“Fear”

from the back cover of the 1971 funkadelic album maggotbrain

What I understand from the following is, -you don’t know ‘nothing’, unless you know and own your own fear- for unrecognized fear is a sure-fire way to being ruled from the outside. Part of the reason I bring this here, is because Christian Science style thinking by strong minded individuals is a powerful way to banish fears; but even more, a way to banish Fear.

“Fear is at the root of man’s destruction of himself. Without Fear there is no blame. Without blame there is no conflict. Without blame there is no destruction. But there IS Fear; deep within the core of every human being it lurks like a monster; dark and intangible. Its outward effects are unmistakable. Its source is hidden.

“It can be seen on one level in furtive embarrassment, argumentative protest, social veneer and miserable isolation. It can be seen on another level in the mammoth build up of war machines in every corner of the world. It can be seen in the fantasy world of escapism known as entertainment. It can be seen in the squalor of ghettos and the pretentious elegance of ‘civilized’ society. It can be seen in the desperate rat race of commerce and industry, the sensational slanderings of the press, the constant back-biting of the political arena and the lost world of the helpless junkie who has passed beyond the point of no return.

“The tight-lipped suppression of the rigid moralist reflects it, as does the violent protest of the anarchist. But more starkly and tragically than anywhere else, it manifests in the pale grey shadow of the ordinary person, whose fear clamps down on all his instincts and traps him in the narrow confines of the socially accepted norm. Afraid either to step down into the darkness of his lower self or to rise up into the light of his higher self, he hangs suspended in between, stultified into the alien pattern of nothingness.

“But to a greater or lesser degree, and manifesting one way or another, all human beings are afraid. And some of us are so afraid that we dare not show our fear. Sometimes we dare not even know our fear. For Fear itself is a terrifying concept to behold.

“We may confess to being afraid of violence and pain and even ghosts; and with such obvious terrors, pigeon-hole our fear to our own satisfaction. But fear of people, fear of ourselves, fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of our closest friends, fear of isolation, fear of contact, fear of loneliness, fear of involvement, fear of rejection, fear of commitment, fear of sickness, fear of deprivation, fear of inadequacy, fear of emotion, fear of GOD, fear of knowledge, fear of death, fear of responsibility, fear of sin, fear of virtue, fear of guilt, fear of punishment, fear of damnation, fear of the consequences of our actions, and fear of our own fear? How many of us recognize the presence of ourselves in these?

“And if some of us recognize some of them, are we prepared to see the full extent of them? Do we know just how afraid we are? And do we know the effect that our fear has on our lives? Do we know how completely we are governed by fear?

“And do we know that the world is governed by the sum total of every human being’s fear, and ours is not excluded?

“Do we know the extent to which we are at odds with one another – despite some promising apparencies simply through our fear of one another? Do we know the extent to which we are at war with one another on every level from personal to world wide – because we are afraid?

“And do we know that wars and rumors of wars mount up in an ascending spiral of violence and potential violence, as the fear in the hearts of men intensifies? Do we know that strife of every kind increase as hatred, resentment, jealously and prejudice increase, and that all these stem from one thing only: Fear?

“And do we know that one thing only ensures the escalation of the spiral of violence and destruction; our own unwillingness to recognize the full extent of our fear and its effects – our fear of Fear?

“For each and every one of us, as long as he is afraid, and unwilling to see with full clarity his fear for what it is, contributes to the crippling conflict that has become the hallmark of this world of ours. And as long as there IS fear, together with unwillingness to see it clearly and completely, as long as human beings are afraid and also fail to recognize the fact in their need to isolate themselves, in their outbursts of anger and irritation, in their embarrassment, in their sense of failure, in their feelings of resentment and frustration, in their desire for revenge, in their guilt, in their confusion, in their uncertainty, in their disappointment, in their anxiety about the future and their wish to forget the past, in their need to blame others and justify themselves, in their sense of helplessness and despair, in their revulsion and disgust, in their need to be vicious and spiteful, in their lack of confidence, in their tendency to boast and protest their superiority, in their futility, in their misery and in their scorn; as long as human beings fail to see THEIR fear reflected in these and a hundred other manifestations of Fear, then they will fail to see their part in the relentless tide of hatred and violence, destruction and devastation, that sweeps the earth. And the tide will not ebb until all is destroyed.”

You do not see much discussion of Fear, so this album cover kind of gave me chills, when I first read it decades ago. Before being quoted on the back of Funkadelic’s album, the above words came from a weird “church” of the 1960’s, “The Process Church of the Final Judgement” or something to that effect. That church, which evolved into a no kill animal shelter, was just one attempt in the 1960’s to re-institute some retro 19th century way of looking at things, and it always was unstable and mutable. But they had a magazine and one of the founders of the church wrote the above for the magazine. They were considered a satanic church, because they believed in some kind of reunion between God and Satan at the apocalypse, but they weren’t singling out Satan for worship as did Crowley and LaVey, then a couple of others, who were nothing but anal-retentive show-offs. The founders of “The Process” church were kind of nutso and it was said that Charlie Manson visited them, so the church basically fell apart, because that wasn’t what they meant to attract. Or something.
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