Sting of fear - anxiety, Fear as passion - Psychoanalysis...

Sting of fear - Anxiety

One of the greatest theologians of the last century Paul Tillich (1886-1965) in the book "Courage to be" tries to find a way out of the situation of total fear. He also proceeds from the already formulated conclusion that fear and anxiety are distinguishable, but inseparable. They are immanently inherent in each other. "The sting of fear," he writes, "is anxiety, and anxiety tends to become fear. Fear is a fear of something, for example suffering, rejection by a person or group, loss of something or someone, the moment of death. But in the face of the threat that these phenomena are full of, a person is not afraid of the very negation that these phenomena carry in themselves, what worries him is that, perhaps, he is hiding behind this denial. A vivid example - and more than just fear - is the fear of death. "

According to Tillich, the foresight of what may be waiting for us beyond the threshold of death and turns into cowards described in Hamlet's monologue "To be or not to be" is not terribly concrete, but its ability to symbolize the threat of non-existence - that which religion calls eternal death. The symbols of hell in Dante give rise to anxiety not by their objective imagery, but because they express that nothing, the strength of which is experienced in the alarm of guilt.

The fear of death brings an element of anxiety into any other kind of fear. Anxiety, which was not affected by the fear of a particular object, anxiety in all its nakedness is always the alarm of ultimate non-being. At first glance, Tillich thinks, anxiety is a painfully experienced inability to cope with the threat that lies in a particular situation.

However, a more thorough analysis shows that anxiety about a particular situation implies anxiety about the human situation as such. Therefore, at that moment, when the soul of a person is possessed by the "naked anxiety", the former objects of fear cease to be specific objects. They are what it was in part before, namely, the symptoms of the fundamental anxiety of man. As such, they are already invulnerable even if they are fighting the most courageous fight against them.

This situation forces the person in a state of anxiety to strictly determine the objects of fear. The anxiety tends to turn into fear, as courage is able to meet it. The ultimate being, Tillich believes, is incapable of tolerating the bare truth for more than one moment. Those who have experienced similar moments - for example, mystics, the enlightened "soul night", or Luther, overcome by despair because of demonic attacks, or Nietzsche Zarathustra, who experienced "great disgust" - told of the unimaginable horror of bare alarm.

Getting rid of this horror is usually helped by turning anxiety into fear of anything, no matter what. The human soul is not only a factory of idols (as J. Calvin believed), it is also a factory of fear: the first is needed in order to hide from God, the second is to hide from alarm. According to Tillich, between these two abilities of the human soul there is a relationship. After meeting with God, who in fact is God, also means meeting with the absolute threat of non-existence. Naked Absolute (this expression of M. Luther) gives rise to a "naked alarm", and it means the cessation of all final self-affirmation and can not be the object of fear and courage. But in the limit, any attempts to transform anxiety into fear are futile. It is impossible to remove the underlying anxiety of ultimate being, caused by the threat of non-existence. This anxiety is inherent in very existence.

Fear as passion

What makes a person feel fear as a kind of passion? If true existence is possible only in an infinite abyss, why not get closer to the images of fear, not to see its bizarre ligature, not to penetrate the core of the devouring horror? Only in anxiety do I comprehend myself as a total free being.

People are still passionately devoted to fear. But what is this quirk? Where does the unnatural need give rise to such an attraction? A person is able to cultivate fear in himself, experience such conditions when there is no real reason for unconsciousness.

Fear has shown us its numerous faces. Before us passed the biblical images of universal death, the proclaimed suffering and salvation. We let in the Dante's pictures of hell, the innumerable tortures of sinners. Feel the breath of death, which turns into decay everything that once was human beauty. They shuddered with their heart, imagining the impoverished planet without lakes and forests. They imagined a black void, for which there are no names, no colors. So our planet may look after the nuclear burnt offering.

But fear, as we could see, is not something that is outside of us, which disturbs us as an external, formidable and irresistible force. He overflows all of our being, rooted in the depths of the psyche, suspiciously revealing himself in the most unexpected forms. We cling to our own uniqueness, from the dissimilarity of our inner world to others that oppose us. We run from freedom, which is bound to us with inevitable responsibility. We are horrified to find in ourselves the deadness, the desire to reject life - a gift in vain, a gift of chance ...

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