Deuteronomy 28:28 says,

“The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart.”





…but in the 21st Century how can we better define and understand the notion of Fear?


Now Playing

Kendrick Lemar – FEAR.

From his 2017 album DAMN.


Why God, why God do I gotta suffer?
Pain in my heart carry burdens full of struggle


The emotion of fear is extremely primitive. It has helped species with even a remote amount of intelligence survive centuries and evolve over millennia. Fear can actually be divided into two stages, biochemical and emotional. The biochemical response is universal, while the emotional response is highly individualized.


Childish Fear…

[Verse 1]

That homework better be finished, I beat yo ass
Your teachers better not be bitchin’ ’bout you in class
That pizza better not be wasted, you eat it all
That TV better not be loud if you got it on
Them Jordans better not get dirty when I just bought ’em


Excerpt taken from Harvard’s Working Paper: Persistent Fear and Anxiety Can Affect Young Children’s Learning and Development : Contrary to popular belief, serious fear-triggering events can have significant and long-lasting impacts on the developing child, beginning in infancy. Science tells us that young children can perceive threat in their environment but, unlike adults, they do not have the cognitive or physical capacities to regulate their psychological response, reduce the threat, or remove themselves from the threatening situation. Research also shows that very young infants can learn to fear certain places, events, or people. These learned fear responses may disrupt the physiology of the stress response system, making it more difficult for the body to respond appropriately to typical, mild stress in everyday contexts later in life. Furthermore, when fear is learned, normal situations and circumstances can elicit responses that are harmful to a child’s development.


I beat yo ass if you tell them social workers he live here
I beat yo ass if I beat yo ass twice and you still here
Seven years old, think you run this house by yourself?
Nigga, you gon’ fear me if you don’t fear no one else


FEAR can be learned, but it can also be inherited through genes. Methylation is an influencer of activity of DNA sequences. Research has shown lasting responses from FKBP5 methylation , which effects symptoms related to fear, can be passed down to offspring. This, in a general sense, is otherwise known as Lamarckian inheritance and is seen as an evolutionary trait. More specifically to FEAR, trauma experienced by parents’ can lead to children

In reference to this verse in particular, it appears as though the parent has inherited fear from previous generations, but the child (Kendrick) has not. While the parent(s) in this verse clearly FEAR, among other things, authority figures; they seem adamant on instilling identical FEARs into the child (Kendrick). The reasoning as to why is both ambiguous and fluid. Sometimes FEAR is instilled for the child’s safety/development, sometimes for the parent(s) safety/development, sometimes for convenience, sometimes to ensure social standing. We are unsure as to which and when because at this point in the child’s life their background, outside of their family/parents, is almost irrelevant.


Fear of the Unknown…

[Verse 2]
I’ll prolly die anonymous
I’ll prolly die with promises

I’ll take this time out to speak from a deeply personal perspective. I have had huge psychological damage from the fear of unknown; the fear of what might actually come true. Haven’t we all?…that what fear has left as an evolutionary trait.

I’ll prolly die from witnesses leavin’ me falsed accused
I’ll prolly die from thinkin’ that me and your hood was cool

The fear of other people’s personal opinions of people. I think in my life I have grown accustomed to fear other people’s personal opinions of people. Could they also come true? Are “They” “right” or “wrong”? Is it contaigious. My fear doesn’t lie in the opinion itself; just the meta mental gymnastics that come with it. The mental energy that could be expended challenging something that is no greater or lesser than your own. A personal opinion. A professional opinion is a different beast entirely, and often drink those like water dependant on how clean the source is. And I think that is my point, a personal opinion is something derived from a history of experiences unrelated.

Which probably explains why I avoid other people’s personal opinions of people. It doesn’t matter if they are positive or negative. Regardless, I will be frozen by them. Compliments to the extreme…will be met with a shrug or downplay. I do not seek recognition in general. Attempts at insulting, [non-constructive], opinions cause me to put my life and way of thinking on hold in order to retaliate on equally personal and petty terms.

Or maybe die from panic or die from bein’ too lax
Or die from waitin’ on it, die ’cause I’m movin’ too fast

A personal opinion can be a mental cage that can trap people….sometimes indefinately…not unlike FEAR. A term comes to mind : “people react the most and personally to things that are true about themselves”. I consider this is wrong thinking in a similar vein to how the saying, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” has become a misquoted, mistruth. People have a fight or flight response to….anything. But I think what is missing is fear can also freeze, causing inaction. Seeing what we fear the most manifested before us brings us not joy, or sadness but in that moment….it brings absolutely nothing/inaction. I find that interesting. So surely that term should be, “People react the most to things that they are battling with , unsure , or even unconvinced of themselves?”.  Because if our truest fears or vunerabilities were brought to the light and realised, even indirectly, inaction or silence would be a more appropriate initial response. Probably…

But my biggest fear is not that I’m crazy. I know I’m crazy. By the definition of “Crazy”: I’m sure we are all some form of crazy…or humans wouldn’t have evolved. To the point insanity is another question for another article (For both myself and in general). I don’t even fear death. I think few people do, rather fearing the consequences on others that death brings; I can’t answer for other people. My biggest, deepest, personal, internal fear is that my brain breaks or my way of thinking becomes fractured. An awkard knock on the head preventing data being registered in the way it does currently. My “Empirical Self” would suddenly no longer enjoy selfhood. That is my biggest fear. This probably explains my social fear of personal opinion also. The brain, especially that of humans, are things of such fragility, because it is so complex. Minds being shaped, molded, warped and such things, to the point of insanity, I can accept as a part of life. A broken, or worse fractured mind is something I cannot.

If it does fracture, would I still be able to enjoy life as I do currently?

