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Quotes tagged “Anxiety”

“People have, like, three—well, there are four fundamental fears. One is fear of their own inadequacy and malevolence. Now, that’s a big fear, man. That can really, that can really do you in if you confront it accidentally and fully. Happens to soldiers sometimes in battle when they find themselves doing things they can’t believe they’d do, and then, we’re afraid of society. That would be the oppressive patriarchy, because society judges us harshly and mercilessly in many ways, and we don’t like to plummet in the—what would you call it?—we don’t like to see our reputations savaged in front of the groups that we identify with. It’s extraordinarily hard on us emotionally for that to happen, which I wrote about, for example, in Rule 1, which is a chapter that details, in part, the fact that the neuro-chemical systems that track your status in competence hierarchies also regulate the balance between your positive and negative emotions such that if you suffer a social defeat, your proclivity to experience negative emotion radically increases and your proclivity to experience positive emotion radically decreases, and people seriously do not like that. No wonder, because who wants to be completely overwhelmed with sadness and bitterness and anxiety and resentment and disappointment and frustration and grief and then also devoid of happiness? That’s the verge definition of hell, and if a status defeat will increase that probability, then we will fight very hard to maintain our status positions, which we certainly do. That’s another fear, and of course we have the fear of nature, and we should, because, of course, nature, despite being the environment and this thing we should be striving to protect and maintain is also trying with all of its might constantly to make us ill and old and kill us and it is generally very successful at all three. And so there’s every reason to be afraid of nature. And, you know, one night alone in the bush will pretty much convince you of that. And then people are also afraid of the unknown, and so this is a big category—the terror that human beings face, and to be naked onstage is to face at least two or three of those simultaneously.”

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