The Power of Fear (POB WOTW #005)

avatar
(Edited)


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration."
Frank Herbert - Dune

Introduction

Image by Prawny from Pixabay

Fear is primal. Its power, apparently, is everlasting within the physical bodies of humanity. We experienced it when we were young, though we may not remember. Unrestrained, the power of fear is toxic or intoxicating depending upon one's mental state. In the hands of an oppressor, wielding fear becomes a temporary tool for obedience. Restrained and controlled by the individual experiencing it, however, the power of fear can become a tool to overcome obstacles once thought impossible.

Power

Image by Bogdan Radu from Pixabay

Power is an ability. It allows us to accomplish a task or create a device that can achieve the mission for us. Devices we make have a power of their own. Given a good fuel source for that object, it can perform feats impossible for an ordinary human.

Power is also a concept. It represents the control we can wield over ourselves and someone else. When coupled with emotions like fear, it means fear itself becomes a tool for management.

Vulcan Death Watches

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

One tool of fear utilized by society is in the training of their soldiers. Constant drills are meant to simulate real-life catastrophes. Continuous sleep deprivation, starvation, and people screaming at you non-stop work to break the bonds formed since childhood and reattaches them to the service.

Such an act becomes necessary since you otherwise would not learn the expected behaviors in such a short period. How could you possibly know dozens of pages of procedures if you're constantly worrying about your family or significant other? Let's put the fear of death inside you instead to shift your focus.

And so was my first experience with Vulcan Death watches. The senior sailors onboard my submarine used that term to describe a series of drills over 36 hours. It starts with a simple drill, and then alarms start blaring. There's a fire in the galley, and it's all hands on deck...BATTLESTATIONS.

The first thing they do to you is blind and suffocate you. You can't see because they put a bag over your eyes. You put a respirator and plug into breathing connections across the ship. You need to have these locations memorized, or else you'll lose consciousness before reaching the next air connections. And then you join the fire teams, put on your firefighting gear, and man the hoses fighting the fire. After about an hour, soaking in sweat and dehydrated, the drill ends. The Commander reviews your performance over the loudspeaker.

And so the drills continue, in another 4 hours, 6 hours, or 30 minutes depending upon your performance and the Commander's prerogative until 36-hours expires. You could sleep for 30-minutes for the next drill or not at all over 36-hours. Each time the alarms wake you, your adrenaline courses through your veins. And so, the power of fearing for your life and lack of sleep becomes a tool for learning.

Why Vulcan death watches? Because when running continuous emergency drills over 36 hours, you are drained and emotionless. The only logic you'll follow is that given by your superiors. Mission accomplished.

The Pool Party

Drowning.JPG
Story Block

It might have been a party that day. Everyone was having a good time and enjoying the sunlight and cool breeze. A wrong step later, and the plunge was made. I was too young and small at the time to enter the deeper area of the pool. I didn't realize taking that next step meant my head would go under. I went under and didn't know how to swim.

Where was she? Please help me. I can't tell where I am. I can't breathe. My chest starts to hurt.

There she is! Why doesn't she look at me? She is talking to someone else and laughing. At what? Me? I tried to breathe. The feeling is awful.

And the air starts to burn...

Coughing fits start, and I'm shaking and on the ground outside of the pool. Someone with a deep voice is yelling at me. Angry. I must have gone somewhere I wasn't supposed to go. Is he mad, though? He's yelling out at someone. Maybe I didn't get him angry, but someone else did. And it's her. She didn't know anything, but she looks at me and seems mad? Embarrassed? I'm not sure anymore, but I know I'll never get into the water again. Maybe next time, someone won't be there to help me.

A Turning Point

Story Blocks

I hate myself and the way I look. Disgusting. I need to get fit. I need to be healthy, but I'm too young to buy the things I think I need from those magazines. I'm so tired of being afraid. I used to enjoy going out with the family and enjoying the day. Now I feel nothing. Between the barbed wire, the darkness, and the drowning, I haven't felt the same.
I'm claustrophobic and afraid of water. I didn't know these terms at the time, but I knew how they felt. In my youth, fear drove me away from things I once loved.

Only one option remains. How far am I willing to go? I make the call and the decision. I heard about something happening tomorrow morning. I don't know if I can do it.

It was my first year of high school, and tryouts for the swim team were advertised. I didn't know how to swim. I only knew I had to make a change. I didn't know why this change needed to occur. It was 5 AM on a cold October day. The swim coach left the pool cold because that's how real men swam. It was my turn at the edge of the pool. I was supposed to jump in and swim 50 yards. I wanted to throw up and go home. I needed to be away from this pool.

