Tuesday, 09 May 2017 13:49

Fear of death makes us do everything we on earth do

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Please see if this essay makes sense to you; if not forget it and move on to what makes sense to you; each of us is in a different place in our evolution in space, time and matter.

THE FEAR OF DEATH IN MY SUBCONSCIOUS MIND MAKES ME DO EVERYTHING THAT I DO

ABSTRACT:

This essay combines scientific and spiritual psychology to give a fuller account of human behavior. The West emphasizes only scientific psychology and since human beings have a spiritual dimension thus gives only a partial account of human behavior and cannot heal any one through its psychotherapy; it is only when we combine scientific and spiritual psychotherapies that we can heal people and return their minds to peace. By spiritual psychology I do not mean the stuff out there written by those who claim to channel unseen spirits. Those are materials from people's subconscious minds; some of them are useful but most of them are mere poetry; they are stuff from folk's stream of consciousness. My spiritual psychology is derived from conscious thinking. Since there is more to us than our conscious self; the subconscious is real; my spiritual psychology is not complete; like science it is always evolving and getting improved with further experiences.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

I have always known that I am a very fearful person. However, at the conscious level I am very defiant of that fear; I generally do what I want to do in defiance of the fear I feel over it. In this essay I am going to try to understand how fear works in my life for I believe that my fear of harm and death makes me do everything that I do.  I approach everything that I do with fear.

If I did not have fear of harm and death in my unconscious or subconscious or conscious mind my behavior would be the opposite of what I know it to be.

I am writing this essay to help the reader do what I do: pause and examine how fear drives his behavior; I believe that until we understand the role of fear in our lives we cannot improve our personal behaviors; as long as human beings are slaves of fear they cannot change their world; but if they understand the nature of fear and overcome it they would start behaving like the gods they imagine exist apart from them (gods are people's real; selves, denied and projected out).

This new focus on fear began when I returned from California to Anchorage, Alaska (I have lived in Anchorage for many years but left and spent some time at other places but decided to return to Alaska, for  of all places in the USA I like Alaska best).

I moved into an apartment on the third floor of an apartment building.  I moved in with my girlfriend. Right from the first night in the apartment we began hearing noises in the walls in the bedroom. It seemed like someone was running inside the walls. It was freaky.  We speculated about what could cause it.

I am extremely rational so I conjectured that it probably has something to do with the heating system of the building. The building is heated with hot water that runs through pipes embedded in the walls. That was my conjecture as to the causal factor of the sound.

The sound persisted. Like clockwork, it came on around 5 P M and 5 A M in the morning. We noted the timing and it seemed like it is deliberate, otherwise why five in the evening and five in the morning? Weird.

I had hoped that perhaps the sound would go away.  I asked those living in the same apartment building close to me whether they hear the same sound and they said no.  I talked to the maintenance manager and he said that no one had complained about such sounds. I invited him to come listen to them. He came and as expected at precisely 5PM the sound came. It felt like some children were running from wall to wall, from the wall in the bedroom to the bathroom and then into the kitchen; it seemed like they were opening the kitchen cabinets. The man examined the place to figure out what is possibly going on. He tried his best and could not come up with an explanation as to the cause of the sound.

A few days later, I went to the apartment manager's office and asked her if she knew what could be causing the sound and she had no idea. I asked if any event took place in the apartment, lately. She checked her books and said that the fellow who lived in it died about a month before I moved in. He had gotten sick and went to a local hospital called Providence Hospital and apparently died there; his folks came to clear his things out of the apartment.  That was all she knew.

Upon hearing that the fellow who lived in the apartment before we moved in had died my girlfriend said that the sound was probably from ghosts. Prior to her statement that idea had not entered my mind.

She talked about how ghosts revisit their old stomping grounds.  She also talked about Alaska been a native Indian land and how some areas are considered by the natives as sacred land, such as where they buried their people. The white man does not respect Native feelings on these things and simply build houses everywhere. She said that the alternative explanation is that the building is built on native sacred land and the ghosts of the dead were visiting the apartment.

I really do not know much about ghosts but what she said, that the place is a vortex of sorts attracting ghosts seemed heuristic and I thought about it and reached no conclusion. I do not know that ghosts exist or do not exist. I am agnostic and do not have definite stand on the existence of ghosts.

After listening to her ghost stories I began having nightmares. In my dreams I would feel attacked by unseen forces and I would fight with them and in the process of the struggle I would wake up.

I do not give in to attack, to ghost or man without fighting back, so whenever the unseen dark forces appeared in my dreams I hit the force with either my hands or legs but I did something to fight back. In fighting back I would wake up from sleep, with my arms and legs flailing all over the place. My girlfriend would notice my hands and legs flailing and kind of feel amused by it.

In fact, the weird sound in the apartment did not scare her one bit. She looked forward to them and said that she was playing with the ghosts. What scares one person apparently may not scare another person!

