Let your soul be saturated, with the sure conviction that fear is an alien in the world-system of life, having no proper place nor legitimate rights therein, and meanwhile resolutely set about the task of cultivating in every possible way the permanent habit-spirit of courageous living.
This book was written for the sole purpose of suggesting definite methods by which such courage-habit may be developed. In order that our practical methods may be understood, it is now necessary to analyze the subject of fear in its general outlines.
It is important to remember that the warnings of reason, sometimes called normal fears, may have actual causes outside the mind and are rightly proportioned thereto and to possible consequences, while real fear is due to causes not based in reality, or, if so based, is permitted to agitate the mind in a way not warranted by possible consequences viewed by a rational, well-balanced life. Our analysis, then, exhibits fear where reason ought to appear, in
A GENERAL ENUMERATION OF FEAR-CAUSES.
Fear of hurt of self by self (fear of self): substitute reason, thus—just estimate; no cause; cause magnified.
Fear of hurt of self by outer things (fear for self): substitute reason, thus—just estimate; no cause; cause magnified.
Fear of threat by things: substitute reason, thus—right cause; no cause; cause magnified.
Threat by others: substitute reason, thus—right cause; no cause; cause magnified.
Threat to others: substitute reason, thus—right cause; no cause; cause magnified.
Threat by events: substitute reason, thus—right cause; no cause; cause magnified.
Threat by the future: substitute reason, thus—right cause; no cause; cause magnified.
You are invited to work out the particulars of this analysis, and to examine them with reference to your self and life. You will make some important discoveries. One of the many questions suggested is this: Is the cause of anticipated possible consequences justly estimated in your thought—is it a right cause—is it really as you suppose? The idea is that you think of any one of your fears and then ask the question in the form just indicated. Thus we may have the following statement of
KINDS OF FEARS.
Fear of Self: timidity, lack of confidence, possible unaccountable states.
Fear for Self: weakness, anticipated failure, imagined disgrace.
Fear of Things: animals, inanimate objects, physical forces.
Fear of Others: human beings, apparitions, devils, Deity.
Fear for Others: children, parents, husband, wife, relatives, friends, strangers.
Fear of Events: present, future, imaginary, possible, probable, contingent.