Masthead Image

Excerpts - Fear (Tape 2)

Excerpt from May 24, 1980 Workshop*
(*Audience participation is in parentheses--notations in brackets have been added for clarification )

[Many of us experience fear, particularly when we think about doing something new or different. Sometimes the fear will come up in anticipation of a conversation with someone. Each of us has our own set of fearful events. This story from Dr. Bob helped me to see fear in a different way.]

Dr. Bob says:

Let's take fear, most everybody here is weird about fear, is that right? Well, do you know that there's people who climb mountains like Mt. Everest, and get frost bitten, fall off and all sorts of things. They take chances; but they're doing it freely. They have adventure.

So fear, when you're doing it freely, is called adventure. Everybody likes to have adventure, don't they?

Isn't that what it is? You're doing something dangerous; but you're doing it freely so you're having an adventure.

I have a friend that lives on a lake. Every time he sees a storm coming up--he has a little canoe, and he goes paddling out there and gets in the splashing waves. He's having a ball. He's laughing up a storm. If you got most of us out there, we'd be scared to death that we were going to drown and all this. Old John's out there just paddling his little canoe bumpin' all over and having a great adventure. He just loves for a storm to come up so he can go have an adventure.

(He doesn't have sense enough to come out of the rain.)

He's a smart man, but he's not scared. He's doing it freely. Sure it's a frightening thing to get out in the waves bouncing your tiny little boat around the place. But he's doing it freely.

(To him it's pleasure; but to a lot of people it would be pain.)

He has no problem with it because he's doing it freely.

Tuesday Night Talks - Reporting -- Newport Beach 7-1-80*
(*Audience participation is in parentheses--notations in brackets have been added for clarification )

Fear-Tower Story

[We join the workshop as Dr. Bob tells the "tower story" describing what can happen when we allow "fear" to direct our affairs.]

If a man were going to invent something, he would never work on it unless he was free to have a bunch of experiments that wouldn't work.

(You have to be more careful of what you start out………...)

You just keep backing up until you don't start anything. John told me one time that he was working a computer program and he went over the side of the page. So that one was a failure, so you had to get a bigger sheet of paper to start off--you ran off the page.

So we can all say; that if we want to succeed in whatever we're doing and it doesn't matter whether it is painting a picture, or writing a story, or making a lot of money or inventing something, or running a business of some sort or other; the first necessity is that you're free to fail--then you're free to go ahead and do it. But if you're not free to fail, you have to make so many precautions, that you'll never get going..

I heard of a man that wasn't free to have any discomfort occur to him, so he went out and put himself in the middle and began to build a tower. He kept building it up and building it up and he could still see that danger could come from above, so he completely enclosed it over with a dome on the top--he had lots of bricks and mortar inside. He completely closed it over. He couldn't have any doors or windows in this thing because danger can come through those, you know.

So, as you can imagine, when the got it all sealed up, he used up all the air in there, and he smothered.

Now if you are not free to take a risk--and take a risk means you have a possibility of failing--so there's very little chance of doing anything of profit, because profit is basically what you get paid for through taking a risk.

Have you ever tried to be safe, Mary? And what happened? You got very anxious, didn't you? So the source of anxiety is basically the attempt to be non-disturbed, is it not? Whenever you start thinking about how you are going to avoid any possibility of failure or a big fizzle, what happens to you?

(I get anxious.)

You get anxious which is commonly called being in the pits. Some lovely lady called me the other day and allowed she was in the pits, and I told her I had it leased out and she was trespassing in there, and get the hell out of there because she was in my way.

Then there was a guy in Arizona said he was in the sub-pit--not just the pit, he was in the sub-pit; and I said, "Well, why don't you order a sauna so you can be comfortable in there."

Anytime you're in the pit is because you are afraid of taking a risk.