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Definition of Fear

Some people say FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real.

That’s a nice acronym.   It’s catchy.   It’s also not true.

Calling it False Evidence is saying that fear is an illusion or a lie.  Lies are made of words.  Fear is an emotion.

We can create fear as a reaction to believing illusions, lies, or false evidence.  But fear is not the illusion or false evidence.  There is the illusion we imagine in our mind, and then there is the emotion we create as a reaction.  Of course we only react with emotion when we believe it to be real.  It’s that believing part that makes the illusion APPEAR real.   You could say that we make the illusion appear real.   In any case, there is the appearance of things, and then there is how we create emotion as a reaction.

We can also create fear as a reaction to something that is a very real.  If you are flying in an airplane and it has an emergency where it is losing altitude you are likely to feel fear.  You don’t have to panic, but fear is probably going to be there.  The evidence isn’t false.  It’s real and the fear is too.   Evidence is not the same as emotion.  Not all fear is from false evidence, and so our catchy phrase about what fear is false at times.

A person can also come to complete acceptance of their mortality and the letting go of their body when they come face to face with death.  In this case there is evidence of something real like the passing of their body, and yet no fear.  Perhaps that is because in that moment there exists no presence of any illusions about death.  There is a only a complete presence and acceptance of a coming experience for their body.  Without making up any beliefs about death there is no fear.

Fear is not False Evidence.  Nor is Fear Evidence Appearing Real.   We can create fear as  a reaction to false evidence or real experience.  Fear is an emotion we create.  It is often created as a reaction to things, but with enough awareness it doesn’t have to be.

That definition of fear is kind of catchy.  The problem with catchy is there’s usually too much distortion in those catchy phrases.  The phrase about Fear being False Evidence Appearing Real is at least pointing our attention to the fact that we may be reacting to an illusion.  On the other hand,,, the catchy phrase itself is also false and misleading testimony about fear.  The result is that, at best, we are dispelling one illusion in our mind while we are creating another.

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