親カテゴリー: Human

Friending Fear

How to view fear?


Fear can be a trigger for exploration and lead to insightful or inspiring projects.

But fear can also prevent any action.

I wonder, how to view fear? What does fear mean (if it does)? Where does it come from? Why?

My example. I walk through the woods. Suddenly I hear the branches cracking. Now, I want to run and hide. But why?

Is my body really feeling the fear? For a reason? Or is the mind remembering some trigger similar to this sound and situation that brings fear? If so, fear is imagination.

Can fear be healthy? And when?

Or is fear useless and is just a trick of the mind that is better to be un-learned?

This question is important not only on personal scale. Lets say I follow the fear in my example walking through the woods. So I run away home and hide, and avoid the forest from then on. But what if I turn fear into curiosity and stay in the woods? Then, I see a rare bird making a nest from branches (that sound I got scared of!)

Now apply that exercise to the humanity scale.


投票 (不必要) (通知しない) (不必要)

私たちの神経回路のいくつかは、写真の中でもおいしい食べ物を見ると、またはほとんどの人が誤って知覚する凹面として凸状、または異性の人々に似た形のように、人々を性的に興奮させることができます。同様に、恐怖感は、特定の神経回路の潜在意識の結果である可能性があります。このようなハードワイヤード恐怖症をひっくり返すことは、性的指向を変えるのと同じくらい難しいかもしれませんし、おいしい食べ物の写真を実際の食べ物の食べ方と関連付けるのを忘れるのと同じくらい簡単かもしれません。たとえば、食べ物の写真を見ると人が唾を吐くとは思いもしませんでした。どうやら彼らは食べ物の写真を本物のように見て、舌で触れたらどうなるかをすぐに想像しますが、私は食べ物の写真を物として見る、つまりまるでそれを見る傾向があります味わうのではなく、判断して分類する対象です。 //私の例。私は森の中を歩きます。突然、枝が割れるのが聞こえます。今、私は走って隠れたいです。しかし、なぜ?暗闇への恐れは非常に合理的です。暗闇に潜む可能性のあるすべての可能性を考えてください。私たちの古代の脳は、捕食者がいる可能性があることを知っています、そして暗闇はあらゆる種類の体の自然で自動の解釈と防御システム(例えば、視覚ベースの脅威の識別)が適切に機能するのを妨げます:あなたはリスク推定を前頭前野に委任する必要があります恐怖を飼いならすための皮質:)より多くの情報を収集し、あなたが知っている状況的および文脈的要因の多くを含むあなたの合理性を研ぎ澄ましてください。たとえば、外はとても寒いので、ほとんどの捕食者は冬眠を眠っていて、あえて攻撃することはありません。あるいは、人々がよく訪れる小道を歩いていると、この地域では人々が十分に裕福で、極寒の環境で誰かに危害を加えるのを待つことは、おそらく誰かの心に浮かぶ可能性のある最後のことです。

Some of our neural circuits are just built-in, just as some people involuntarily salivate when they see tasty food, even in pictures, or just like most people incorrectly perceive convex as concave surfaces, or just like shapes resembling people of opposite sex can make people sexually arouse.

Similarly, the sense of fear may be a subconscious result of one's particular neural circuitry. Flipping such hard-wired phobias may be as hard as changing one's sexual orientation, or as simple as forgetting to associate tasty food pictures with actual eating of food.

For example, I didn't realize that people salivate when they see pictures of food! Apparently, they look at the pictures of food as if they are the real thing, and immediately imagine what would happen if they touched it with their tongues, while I tend to look at food pictures as objects, i.e., looking at them as if it is an object to be judged and sorted rather than tasted.

// My example. I walk through the woods. Suddenly I hear the branches cracking. Now, I want to run and hide. But why?

The fear of darkness is quite rational: think of all the possibilities what may lurk in the darkness! Our ancient brain knows that there could be predators, and out there, and darkness prevents all kind of body's natural and automatic interpretation and defense systems (e.g., vision-based threat identification) to work properly: you need to delegate risk estimation to your prefrontal cortex to tame the fear :)

Collect more information and sharpen your rationality including more of the circumstantial and contextual factors you know. For example, perhaps it is so cold outside, that most predators are sleeping the winter hibernation and would not dare to attack you, or perhaps you're walking a path that's often visited by people, and you know that in this region, people are sufficiently well-off, that waiting in a frigid environment to harm someone is the last thing that could possibly be on anyone's mind, and so on.


Hello darkness my old friend~


Hmm [Mindey], I was also thinking in what cases it makes sense to flip Fear into Curiosity, because that leads to Exploration. So, on a humanity scale, such a simple exercise matters because more people would be curious.

Is all curiosity worth following? That's another sub-question.