I must have had over ten episodes of fighting with unseen ghosts in my dreams.  Eventually, the sounds in the apartment stopped. A few months later they returned.

I contemplated moving away from the apartment but decided that I am supposed to be a tiger (the name I was called as a child) and no person or thing scared me.  I have an unconquerable will so I decided that I am not going to allow the sound to scare me away from the apartment.

The sounds would come and last for a few weeks and then disappear.  Around March of this year the sounds reappeared and lasted for a few weeks and then in mid-April disappeared. I have not heard them since mid-April.

Here is an example of my nightmarish dreams.  "In this dream I was lying on the bed and felt an evil presence around me; I tried to tell my father, who, apparently, was in the same room with me, about the evil presence. I tried to say to father that one of those ghosts in the apartment is bothering me, again.  The sound that came out of my mouth was mumbled, as is the case when one is in a state of fear; I tried to get up from the bed and woke up."

The relevant point here is that I attributed the sound in my apartment to ghosts and my unconscious mind constructed dreams where ghosts seem to be attacking me.

Are the sounds from ghosts? I do not, at the conscious level, think so. My conscious mind is the mind of a scientist. I accept as true only what I can see with my eyes, verify as there and, hopefully, can replicate in experimental situations.  Yet, despite my conscious empiricism and objectivism my unconscious mind apparently accepts the existence of unseen forces, ghosts, and use that superstitious belief to construct dreams  in which I feel persecuted and I fight back.

I come from the Osuji family; we are our folk's Osuaghas, war leaders; we are a warrior family; we do not kowtow to fear. But in my unconscious mind is obviously tremendous fear that makes me have nightmarish dreams even if I fight the so-called ghosts causing the nightmares. I do not chicken, turn tail and run from danger yet I feel attacked by what my conscious mind calls irrational beliefs, ghosts.

The relevant point is that in my subconscious mind is belief in ghosts and that belief is used by my mind to construct elaborate dreams in which I am attacked by ghosts and I fight back.  In my subconscious mind I feel persecuted by ghosts and I fight back.

But am I persecuted? Of course not! It is my fear that made me feel persecuted in my dreams.  It is my mind that attributes to ghosts the unexplained sound in my apartment.

The sound is probably due to the building's reactions to changes in ambient temperature; this is Alaska where we go from extreme cold to mildly hot temperature so I can see the wood with which the house is built adjusting, such as expanding and contracting in response, to changing ambient temperature. That is, my conscious rational mind sees the sound as due to mechanical forces but my unconscious mind attributes it to ghosts.

If fear of harm and death in my unconscious mind constructs dreams where I see me attacked by ghosts and I struggle with these ghosts even though I do not know that ghosts exist or not exist, could it not also be the case that my day, wake life is a situation where fear of harm and death in my unconscious mind constructs a world in which I see things trying to harm and kill me and I fight back?

Could my day world be shaped by the fear of harm and death in my unconscious mind?   That is not only a possibility but is probably the case.

My day life is defensive; I am always feeling a need to assert myself and to prove my independence; I do not allow any human being born of woman to tell me what to do, so if I sense been imposed on I immediately assert myself.

To be so reactive, I must apriori feel like people are trying to tell me what to do? That is, I must feel attacked by people and the environment and defend against that perceived attack with desire to be strong and assertive.  In effect, in my subconscious mind is a feeling of being persecuted by the world and I am fighting back, trying to survive.

IN CHILDHOOD THE EXTERNAL WORLD DID ATTACK ME

Did the external world attack me to make me defensive? It did. In childhood I was in perpetual pain. I inherited serious genetic disorders (cytochrome c oxidase deficiency, spondylolysis and mitral valve prolapse). My body was always feeling burning sensation, like pins and needles all over it; I felt tingling in my legs and arms; sometimes, my legs felt numb. My childhood was not pretty.

Please do not even go there telling me that the symptoms that I described came from anxiety disorder; yes, anxiety produces similar symptoms but such anxiety is almost always secondary to medical disorders. I had serious medical disorders that made me feel like I am at the gate of death so I can understand feeling fearful but that fearfulness is secondary to my underlying medical issues. Anti-anxiety medications, such as Valium, Librium and Xanax may give one a sense of temporary somatic calmness but will not heal the underlying medical issues that cause the anxiety. I am an expert on mental disorders; let us not attribute to mind what is caused by body. Let us move on.

In childhood, I must have felt persecuted by my physical world, not by people. I did not believe that people in my childhood world did anything to harm me. If my problems were caused by people I would kill them. No one has a right to cause any child the type of pain I felt in childhood.

No, my problems were biological and medical in origin. I was persecuted by my body interacting with the physical environment (food, alone, gave my stomach so much pain that after eating I had to go lay down for  a couple of hours to recoup some well feeling).

