Trey Thompson

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What do you think of fear? Do we need? Can you take it out of your life?

i believe fear is useless. I believe it slows down your responses to situations lowers confidence, and fogs up the logic of situations.
When you're faced with a threat and you call Mr. Fear do you think he'll help you better than Mr. Willpower.
And just because you don't have fear doesn't you're Mr. Big Stuff,
or Mr. Hotshot. It means you can live more peacefully, not thinking about all the bad things that can happen to you and get ready for them. I don't feed into fear, I repel it.

  • Mar 16 2013: I believe that the fear is evolutionary justified. It have emerged as the responce that allowed our ancestors to avoid the things and situations that could be dangerous and deadly. It still serves today to prevent most of us from taking a pointless risk or harming ourselves.
    But the thing is that we can overcome it. And the other species can't. So, we can go far beyond the borders of our nature and self-preservation instinct and face the things we fear... And overcome them.
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      Gail .

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      Mar 16 2013: Very well put.
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      Mar 16 2013: Wow. I love your observation. You may have changed my thinking.
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      Mar 17 2013: Hello Kateryna, TED Lover and Trey:>)
      I agree that fear is a response that gives us information regarding how to avoid situations that could be dangerous, and it still serves us by providing information which may prevent us from taking pointless risks. I also believe that fear is very connected to instinct/intuition.

      We can listen to the information fear provides, make decisions or choices, then let go of the fear. I believe it can slow down responses, lower confidence, and fog logical thinking WHEN/IF we get attached to the fear (feeding fear, as you said Trey), and allow fear to rule our lives. Fear, like other feelings and emotions, can flow through us, providing information that is helpful in the life adventure. When we get "stuck" in the fear, it is not as useful.
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    Mar 22 2013: There are many people who have a strongly vested interest in selling fear to as many of us as is the most effective way to make us controllable. As others have stated, there are few natural fears and many culturally induced ones. I say heed well the difference and distrust persons who too often counsel you to be fearful.
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    Mar 20 2013: Fear is a sign/smyptom. Where fear exist, control is just around the corner. Fear arise when we try to be in control and certain about a thing. Is fear necessary? Can you take it out of your life? Yes fear is necessary to alert you when you crave for certainty and surety. Yes fear can be out of our lives if we surrender fully and have no expectations. The question is, is it possible to surrender and embrace the outcome irrespective of our expectations?
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      Mar 22 2013: Mary,
      I agree that fear is a sign, and fear tactics are often used to control. I also agree that fear is a natural part of our "alert" system....intuition/instinct. That being said, is it a good idea to try to take fear out of our lives completely? Or do you think/feel we can be aware of the "alert" system, and not get "stuck" in the fear? Personally, I am grateful for the alert system/instinct/intuition, and I believe when we are aware of what is causing the fear, that part of it is beneficial to us.
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      Mar 17 2013: Yeah interesting. I do believe if your perception of danger is delusional, you have a mental problem.
  • Mar 17 2013: Okay - maybe enjoyable was a bit strong. I was more concerned with making life longer. Good point.
  • Mar 16 2013: Fear is a natural part of our evolution. I'll bet if you suddenly discovered you were about to step on a rattlesnake, the adrenaline rush and flight / fight instincts of your reptilian brain stem would overwhelm any logic or coolness you might wish you had. At least until you'd gotten out of the way of the rattler's strike range. But, there are many other fears that hamper our progress; to that I would agree. Some people, by . . . "thinking about all the bad things that can happen . . . " wind up paralyzed and unable to do anything; paralysis by analysis. Government is famous for that, so I do think you have a point that needs development.
  • Mar 19 2013: HI Trey.
    I read that humans are born with only two fears.
    One is fear of loud noises and the other is fear of falling.
    If this still remains true then we are only born with two, not all these others that we develop, learn or are taught.
    Teaching fear to another many times can be the fear of the one doing the teaching and that can have both beneficial and harmful effects.
    A person who has learned about their own fears, understands them and knows how to face them and walk through them is probably more qualified to teach a younger person about that particular fear.
    Since we learn more than we are born with, we have to learn to face them and walk through them just as we would falling and loud noises.
    To me, a much more important question, is why do we teach fear?
    I think it stems somewhat from either not really knowing what it is we believe in or not really trusting it.
    The path I found myself on required "letting go of all old ideas absolutely", no matter what they are and whatever it is I believe in to trust it with complete abandon.
    Some of what you say sounds true and I have found Mr. Tolle to be 100% correct in what he says.
    If one can do this, they will of course have their sanity questioned, they might be shunned by others and told they're crazy but fear is not something we can destroy but it is something we can beat or defeat each time it rises up in front of us, either physically or psychically.
    Now let's say one believes there is One who has all power and that one is God but finds themselves afraid. What could this mean? Could it mean they now believe in more than one God or power? I think so.
    The biggest thing I have found is the fear of fear. Fearing fear rather than realizing that fear by itself can do nothing.
    But we have senses and an animal that doesn't trust its senses will die and rather quickly too.
    So, trusting our senses is something we have to learn and that means learning to trust what fear is telling us and trusting in how we respond to it.
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    Mar 18 2013: We fear the uncertain, the unknown, the unexpected, the unfamiliar.
    With this in mind, knowledge and experience seem like a good antidote to fear.
    But we need to overcome fear to gain knowledge and experience.
    So, all we need to do is to take a deep breath and make a small step forward.
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      Mar 22 2013: Arkady,
      Do we need to "overcome" fear? Or would it be more beneficial to understand it and how it works? With knowledge and experience, fear/instinct/intuition can give us information. We can then choose how to use the information.
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        Mar 22 2013: When we begin understanding the unknown and uncertain, it becomes known and predictable. That's perhaps what "overcoming fear" means.
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          Mar 22 2013: OK Arkady....if that is what it means to you, I respect your choice:>)

