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I wasn't quite sure where in the forum to put this topic, but I'd like to question the origin of the fear of life.
I think John mentions that it possibly finds its origin in the traumatic experience of being born. I am not yet sure of this being the best assumption. The fear can heal over time like a trauma does, but I think it doesn't really kick in at once like a traumatic experience does.. e.g. to me children from age 0-4 are showing very little symptoms of the fear, or at least fewer than adults, and it just seems to slowly grow on them.
Also puberty seems to me to be a period in life where issues related to the fear of life take a more prominent place in a person's mind (anxiety, resistance, dissatisfaction). This change is explained as chemical (hormone) related, and not necessarily psychological.
Are there any other ideas out there about the origin of the fear of life? Can it be a hormonal/chemical process in your brain like puberty? Can it be a socio-cultural brainwash from mimicking people around you after birth? Can it be that the experience of life as a child is indeed too overwhelming, and slowly we take on a defense mode? Can it be just an evolutionary beneficial state of mind, and the price for intelligence?
I read once that babies do not have a sense of self, and that this starts to develop around age 2 (hence the lack of memory before that time). Could this mean that it is the fear of life that starts to develop around that time, and before age 2 we were actually are awake?
Please know I am not disapproving or attacking John's explanation, it might very well remain the best one Just curious to hear a brain dump on what other theories are out there in people's perceptions! so.. shoot!
I believe it hits early in life. If you've ever been around an inconsolable crying infant.....but there probably are multiple reasons for the fear coming on. What's more interesting to me is the process of the fear leaving. How does it disentangle itself from the psyche and personality? It's like ridding a hard drive of a virus, resulting in a faster processing, more efficient computer. I'm not a computer expert, so the malware program and the resulting cleanup are a complete mystery. I know it has to do with 1s and 0s, that's about it.
Good question. I don't think that its cause can be found in a natural hormonal/chemical process but the socio-cultural brainwash that you suggest in my eyes has a profound impact on the development of the whole problem. And of course there will be hormonal changes as a result but not as a cause; as what John calls the fear of life is also a physiological response - a stress response or trauma that is a full body response not just a mental issue.
I'm still unclear concerning the origin. Does it happen as an adaptation that is now imprinted in our genetics or epigenetics because we have been into this for so long? Does it happen during the formation of the child within the mothers womb as a form synchronization to the mother? Does it happen at birth or after birth as an adaptation to society? Or do all of these factors play a role. It's still unclear to me.
As for your question whether this is an evolutionary beneficial state I would say: beneficial for who? I doubt that this has any advantage for you as an individual except to be accepted in the given society that is based on your exploitation; then it would be a indirect survival advantage as your survival would be linked to that of society. But the price you pay is huge and outweighs the advantages. But for the elite in society this would definitely be an advantage, it's their source of power if you will. I mean if you don't know yourself you will invest all your identity in the artificial "social self" and if you don't have control over your attention you can be certain that someone else will take control of it.
Great post, JaJa83.
That fear creeps, penetrates life from the start, already in the womb. It is just hard to escape, especially with an affected family and society. In addition, discrete and distinct traumatic experiences such as abandonment, neglect, abuse etc. strongly enforce it. The earlier, the stronger the effects. Babies or infants are actually more vulnerable, not more protected! Their brain is still developing, and abuse etc will leave deeper traces into the brain. It is just that the effects do not show right away, but later. This actually contributes to vulnerability as people tend to think: Oh, look at these innocent children, they are just so happy, nothing can affect them!
I think the source(or origin) of the fear of life is consciousness itself.In it's current fucked up neurotic form it depends on the inate sense of time.Without a sense of time(or imminent end of personal existence)fear would be null and void except as a self - preserving defence mechanism relative to a current threat.The environment(whether internal or external) would not hold a threatening undertone without a conscious sense of imminent demise.Without a time consciousness fear based phsychology reality only is as it is and would be lived presently (without self defense).
I think what is missed here is that John describes fear of life as a context, not so much a trauma or an experience of fear as we normally consider fear in our everyday life. It's a context, an attitude, an understanding of life so profound that it's unseen and undetected. It must necessarily be so if it happens at birth, for example. An infant cannot but see this fright as basically the essence of life as he/she enters this world. The fright subsides, perhaps very quickly, but all the development of the child's psyche now happens in this context. All subsequent strategies towards everything that happens are coloured with this. It's the new normal. It's the air he/she breathes and as such is not part of perception, but everything adapts to this air. The symptoms start to manifest as the ways to relate to world develop. Thats the only place you can detect dysfunction, int he mental strategies. The context to which they adapt cannot be observed directly.
As almost everybody else sees things similarly it's quite logical that this can go unseen for millennia. If this is the true source of human misery then we have the discovery of all times in our hands. It's lived in the myths of humankind in many forms. I don't know if we can ever know for certain what causes it, but if we have the cure, it's irrelevant but as an interesting subject of inquiry.
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