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why do humans cling to fear?

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why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/2/15 7:26 PM
Normally by the time a real question occurs to me, I already know it's a doozy. 

But Dho has a few reasonable minds, so here goes.  Casting the line out.

First a definition and some science, so you know what I'm asking.

Definition:
  Fear is the expectation of pain.  The pain may be psychological or physical.
Science:  Expectations have been proven to create our individual and collective realities.

If fear causes us pain and suffering (via our expectations), then why do we cling to it like a life raft?  Clinging to poison - why?

I do not speak Pali, I speak English so please let's converse in English.

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/1/15 8:17 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C
Why do humans cling to fear?

Out of habit.

Psi

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/1/15 8:40 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
It's clinging out of habit but before that it is a survival response of fight or flight to control the environment. People who are worriers are existentially angst-ridden and want to control all their options to get the optimal result in life. There's some benefit to that but it can lead to bad behaviour and it totally ignores what is out of your control which is a lot for a lot of people.

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/2/15 2:33 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
If I walk a certain way and it makes my leg hurt I change it.  If it hurts a lot, I change it even more quickly.  I don't continue with the same habitual gait I've used most of my life when it is damaging and painful.

Thanks for the answers, but I feel like this example above would tend to disprove that idea.

There's some aspect of the mind which ensures we all cling to fear to some degree.  And as everyone knows, fear is the cause of all suffering, so this is a crucial question. 

What in the mind makes one cling to negative expectation?  Could it be low self-worth, which then creates sabotage via negative expectation?
If this is the mechanism, then spiritual progress may come back solely to worthiness.  Anyone with further thoughts?

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/2/15 3:51 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
CCC:

Thanks for the answers, but I feel like this example above would tend to disprove that idea.


I think the example you mentioned proves that a specific part of the mind (rationality) is able to override another part of the mind (instinct), in response to a very specific stimulus.  In the case of a whole other range of stimuli, I would say that the more basic parts automatically override the more sensible ones, as is built into the human blue print.  So I think making a distinction between which process of the mind is being referred to is important, rather than grouping all processes into one "mind" or one "human."

Could it be low self-worth, which then creates sabotage via negative expectation?


I would say it is the animal part within us, that exists before we even are able to form a self-concept (and therefore worth/lack-of-worth), that creates this attachment to fear.  This animal part may be what runs the show before age seven or so, when real self-awareness and social identity begin to manipulate our worldview.

If this is the mechanism, then spiritual progress may come back solely to worthiness.


My experience with spiritual progress is that it seems to somehow automatically mitigate any defects in the system, as a positive side effect.  Meaning, seeing reality through the lens of the 3 c's does not directly make me a healthier person, but its just a specific effect that happened to occur with me.  I don't have any theories as to why, other than the idea that paths are like 'energy-body-building', and improvements to the energy body will tend to improve multiple areas at once (i.e. physical health, emotional stability, psychological outlook, etc.).








RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/2/15 7:50 AM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:

I would say it is the animal part within us, that exists before we even are able to form a self-concept (and therefore worth/lack-of-worth), that creates this attachment to fear.  This animal part may be what runs the show before age seven or so, when real self-awareness and social identity begin to manipulate our worldview.


This makes sense.

You can solve the riddle by looking at the animal world. If a gazelle had to relearn or decide for/against it's fear everytime it grazes the savannah, that would be very inefficient and the result would be death before the end of the day, right? Same goes for our human ancestors. So fear and the reaction to it must be hard-wired into our system.

We humans tend to think that we are far more sophisticated, self-reflected and much more in control of our experience than animals. If meditation has proven me one thing then it's the fact that we are not. Our system is very archaic but efficient. A few thousand years of culture are just a drop in the bucket and won't change that.

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/2/15 8:25 AM as a reply to Andreas Thef.
Thanks guys.

In humans, expectation seems to interact very strongly with 'reality'.  There are plenty of powerful examples of this in the placebo and hypnosis literature.  And the new agers promote this and take it a step further.  Expecting to be attacked may well increase the likelihood of attack (to extend the gazelle allegory).  Expecting to be safe will increase the likelihood of actual safety.

