So, it is not that one must be free from or resist fear but that one must understand the whole nature and structure of fear…. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it, not how to resist it through courage and so on. . . . Learning is always in the active present, it is not the result of having accumulated knowledge; learning is a process, an action. . . . Knowledge is always in the past and when you act, the past is determining that acting. . . . [L]earning is in the very action itself. . . .
And that is our difficulty, because we always approach fear with all the associations, memories, incidents and experiences, all of which prevent us from looking at it afresh and learning about it anew.
There are many fears . . . . Are not these many fears the expression of one central fear? We want to understand the nature of fear, not how fear expresses itself in a particular direction. If we can deal with the central fact of fear, then we shall be able to resolve, or do something about, a particular fear. . . .
Because when there is fear there is darkness and the mind becomes dull . . . . Such a mind . . . is incapable of clarity . . . —it may know pleasure but it certainly does not know what it means to love. Fear destroys and makes the mind ugly.
from 'Flight of the Eagle
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