This evening Mad Question Asking is hosting a discussion, a dialogue on Fear.
My friend Liz has organized the event and will moderate the discussion. I am only familiar with two of the participants and was excited and surprised to hear a Buddhist professor and a German philosopher will be in attendance. Meeting new friends and talking in the MQA living room is my favorite part of this project.
I’ve been preoccupied thinking about fear recently and how it controls some of my own actions or more importantly how it shaped my life. What paths did I turn from or follow because of fear’s influence? How connected are my personal fears to the fears put in place by society for the sake of communal control and order?
I realized a long time ago, that everything (every idea, every cultural norm, every tradition, every religion) EVERYTHING we do as humans is made-up. A childhood of playing tea party, doctor, or house that extends into a lifetime of grown-up oh so serious pretending. This notion of seeing the actions of the human race as made-up or playing pretend, if understood past intellect, is a dangerously irreverent way to see the world. It gave me great personal freedom in terms of what I could think or how I could see, but knowing it’s all made-up also highlighted how I am not very free at all. I have to play by some of the rules if I want to be apart of any society… if not, then I will be burned at the stake. Something (I am not sure what, maybe fear of existence) overwhelming makes most of us fall in line and follow the rules, rules we individually never set in place. Fear must prevent the lack of questions asked out loud.
I think questions asked, surfaced and articulated are the antithesis of fear.
It is my current belief that fear may be the greatest motivator in our emotional deck of cards that controls our behavior. (As a bona fide daydreamer, oh how I wish it was love.) I assume this may be to protect our precious egos.
I bet fear tells us to look cool or try to appear to sound smart. Fear nudges us to fit in somewhere. Fear motivates us to keep our mouths shut because we might say the wrong thing. What is hard for me to understand is… what is it exactly that will happen if you say the wrong thing, if you don’t fit in, if you don’t sound smart or look cool? Will your world fall apart? Are our mini, personal micro-cultures all fake self-worth, an ego-driven false image we create of ourselves? What are we protecting in ourselves, why do we give it Gollum-like (lord-of-the-mother-fucking-rings) power?
Are we all just a house of cards with no foundation to lean on and this is why we choose to allow fear to run the show the way we do? Is living safely – playing by the rules – is this sold to us as a gateway to the pursuit of happiness? I don’t see too much happiness when I look around. I see complacency, I see status quo, I hear about scheduled lives and anything that involves money but I never hear about love. I never hear anyone ever talk about love. Why? I suppose those are my biggest questions.
This is very heady business. I have a lot of unorganized, vague questions running loose on this page, in my mind, some are even in my heart, about this – about fear. I am looking forward to have the chance to sit in my living room and talk about it tonight, with new and old friends.
© Mad Question Asking – 2012 All Rights Reserved
PS – This is unedited. I didn’t ask Donal to look at it because a good unorganized ramble is sometimes essential to question-asking.