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President Franklin Roosevelt famously asserted, "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."
Fear, like all other emotions, is basically information . It offers us knowledge and understanding—if we choose to accept it.
And there are only five basic fears , out of which almost all of our other so-called fears are manufactured. These are:
Some other emotions we know by various popular names are just aliases for these primary fears. If you track them down to their most basic levels, the basic fears show through. Jealousy , for example, is an expression of the fear of separation, or devaluation: "She'll value him more than she values me." At its extreme, it can express the fear of ego-death: "I'll be a worthless person." Envy works the same way.
Some of our fears, of course, have basic survival value. Others, however, are learned reflexes that can be weakened or re-learned.
When we let go of our notion of fear as the welling up of evil forces within us—the Freudian motif—and begin to see fear and its companion emotions as information , we can think about them consciously.
And the more clearly and calmly we can articulate the origins of the fear, the less our fears will frighten us and control us.
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I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
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