People and animals do indeed experience fear. The Species-Specific Defense Reactions (S.S.D.R.) is perhaps at the root of this reaction. Could the consciousness level of a life-form alter this behavior? Most of us are probably be more interested in eliminating the clouds of fear that darken our daily activities. Would a shift in our awareness alleviate the need to be afraid?
Our conscious development obviously has an influence on fear. Mind conditioning causes us to dread almost everything at some level. Please don’t misunderstand this statement. Fear was, is and will always be a part of our species; at least from a biological standpoint. Still, what about the psychological ramifications?
Fear of Being Afraid
Let’s look again at the above-mentioned term. “Species-Specific Defense Reactions (S.S.D.R.) or avoidance learning in nature is the specific tendency to avoid certain threats or stimuli; it is how animals survive in the wild.” (Wikipedia) Yet, what has the mind done with the fundamental evolutionary S.S.D.R. functions? When does fear in our existence begin? A baby will feel what the mother feels. Hence, the conditioning begins. However, it is significant to understand what has developed beyond these normal Species-Specific Defense Reactions.
Naturally, there are situations that require us to be afraid. We would not be where we are now, in terms of evolution, if we didn’t have the capacity to fear. But, does conditioned fear have anything to do with a tangible threat? No, not really. This psychological suffering is based on mind-conditioned inaccuracies. Imagine daily experiences without the tendency be anxious or afraid.
Take a look in any direction. What do you see? Fear overshadows our existence. It is a hungry, preying element in our existence. But, this has nothing to do with actual fear. There is a necessity for fear; and there is being afraid. These are not the same. We could say that there is even a fear of being afraid. The mind fuels this behavior patterns. Therefore, they are not real. This acknowledgment will be very helpful in how we deal with fear.
P.S. This is an essay that discusses fear and the development of consciousness.
Culture of Fear