“Why do we do all this: obey, follow, copy? Why? Because we are frightened, inwardly, to be uncertain. We want to be certain.

“We want to be certain financially, we want to be certain morally, we want to be approved, we want to be in a safe position, we want never to be confronted with trouble, pain, suffering. We want to be enclosed.

“It is fear that, consciously or unconsciously, makes us obey the master, the leader, the priest, the government. Fear also controls us from doing something which may be harmful to others, because we will be punished.

“So behind all these actions, greeds, pursuits lurks this desire for certainty. This desire to be assured.

“Without resolving fear, without being free from fear, merely to obey or to be obeyed has little significance. What has meaning is to observe how our fear shows itself in different ways, to understand this fear from day to day…

“Are we afraid of a fact or of an idea about the fact? Are we afraid of the thing as it is, or are we afraid of what we think it is?”

Answers, please, in a f-r-e-e-writing  notebook near you.

From J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life.  See also Rollo May’s The Courage To Create