I jumped.

My mother's laughing with her friend again. I breathed in the water again. The man, angry that my mother wasn't paying attention, told me to embrace the pain and my fear. He told me to calm myself and relax so my body could rid itself of the water.

There's something about freezing cold water that jolts your consciousness. I came out of that memory and saw how the others were moving. I started doing the same. I was choking on some water I breathed in, but I was swimming. Slowly inching myself to the end of the pool. I was exhausted at the end, thinking I would pass out. The coach helped pull me out of the water and welcomed me to my first swim and my entry into the swim team.

In Closing

image.png
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Fear is the mind-killer if you allow it. It will debilitate you if you welcome it into your arms. The power of fear is the power of conception. If you feel it is overwhelming, then it will smother you. It will be the drowning waters you allow into your lungs during your fright. The cold will comfort you as you collapse to its embrace.

Control your fear before it controls you. Seek the calm of life to soothe your heart enough to embrace that fear to propel you to a better place.

Thank you for reading and following on throughout my Hive journey. I no longer hate the way I look or fear the things that plagued me in my youth. I push forward because that's the only direction I allow myself. I look back to learn from the lessons life taught me and hope that I can be a better man. The power of fear is only as great as you allow.

Video Closing

Get out there and make things happen. Don't run from your fears. Run towards it and use it as steps to overcoming your obstacles. Make the power of fear your self-improvement device and pull yourself to greater heights. I was 15 years old when I realized this fact. I wish I was younger when I did.


Special Thanks

Special thanks goes to @regenerette. Your posts are motivating and it inspired me to write this article.


Posted via proofofbrain.io



0
0
0.000
42 comments
avatar

Vulcan Death Watches: This has impressed me, I imagine that there are various trainings of this type that make soldiers live hell. The science and art of war has no rest unfortunately.


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

No, I don't believe that type of science has rest included in its calculations outside of exhaustion. They are hard jobs on the mind and body in my opinion.


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

Congratulations @scholaris! You have completed the following achievement on the Hive blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You published more than 80 posts.
Your next target is to reach 90 posts.

You can view your badges on your board and compare yourself to others in the Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Support the HiveBuzz project. Vote for our proposal!
0
0
0.000
avatar

Very interesting read. Fear can consume you if you let it, but also it may be a great motivator. I guess its based on the situation and the mind set as to which alternative results.

Good Luck in the contest.


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thank you very much for the luck. I'm glad for the engagement, though. I definitely gets my mind to working.


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

See it as an opportunity. Everything that is challenging your powers is, in fact, a way for you to overcome it. That o point energy must be followed by introspection, dissect that fear, see what is it made of. You'll soon come to recognize old dusty beliefs you have been embodied for so long. Are they of any use to you now? Is it a time to shift into new ones and get rid of the old ones? Where can you find your real power?

Fear is something that you can laugh about.
Don't let yourself be manipulated into it by your own mindset. Throw it out no matter how you do it.

Thank you for the mention and I am glad you found some motivation in me.

I am here.


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

I could have easily not taken the plunge when I got older. I'm not sure how things worked out that way, but I'm glad I did. I did other things too. My bout of claustrophobia never prevented me from seeking work on a submarine as it presented opportunities for learning that I wouldn't have gotten on a large ship. In time, I minimized that fear too, though I could never eliminate it.

The toughest part was getting over the tight quarters. Sleeping became interesting:

Inside of a submarine sleep area


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

I almost feel it... I get claustrophobic in small places, in a plan, in an elevator, and so on...
From the first time I have read that you were in a submarine, I wanted to #declass that but I think I wanted to hide the idea in my brain, somewhere....I know how it is...I was always like this...fear of heights and claustrophobia...I am coping with them all..." repatterning my self-trust", this is what I tell myself, counting, breathing, meditation, mindfulness, recalibrations, anchoring, etc..I try what I can and see what works for that moment when the heart starts beating like a horse in a "run...Forest, run..." manner...

Interesting picture of your bed...I wonder how you got adapted in the first days there.

0
0
0.000
avatar

If you've never been on a submarine and report to your first ship, there's quite a robust indoctrination to life onboard. You'll encounter one problem because you don't have an assigned luxury bed, as displayed above. They may need to move people around to accommodate you. Until then, they will provide you with the comfort befitting someone of your station.

I call these "assisted sleeping arrangements".

Torpedo Room.jpg
Torpedo Room

They'll put a two-inch mattress on a steel slab beneath torpedos. You can sleep there until they come up with better arrangements in about 1-3 months. During this time, your nights will be filled with weapons testing of the torpedo tubes. Trust me; you'll learn to sleep like a baby.

