Timidity, apprehension, fear, alarm, fright, consternation, terror, panic, desperation, are all false imitations of reason’s interpretation of the warning signals of Nature, to be displaced by reason itself, which may then determine whether the occasion be real or unreal, and always to be disregarded and overcome if evidently refering to causes which do not actually exist.
This principle is adduced in the interest of three things: peace, health, power. You are invited to note how vital these interests really are.
The truest peace, of which courage is a sublime bloom, is a growth solely of honorable living and robust self-respect.
Health is of the following realities: body, mind, soul—the deeper self. Health is soundness. A sound human is a triune wholeness. Physical soundness with weak intellect is often the athletic field of superstitions innumerable. Intellectual greed in an unsound body may breed the direst fears of life. A decayed soul is always a House of Fear. The ideal of human existence is—The white life in the sound mind in the vibrantly whole body.
It is because there are so many people who are in some sense sick, that fears abound in every direction. But—it is because so many fears are permitted and actually nursed as boons that so many sick people abound in every direction. If all our fears could be removed absolutely, we should no longer require physicians. This world would be a paradise in every respect. I do not know anything wrong with it that cannot be traced to a fear.
The causes of fear are weak reason, uncontrolled imagination, want of self-control, and ill-health. And the first three items are really phases of the last.
The ability to master and destroy fear depends, it would now seem, upon the following factors of our life:
The General Tone of the Individual; The Soul’s Power of Will; The Development and Balance of the Reason.
Reason is demanded to distinguish between right and wrong causes for personal effort in self-protection, and to utterly ignore all wrong causes.
Will-power is demanded to banish fears and to utilize reason’s dictates.
But the sway of reason and the force of action are always immensely assisted by a vigorous general tone of the personal life. Now appear, in view of these considerations,
First law: The warnings of reason are based in the nature of things within us, and are universal benefactors.
Second law: Fear is contrary to the ground-plan of life. It is no primary part of the nature of things; it is an alien in the world-system.
Third law: The destruction of fear always follows the growth of general courage in the individual. The fear-brood will not depart until the soul has acquired a fixed habit of courage. Whatever establishes that habit, or spirit, secures the service of reason-instinct, and so undermines and finally destroys the power of every variety of fear. These laws formulate a great