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Is the self anything but fear?

I see the world through the lens of self protection - which implies constant fear.
I am the necessary basis for fear. Fear is my reason for existing. The movement of fear is me.
The me = identification with a center for survival purposes (which is fear).

However circumstances change regularly - so there is a difference in intensity, I do not always feel the same way as when bungee jumping or watching a horror movie. Sometimes I am having a nap, or eating an ice cream.

We associate high intensity self with fear : panic, terror, alarm. But there is also medium intensity experience of self : anxiety, worry, timidity. Low level, resting level.
But maybe the hardest to recognise as fear are what are seen as positive experiences : attraction to a mate, effort and pleasure of accumulation, relief when feeling safe & secure, happiness when with the tribe/family etc…

We are used to using the word fear to point at certain emotional states - but there is also the understanding of what fear is - how it works, what it means, not just what the word symbolises for communication purposes.

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What is fear?


I’ve already given my definition (in fact it might be your definition, since you provided all the necessary info) : “the identification with a center for survival purposes” (aka self)

Either this is not clear, or it contains an error of some sort - in which case it needs adressing.
Or you would like to offer an alternative (better/more insightful?) definition?

Does this explain, adequately, all of these fear situations:

I am afraid it will hurt if I get a tattoo.
I am afraid my boss will ask me to work on the weekend.
I am afraid I will never be free of fear.

?

Very simply, isn’t it any concern about the future? Whether it is the fear of pain or the fear of the denial of pleasure, it seems that time must always be involved.

Well concern is a synonym for fear, so describing fear as a concern about the future is like saying fear is a fear about the future, which is a circular argument.

But you bring up a good point: Does fear always involve the future?

One could argue immediate danger results in fear of the present, not future.

What about fear of the past? When you are haunted by something from your past, is this fear of the past, present, or future?

Everything is fear and fear is everything. We move from fear to fear to fear. I fear I may not even end this sent…!

We have nothing to fear until we think of something.

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Does having nothing to fear necessarily mean not experiencing fear? Or can one be afraid of nothing, what psychologists sometimes call free-floating anxiety?

Fear is always now…

Does it? Immediate danger brings immediate action. Fear only comes in when there is a gap between the two, which means the danger is in the future. When you are faced with immediate danger, there is no time for fear.

Even if you are afraid of an event happening tomorrow?

FDR famously said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”, to which I say, “We have nothing to fear until we think of something”. Think about it.

You can only feel fear now.

The closer you get to realizing what you’re doing, the more fearful you are of finding out.

I don’t think that’s entirely accurate. (Emphasis on the ‘think,’ I’m not a neuroscientist!) Say you’re taking a walk alone at night and you hear footsteps and become afraid that someone is following you. Once the fear has kicked in, it stays in, though if action is required, running away for example, the fear probably moves to the background until the danger is over, at which point it is free to jump back into the foreground.

So I agree, if you are faced with immediate danger and take action to end the danger, fear probably moves to the background. But I don’t think it disappears. It helps fuel the action, and the neurochemicals that spill into the bloodstream when fear is triggered have a life of their own, they require however many minutes to complete their process.

But why are you walking alone at night if it is a dangerous thing to do?

I’m new in town and got off at the wrong bus stop of course!

It is very difficult to define fear. Of course one can always define it in the dictionary sense. But I assume that’s not the point of the discussion. It’s even more difficult to define self and I am not able to do it.

Although difficult to define without expanding it or shrinking it to meaninglessness all of us know very well what the feeling of fear is irrespective of cause. Discussing the causes (which seem endless and which I suppose the
shrinks do) also seems futile but maybe very interesting.

I find that this feeling of fear I have has a strong physical component, often, perhaps always, unpleasant.

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So where is the danger? The new town may be perfectly safe.