As a Bible Christian I memorized a verse from the New Testament: “God has not given us the Spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

The older I get and the longer I work with people the more I have come to understand how fear is at the root of all our problems. It is part of our human condition that at a very profound level we experience a kind of existential fear. It is down deep at the most fundamental level of our experience. There, before we had language, before we had rational thought, before we had self awareness–we experienced fear.

What was this fear? The fear of an infant in the dark. The fear of being left alone. The fear and bewilderment in the face of hunger and pain. The primal experience is emotional, not rational, and the primal experience is one of fear. From this fear comes all the negativities that trouble out life.

Are you angry? Beneath the anger is fear. Are you depressed? Beneath the depression is anger and beneath the anger is fear. Are you addicted? That’s a response to fear. It is the flight from fear and the search for comfort. Do you struggle with lust? Beneath that is fear–the fear of being alone and unloved. Are you greedy? The riches you crave are a false solution. You think they will bring you security which will protect you from the fear. Do you have low self esteem? Beneath that is fear. Are you proud and arrogant? That is a compensation–a substitute for the true security you crave which will answer the gnawing fear at the deepest level. Read more.