I have to admit; I still don't sleep like a normal human. Though, there are those tougher than I who have not had such problems.


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

God!

I hope it paid you back somehow...this whole experience. Beyond money, that is...I've inhaled deeply while reading this last comment here...claustrophobic thoughts were testing me.

I'm so glad that part of your life finished....
I will be back online tomorrow.
Hugs and thank you so much for being close and showing me around...the submarine...joking...thank you for reading my articles and for opening up...

0
0
0.000
avatar

It took some time to come up with an answer to your response. My best response is that my experiences have helped me to a degree. On the occupation side, I've never been without work and I've always been promoted. I've also never had an issue finding a job. I can support my family and give them some comforts I've never had.

On the social side, my experiences have robbed me of emotions I no longer possess. Sometimes I'm on a low so low I must pretend. It is the way of things, I gather. When people cry and seek consolation, I do all the things I'm supposed to do, but only because that's what expected and because I feel they need it. It isn't because I feel anything from their need for consolation.

My wife was my salvation. She brought me back to a degree, but she was also broken. It was best for me to be a rock for her comfort and an emotional person that could empathize. I'm not sad about it because, well, she's my wife.


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

It's the essence of our lives that ultimately shapes our hearts, not just our cognitive behavior. What we feel or how or what we don't feel at all, they all happen because we had to let ourselves be put in situations that broke...our ego, some of our sensitive parts, our innocence sometimes, maybe even our power for genuine compassion.

I'd ask, without wanting to be intrusive in any manner possible....Where is your home? Where do you find comfort within yourself (not the real home you might have with your wife, I mean)?

Where is your SELF placed?

I am here.

0
0
0.000
avatar

My home is my family, where ever we reside. My SELF is placed in no particular area. At some point in my youth, I left home. I didn't settle in any place for almost 13 years. I spent my time going from job to job until just before I got married. It's during that new era of my life that I began to grow roots.


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thank you so much for your answer. I am glad you have your loved ones with you. I am still a life wanderess...

0
0
0.000
avatar

I hear you. I would still be a nomad if not for them. I was planning on leaving the country if I didn't get married. The world is quite a big place.


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

I'm so glad you found your comfort with them. I hope that one day I will find mine.

Hugs, dear friend!

0
0
0.000
avatar

My philosophy is that it will happen if it is supposed to occur. I will tell you this: I made a call, and my life changed irrevocably.

My travels have sent me from outside the USA and then between Maine and Florida and some southern states like South Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

I ended up in California after picking up a job here. The place was beautiful with, apparently, no winter. I recalled some brutal winters I spent working outside. I felt it was quite amazing to be in such a location. One evening, I remembered a friend of mine. We had spent countless hours with each other. I gave her a call and invited her over to see how excellent this place was. The rest is history.

She's given me endless indigestion, headaches, two beautiful sons, and a life of love and passion I wouldn't trade for the world.

Sometimes, it happens with a simple gesture. The trick is that sometimes you must initiate it.


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

I must initiate change in the main aspects of my life. Yes, and then it will occur.

Have a wonderful Sunday all of you!

0
0
0.000
avatar

We experienced it when we were young, though we may not remember.

Who said we can't remember? Lol....I can still remember my fears as a child. When we were always afraid of the dark, or the demons under our beds. When we were afraid that mum or dad will beat us up whenever we mistakenly break a plate or cup. And lots more

Wow. So this is what goes into being trained as a warrior or soldier yet I have friends around me who dream of joining the army? What?? Deprivation of sleep, and leaving one emotionless as a result of fear? Oh my God! The soldiers ought to always be appreciated because they give so much for the safety of the nation.

I can imagine your suffocation under the water. It must have been a very terrible experience and that is why you vowed to get into the water anymore. I guess you survived it, and that is why I am sitting here, and reading your testimony. Thank God, there was someone there to save you.

Are you serious? Up there, you said you will never get into the water anymore, but here you are swimming with the others,. Isn't that amazing? I wanted to say you would get into the water again when you said you wouldn't, but here, I am congratulating myself by saying "oh I was right" when I read the next paragraph. I am happy you got out of your fears.

Thank you so much for the lessons shared. Thank God you are no longer unhappy with the way you look. I will try as much as I can to not allow my fears to destroy my chances at a better life, Thank you very much

Great entry. I wish you luck in the contest


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thank you very much for your response. Getting into the water again was weird. I wasn't sure myself why I was doing it, but that's how it happened. One day I heard about swim trials and thought it would be a new start to a better life. I wasn't wrong, and I'm happier for it. The fear never left me, though, and that's what surprises me. It's how I looked at things afterward that changed.


