Notable Quotable: I Must Not Fear


I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Dune (1965)

Another wonderful, absolutely DELICIOUS quote for today’s Notable Quotable. I’ve said it a few times before, but it bears repeating: There are many forms of fiction and other creative works that do not personally interest me, but are constructed like absolute dreams; Frank Herbert’s Dune is one of them.

What you’re reading up above there is “The Litany Against Fear”, a chant used by the Bene Gesserit sisterhood in the Dune universe to calm themselves when they are distressed.

As Danika and I go back and forth in our project endeavors, I frequently describe to her a concept that I call “fiction bleedthrough.” I’ve briefly mentioned this in a previous post discussing fictional things that become reality, such as “handheld computers” (smartphones, tablets and the like).

The Litany is truly a work of art, because it carries over into the context of the real world in an amazing way. I know that I certainly don’t have to explain the concept of fear to anyone, that much is a given. But the amazing thing at work here is the approach and recognition OF fear. Often times in life, we come across situations where we feel like it is spiraling out of control and “we can’t handle it.” A lot of the time, it isn’t the situation itself that is holding you back, but the fear of the situation that prevents you from acting.

Danika has, throughout the entire process of writing Rabbit in the Road, been utterly terrified. That is to say, she is attempting something she has never done before, taking a writing project from concept to completion and then market. I’m not bothered in the least and am not afraid, but there’s a reason for that. Simpy put, the possible outcomes are something that I can see, gauge, and react to long before they occur, so I appear to be in a constant state of calm. Now, I’m not saying I’m the Buddha here. FAR from it.

As mentioned by Danika in her post earlier today,  Sometimes It Sucks, But… , we’ve been dealing with some medical issues lately, namely me. I’m not going to get into the detail of that, but to sum it up I’ve been stabbed enough in the past 3 weeks with sharp things to think I was in the penal system, getting shivved and shanked non-stop.

I am a trypanophobe (I am DEATHLY afraid of needles). Everything kicks into high gear, my adrenaline skyrockets out of control, and I want to do etiher one of two things:

1. Fight you.
2. Flee from you.
3. Possibly 1 and 2 at the same time, if I’m daring.

Needless to say, they needed LOTS of blood work. And, as terrified as I was… there was NO chance of me getting better unless I did what they needed. It was then (and every time it comes up), that I needed to make a choice: I could either stand tall and deliver, or I could flee like a coward and not get the help I need to be well.

I am afraid of those needles, SO much. But the thought of what could happen to me if I don’t conquer the fear is worse. And that’s what the Litany Against Fear is all about. It is about standing up, and facing the things that scare you, the things that make you cry when you’re alone that you don’t tell people about because you feel a sense of shame. This is something that you MUST DO if you want to succeed. The fear of rejection can be powerful, almost crippling… but so much of that is INTERNAL, not an external threat. When you stand, face your fear, and ACKNOWLEDGE THAT IT EXISTS, that is when you can truly begin to get over and then conquer it. And after that?

Only you will remain. With one less fear.  And it will never bother you again.

Except for those damn needles. Those ARE real, and they’ll get you.

-Oliver

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