          Overcome: "to get the better of; overpower; overwhelm; to gain superiority; win"

          I don't want to do any of that with fear. I choose to understand it and use it to the best of my ability, because I feel that it is a very natural part of being human. That being said, I do not feel it is natural to hold onto fear and/or live from a place of fear.
  • Mar 17 2013: Tolle Part 2

    E20 don't seek to become free of desire or "achieve" enlightenment. Become present. Be there as the observer of the mind. Instead of quoting the Buddha, be the Buddha, be "the awakened one," which is what the word buddha means. As long as I am/ (you are) mind, I am those cravings, those needs, wants, attachments, and aversions, and apart from them there is no "I" except as a mere possibility, an unfulfilled potential, a seed that has not yet sprouted. In that state, even my desire to become free or enlightened is just another craving for fulfillment or completion in the future.

    E21 Pain is inevitable as long as you are identified with your mind, which is to say as long as you are unconscious, spiritually speaking. I am talking here primarily of emotional pain, which is also the main cause of physical pain and physical disease. Resentment, hatred, self-pity, guilt, anger, depression, jealousy, and so on, even the slightest irritation, are all forms of pain. And every pleasure or emotional high contains within itself the seed of pain: its inseparable opposite, which will manifest in time.
  • Mar 17 2013: Hi Lindsay how are You

    In deed "repel"-ing fear only makes the original 10 time stronger

    Here is a Tolle collection which might clear the understanding of fear

    TPON Exercises (Second Section)

    E15 to E21 ( FEAR / EMOTION / PAIN )
    ( cut straight out of The Power of Now )

    From page 29 the middle of Chapter 1 on ET adds the topic of “Positive Emotions” to his discussion of Fear / Emotions / Pain

    E15 Re: NON-Dual “Emotions “ = Love / Joy / Peace are not Emotions

    Love, joy, and peace cannot flourish until you have freed yourself from mind dominance. They lie beyond the emotions, on a much deeper level. Love, joy, and peace are deep states of Being or rather three aspects of the state of inner connectedness with Being. As such, they have no opposite.

    E16 So you need to become fully conscious of your emotions and be able to feel them before you can feel that which lies beyond them.
    Glimpses of love and joy or brief moments of deep peace are possible whenever a gap occurs in the stream of thought.
    For most people, such gaps happen rarely and only accidentally, in moments when the mind is rendered "speechless," sometimes triggered by great beauty, extreme physical exertion, or even great danger. Suddenly, there is inner stillness. And within that stillness there is a subtle but intense joy, there is love, there is peace.

    E 17 Emotions, on the other hand, being part of the dualistic mind, are subject to the law of opposites. This simply means that you cannot have good without bad. So in the unenlightened, mind-identified condition, what is sometimes wrongly called joy is the usually short-lived pleasure side of the continuously alternating pain/pleasure cycle. Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within.

    E 18 Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within.