For comment:  Lets say we had two gazelles.  One is trained from a young age to be a bit wary of lions, but not overly so.  The other is traumatized repeatedly to the point of severe paranioa when it's out grazing.  Put them both in a field in view of a hungry lion.  Does he have a preference?  Does he leave the relaxed gazelle alone?  If the first gazelle is trained to have no fear at all, will it still get attacked and ripped to shreds?

Bullies tend to look for certain signs of vulnerability (ie. fear) in choosing victims, and they naturally leave confident people alone.
I've seen this on the football field and school yard, many years ago.

Do we create everything with expectation? 

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/2/15 10:41 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:


Bullies tend to look for certain signs of vulnerability (ie. fear) in choosing victims, and they naturally leave confident people alone.
I've seen this on the football field and school yard, many years ago.

This revelation helped me to overcome my fear of dogs. After I was bitten a few years ago I was again and again attacked by dogs. They saw that I had fear. My solution was to pretend to be confident and to simply ignore them. Whenever I would meet one I would look around (never look at the dog or its owner for too long), look at my wrist watch, yawn etc. I've never been attacked ever since. The dogs ignore me like I ignore them.

However, the lion does not attack the gazelle for hierarchy or protective reasons. It attacks to eat and survive. But even in comparatively harmless social interactions (think of hoards/animal communities) I would argue that fear is still an existential mechanism (think of becoming expelled from your hoard) and probably even a mechanism for building succesfull hierarchies (fear is often passed on through aggression from higher hierarchy members to the lower ones). It's no wonder that it is so deeply ingrained in us. Apart from this being archaic and hard-wired we humans often deal with more abstract situations and fears.

BTW, a great book on stress, anxiety and associated social interactions in animals (and hence humans) is Robert Sapolsky's Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers.

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/2/15 11:30 AM as a reply to Andreas Thef.
Another question that comes to my mind is: How much of the suffering we experience through fear is due to the abstractness of our fears and our inability to dissipate the tension that comes with fear because of this very abstractness, maybe the loss of intuitive coping mechanisms and a taboo of showing fear? It reminds me of a talk by David Berceli. He says that, referring to his method of Trauma Release Exercises, animals often tremble while or after experiencing fear. Apart from really life-threatining and shocking situations humans seldomly do that.  And maybe this lack of coping mechanisms is part of the reason why fear seems to be conserved on a psychological and physiological level which can cause suffering even decades after a traumatic and fearful event.

Just thinking out loud here. Interesting topic.

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/2/15 12:54 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:


Do we create everything with expectation? 
Yes, I suspect this is basically correct.  No matter how much people try to change their situation, you will notice even if they get out of one situation, often they will soon be in a similar situation with just some of the details changed.  The mind will draw a person back into the same dynamic over and over.  The only way to get out of it is to change your ways of thinking.  That way you can let yourself get drawn into new mistakes instead of the same old boring ones!  (kidding, at least somewhat)  ;-P

Fear itself is an interesting thing.  I don't say I have all the answers but I suspect fear is like a dynamic of thought that is close to other more liked dynamics like excitement.  If you feel fear, a subtle change of thinking can lead it to feel like excitement instead, which is considered a more preferred feeling.  Life would be dull without excitement!  And I think it's highly related to fear, I've had some success with dealing with fear and anxiety by shifting it over just a tad to the more preferred feeling of excitement.  I suspect that fear and excitement are so closely linked, perhaps 2 halves of the same coin, such that you can't get rid of one without getting rid of the other.  Perhaps fear is more like an unskillful rendition of the energy.  I have kind of noticed that anxious people are people with a lot of energy, running about doing this and that, trying to abate the feelings of anxiety, but it doesn't work, anxiety is still there.  The way to abate the feeling seems to be, either calm down which takes some of the fuel out of the anxiety, or change the way of thinking to make it just excitement, or both.  

There certainly seems to be an excess of fear in modern society most of which is unwarranted.  Perhaps a lot of it is trained habit since childhood inflating concerns over trivial things like if your hair gets static cling making you look 'bad' or whatever other millions of little things we are taught to worry about.  A child usually thinks static cling is interesting only, not cause for humiliation, so much of this is taught.  One classic way to sell product or ideas is to instill a fear in others and then offer the product as the way to prevent the problem you have created in their minds.  We see this on commercials and politics all the time, fear based advertising works and bit by bit, the entire society gets ensnared long term by its own short sighted tactics. 

