The End of Fear and The Psychology of Vulnerability
There’s a lot of talk these days about the current state of fear. In fact, many people believe that fear is responsible for almost everything that goes wrong in the world today. The movie The Secret is based around a plot to expose the secrets of encoded messages hidden in secret messages. The movie shows how secret societies control the public consciousness using fear as a control mechanism.
One thing that all theories about the causes of fear have in common is that vulnerability plays a key role in the human condition. Why are we so afraid of other people and their vulnerability? Why do we fear the vulnerability of others, lie awake at night worrying about the safety of our families, and resort to extreme measures to prevent the worst from happening while ignoring the small things that go on in our day to day lives that cause us fear and anxiety? The reason is that we are built to act in response to stress with fight reaction. The fight reaction doesn’t just manifest physically; it also effects our emotions and mental state as we deal with fear.
The way that humans process fear depends largely on the two processes that occur when we are exposed to fear: cognitive avoidance and emotional arousal. During cognitive avoidance, we look for opportunities to avoid the thing or situation that causes fear – i.e. the place where the fear occurs or the person who acts in an aggressive manner. Emotional arousal occurs when we feel an intense sense of pleasure or shame when we experience fear – typically as a result of the recognition of our vulnerability.