How would your life be different if you were incapable of feeling fear? Would your life be better or worse than it is now?
I’ve thought long and hard about this, and come to the conclusion that in order to feel no fear, you’d need to be dead or delusional. I did wonder for a moment whether psychopaths would also qualify, but while they lack emotional intelligence in relation to others, I imagine their grandiose sense of their own worth would give them a nudge in the face of personal risk.
Having just eaten a bowl of thick chicken soup, it seems fair to assume that I’m not dead. Whether I am delusional is another question. Did I really eat the soup? Am I sitting at the computer, or am I kidding myself? If a tree falls in the forest…etc.
How do we know if we’re delusional?
As I’m still perfectly capable of feeling fear (although I’m not doing it as the moment: is that a bad sign?) I’m prepared to assume that my assessment of the big bad world out there is still reasonably realistic – if a little skewed as regards my place in it. So presumably I’m not warped enough to think I’m invincible, immortal and invulnerable. But am I fooling myself about a whole range of realities in other areas?
It’s a scary thought, but I’m consoled by two things. First, no one has ever told me I’m delusional, and I’m sure one of the string of counsellors who’ve foraged in my psyche over the years, would have pointed it out if they’d found such a delicious nugget. Secondly, I’m still permitted to live alone: even if I refused to accept the diagnosis, one of my N & D would have taken steps to ensure that I didn’t waltz through life causing chaos and mayhem in the name of a truth known only to me.
Or would they? Do I have any N & D, or are they imaginary? You see? How can you ever tell?
‘What is truth?’ said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.