The emotions are strange things, but beyond just fear, which does seem to be one of the primary influences, the other thing I've noticed is that change seems to be for some reason hard.  I wonder if maybe it is because change threatens stability of the mind and so each change must be negotiated such that the stability of the mind is still maintained.  Things have to be shifted slowly to maintain the balance.  If an idea threatens the balance, it will tend to be rejected, the more the threat, the more vehement the rejection.  (Perhaps then, the way to successfully helping others woudl be to find a path of thought development that would cause  the least instability thus allowing it to move faster? )  Anyway, so what I think that all means is if someone has a strong belief system that they are not at fault for their situation, then even the suggestion that they might actually be responsible would be met with very strong opposition and mental rejection at the least.  Don't want to hear any of that airy fairy BS right?  ;-P
-Eva 

 

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/2/15 3:42 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
CCC:

And the new agers promote this and take it a step further.  Expecting to be attacked may well increase the likelihood of attack (to extend the gazelle allegory).  Expecting to be safe will increase the likelihood of actual safety.


There is caveat, which is that under the new age philosophy you are talking about (mental science- law of attraction), the entire world is one mind on a spectrum from consciousness to energy to form, and animals are just complex expressions WITHIN that process.  Only humans, however, are capable of individualized manifestation in the way you are talking about, because we are like mini-universes or mini versions of the one big mind, sort of an independent system within the system.  This is owing, most importantly, to the sentience/self-awareness that we are born with.

Do we create everything with expectation?


Once, again, talking within the mental science paradigm, we create everything through our subconscious (not our conscious thoughts), whose individual nature eventually goes deep enough to connect with a more collective unconscious.  At this level, there exist so-called 'ideas' or 'momentums' or 'energetic patterns' of the way things are, i.e. disease, poverty, the limitations of human society, etc.  The reason every new ager isn't walking around on water is that there each individual's experience is a combination of their individualized subconscious messaging system, which is then filtered through the limiting factors of the collective unconscious messaging system.  

Another limitation lies in the fact that we can not directly alter our subconscious.  The best we can do is practice adding in THE SAME positive thought/emotion, repeatedly, every day, and subtracting or erasing an negativities or blockages which are threatening that thought/emotion.  Only this type of intense effort, over time, is likely to make a lasting dent in the individual subconscious.  Also, sometimes, external, physical experiences must be had before a certain barrier in the subconscious can be busted


RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/2/15 5:52 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
Why do humans cling to fear? 

Here's how I've been conceptualizing this.  Fear is often the most salient, powerful sensation we have to cling to in some ways. Also, very reinforcing chemical biproduct (norepinepherine), reinforcing the clinging relationship.  Awareness collapsing into the most salient or powerful sensation without enough calm/concentration and/or mindfulness. We cling to the imagined escape of the fearful stimuli. Collapsing into fantasy self projected away from the fearful stimuli, often into the imagined future.  Fearful sensations are present, conditioning aversive reactive volitional formations, sankara, and conceptual proliferation  in avoidance of the fearful stimuli, ironically, becoming the relationship of aversion, the one who is scared of fear.

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/2/15 7:40 PM as a reply to Andreas Thef.
Andreas Thef:
Another question that comes to my mind is: How much of the suffering we experience through fear is due to the abstractness of our fears and our inability to dissipate the tension that comes with fear because of this very abstractness, maybe the loss of intuitive coping mechanisms and a taboo of showing fear? It reminds me of a talk by David Berceli. He says that, referring to his method of Trauma Release Exercises, animals often tremble while or after experiencing fear. Apart from really life-threatining and shocking situations humans seldomly do that.  And maybe this lack of coping mechanisms is part of the reason why fear seems to be conserved on a psychological and physiological level which can cause suffering even decades after a traumatic and fearful event.

Just thinking out loud here. Interesting topic.

Some good thoughts here, thanks:

Abstractness - this might be addressed by saying "I am afraid of x" and being very specific.
Taboo - yes, emotions often get shamed into supression.  No chance of recovery then.  Also addressed by naming and expression.
Shaking - a form of expression/release.  Implies freedom from shame.

I'm still working around the idea of worth and how this fits into the picture.  I'm sure it does now, because shame and self-worth go together.

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/3/15 6:50 AM as a reply to Drew Miller.
Thanks Eva, Noah and Drew.

Considering all that.

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/3/15 4:51 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:

Definition:
  Fear is the expectation of pain.  The pain may be psychological or physical.
Science:  Expectations have been proven to create our individual and collective realities.

If fear causes us pain and suffering (via our expectations), then why do we cling to it like a life raft?  Clinging to poison - why?

I do not think that Expectations have been proven to create our individual and collective realities.

I think that is a false assumption and a false conclusion.

For example , in Science, something may be 12 inches long.  We expect it to be 12 inches long.  Then we measure it, and yes, it matches our expectations, and indeed is 12 inches long.  But, this does not prove that our expectations created this widget that happend to be 12 inches long, say it was a fossil , or something, something 12 inches long formed millions of years ago.

Is it the same with the wave vs. the particle expereiment.  We are measuring one way and getting wave reslults, but because we are measuring for wave results.  In another way we are mesuring for particle results, and yes we get what we expected, particle results. But, this does not mean we created waves or particles of light.

Same with sound, we could measure sound as waves, and get wave results, we could also measure it as pressure changes, and get pressure change results.  Again, getting the expected results, but I do not think this means we are creating anything, even if we were correct in our expectations.

Clinging ot fear, it seems, is based upon habit, whter it is from a more ancient form of habit like instincts passed along for millions of years, the habit of involuntary reactions, or newer types of fear, formed in this very life and perhaps specific to each individual.  So, in this way I would say fear is clung to out of habit.

And, fear being a habit , can be untrained, or the mind can be trained to view pheomenon differently, without fear arising.  There are limits for each individual, and varying degrees for each, to be sure.  

But, most fear, being mind made, by nature, perhaps what you are saying is ,

"Drop the false expectations, and the fear will not arise?"

What about fear of death?  We all know our bodies are eventually going to rot away and turn to dust, so why is there fear of bodily death?  That does seem to be an irrational fear.  

So, why would anyone cling to a fear of death?  Is it because there is some other expectation?

I may be seeing this word expectation being defined as wishing, wishing things this way, or perhaps wanting, wanting things a certain way, and when that does not happen there is fear?

 Perhaps fear only arises when what the mind expects from reality and what actually is reality are not in harmony.  For example, experiencing an unexplainable paranormal phenomenon will generally cause fear to arise, either from instinct or habit, because unexplainable phenomenon are just to weird for the mind to accept.  Perhaps, unless one can train the mind in equanimity beforehand.

Well, you opened my brain, what did you expect?

Psi

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
― Frank HerbertDune

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/3/15 5:43 PM as a reply to Psi.
Thanks Psi.

I like Herbert's quote. 

For me, expectation is almost the opposite of wishing.  It requires no mental effort to sustain.

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/3/15 6:48 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Normally by the time a real question occurs to me, I already know it's a doozy. 

But Dho has a few reasonable minds, so here goes.  Casting the line out.

First a definition and some science, so you know what I'm asking.

Definition:
  Fear is the expectation of pain.  The pain may be psychological or physical.
Science:  Expectations have been proven to create our individual and collective realities.

If fear causes us pain and suffering (via our expectations), then why do we cling to it like a life raft?  Clinging to poison - why?

I do not speak Pali, I speak English so please let's converse in English.


Good question and observation. I would not be replying except that I just now completed the creative visualization portion of my practice and guess what I was visualizing?  Yup, fear - a cloud of fear all around me (it turned out to be a white cloud).   Why did I choose that "importance"? Because sometimes I get mild panic attacks with a hot flash and that occurred, so I decided to go with the mind's importance, or clinging, and do consciously what the mind does unbidden. I yawned off the fear particles like a hippo and many scenes came up - like Buddha's demons and devils - and kept up with putting the cloud of fear all around me until the mind was satiated and all was calm again. I also saw scenes where I had intentionally caused others to fear. The mind loves to have a problem, yummy, and I gave it lots to chew on.

Why do I cling to fear? My best answer from my looking is that this emotion and the sensation one can get from causing others to fear can be considered to have started out as a lighthearted and fun game; then it probably got out of hand and too serious and forceful and we lost that luvin' feeling for each other and ourselves and now you have people who hate surprises. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time, no other reason. Well, also somewhere along the line I may have figured out that pretending fear would get me out of a situation and then it became a fixed solution.

For example, I recently cured myself of an unreasoning fear of spiders - it could have been used as a way to get out of work, doing something I did not wish to do, instead of simply saying, "No, I'm not going to do that ...". Or a way to get some friendly attention. Let's face it: how many kinds of games can one play?




RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/3/15 8:33 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Thanks Psi.

I like Herbert's quote. 

For me, expectation is almost the opposite of wishing.  It requires no mental effort to sustain.


Hey C C C, 

So, maybe it is expectations in the expectations as a prediction , or as a hypothesis,  or maybe expectations as a form of intentions.  So, viewed this way, what the mind has within as intentions, the mind expects results from the intentions?..  

Just kind of pondering out loud, Effortless Expectations, Desireless Intentions.  

Ah,  ..., okay, so one can proceed with an endeavor without a fear of failure, there is the expectation of an outcome, but no attachment, thus no fear of failure, or wishing to suceed.  In this way, perhaps energies are better freed up for the completion of the expectation.

Of course there is the ole adage,  i.e.  To Set Reasonable Expectations, so that one does not set one's self up for failure.

Anyway, this whole fear topic has me obseving fear it in many subtle forms now, stepping out of the shower, there is subtle fear of cold, and wish to get warm, driving home there was a fear of hunger, and a wish to eat food...  All subtle, but there none the less.

As Schopenhauer has said, Pleasure is just the absence of Pain.

But, then again, the reverse could be said to to true.  I wonder if he ever saw the way between...

But, I will have to continue to investigate this phenomenon, Why do I cling to fear?  Why does fear arise?  If I am on a tall cliff overlooking the edge, will fear arise, why? What if I am pushed at that same moment? Is the fear automatic, involuntary?  Instinctual?  Was I expecting to be safe, standing so near a precipice?  Why do I have fears for the well being of family members?  Say when they are or we are all on a car trip?  Or in an airplane?  Out too far in the ocean, in the dark?  At night in the wilderness, when there is crunching and rustling nearby, in the darkness?  

Is it fear, or is it just a sensation of chemicals being released in the body, and into the mind?  Can fear then be transformed into a heightened state of alert awareness?  Equanimity riding along the waves of adrenaline?

Fear of my walls of text?  emoticon

Psi

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/4/15 4:23 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Interpretions of "cling"can take off in multiple directions, as already seen here.

1) There's a sense that fear is always there, implicit in living, given the knowledge of change and death, and the constant confrontation with change itself. It's less that one excessively gloms onto it, more that one can't completely get away from it.

2) Then there's a more technical sense, namely in a certain understanding of the evolution of suffering where craving something leads to clinging to that something once attained. Could be seen as wanting change (to get something), then not wanting change (the something attained slipping away).

re: Eva M Nie (11/2/15 12:54 PM as a reply to C C C.)
"… Life would be dull without excitement!  … related to fear…"

And "excitement" can be seen as the continual sensory excitation of living, sensations that are attracting or averting, leading to craving, either positive (attraction) or negative (adversion). And then to "fear", when undestood at that primal level (in all organisms), of the consequences of not getting what's attractive as nourishment (fear of starving to death), or not avoiding adversive stimuli that can signal that some other organism senses you as food.

(The terms used so far have obvious collorary in the terms vedana (feeling-tone), exciting tanha (craving), and often subsequently landing in upadana (clinging).)

re: Noah  (11/2/15 3:42 PM as a reply to C C C.)
"Only humans, however, are capable of individualized manifestation in the way you are talking about, because we are like mini-universes or mini versions of the one big mind, sort of an independent system within the system."

Indeed.

1) Documented in Antonio Damasio's interpretation of the neurology of mentation as achieving imaging or modeling of sensations into patterns, internal (bodily self-regulation) and external (the world out there) as a key achievement of evolution, making possible both more effective adaptation and coping, and also branching off into "what-if" processing, anticipation, planning, … even dreaming of future possibilities that might incur, or that might be fashioned.

2) And symbolized in the macro-microcosmos metaphor, e.g. in classical Chinese thought (e.g.in its medicine), that the human body/life mirrors the whole external world, and vice versa. Resulting in discovering principles at one level that are also applicable at other levels. In modern scientific thought likewise – the whole cosmos being some sort of complex, self-contained system, as also human society, the individual human being, each cell therein also, and each atom, etc. (This idea, obviously, is not exclusive to the Chinese, but is elaborately used in that tradition.)

2a) Also in classical Chinese medical view, fear is the archtypical emotion associated with the functional orbit of the 'kidneys' (obviously not exactly the modern anatomical, physiological interpretation) – a constitutional, deep level having to do with birth, shaping of life-span, and death.

re: C C C (11/2/15 7:40 PM as a reply to Andreas Thef)
""I am afraid of x" …"
A curious association: In the German language (and maybe others), the English phrase "I am afraid of x", is expressed as "Ich furchte mich vor x",
literally "I fear [or fear for] myself in the presence [or in confrontation with – 'vor' as in 'before'] x".This linguistic structure more explicitly pointing out that the process of "fearing" is rooted as much in the "fearer" as in the "feared". (That's a sort of phenomenological observation.)

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/4/15 11:28 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Thanks for additional comments all. 

Now I'm coming back to habit, which was mentioned by posters at the start.  I dismissed it, but now I can see it could be right on the money.  However I'd like to use the word inertia instead.  I've noticed the mind seems to get locked into a certain vibration which reflects core worthiness primarily.  And like attracts like - negative thoughts attract only more of the same.

A solution then.  Maybe this:

Worthiness seems to be core.  By this I mean other negatives cannot be changed without worthiness underlying it.   Worthiness is powerfully increased by paying attention to the body (since the body is the self, as far as the mind is concerned). 

So why did attention leave the body?  Because of uncomfortable emotions such as fear.  These need integrating or release.  Not sure on that part yet.

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/5/15 3:51 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
Worthiness seems to be core.  By this I mean other negatives cannot be changed without worthiness underlying it.   Worthiness is powerfully increased by paying attention to the body (since the body is the self, as far as the mind is concerned).  


Worthiness is the positive counter to a negative trait (insecurity).  I think primal fear lies deeper than insecurity and would still exist even in someone who deems themselves most worthy.

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
11/5/15 9:11 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
Worthiness seems to be core.  By this I mean other negatives cannot be changed without worthiness underlying it.   Worthiness is powerfully increased by paying attention to the body (since the body is the self, as far as the mind is concerned).  


Worthiness is the positive counter to a negative trait (insecurity).  I think primal fear lies deeper than insecurity and would still exist even in someone who deems themselves most worthy.
I see the process of spiritual growth as follows:

unworthy self image  -->  worthy self image ---> no self image.

The primal fear is to have no self image, which does lie deeper than unworthiness, yes.  Letting go of fear moves us from one stage to the next.

I reckon where many go wrong is they find themselves feeling unworthy, and they try to skip ahead to no self.  Tolle did this.  McKenna also, imo.  A very painful way to come into enlightenment.  That's how I see it - unnatural.

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
8/27/17 5:43 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
I know this is an old thread but I'll put my 2 cents in! I always looked at fear as a survival mind state. If we were not fearful I could very well walk across a road littered with speeding cars. Yes there is a desire to survive and the things we do to survive point to safety, habit & predictability. When said like this it only seems natural to think we cling to fear because in a way it is a habit, predictable and safe. It's perceived to be essential for our survival. So in essence we cling to fear to feel safe.

RE: why do humans cling to fear?
Answer
7/17/18 7:12 AM as a reply to Mark Robbins.
Why is irrelevant.

We only ask why when we have an issue we dont want to accept. Look at lottery winners. Not one asks why they won the lottery.

Are you suffering and do you want to resolve the fear?

If your answer is yes (yes, yes) then go through that proces of dying. Visualise it, om stop the proces, follow it to the end. Proces all the emotions. Grief, anger, missing, feeling alone, missing the person, etc.

The fear will dissappear.

Kind regards