Courage, Fear and the World to Come

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In most circumstances, the human mind chooses a course of action based on courage or fear. When it is courage-struck, it mainly tries to explore, create and expand. When it is fear-struck, it mostly works to attack, destroy and contract. In both cases, the course of action chosen is instinctive, and part of what nature has built into the system for preservation. However, while actions rooted in courage lead humanity forward, actions rooted in fear achieve the opposite. 

Why is conquering fear important for the world to come? If society is overwhelmed with fear, human minds will instinctively choose actions that have inferior outcomes for themselves and the world around them. Evidently, much of what is happening around us is a consequence of this fear-mongering that has gained ground. Hoarding wealth through corruption, unethical practices in business, lobbying to distort policy, tightening borders, terrorism, war, and an endless list of world’s problems are all naturally occurring consequences of the fear-struck mind. 

In contrast to above, if society gets rooted in courage, human minds will instinctively choose actions that have superior outcomes for themselves and the world around them. In this case, courage-struck minds will create something positive leading up to a less insecure world filled with empathy, appreciation of diversity, ethical behaviour, and love. For these reasons, global media and the leaders who colour it, by their power to instil courage or fear in the human mind, will be responsible for the world that future generations will see. 

However, a more fundamental question is this: what is the source of these two siblings of courage and fear? For the human mind, fear springs from its inability to control the uncertainties of life, in not being able to understand the unknown, and from its experience of the external world. Courage emerges from its conviction that uncertainty is a play of nature, who is but a mother of higher order, and that the soul within is an imperishable spark of the divine. The light of this spark leads to the conquest of fear. Listen ye children of immortality (‘Shrinwantu Vishwe Amritasya Putra’)entreats the Shvetashvatara Upanishad.

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