Let’s Face Our Fears, Shall We?

What do people fear the most?  The Book of Lists reports the top ten human fears as

  1. Speaking before a group
  2. Heights
  3. Insects and bugs
  4. Financial problems
  5. Deep water
  6. Sickness
  7. Death
  8. Flying
  9. Loneliness
  10. Dogs

Shakespeare’s Hamlet wondered why people keep living and suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.  He concluded that the prospect of what happens after death terrifies people to such an extent that they put up with the troubles of life.

Step 51 of Steps to Knowledge, “Let me recognize my fears so that I see the truth beyond them,” is the first step where the word fear is contained in the step itself.  The word “fear” is mentioned in passing in earlier steps, and I plan to describe those passing mentions in another post.

There are many ideas in our culture regarding fear, what it is (or isn’t), where it comes from, how it works, and what to do about it.  Let’s just say that some of these ideas are more helpful than others.  Just as Step 26, “My errors give birth to my Knowledge,” addressed a number of ideas in our culture regarding error, Step 51 addresses a number of ideas in our culture regarding fear.  I’m feeling an inclination to unpack this in a series of posts.

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