Fear manifests itself in many forms. At it’s mildest, it is experienced as a vague sense of anxiety or frustration, or a sense of discomfort that is difficult to pin down. At its extreme end, fear can kill. In between these two ends, fear manifests itself in all negative feelings.
Take for example anger. At first glance, anger may not seem to have anything to do with fear but on closer scrutiny we can recognize that the root cause of that anger arises from fear. A simple display of anger at someone who suddenly cut into our lane while we are driving has its root in our fear of accident, which means damages to our car, injury to self or even loss of life. The fear of accident has a deeper fear of loss of life and property. Sometimes the anger is directed at ourselves for our carelessness in driving.
Procrastination is also a result of fear. People who procrastinate in doing what they needed to do are not facing up to their fears or aversions to certain things and situations. Even laziness may be a symptom of fear in facing up to certain tasks.
Greed is a form of fear. The root cause of greed is our fear of not having enough food, money or security. From this root cause grows not only the desire to have enough but to have more than enough so as to cover the fear of loss. The more one fears, the bigger his buffer of security is, and so his needs to accumulate more and more.
Fear also manifests itself in the form of poverty, poor health, lack of energy and interests, and depression. Fear also manifests itself as obsessive compulsive disorder, panic attacks and the many types of phobias.
It is fear that leads men to war and wanton killings. It is fear that leads to violence.
If we can recognize the many faces of fear, we can then see how costly it is to live in fear all the time. Perhaps then we can be motivated to transform fear and find peace.