Let’s talk about fear. Inner fear. How elusive and arbitrary it can be. We sometimes struggle with fear over the simplest things – talking to our boss, having a routine visit to the doctor’s, or taking an exam. We might be fearful for our health, bank accounts, jobs, or kids. Of course, we can feel legitimate fear, but usually what we fear is not based on our outer reality but rather coming from within ourselves. Assagioli calls this fear a widely diffused psychological poison.
In order to deal with fear effectively, Assagioli urges us to eliminate or minimalize the fear within ourselves. He also warns us of a vicious circle that can occur – the fear within us can open the door to the influence of external fear, and external fear feeds the inner one.
To break this vicious circle, we need to use our skillful will to withdraw our attention deliberately from the psychological poison of fear. The energy that is holding and nurturing the fear will then be released. We can then redirect this new-found energy to do the most good in our lives.
Last year, Susan came to see me because she wasn’t able to become pregnant. She and her husband were both 30 years old and had been trying for one year without success. Susan had a doctorate in biochemistry and knew exactly all the ways the body functioned – and didn’t function. After two of her friends had died of cancer, she was terrified of the disease. She had spent hours visiting various doctors asking for multiple aggressive and invasive tests just to ensure herself that she did not have cancer.