There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope. – Spinoza
What does that mean?
To me, this quote describes the simple duality of the future. Hope and fear, they are the two sides of the same coin.
Anticipation, expectation, or our view of the future; that is at the heart of this quote. We don’t hope about the past, nor do we (in general) fear it. The same is also largely true for the present.
Only the future regularly holds the double edged sword of hope and of fear. Hope for what might be good or desirable, and fear of what might be bad or unpleasant.
Yet when we do consider the future, there is a balance between hope and fear. So long as we don’t let fear or hope rule unopposed, we should do fairly well.
Why is balance important?
As long as we stay largely in the present, and do not dwell excessively on the future, both can be muted. And if we prepare for the worst, we can mitigate the impact of the less desirable outcomes. Plan what can be, might be, and we hope never comes to be, and then follow through, adjusting as needed.
But balance is a tricky word in this context. I don’t mean that we must have equal measures of hope and fear, although you might find that to be useful to you. The point is to find what works for you. Do you need the fear to motivate you, or does it cause you to freeze and do nothing?
And what of hope? Are you so blinded by it that you ignore the potential problems or issues which could cause you to fail to attain your goal? Or have you been burned by hope so many times that you have no use for it at all? How does it change for different situations?
Most of us will be somewhere between the extremes. In some aspects of our lives, we will be more hopeful, and in others more fearful. Some things will blind us with hope, and others will paralyze us with fear. Finding your balance point will help you with the future, as well as help you sleep at night.
Where can I apply this in my life?
We must each find the balance which works best for us. And where that point is may well be different in different circumstances. That means you have to know yourself and what things will work best for you. And that means you will have to look within yourself to find that balance point.
That may not sound like fun, so concentrate on the fun you’ll have next time when you are able to get everything balanced, and have the right amount of hope and fear, and use them to attain your goal. You can make anything sound like work, if you word it incorrectly. Try to make it fun.
Take a moment and consider all the parts of your life where your hope is not well balanced with your fear, as well as the other way around. What about romance? How about visiting the top of a tall building and looking out, or even down? What about flying or taking a boat ride?
When your sole hope is to get out alive, your fear is probably a little high, right? And if your sole fear is that you botch what you plan to say, then you might be a little too hopeful. If you go back and forth between them, you probably need to get off the emotional roller-coaster, right?
Think about something where you have a great deal of fear. Do you know why? Do you understand it? Why is it so powerful? What do you do to reinforce that belief, and therefore that fear? What fears have you conquered in the past? How did you overcome that fear, and regard the activity as mundane?
If you are still unable to convince yourself to lessen your level of fear, you can look for books, find others who have have reduced that fear, or who might be able to help you find more hope to balance the fear. What works for others might not work for you, so you’ll have to find your own path.
What about the times you are too hopeful, without a proper measure of fear to balance things out? Do you climb things just because they are there? That’s great if you can get back down safely. If not, you might want to find a way to diminish the hope and find a healthy amount of concern or even fear for balance.
We all have reasons to hope, and reasons to fear. When we have too much of one without much of the other, we are out of balance. Good things rarely come from such imbalances. What are you going to change about your hopes and your fears?
From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/baruchspin105859.html Another tough quote to source. Anyone have any ideas?
Photo by Jason Wharam