Wisdom and Fear
October seemed like a good month to talk about the topic of fear with Halloween and all the preparations gone at least in the US and other Western cultures. This is the month that you see all the movies on TV or about horror films and scary things and I. Thought I would be fun to talk about the concept of fear from the Buddhist perspective. And I think this is a fascinating topic to explore because all of us experience fear fear is a universal thing. We all experience it and is completely natural like all other emotions fears just an emotion. There are however learned fears and there are hardwired fears I recently read an article that talked about how. For, example, the the fear that we experience a loud noises. That's something that's hardwired in us that we don't necessarily learn that it's from day one that we fear loud noises. Also, the fear of falling seems to be one of those fears that is hardwired in US and I'm sure there are others. But for the discussion of fear I think first and foremost, it's hopeful to frame our fears within the Lens of skillful fears and unskillful fears. The Buddha taught that some see something to fear where there is nothing to fear and some see nothing to fear where there is something to fear. And this is more or less along the lines of what I WANNA talk about with this topic of fear. Useful fear may prepare us to take skillful action while unuseful fear only leads to unskillful action, and that's how I like framing. That's high like thinking about my own fears. For example, a skillful fear would be avoiding touching a poisonous snake while skillful fear may be fearing the coiled up hoes in the dark shed because I think it's a snake but an actuality, it's only coiled up hose. So that's kind of along the lines of of the Buddhist perspective of fear I'm far less concerned with talking about the fear that we think of when we think of fear of the dark fear of heights. No, I'm much more interested in talking about fears like the fear of rejection that may cause us to live skillfully a good cause us to live an. Entire life where we're not fully in harmony with our authentic selves with how we actually think and feel because if I fear, for example, the judgment of others I may be experiencing unskillful actions in my life living life a certain way to avoid the fear of judgment of others that may be an unskillful fear So that's what I want to talk about The when we talk about fear, we think of the ultimate fear, right perhaps the fear of death, the fear of separation from our loved ones the fear that we experience from a uncertainty and the unknown those are big concepts think about and I think they're good to think about. But for practical purposes, I think it's more important to think of the fears that affect our day to day lives and a lot of the experiences that were having in our day to day lives. And for me, it's important to explore. Where does my fear come from? You've heard me mentioned before in this podcast, the notion of the Buddhist teaching of craving, which is essentially what will suffering that the moment. I want things to be other than how they are suffering is what arises or discontent dissatisfaction anguish. However, you WanNa word that. But that feeling that arises when I want something to be other than how it is seems to be very intricately connected to this notion of fear I'm fearing how something is because it's not matching how I think it should be and that's one of the ideas that is talked about and Buddhism on the topic of fear, and again it's it's wanting things to be other than how they are and. I think what makes this worse as far as fear goes is that were experiencing a new layer of fear.