My WhatsApp status, “Better to be feared than be loved” landed me into a whole of debates. Well, a lot of people disagreed with it, but today morning, a friend of mine, fortunately, agreed with it.
She said that she agreed with the statement, currently, but then she asked me a question, an excellent question indeed: “I mean, as it is you’re against building a world around fear of God, how would this be much different?” Well, frankly, I’d never seen it that way. I just put up the status giving in to the circumstance and submitting to the voice yelling in my head like a rat in a hot cage! I didn’t really think this would get much attention. Anyway, she went on to say, “What is really the point of fear? I mean, my belief is that fear should be eliminated. There are seven negative emotions which play havoc with the positive ones, and fear is one of them”.
Fear should be eliminated? Positive emotions? Emotions?
I really hate it when I lose the grasp on my concepts, my ideas. I really don’t like to be contradicted. So I was reeled into this world of “fear”, involuntarily, the fear of being proved wrong. I put my phone aside, pushed myself back on my plush chair, the conditioned air soothing my senses, slowly and deftly, and I listened to one of my favorite songs, “The Phantom of the Opera”.
In Gaston Leroux’s magnificent novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, various emotions are brought out in a scintillating manner. Erik – the Phantom, loves Christine. All folk fear the Phantom. Christine sees him as an angle and admires his prowess. Raoul is jealous of Christine’s affiliation with the Angel. The Phantom faces a tragic death. He understands Christine’s love and sends her back to her lover. Now, what is the Phantom here? Is he good or is he bad? Does he have positive emotions or negative emotions or both?
Well, I’ll revert back to this shortly.
Disclaimer: Nihilists, please don’t feel welcome to comment here. This is not your place.
So, having asserted that the status of “emotionally inert” is impossible, I would now like to move deeper. Our surroundings are exactly how we designed it. It resonates with our minds and it gives us an outlook of our creative genies. That’s right, Genies. We all have these Genies inside us dictating boundaries and conditions and rules and norms. When something happens, we react to it and this reaction is based on what we have “learnt” since our childhood and how we have trained our mind to perceive the chain of events.
Why do we feel sad when we don’t get to eat an ice cream, but our brother/sister does?
Why do we feel jealous when the person we like gets closer to another person?
Why do we feel pain when we are deprived of opportunity?
None of these cause us physical harm to provoke a response to stimuli; these are mere happening in the world we perceive. We have, throughout our journey of this convoluted cerebral development, assigned some attributes to all of these occurrences and we pass it on to the next of kin, most dutifully. I presume I needn’t go into the details of how children are yelled at and introduced to the concepts of fear, corruption, grief, anger, happiness, enjoyment, hope and such. So, as long as we perceive the world, we will have to deal with a cocktail of emotions constituted both the so-called “positive” and “negative” emotions.
Nothing can be created, nothing can be destroyed, only, it can be converted from one form to another. So, if our quest is to “eliminate” fear, then my dear friend, it is quite impossible. Now, converting the fear into…well, making it drive us towards “something positive”, like, my fear of being wrong made me write this, which is “good”, i.e., the opposite of “bad”, is quite real. But, trying to eliminate any emotion is impossible.
I mean, you cannot be happy if you don’t know what sadness is. You cannot be brave if you haven’t experienced fear. You cannot have hope if you are unaware of despair.
Eliminating fear implies not being able to feel brave. Eliminating fear fails to add credence to faith. Eliminating fear might eliminate all existing emotions.
Emotions are like a house of cards, pull just one card at the bottom and the whole structure crumbles. Humans have this unique existence only because of this cluster of emotions and I’m afraid, we are cursed (or blessed) to live with it, just like the Phantom.
I know this article isn’t complete. So, guys feel free to comment and help me get my thoughts straight.