    E19 Even when the sky is heavily overcast, the sun hasn't disappeared. It's still there on the other side of the clouds.
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    Mar 17 2013: Look up our last conversation on this here at Ted. A fascinating read and lead to such contention and anger that the TED censors were very very very busy. I won't try to summarize it or characterize it except to say there were two competing points of that fear is egoic and disempowering..something too be overcome..the other that fear is somehow a valid and intrinsic part of identity.
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    Mar 17 2013: I'm torn. Part of me thinks there is legitimate and illegitimate fear. Then part thinks that if someone feels fear, it's always rational to some degree. I suppose one often has to do things in spite of fear to have an interesting life.
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      Mar 17 2013: Oh yes. If I knew in my I were going to die soon and I would never see my mother again, I would risk my life to see her one last even through fear.
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      Mar 17 2013: Greg and Trey,
      Could it be that what you call "legitimate" fear is instinctive warning signals, which guide us toward taking care of ourselves? And perhaps what you call "illegitimate" fear, is fear that we create by focusing and giving energy to fear based thoughts?

      There is a good book called..."Feel the Fear and do it anyway", by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D
      "Dynamic techniques for turning fear, indecision and anger into power, action, and love"
      • Mar 17 2013: Ignorance and/or lack of experience must account for significant amounts of fear, in general. Whether it's fear of flying, or fear of Muslims; fear that arises from having a gun shoved in your face, or fear from hiking a narrow path along the edge of a precipice; this discussion triggers two thoughts:
        1. If we can somehow separate out the above sources of fear, and categorize them as a function of lack of experience or knowledge, what's left? (We probably all know or can think of people who would like remain mostly unafraid in any of the above situations - including in some cases ourselves).
        2. Maybe what's left is this idea of legitimate fear - the kind that is often imposed on us by nature, or by other people - that has a very real possibilty of causing actual harm, intentional or otherwise, regardless of our previous life experience. Even then, hard to know what those are - just when you think you've identified one, someone pops up and says, "oh, yes, I've seen that/dealt with that a dozen times - no big deal."

        Huh. So is the source of all fear really ever and only just us, and purely a function of our lack of knowledge and/or experience??? Hmmmm....
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          Mar 22 2013: I agree Tom, that lack of experience and knowledge can often account for fear, and I believe we CAN identify the sources of fear when we are aware of our "self". I believe that the fear which is our alert system/instinct/intuition is beneficial. When we are not clear about our fear, and the reality of our fear, it can lead to a situation where it builds on itself.....the feeling of fear often causes more fear....the only thing to fear, is fear itself!

          If we have the knowledge, experience, and know ourselves, we can determine how to use the feeling of fear in a beneficial way....either to take steps to change a situation which may in reality be dangerous for us, or it may be simply an opportunity to learn about our "self" (in the case where we may be feeling fear which is not consistant with reality).
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      Mar 17 2013: There is no reason to be "torn" on this question. I believe, all emotions in general and fear in particular are irrational (subconscious). It takes time to become aware of something and make a conscious decision. So, we have reactions built into our nervous system that work way faster than consciousness. We feel first and think later. I don't have data to prove it, but, for some reason, I have no doubt that neuroscience can confirm this.

      What you call a "rational" or "legitimate" fear is an irrational fear that we later justify with reason. "Illegitimate fear" is fear that we cannot justify with reason. There is a trick, however. Hume said, "Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them." So, we tend to rationalize whatever emotions we have anyway.
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    Mar 17 2013: You may be right. However, back when Mr. Willpower was not around, Mr. Fear served for survival. When you are suddenly attacked by a predator, Mr. Fear instantly injects a dose of adrenalin into your blood, boosts physical performance of your muscles and increases chances of survival before you are even aware of what's going on. It still serves the same purpose.

    Outside this situation, yes - needless worry and undue anxiety are, very much, counterproductive.
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      Mar 17 2013: Hmm, fear like a drug. that's interesting. Is it possible to induce adrenaline on my own accord anytime I want, without having to be afraid and without any outside forces?
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        Mar 17 2013: This is what roller coasters are for.

        I've heard, yoga masters can even stop their heart at will. Controlling endocrine system might be cool. Who knows what can be achieved with those "religious" practices despised by science. But, perhaps, there is a reason why we normally cannot do that. The world is crazy enough as it is :-).
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        Mar 22 2013: Not so crazy Trey.....really very interesting when we understand it!
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      Mar 22 2013: Arkady and Trey,
      Yes, I believe we can induce adrenaline without outside forces. I did it as an actor for years. However, with the process of putting ourselves in a situation, even with imagination, the adrenaline rush, and the experience may be as intense as if we are actually experiencing the situation in reality. That is why, when people live with a sense of fear, it is very real to them even if what they are afraid of is not reality.....make any sense?

