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Source: Mastery of Self
Category: Chapter I - The Twin-Verses

"In civilized life it has at last become possible for large

numbers of people to pass from the cradle to the grave without

ever having had a pang of genuine fear Many of us need an attack

of mental disease to teach us the meaning of the word"--William


We have all heard the seemingly discriminating remarks that fear

is normal and abnormal, and that normal fear is to be regarded as

a friend, while abnormal fear should be destroyed as an enemy

The fact is that no so--called normal fear can be named which has

not been clearly absent in some people who have had every cause

therefor If you will run over human history in your mind, or look

about yea in the present life, you will find here and there

persons who, in situations or before objects which ought, as any

fearful soul will insist, to inspire the feeling of at least

normal self-protecting fear, are nevertheless wholly without the

feeling They possess every feeling and thought demanded except

fear The idea of self-preservation is as strongly present as with

the most abjectly timid or terrified, but fear they do not know

This FEARLESS awareness of fear--suggesting conditions may be due

to several causes It may result from constitutional make-up, or

from long--continued training or habituation, or from religious

ecstasy, or from a perfectly calm sense of spiritual selfhood

which is unhurtable, or from the action of very exalted reason

Whatever the explanation, the fact remains: the very causes which

excite fear in most of us, merely appeal, with such people, if at

all to the instinct of self-preservation and to reason, the

thought-element of the soul which makes for personal peace and




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