Fear in human beings may occur in response to a specific immediate danger. This is rational fear, such as if a wild animal is attacking you.
Or fear can arise in anticipation or expectation of a future threat perceived as a risk to body or life. This is because what we think creates our reality. So fear can be rational / appropriate or irrational (Phobia) / inappropriate.
Spiritual fear is not about specific immediate danger, and is typically based on a belief. A classic example of such a fear is the fear of eternal punishment, which is named hell, hades and many other names. In the case of belief based fear, the mind/belief is concerned about what might happen, without facts to support it. A belief that a tsunami will destroy your family is false mind/belief if for example you live hundreds of miles from the ocean.
“If you walk down the street and see someone you have a choice.
That person is either the ‘other ‘and you’re fearful of them, or that person is an extension of your family and that makes you at home in that world and not fearful. “
The factors responsible for bringing fear in our lives are not always related to our own actions. Fear is a mixture of complex emotions that arises due to the situations around us. It can lead to fearfulness…
“I would point to irrational fear as fearfulness, catastrophizing about the future as a means to avoid action. Such a process is another belief-based fear leading to self-created suffering; one of the major difficulties here is that the fear actually prevents the ability to identify and change the belief.
By fearfulness, I mean a passive avoidance of life’s issues, usually manifest as anxiety and lack of trust of what life offers.”
Dave MacQuarrie, MD PhD. Acedia: The Darkness Within
“A lot of people live in fear because they haven’t figured out how you’re going to react when faced with a certain set of circumstances. I’ve come to terms with this by looking deeply into whatever makes me fearful – what are the key elements that get the hairs up on the back of my neck – and then figuring out what I can do about it.”
Chris Hadfield – Canadian astronaut
Full Glossary Index