In adulthood I have to be extremely careful what I eat for what most people eat and derive enjoyment from it causes me stomach pain. For example, I cannot smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol and do drugs; both stimulants and depressants make my heart palpitate and I feel dizzy.

My body was literally traumatized by its physical world and I felt traumatized. My body causes me on-going traumatic stress disorder, not post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD but ongoing traumatic disorder OTSD (Ongoing Traumatic Stress Disorder).

All my life I have felt attacked by my physical environment; I feel that at any moment the environment could harm and destroy me. Thus, in my unconscious mind is fear of harm and death. That fear of harm and death shapes my nightly dreams and also shapes my daily behaviors.

Let me reiterate what I have so far said. I have said that deep in my subconscious mind is fear of harm and fear of death; I have said that this fear is due to how my body and mind reacted to my medical disorders and that it began in childhood.

The fear means that my ego wants to live in body and perceives threat to its existence in body and is fighting back, trying to do what it has to do to survive. My ego and body realistically felt threatened by medical issues and how those issues made my body react to the physical environment.

In racist America, racism threatens all black people's lives so there is also a social component to my fear; at the conscious level I do not fear white folks; however, I know that they do kill black people and therefore  am on alert in their presence; I expect white folks to harm me and other black folks.

Most black folks in racist America have what is called functional paranoia; they feel that white folks are out to get them so their antenna is up when they are around white folks; they do not relax and trust white folks to look after their interests. This suspiciousness and guardedness is rooted in their historical experience with white folks who enslaved and lynched them.

Nevertheless, it is paranoid for folks to be constantly guarded; it takes emotional and mental energy, energy that could be devoted to product ends, to guard against expected others attack on one.

One of the reasons why black folks do poorly at America schools is because they spend a lot of their energies defending themselves from perceived, real or imaginary, attacks from white folks. They feel attacked and are defensive.

Students who learn optimally tend to trust their teachers and environment and learn from them. I am saying that the deficits in black folk's intellectual performance in America are due to racism and defensive reaction to it. If racism is removed the supposed 15 points gap in the average scores by black white scores on IQ tests  (such as WAIS, WISC and Stanford Binet)would be eliminated. There are no differences in the so-called races of humanity; all people are the same and coequal.

There is deep rooted fear of harm and death in my unconscious mind. That fear of harm and death shapes my dream life and my day life.

In personality structure I have avoidant personality. The avoidant person believes that if other people come close to him that they would see that he is not good enough and hence reject him. He feels anxious in society. To avoid social rejection he avoids other people and keeps to his self. In social isolation he strives to maintain a good self-esteem (often he has an unrealistically grandiose self-concept).

My medical disorders, in childhood, made me feel not good enough, especially at sports; I tend to expect other people to see me as not good enough and resent been seen as not good enough and react to seem good enough.

In Alfred Adler's psychological categories, as a child I felt somatically inferior and compensated with drive for psychological sense of superiority.  I do not consciously see any human being as better than I am; indeed, I often feel superior to most people!

In day life, generally, I avoid the presence of white folks. I used to tell myself that white folks are not different from the devil itself, that they are Satan in human uniform, and are contemptible. As such, I avoided them; I really did not interact with them that much; I interacted with them from a guarded perspective and from a distance. This was pretty much like what paranoid persons do. I scanned white folk's behaviors, expecting them to do something nasty to me; I am guarded around them.

In fear I construct elaborate dreams, at night or day time, where things are trying to harm or destroy me and I defend myself by fighting back or avoiding the perceived source of threat.

My life is driven by both unconscious and conscious fears.  The fears seem very realistic yet fear holds one back. Fear makes one live a guarded and stifled life.

Clearly, whereas fear enables us to take defensive measures to survive, especially when we are actually attacked, but excessive fear, as in anxiety where one building from past realistic harms anticipate future harms and feel fear, handicaps one's life.

So, how does one overcome this unconscious fear? Flippantly, we can say that it is in seeing one's self as safe, as not threatened by external objects and people. But how does one get to a point where one sees one's self as safe?

IDENTIFICATION WITH THE SEPARATED EGO AND BODY LEADS TO PERCEPTION OF THREATS

As long as one identifies with a separated self, the ego in body, one would anticipate harm to one's body, for the human body is fragile and vulnerable and can be easily harmed or destroyed.

But if one can see ones true self as not the ego, as not a separated self in body, one would not anticipate harm to one's body or the death of one's body.

SAFETY LIES IN SEEING ONES SELF AS NOT AN EGO IN BODY

If one feels that one has a different self, a self that is eternal one would not fear harm and the death of one's body. To overcome fear one must not see one's self as a separated ego housed in body. To obtain a sense of security and safety human beings have found it necessary to imagine that they are not their egos and bodies and that their real selves is spirit, spirit that is eternal.  Therein lays the utility of religion and spirituality. Religion gives people a feeling of security by telling them that they have a self that is separate from their perishable bodies.


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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176