# Day 121 (The Fear Factor)

In the Bhagvad Gita, at the beginning of Chapter XVI (verse 1,2,3), Lord Krishna initiates a comparison between the divine nature and the demonic nature as found in creation. Topping the list of divine qualities is ~ ”abhayam” (to use the sanskrit word given in the scripture). The term is often translated as ‘fearlessness’; but the word describes something much more ~ a quality of being beyond fear, of no fear at all. Spiritual-gurus describe it as a fearlessness due to the absence of anxiety which arises from the dread of harm to one’s physical body or the prospect of losing what is precious to us…a state where you transcend fear.
Alas such ‘fear-nirvana’ is not for us lesser mortals! The closest we come to this state is as new-borns. To quote Wordsworth,
‘Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy…’
To sustain ourselves in the ‘prison-house’ of this world, fear comes programmed into our nervous system. It equips us with necessary survival instincts…the need to respond with fear when we sense danger and thereby get into defensive mode. This fear too has its degrees and when it becomes abnormal, extreme, almost bordering on the irrational then it evolves to the next level of what is termed as a ‘phobia’. We all have our own sets of such ‘phobias’, where despite knowing that it is actually not life-threatening, we still feel shivers down our spine and want to run miles from the thing or situation we fear. They expose us to much ribbing and teasing by those around us for at times even a teeny-weeny cockroach can turn you into a hapless bundle of nerves! For me it’s not so much about cockroaches and mice, they are ‘benign’ beings compared to that creature i dread…the lizard!! Many have tried their best to reassure me of how harmless they are, of how it is actually good to have them crawling around the walls and ceilings ridding your house of flies and spiders, but a phobia remains a phobia! My leaden feet refuse to move if i so much as see one in the room and i can’t even begin to describe the dread that overcomes me if see it in the bathroom i am in!! And now thanks to all those lists of top 10/20/40 phobias that keep circulating on various internet sites, i even have a name for my phobia..it’s known as ’Herpetophobia’.
In some ways these ‘lists’ can be quite comforting too, for now i am aware that there are others whose ‘phobias’ are even more bizarre than mine. In an episode of ‘Boston Legal’ the character of Alan Shore, played by James Spader, has a phobia of clowns. Did you know this fear children have of the scary clown face actually has a name…’caulrophobia’. Some phobias can be quite ‘convenient’, like ‘ergophobia’ or the fear of the workplace…don’t we all suffer from that to some degree?! There is ‘triskaidekaphobia’ that is the fear of the number 13 and even a fear of heaven called ‘uranophobia’. A new term has been coined for the latest scourge that seems to have afflicted a majority of people…it’s called ’Nomophobia’, the fear of being without mobile phone coverage brought on by the anxiety of losing signal, running out of battery or even losing sight of your mobile!! Indeed if you were to just glance through that A to Z indexed ‘phobia-list’ painstakingly compiled on the internet, you’d surely find a name for every one of your abnormal dreads. Take heart then, for beyond a point you have ‘nothing to fear except fear itself ‘…and i have a nagging suspicion that somewhere they have a name for that too…

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About sunsur81

A gatherer of thoughts...exploring myths,metaphors and expressions of life...
This entry was posted in 365 Days Blog-roll, In Lighter Vein and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to # Day 121 (The Fear Factor)

  1. NupurNS says:

    Phobophobia 😜

    Liked by 1 person

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