      It is, as you say Arkady....needless worry and undue anxiety which are counterproductive, and that is what I call getting "stuck" in the fear.
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    Mar 17 2013: Hi Trey, What is fear to you exactly?
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      Mar 17 2013: To me fear stops you from doing certain things. People fear relationships, new places, and other new experiences. I believe fear puts a gap between you and your goal. But without fear people believe you are not human or there is something wrong with you. When you're in certain situations you can experience so much that you might lose your sense of fear because the demands of life can sometimes call you to be bsllsy. For me, it feels like I've done so much of this and experienced so many difficult things that I feel that life just calls for action without fear. I think action first, fear later.

      Oh and also a funny thing as a side note. I have come to be very spiritual. In life I know you must fear something, at least one thing, that makes you human. So I left that fear to God. The great and powerful. I fear something that I may never see, so I guess things I encounter on a regular basis don't scare me so much because there seems to be a reason for every living creature, every dangerous moment.
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        Mar 17 2013: Fear has to do with our sense of safety and security. Many people feel uncomfortable without these feelings. But fear and desire for safety and security limit our freedom as you pointed out - we are afraid to go places and do things, we let TSA search us, we let government monitor our bank accounts and take away our money to pay us when we are old, we want to control guns ownership. But safety and security are an illusion. This world is inherently unsafe and insecure. We risk our life daily driving on a highway. When we realize that we are not in control, the fear subsides and we feel more freedom.

        And I agree with you, religion puts a lot of emphasis on the idea that we are not in control. It's counter-intuitive, but I also find this idea liberating.
  • Mar 17 2013: 1.fear increases your response time and make you see better it also pumps adrenaline into your body so you can do you basic instinct of fight or flight 2.fear doesn't lower confidence without fear there wouldn't be confidence body cannot fear everyone does no matter what they say unless they have a serious mental illness 4. it's true that fear makes you think of situations but that's good it's supposed to do that if you had no fear jumping off a cliff might sound like a good idea because you would think or fear the result 5. you may repel it but you still have it
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    Mar 17 2013: .
    We need fear.
    It is a kind of suffering.
    Suffering is the mother of happiness.
    Happiness makes us keep our DNA alive ---- the goal of our life.

    (See also the 1st article, points 1-3, 10, 14, at
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      Mar 17 2013: Wow, I've never heard anyone put it like that.
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    Mar 16 2013: You might enjoy watching the following TED talks Trey:


    What do I think of fear? In the words of a famous person from the past...."The only thing we need to fear is fear itself"

    Do we need it? Yes, we's a way to stay safe at times.

    Can you take it out of your life? Yes, getting rid of fear is a great undo-it-yourself project. Being overly fearful is damaging to us.

    I like how you said in your introduction that once you learn to let go of fear life is more peaceful. I agree with you.

    Great topic! I hope you enjoy the two talks. The second one is one of my favorites.
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      Mar 16 2013: I think I'll enjoy the talks and then tell what I thought of them
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      Mar 17 2013: I loved the one with Tim Ferris. The one with the woman not as much. This really taught me a lot, and I might be able to apply these ideas in real life.
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        Mar 17 2013: So glad you enjoyed Ferris' talk. I watched it again today.

        At first it seems he's just talking about new experiences.....but at the end of the talk he brings it all together very nicely.
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          Mar 17 2013: It took a turn when he talked about how he almost died in the water.
  • Mar 16 2013: The opposite of love is not hate. It is fear. Whether it's choosing work, or going to war - choices are made on the basis of one or the other. Hunter-gatherers and vernacular societies had it easy - they chose what to do for work based on what they were good at, which in turn became something they loved (ever meet a cabinet maker who hated the smell of sawdust; or couldn't make a clean joint??).

    The more money and 'things' that swirl around a society, the greater the risk of becoming more fear-based. What is 'subsistence' in the USA, anyways? Does not having a 42" flat panel constitute impoverished? Only owning one, old beat up car? Fear of not having 'things' drives a lot of irrational, or at least unsustainable, behavior. See discussion in other forum about how to raise creative children. It takes courage to overcome fear of not having stuff in order to follow one's passion for, say, a life in the creative arts. Seems to me there was a time (admittedly with its own set of problems and downsides that probably far outweighed whatever goodness we imagine existed) when this was not always the case.
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      Mar 16 2013: I like how you put fear in a different way. It's interesting to think how fear has evolved and shaped us.
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      Mar 17 2013: I agree Tom, that at any given time, we are coming from a base of love or fear. We can be living a life that is love based and still experience times of fear. When our life becomes fear based, however, it creates a totally different life experience, which you insightfully express Tom:>)
  • Mar 16 2013: Fear has evolved with the species. Certainly there are animals that would be characterized as cautious or fearful. Maybe this seem stronger than I intend, do you want a long enjoyable life? Fear may help to have one.
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      Mar 16 2013: I never thought of fear helping me enjoy my .life.