I saw this Georgia O’Keefe quote earlier today which resonated with my current thinking about fear and anxiety. I am trying to wrap my head and my body around the reality that its there wall to wall all the time. Its likely primordial, lurking there in our primitive brains since we were amoebas.
Evolutionary theory will identify it with our survival instincts, psychologists and neuroscientists with our fright and flight hormones, catecholamines: norepinephrine, epinephrine etc. and blah blah. There are drugs for it, everything from a glass of wine to to OxyContin.
Maybe it used to save us from the jaws of a saber toothed tiger, but why is it there when I am getting ready to write on a blank piece of paper, having a conversation with a dear friend, lover, a stranger, my class, my classmates, employees, employers... on an on ...everyone and everything.
Maybe we should be asking why we have a nose or a freckle. Living in the present moment, we have present moment fear and anxiety. Meditating on impermanence the best we can hope for is that one object of our fear will end immediately when another begins.
When we look for self compassion, we are looking for fools gold. We create a goal that is just an opportunity to fail at something else, not to defy gravity, but to deny gravity.
Maybe our normal state is to suffer, to be uncomfortable, maybe its where creativity comes from, great music, great art, inspiration, ecstasy, genius. Fighting it is futile, you will fail and hate your self for failing.
Better to be it, with it, without judgement. An itch you can’t scratch, a foul smell that won’t go away. Maybe freedom is realizing and accepting that it won’t go away, not ever, and that we can use it as a fuel rod. See it as resistance, an excuse to live without courage.
If there is no fear, there is no courage and there are no heroes, no art, no creativity. The "Uber Mensch," is a driverless car, a robot, an algorithm, inhuman, dead.