“If you have no hope of survival, what’s left to be afraid of?”
In the beginning was fear—the fear that everything that has a body experiences once it realizes we live in a predatory universe; a universe in which absolutely everything gets to be eaten… if not by the sharp fangs of a predator, then by time itself. And Fear became our God. And it began to rule over our lives, shrink our willingness to dare, and rob us of the beauty of it all.
Fear is written in the deepest layer of our DNA. You can’t run away from it. You can’t escape it. It’s so pervasive that plenty of people try to exorcise the demon. Religions, philosophies, advertisements, motivational speakers… They all tell you if you make the jump and follow their cure, you’ll no longer have anything to fear. They tell you that there are no monsters hiding under your bed. They promise you safety from everything you fear. They promise you a sense of empowerment. They promise you victory against all odds.
The reality is that they are trying to sell you something.
The monster is indeed under your bed, after all. The reality is that you have every good reason to be afraid, because everything you fear is on your tracks right now, and will eventually catch up to you and destroy everything you loved and everything you are.
Welcome to the world, motherfuckers.
So, why “not afraid?” Wouldn’t it be more appropriate “Scared shitless and rightfully so?”
Because being scared doesn’t help you. Reality is uglier and harsher than anything we like to admit to ourselves, and yet it’s pointless to be scared since your fear will not protect you. Fear is only useful if it alerts you of a danger you can avoid, but if there’s no possible way to avoid it, if it’s inevitable that it’ll crush you no matter how hard you fight, then what’s the point of being afraid? If you have no hope of survival, what’s left to be afraid of?
The only thing you’ll succeed in doing is in spoiling this very second when the forces that will destroy you haven’t stepped onto the stage yet.
Yes, you will not get out of here alive. But so what? All the more reason to celebrate right here and right now. Let’s pop the champagne before all hell breaks loose. Squeeze every last ounce of orgasmic ecstasy from the present moment. And when the monster finally climbs out from under your bed, at least you’ll have a good reason to smile before he devours you. You are already dead. Let’s have a party in the meantime.
Author: Daniele Bolelli is a writer, martial artist, university professor, and podcaster. He was born in Italy and currently lives in Los Angeles.
Follow Daniele on Twitter: @dbolelli
This essay was originally posted at DanieleBolelli.Com and reposted on this site with the author’s written consent.
6 thoughts on “In The Beginning Was Fear”
Reblogged this on Under Construction.
I love this essay. Daniele B is the man. “Fuck pain. Fuck heartache. I’m still in love with life.”
You lose what life has to offer. Consider it.
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Darkness is the first thing God made he called it night
“Chaos is what we’ve lost touch with. This is why it is given a bad name. It is feared by the dominant archetype of our world, which is Ego, which clenches because its existence is defined in terms of control.” ― Terence McKenna
Is the quote that appears to the right of your piece. In some ways that quote seems to dovetail with it, though you may be making more of a case for that sort of entropy found universally accepted; with your observations particularly in regards to the life of man. “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” seems your prescription. But, who isn’t expert at putting off tomorrow to tomorrow?
It takes a bit more practice to enjoy a last meal if today is the day though, doesn’t it? It is something of an achievement to knowingly enjoy the last of something; whether they be meals, kisses, or words. And the knowing is the key, isn’t it? Otherwise we might admit the unknowing beast holds all the advantage…the deer placidly chomping on some fresh greenery while in the stalker’s crosshairs, the lamb being led to slaughter. But it is a bit late for us unless we choose to descend from our knowing. Would that involve pretense or, as you seem to suggest, simple recognition of our true estate? But still, that knowing appears quite obstructive.
But now, today 8/25/21, almost all the world knows things unknown a scant 2 years ago. What will be the “new” word the world learns after pandemic? Sure there were plenty already knowing its definition, with some even “predicting one” years ahead…but percentage wise, what were they? And even the brightest could not see all the ramifications nor know with great precision all of origins and effects. But, they had a sense of knowing. And now? Who hasn’t had some experience of this experiment?
For most, I would dare say, they now know something unknown before and not only know…but would more likely hold that it was a “touch of chaos” (still being endured) upon a system and systems that were orderly fashioned; yet most often deemed in word and press if not wholly, then barely adequate to stem the shaking from this seeming touch of chaos. Tomorrow is not as easily shucked off to tomorrow when bodies are being stacked in coolers in your sight, today.
What do men do with their knowing?