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

One day I heard about swim trials and thought it would be a new start to a better life. I wasn't wrong, and I'm happier for it.

As long as you are happy doing this, it's okay

he fear never left me, though, and that's what surprises me. It's how I looked at things afterward that changed.

Oh, that is very surprising. But since your perspective of things changed, it is also good.


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

It is what has surprised me the most. All my ailments haven't left since I jumped in there. They have just quieted, but I know they are there. It's a constant vigil that seems like a daily chore now. In a way, I need that fear to remind me that I'm fallible. It helps me at work because I'm observant of my tasks. I can't even begin to explain it.


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar
(Edited)

Lol

You don't even need to explain it

For as long as you understand the way you feel about everything then its fine

I am proud of you from over here


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

Once you let fear gain access to your mind, it controls your whole being. It changes your perception about a lot of things and you find out that you automatically conform to your fears

0
0
0.000
avatar

True words. Thank you for commenting. As you stated, it affects you regardless of your intent. I found myself in a similar situation this week as some senior directors at my job were asking if I was interested in a job that was about to be posted at work.

The job was for a Senior Business Analyst at the place I work at. The way they described it made me feel like they created the job for me. The problem is that I've got a full house to provide for, and I can't afford to fail. What if I took it and failed? It wasn't a union job; it was management so they could fire me on the spot.

In the end, I applied for my job because of the same fears I had when it was posted. I DO have a family that I MUST provide for in this life. If I don't take the opportunity to provide more for my family, what would happen once the place I worked at shut down in a couple of years?

Time will tell if this gambit will pay off.

Thank you again for responding. I hope you have a blessed day.


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

nice detail on the ships and swimming, even though they were kind of sad😓-the power of water as a theme, i guess!


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thank you for your response! You know, I apologize as I didn't think to consider if my stories were sad. Reading your response I can see that they are bummers for sure. My intent was to merely display these as situations that held me back, but no longer do as I learned to manage the things that bother me.

My posts tend to err on the dark side, but there's plenty of stories from the light that I can share too! One of my next posts on Emotional Intelligence will definitely have happy endings.


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

yeah don't worry, it wasnt overly depressing or anything!

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thanks. One series I wrote on here was named Faith in Humanity. It had a tendency of diving deep into the dark, so I made it a point to make things more of a roller coaster ride. However, as I pull info from real stories, who knows how an article can end!


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

i think that you were clearly talking about things that can occur in the real world, and life certainly isn't all sunshine and rainbows!

0
0
0.000
avatar

Exceptional post. I feel like this could be broken down into two or three articles and could even act as inspiration for fictional pieces.

Reading about your experiences on the Vulcan death watches was something else. I'm not sure how I would handle a culture shock like that. Have you found that the experiences during that time have prepared you for other area of life in certain ways? And if so, what areas?

(I'm tagging @trostparadox here because I think he'll appreciate this post, since he's following my curation trail I'll loop back round to this post for my vote once I see if he's noticed it or not)


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

Wow. Thank you for your kind words. The idea of working without sleep wasn't new to me before joining the Navy. I experienced it in high school during a stressful point when I wasn't getting good grades. The problem with the Vulcan Death Watches was the frequency at which the ship deprived you of sleep and the way they deprived it.

The alarms, flashing lights, sometimes jumping into protective gear before heading into the fray mere minutes after awakening. "It wasn't boring" would probably be an understatement. It taught me that there were priorities in life. Deal with something now, then deal with other things later.

I have found the experience when a need arises certainly prepared me for other areas in life. Over the last two years, I've been working, studying, and learning to be a father and head of household. This, too, has led me to acknowledge that my life isn't boring. It has been horrible and wonderful. Horrible because people shouldn't have to go through strife-yet, wonderful because of the joys brought by fatherhood.

Insomnia perfected through military life now has an application despite its consequences.


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

Can art blossom from someone's fear?

0
0
0.000
avatar

I feel that you can manage fear or any emotion enough to redirect it towards some safer outlet you can manage. My safer outlet is analysis at work and family life.

For others, it may be art. This is as honest an answer as I can give as I am not an artist.

0
0
0.000
avatar

We had something similar to the vulcan death watches in the military. It is definitely not fun and looks like borderline torture from the outside but like you explained, it made us not question our superiors' authority.

Fear is the mind-killer if you allow it. It will debilitate you if you welcome it into your arms.

Very true, scholaris. Sometimes the fear of something is worse than the thing itself. Well written as always and all the best in this week's competition!


Posted via proofofbrain.io

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thank you very much, sir! Best of luck in your days as well.

0
0
0.000