Faith cannot overcome fear; it merely substitutes another fear. Only facts can overcome fear. Find out why this is true.
When we face something fearful, our instincts engage our primitive brain. Our monkey brain is a marvelous design of the nervous system, which helps us react quickly to potential danger. The monkey brain pumps adrenalin into our systems. Adrenalin is harmful to our higher brain functions. When then happens, the brain shuts off circulation to the frontal cortex to protect it.
We need to engage our higher thinking functions to make better decisions. Otherwise, we react to fear instead of with a calculated response. We can learn how to do this and avoid being manipulated by fear.
“It’s a fact that people are afraid of what they don’t understand. And most are too lazy or ignorant to find out more.” ― Richelle Mead, Silver Shadows
Faith Cannot Overcome
The basis of the three most popular religions is the belief in mythology. We all recognize them immediately; they are the Abrahamic religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. These systems aren’t original, and they are the rebranding of the ancient mystery religions of the Medditraian region; Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian, and Persian.
If you use myths correctly, they can help point us in the direction of spiritual exploration. The stories contained in the above ancient folklore help us understand and remember the story’s lessons. These legends use metaphors, analogies, and word pictures to communicate underlying ideas and principles.
The problem arises when we mistake the metaphors and analogies for facts. When people use folklore and mythology as facts, people will believe almost anything. It is especially true when religions link our primal fears to their doctrines.
“You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?” ― Mark Twain
“You can’t use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn’t use reason to get into.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson
Faith cannot overcome fear; it substitutes another fear which it can monetize. Instead of facing the object of our fear, belief replaces it with another. The most misused fear is our existential fear of death.
Our existential fear of death should drive us on a journey of inner discovery. Unfortunately, many people fall for the counterfeit answer from religion. It comes in the form of Afterlife beliefs. Now, we fear the loss of life and our place in the afterlife. Will it be an eternity in heaven or hell? No matter which religion you pick, you will be wrong. Those who believe in other faiths think you are wrong. We are all going to in someone else’s religion.
Fear is a trigger. Fear engages our primitive brain, which activates our fight, flight, or freeze response. It helped us survive by reacting in the wild, but this tactic is counterproductive when we need to think about the best answer. Belief cannot overcome fear. Belief is another name for denial.
Faith is the belief in religious mythology over facts. If faith equaled fact, then all Gods would be real. Unfortunately, this is the logical conclusion of faith. Some people are proud to say. “I live by faith.” And, they are proud of such a declaration because it is a part of their false identity. It is like putting a blindfold on common sense and logic.
“For we live by faith, not by sight.”— 2 Corinthians 5:7 New International Version
It’s dangerous not only for the person who believes this but for everyone in their circle of influence. It takes a lot of work and self-hypnosis to maintain this worldview.
It requires the denial of any information that doesn’t fit within the mythology. So blind faith cannot overcome fear. Instead, it provides a counterfeit answer, substitutes another “fear,” or denies facts that contradict the answer. Belief in fairytales, folklore, or mythology results in the following rejections and substitutions:
Deny and Substitute
Substitute religious and political leaders rhetoric
Deny physicians/public health experts
Substitute religious and political leaders rhetoric
Facts Overcome Fear
A better way is to use facts. Follow the advice of science; this is a better antidote. If you find yourself caught up in negative feelings, stop. Regain your emotional equilibrium and think instead of just reacting.
We recommend the use of a process we call an emotional check. It’s a simple process anyone can use to minimize the effect of propaganda. The media bombards us with different information. It is hard to distinguish facts from fiction unless we can fully engage our analytical abilities.
Facts overcome fear when we can act responsibly and deliberately. We are not in denial of a crisis, but we learn to make decisions that are not driven by those with a secondary gain or hidden agendas.
In the example above, we talked about our existential fear of death. Seeking our “personal truths” and discovering our place in life are where we find genuine answers. We learn to value this life, not the hereafter. Facts overcome fear when we grasp that faith cannot overcome the anxiety of our eventual demise. Belief in fairytales and mythologies are substitutes that religion uses to make us customers.
Religion always tries to insert its prejudiced beliefs into politics. In the dark ages, religion had complete control over much of the world. It made the Chuch the most powerful entity in Europe. Many people would like to see us return to the dark ages. Religious fanatics and extremists have infiltrated governments to install Draconian beliefs as law.
Science and reason are the champions. They stand against the oppression and discrimination of organized religion. They help us see that facts overcome fear. To do this, we must turn away from the self-hypnosis of organized religion.
Confusing Religion with Spirituality
Western organized religion has tried to assimilate all things spiritual. When, in fact, their dogma is the opposite. Even the teachers they quote talk opening about rejecting organized religion. Nevertheless, religions were created in their names, anyway.
We are spiritual beings. But, you do not learn about yourself by following mythology and superstitions. We have an innate desire to explore the unknown. Authentic spiritual exploration is an inward journey. It has nothing to with organized religion and indeed not any of the popular brands of Western organized mythologies.
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(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia