July 19, 2022 by Dymphna

T-Bomb: What Dune gets right about fear

Truth Bomb Tuesday: Those sci-fi writers knew a thing or two.

I watched Dune the other night. I love a bit of sci-fi. Anyway, I was reminded of this quote:

“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.” 

I think I even had this on my wall as a teenager at some point.

Anyway, it got me thinking that while this quote is using the word fear a lot, it’s really talking about courage.

There is a difference between having courage and being fearless, and that difference is important.

They are different processes and shape us in different ways.

I would say that fearlessness is more common than courage. Many people have developed the mental discipline to refuse to allow any space for fear. They refuse to give it any mental energy.

This in itself is a heroic act. And it works. You keep yourself in a positive, sunny and empowered space, and you can achieve great things from there.

However, courage is different.

The way I see it, courage is the acceptance – actually, more the ‘integration’ of fear. Fears are not resisted, but seen and accepted, even loved.

You allow it to “pass over you and through you.”

You don’t let yourself move from a space of fear, but you’re not fighting fear either. Fears are not resisted, but rather, transcended.

And in this space, I would say, you are more fully alive. You are alive to the fragility and preciousness of human life, to the fragility and preciousness of your own life.

With that awareness, the sweet moments of love and joy and putting your sleeping kids to bed at night can be seen for the miracles that they are.

So this is what I want to say. Fears are not to be resisted, but integrated and transcended. It might be a subtle difference, but it is important.

And while the fearless and courageous spaces both allow you to achieve great things, my feeling is that with courage, with a fullness of heart, we are less ‘resisty’ and more in alignment with the flow of things.

My intuition is that ultimately it is a more powerful space to be acting from.

Anyway, I guess I wanted to put this out there right now. Fear might be used as a weapon at times, but I for one, am not going to let it throw me from my game.

I know there are things to be scared of. I’m ok with that. And my mind’s eye stays focused on goals that are good and beautiful and love.

“Only I will remain.”

Pew pew.   DB