Sunday 14 August 2022

The major test of these times is Fear - the temptation is Safety

We are tested every day by the sin of fear. And the temptation - offering a delusory escape from fear - is safety. 

If we compare our post 2020 world with life a few decades ago; it is clear that we are now controlled primarily by the negative sin of fear (with a side-order of spiteful resentment: the stock-in-trade of socialism, feminism, antiracism and the other leftisms). These are negative sins because they are directed-against. 

By contrast to the fear-dominated present, in the past other, and more 'positive' sins - desires-for-something rather than resistance-to-something - were often more dominant: sins such as power/ conquest, (capitalist) greed and (sexual) lust.

It is pretty obvious that nowadays the world is 'managed' primarily by the inculcation of fears; and by attempting to trigger those in fear, to 'escape' by means of fake-solutions that promote the totalitarian-demonic agenda.  

Major examples are the birdemic fear - with totalitarian lockdown/ masking/ social-distancing and the (unnecessary, ineffective, harmful) peck offering pseudo-safety. And global warming as the fear - with world economic destruction with totalitarian control (aka. the 'sustainable' Green Economy) as fake-escape. 

(Non-coincidentally; 'economic suicide' is also the major policy-answer to fear of the recent Fire Nation/ Earth Nation.)  

Fear is also the stock-in-trade of the 'secular Right': fear of mass immigration, violent social breakdown, starvation, civil war, mass poisoning and other health threats... 

The temptations, the fake solutions, on the secular Right include personal survivalism (prepping), a type of rigorous healthism/ body-building, organized aggressive political resistance, a Strong Man leader restoring militaristic patriarchy...

The difference between the left and the non-religious Right; is that secular Right fears are based on broadly realistic threats and potentially effective answers; while the mainstream Left fears are manufactured from very little - or nothing at all; and the proffered 'escapes' from fear make matters worse. 

Also, in general, among those who are living in fear and strategizing to escape; the typical leftist advocates passive and Establishment-obedient responses; while the secular Rightist is more likely to respond to his own fear with (at least verbal) aggression and (at least threats of) defiance. 

Yet, discourse concerning the reality or fakery of the fear, and the effectiveness or counter-productiveness of proposed escapes, are themselves part of the problem. 

Because fear is a sin in and of itself, it compounds the sin to try and escape fear by attempting to eliminate that which is feared. 

In a practical sense; it will not work - because yielding to any fear creates vulnerability to other fears; so that all escapes lead into a positive-feedback loop of fear generating fear

Since, on the one hand, the supply of fears is unlimited; whereas, on the other hand, mounting any potentially-effective response to even a single fear is time-, effort- and resource-consuming; constrained by multiple personal, societal and technical factors. 

But in a spiritual sense, matters are simple - fear is a sin and must be identified as such; then repented, then itself defeated. 

The one-and-only appropriate and effective response to any and all fears - and a response that has unbounded scope - is to trust in the power and love of God; and to frame the fears of this mortal life in the context of eternal Heaven

The proper spiritual response to fear is to eliminate fear - the sinful delusion is to address the supposed cause of the fear. 

(Whether or not we, personally, should engage in an active or passive attempt to remove the specific source of any specific fear; is a secondary, contingent, pragmatic matter - and thus always contentious.) 

This, therefore, is the nature of the test of these times. On a daily basis we will be assaulted by fears, and probably these assaults will have some effect - and we will experience fear. 

We therefore need to identify 'the latest fear' as always an evil - whether it is real or fake. 

And instead of immediately seeking for 'safety' and escape-from-the-fear in some physical activity (regardless of whether that activity is potentially-effective, or not)...

The proper response is that we need to repent fear (any fear) and bring to mind that God is our loving parent and the ongoing-creator of this world - and that those who desire it, may follow Jesus Christ to everlasting resurrection after this mortal life. 

Fear is the recurring test, and love of God is the proper response

Only after fear has been thus conquered, may we attempt to address its supposed cause.  

As such; then testing-times may become learning-times; and every repeated and novel demonic assault and delusion, may be converted to an increase in the strength of our Christian orientation. 


cae said...

I don't know Bruce...From what I've witnessed and experienced in my 59 years, only the absolute worst sort of parent punishes a child for being afraid.
If human parents are capable of understanding that utilizing fear in lesson teaching is cruel, surely our Heavenly parent understands this?

I certainly cannot imagine that you ever criticized or chastised your children for their fears - and by that same token, it makes no sense to me that God would consider fear a sin.

Bruce Charlton said...

@cae - Certainly, God does not want evil, does not want us to fear - Men and demons (through their free agency) are behind this fear-mongering, as other evils.

But this world is designed for our salvation and theosis, and God - by creation - makes the best use of the evils Men do.

ben said...


If you think of sin meaning a soul-poison, rather than sin in the sense of a crime then it makes sense. Then there would be a kind of sin called fear that would be incompatible with Heaven. It deranges, it pains, it has the character of sin - it moves a person away from Good. There are probably others that aren't conventionally imagined to be sins too, like shame.

To illustrate: if you were to try to tell someone they should repent the sin of resentment, they might react as though you're saying there's nothing wrong with the person they're resenting, or nothing should be done about the event that's contributing to the resentment, or something like that. But to repent resentment is necessary for the good of the person harbouring the soul-poison of resentment. It's to say nothing about the world outside of the person. Nor is it to imply a person should be guilty about sinning; if a repenting person experiences guilt for sinning, they should repent guilt! All of this is hypothetical.

My understanding is that people carry over these capacities for corruption from pre-mortal life, and God is working with these capacities having found us with them.

Bruce Charlton said...

@ben - I agree.

I think Carol perhaps supposed I was saying something about God have an intent to rule by fear.

On the other hand - every decent parent knows that there is such a thing as tough love for a child; when here and now happiness of the child is rightly sacrificed to a more important need. This is the opposite of using a pretense of pursuing long term goals as an excuse for inflicting misery, because it is motivated by personal love.

Your analogy about resentment is well made - the core point is not whether a threat or danger - or evil - is real; but about our own response to danger/ threats/ evil of any and all kinds. To live in a state of fear is a soul poison - even when that which is feared is real and actually happening now.

Joseph A. said...

No mention of the Bene Gesserit litany against fear in the comments? It has to be some of the best sci.-fi. lines ever written.

Seriously, though, your point is profound and needs repeated. From the sin of the scouts to Peter's starting to sink, it's not fear but a lack of trust in God that is the problem. Fear is simply the consequence. How easy it is to forget God's blessings. And so the lack of trust is itself derivative of a deeper problem -- ingratitude . . . thoughtless dismissiveness of God's blessings. Dostoevsky's cynic defines man as the ungrateful animal, and how true that is. With God and neighbor, we forget the good done to us and focus continually on our perception of slights and wrongs. A pretty effective hellish strategy to isolate and harm souls.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Has there ever been human flourishing without men willing to fight and die for the safety of strangers?