Fear. The one emotion which is betrayed every time it makes itself apparent to its host. The one emotion which has been at the receiving end of every warrior’s bleeding sword; of every writer’s lethal pen; of every padre’s lively eloquence and of every child’s hindered imagination. I have been aligned with cowardice and shame in every age of Man! I have touched the cords of the mightiest of men in their hours of solitude. When people say that an empty mind is a devil’s workshop, they lie. An empty mind is the blast furnace where I thrive, where I am created. The Devil is the tool. I am the Messiah he preaches. No man can say that I haven’t been a loyal counterpart of their actions…right till the very very end of his very very scary life!
Yes, Fear is the most easily interpreted of all the other emotions. I agree that sometimes it initiates its presence in various disguises. By curiosity for instance (No wonder it killed the cat) in a child when he sees the dancing flame of a candle. It is the curios streak that makes him wants to hold it, want to touch it. He, nor his curiosity, is aware of the heat, of the hellish store, of the fire’s hidden agenda. The moment he touched the flame it is then that Fear disrobes. It is then the child pulls away and runs. It is then that he learns to fear the yellow flame! Fear is what you imagine. Fear is something that you yourself have nurtured in your solitude.
Psychologists say that fear is compartmentalizing what our heart feels from what your brain analysis. Fear comes not by mere beckoning. It has to be created. One cannot scare people without being intimate with their psychology. They also say that fear evolves; that your fear mutates and never really leaves you. It always lies there hidden from view and hidden from everything you feel and think. It’s there to be awakened at the slightest of any external stimuli. They say that if you were scared of the dark when you were 7, you probably wouldn’t be scared of it at 24! But darkness coupled with the echo of a twig breaking and the faint, but clear, sound of rustling footsteps would make you weak.
Your mind tells you that darkness is just the absence of light. But, at the same time, your heart tells you that it’s ACTUALLY the presence of darkness! And darkness has always been associated with evil, with ghosts, with bleeding corpses doing the mambo, with Lucifer! It probably killed every caveman. No matter how hard your brain tells you that it is nothing but your intangible imagination that’s fighting your tangible imagination it won’t work. It’s not meant to. People always wonder if the brain slows down when you’re cold and numb with fear. I think it does. But the total control of its being is never diminished. The control you had over the analytical brain does go down but at the same time your hearing is at its best. Your heart runs a mile in a matter of seconds and you can hear all the way it ran. Clear and sharp. Edged with crispness and desire to harm and kill! Clearest at the very end!
If we were to separate the few components of our twig example we’d be surprised to see that the components themselves are not the least bit scary. But, like the friendly shrink across the street says, Fear mutates. It has now acquired enough of your psyche to know which facet of your imagination it needs to trigger you off. It now knows what to make you think and feel to make you break in to cold sweat! Fear feeds upon fear itself. When Remus Lupin tells Harry Potter that he fears fear itself he makes a colossal statement. It’s so true that Harry never learns to get over his fear. He learns to combat it. He learns to repel it. But he never forgets it!
A faint hearted is not always a weakling. It’s not a rule! Fear has sometimes been portrayed as a sign of effeminacy in men! It doesn’t mean that Fear strikes the weak. It creates the weak! Fear sees no reason not to infringe upon the deepest, most primitive imagination and bring to life the one thing that its host cannot ward off. Fear seeks fear. This fear encapsulates those parts of your personality that you might not even know existed. It plays with your mind and exploits every possible permutation until it uncovers the hidden, ancient, untapped and raw crust of the very fabric from which fear is born!
The conquest of fear lies in the moment of its acceptance. And understanding what scares us most is that which is most familiar, most common place. It’s been said that the fear of the unknown is an irrational response to the excesses of the imagination. But our fear of the everyday— of the lurking stranger, and the sound of foot-falls on the stairs, the fear of violent death, and the primitive impulse to survive— are as frightening as any x-file, as real as the acceptance that it could happen to you.
– Fox Mulder
– Written by Guest Writer, Fayesal Siddiqui, as a run-up to this blog’s 3rd blogoversary.