is of the present moment. It is designed in order to keep our biological organism safe and out of harms way and it is therefore an incredible asset to deal with dangerous situations.

Understanding “fear” and “anxiety”

The key distinctions between the two come from our understanding of time as well as their origination within ourselves. Anxiety is an abstraction from the past or the future. Fear may be seen first hand or felt with intuition, but it is required to come only in the present moment.

Thoughts on a hamster wheel

Anxiety is a product of a feedback loop in which we think about a thought. For instance, I may have the thought, “I really hope I don’t fail”. As I think more about this thought I can easily be caught in a loop of my own abstractions and as humans, we have an infinite capacity to abstract. This leads to more thoughts that make us feel bad, and you can now see the hamster wheel we tend to run on. Going back to the example of failing, the more I think about that idea, the more it snowballs and explodes.

The power of strong emotion

The danger of anxiety is that it translates into a bodily sensation and can become so pervasive that it may be mistaken as fear. Today, we are more distant from the true understanding of fear and more in tune with our abstractions. We are less in touch with our intuition and more susceptible to matters of our social conditioning. Understanding these concepts are crucial to the art of self-defense. We must defend ourselves not only against physical combatants but also against our own thoughts that may be infected by our own conditioning.


By Austin Davie

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