All worries in a hurry, I wish I controlled things

If I could smoke fear away, I’d roll that mothafucka up
And then I’d take two puffs
I’ve been hungry all my life
I’m high now, I’m high now
I’m high now, I’m high now
Life’s a bitch, pull them panties to the side now

Whatever our greatest fear is…it doesn’t matter. Because fear itself is of some  [supposedly] calamitous event that hasn’t actually occurred. Sure, it is something we protect/shield ourselves from. People have evolved to the point where we must/can go to lengths running mental simulations to ensure it NEVER happens. But the pitfall (or DAMN. -ation) of man is running simulations OF the calamitous event that we fear the most REPEATEDLY. We do the later to ensure the quality of the former is enough survival. Such is our complex little minds.


This probably explains….this verse.



Fear of Success

[Verse 3]
When I was 27, I grew accustomed to more fear
Accumulated 10 times over throughout the years
My newfound life made all of me magnified
How many accolades do I need to block denial?


Science tells us that unlearning fear is a fundamentally different process from fear learning. The process of unlearning conditioned fear is called “extinction” and actually involves physically separate and distinct areas of the brain’s architecture from those into which fear responses are first incorporated. Generally speaking, the unlearning process involves activity in the prefrontal cortex, which decreases the fear response by regulating the activity of the amygdala. The amygdala helps with a survival mechanism that lets us react to things before the rational brain has time to take over. Research tells us that fears are not just passively forgotten over time, but they must be actively unlearned. Studies show that fear learning can occur relatively early in life whereas fear unlearning is only achieved later, when certain structures in the brain have matured. Consequently,early fear learning can have a significant impact on the physical and mental health of a young child that can take years to remediate. More information on this can be found in Harvard’s Working Paper: Persistent Fear and Anxiety Can Affect Young Children’s Learning and Development

Achieving success is one thing, but ultimately success, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Negotiating the transition to adulthood is no small task. It’s a life task. One of life’s big, important challenges. This often involves replacing achievement parameters set by parents, with achievement parameters influenced by the upbringing of parents.

Is it for the moment, and will he see me as Job?
Take it from me and leave me worse than I was before?
At 27, my biggest fear was losin’ it all

I have already spoken on the role of parents in the psychology of FEAR. So to quote an article by The Guardian called “The psycology of success (1999)”: “[The Society’s 2020 Vision Campaign found a number of factors in what drives the young (12-24)]. The first is the legacy of the buoyant 1980s, where people were encouraged to take risks. Those under 30 will have only caught the tail-end of Thatcher’s Britain, but will have grown up watching their elders strike out on their own. A second factor is the change in the nature of work – the decline in long-term employment prospects and the rise in contract and freelance work. No more jobs for life. Many young people have realised that the few real advantages of ’employment’ – occupational pensions, sick pay, company cars – are being eroded. They have seen people around them struggle to adjust to their lives in line with their changing work circumstances. And they have felt the pain it causes.”

It appears as though the faults of adopting the mentality of a previous generation within a changing society help the young to define what thier success IS NOT. They fear what they may have seen their parents suffer. But there is still no indication what constitutes success. Furthermore, for all my research, I’ve found more articles on the pitfalls of success than it’s benifit or the pshycological indication of it. So it is of no wonder that even a multi-grammy award winning, multi-million record selling, multi-faceted human such as Kendrick Lemar still cannot accept his own success. Could this tie back to our FEAR of the unknown?

I read a case about Rihanna’s accountant and wondered
How did the Bad Girl feel when she looked at them numbers?

Nerwriter1 created an excelent YouTube video on the dangers of Schadenfreude. 

I personally practiced runnin’ from fear for a long time, I guess I had some good luck….

At 27 years old, my biggest fear was bein’ judged
How they look at me reflect on myself, my family, my city
What they say ’bout me reveal
If my reputation would miss me
What they see from me
Would trickle down generations in time
What they hear from me
Would make ’em highlight my simplest lines


Fearing Fear Itself

[Verse 4]
I’m talkin’ fear, fear of losin’ creativity
I’m talkin’ fear, fear of missin’ out on you and me
I’m talkin’ fear, fear of losin’ loyalty from pride
‘Cause my DNA won’t let me involve in the light of God
I’m talkin’ fear, fear that my humbleness is gone
I’m talkin’ fear, fear that love ain’t livin’ here no more
I’m talkin’ fear, fear that it’s wickedness or weakness
Fear, whatever it is, both is distinctive
Fear, what happens on Earth stays on Earth
And I can’t take these feelings with me
So hopefully they disperse
Within fourteen tracks, carried out over wax
Searchin’ for resolutions until somebody get back
Fear, what happens on Earth stays on Earth
And I can’t take these feelings with me
So hopefully they disperse
Within fourteen tracks, carried out over wax
Wonderin’ if I’m livin’ through fear or livin’ through rap

[Bridge: Bēkon]
Goddamn you

Goddamn me
Goddamn us
Goddamn we
Goddamn us all


Thank You For Reading


[Outro: Carl Duckworth]
Verse two says, “You only have I known of all the families of the Earth, therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” So until we come back to these commandments, until you come back to these commandments, we’re gonna feel this way, we’re gonna be under this curse. Because He said He’s gonna punish us… He’s gonna punish us for our iniquities, for our disobedience, because we chose to follow other gods that aren’t His son, so the Lord, thy God, chasten thee. So, just like you chasten your own son, He’s gonna chastise you because He loves you. So that’s why we get chastised, that’s why we’re in the position we’re in. Until we come back to these laws, statutes, and commandments, and do what the Lord said, these curses are gonna be upon us. We’re gonna be at a lower state in this life that we live here in today, in the United States of America. I love you, son, and I pray for you. God bless you, shalom.