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Fear Disguised as Reason

Inspired by Cindy, I wanted to write some ideas on how to overcome fear, especially when it is disguised as “reason”.

What does “fear disguised as reason” mean?

The basic concept is this: fear often holds us back from doing cool and epic shit. However, what often holds us back is thinking that our ideas are “unreasonable” or “irrational”. But in reality, we are just subconsciously afraid of taking a risk, and our “rational” mind says that we’re just being “reasonable”, rather than afraid.

Whenever we attempt to do anything that is against the opinion of the majority/herd, we will be chastised and possibly punished. Thus a lot of our upbringing and societal values tell us to be “reasonable”, which means, “Don’t go against the status quo (majority opinion)”.

But consider, what if humans were always “reasonable”. Would Henry Ford have invented the modern car? Would we have invented computers (Ada Lovelace)? Would we have invented the internet and self-driving cars?


I believe that we have been socially programmed to follow the norm, and the status quo. Whenever I observe children they generally are considered “feisty” and are punished because they don’t listen to their parents. But the funny thing is this: by beating the rebellious nature out of our children, we are harming them from innovating and taking risks/going against the status quo in the future!

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Consider that most innovators in society have been child truants and were trouble makers. What is a “trouble maker” child? A child that disobeys the teacher (authority figure).

As adults now, we have lost the ability to disobey the boss, and those those in power. We have become enslaved by modern society; we are programmed to become subservient number crunches, email answering machines, and to be “nice to everybody” and “not to offend anybody else”.

The best thing that happened to me as a sociology major at UCLA was to “unlearn” all of the stuff I was socialized in Capitalist-Consumerist American society (thanks to Terri Anderson and Mark Jepson, my two favorite sociology professors). They taught me to question the rules, and to seek to discover my own set of beliefs and morals. It was my first step to self-philosophy.


Temet Nosce (Know thyself, in Latin)

Know thyself

To know thyself is probably one of the wisest sayings known to mankind.

It means this:

You will never know with absolute certainty what is inside the mind of others. But you can seek to obtain perfect self-knowledge of your own mind, to better direct how you desire to live your life.

So friend, is there anything you want to do, make, or attempt in your life but your “reasonable” mind is holding you back?

Know Yourself,
ERIC


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