Deconstructing Anxiety

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All of us suffer from anxiety. Not necessarily the clinical type but anxiety nonetheless. Philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual adepts have always pointed to fear* in some form as the fundamental problem of the human condition.

Our vulnerability in the face of an unfathomable universe can leave us feeling helpless, exposed, and profoundly overwhelmed. When asking the inevitable existential questions—“Who am I?”; “Is there meaning to life?”; “What is to be done about suffering?”; and “How can I be happy?”—we hear our questions echoing in a seemingly endless void. But these questions, the essence of our human predicament, beg for answers.

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With the premise that fear is the fundamental problem in being human, we have our starting point. To pursue this quest, we must fully deconstruct anxiety, reveal its origins and mechanism, and find its resolution. This is so for anyone working with identified anxiety as well as those who seek to resolve suffering in general, to discover an authentic, enduring fulfillment in life.

Three Postulates for Deconstructing Anxiety

There are three postulates that form the foundation for this quest, which I call the Deconstructing Anxiety model:

There is an absolute truth that can be realized. It brings a transcendent experience of fulfillment and is characterized by wholeness, completion, and freedom from limitation. It is our original and natural state.
Fear distorts this truth, fracturing it into partial, relative “truths.” It breaks up the wholeness, leaving us feeling incomplete and vulnerable to suffering, separating us from our natural state.
Deconstructing anxiety resolves fear’s distortions, opening the way back to absolute truth and returning us to our natural state of fulfillment.
I propose that these three postulates offer a path for the resolution of anxiety (and the myriad forms of suffering that arise from it) as well as the discovery of a transcendent and profound fulfillment.

An Impossible Challenge?

Too often, the idea of fulfillment seems like an impossible challenge. We arrive in the world ready to be afraid. Helpless and vulnerable, we are completely dependent on others. Bit-by-bit, we become caught in a web of defensive postures and self-protective maneuvers to ensure our needs will be met.

Fear becomes our chief advisor in this effort. We learn to seek its counsel first in every situation. Its strategies are supposed to provide security but inevitably lock us into ever-more fearful ways of being. Like a hermit crab peering out of its shell, we move through life anxiously looking for signs of danger, ready at an instant to jump back inside and hide behind our door.

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This fearful approach to life exacts an extraordinary toll. Its walls of security place blinders on our experience and boundaries on our potential. Like looking into a broken mirror, they fracture the unified truth we seek into many partial views, vacillating perspectives that can leave us hopelessly lost about who we are and how to be happy. SOURCE

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On October 10, 2020

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