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The Fear of Life Disease and Its Cure

It seems to me that it's long past time for us to realize and acknowledge that the human family is desperately sick.

There are, of course, a few exceptions, but most of us are suffering with what we have come to see as a kind of psychological autoimmune disease that has brought us to the brink of catastrophe.

We call it a psychological autoimmune disease because:

  • It is psychological in nature.
  • It inflicts its misery in an effort to protect and immunize us from what is seen to be the great danger of being alive.
  • It produces a number of symptoms.
  • Once it is cured, the symptoms disappear.

We call this disease the fear of life, and we believe that it strikes almost all of us very early in life, possibly at birth, and establishes a context of fearfulness, anxiety, and distrust of life as the foundation of our minds.

That deformed context determines the character, structure, purpose and activity of the conglomeration of psychological mechanisms that comprise our minds and give shape to our personalities over time.

These diseased psychological structures are the source of all the mental misery of human life. They project feelings of lack and worthlessness, and they generate the strategies of anger, aggression, helplessness, self-hatred, greed, addiction, self-sacrifice, denial, and all the other means we have used trying to come to grips with the sense that life simply sucks.

It turns out that there is a surprisingly easy cure for this disease. Carla and I have discovered a simple, radical act of attention that goes to the heart of the matter. It destroys the context of fearfulness and anxiety that has contaminated and ruined our experience of life, and cures the fear of life disease.

We have found that if you will deliberately move your attention for just one moment to the faint sensation of what it feels like to be you--to what you would call "me"--and repeat that movement whenever it occurs to you to do so, that diseased context will be undone. And, as it disappears, a new and fresh context based on the actual, natural state of being human begins to take shape. The mind starts to change for the better in a process that will continue throughout the rest of your life.

Of course, the psychological structures that came into being shaped by that invisible context of fear have weight and considerable momentum, and they do not magically disappear.

They will all fall in the end; some will fall away quickly, but others have longer legs and may last for quite a while. After all, these mechanisms are only doing what they were created to do, which is to protect you from life and, to do that, they are required to hold on for dear life lest we end up at the mercy of life's imagined threats and dangers.

Because of this, the process of their dissolution takes some time, and it often gives rise to a period of distress and confusion. We call that process the recovery period, and its intensity and duration varies among individuals. Much of the work of people in our discussion forums is focused on understanding and helping those who are in the thick of the recovery and many who have gone through it themselves come to offer advice and comfort.

As the mind heals, a new, healthy psychology begins to form, free of existential fearfulness, and a sane, self-reliant relationship with the wonder and complexity of human life lived without fear begins to take hold. We become truly human. Free of the fear. Free of the madness.

The cure for this terrible disease requires no maintenance, and no deep understanding of anything. It takes nothing more than the willingness to try one time, with one breath, to get a taste of you, who are always here.

And it is to that one look that we are in service. Everything we do is in service to that, and nothing else.

And that one look requires nothing but to do it. You don't need to understand how it works, or even believe that it works to bring an end to your psychological misery, any more than you need to understand how aspirin works, or believe that aspirin will work, to have it rid you of your headache.

Does this sound too good to be true? Well, I've already given you the medicine, free of charge. So, just take it, and see if your unease with life goes away.

And when the recovery commences, remember what I told you about it. Use the difficulties of the recovery to work with and exercise your control over your attention.

Come to the forums where you can hear from people who have been through it themselves.

Pass it on.

No More Fear, No More Anxiety ebook

Learn a simple method that will rid you of the root cause of your dissatisfaction with life and the yearning for peace and fulfillment that is never fully satisfied. Download the complete free PDF ebook.