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WIP Journal

WIP Journal

Fear Is A Hologram


A powerful, primitive emotion that builds an illusion of control 

Fear is a constant in our lives. We’re born with a stark fear of a world we’re experiencing for the first time. After a slow acclimation, our fears start becoming more personal, born from individual experiences of trauma. 

We’re no longer afraid of invisible monsters under our bed. The giant hairy, multi-legged spider with evil, red eyes we once saw in an ‘80s sci-fi plagues our nightmares. An absentee parent builds an unwavering fear of commitment. Respiratory allergies lead to us avoiding pretty flowers and cute cats like the plague. A swimming coach throwing us into cold, dark deep water when we couldn’t even float is probably the reason we can’t get into pools in the summer. Some of it is simple cause and effect.

Then there’s the unexplained fears. Paper, repetitive sounds, food colouring, things with many holes, pigs, the act of falling asleep, navels, trees, rain, fear itself. These are all weird fears we can’t explain to our friends, it’s not as simple as cause and effect. It could come from a traumatic experience, but our unexplainable subconscious might morph and attribute the fear to something else entirely. For e.g. a fear of losing control could mean we fear crossing borders or travelling of any kind.

Fear is probably the easiest emotion to get caught up in. I mean, it’s a survival thing right? The minute we’re fearful of something our adrenaline (fight or flight) kicks in. All the epic kung-fu sensei teach their prodigies to ‘use their fear’ - max out on the adrenaline and destroy all the bad guys. But, IRL it’s probably not that easy. If you’re not some kind of adrenaline junkie, seeing a massive spider in a small room is probably not going to be a fun experience. Let’s switch the perspective to the spider though. It’s probably in the exact same state of fear. Say, it’s travelled all the way from the rainforest and somehow ended up in this small room (not a great change of scene) and the first thing it sees is a completely new, completely strange creature with only 4 limbs (!!!) wearing a t-shirt with a bright red Supreme logo. The bright red sends it into a frenzy and it’s half paralysed with fear at what it sees as your odd, clunky movements. It starts darting into the corner with a coordinated 8-leg run. This completely terrifies you. See what I’m getting at?

A lot of the times our conditioning and experiences project fear as this undefeatable last-level boss, larger than life thing. It’s not exactly that. The second you realise the spider’s running around because it’s terrified of you and that it probably won’t attack unless you go near it, the illusion of it being this evil, red-eyed creature with bad intentions is shattered. The day you realise that your swimming coach was an asshole to throw a small child into the deep end + there’s a sensitive hot dude around who’s ready to teach you how to float at your own pace might be the day you stop seeing deep water as a living, soul-sucking entity.

Fear is a hologram. Which means you can put your hand right through it and marvel how it got to the other side. You can even just smash the device creating the hologram. Burn it, have at it with a hammer, throw it to the ends of the earth. Might be good to have a friend or a registered mental health professional around while you’re doing this though.

Check out our ‘Fear is a hologram’ t-shirt here.

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