We can see what fear does to each one of us. It makes one tell lies; it corrupts one in various ways; it makes the mind empty, shallow. There are dark corners in the mind which can never be investigated and exposed as long as one is afraid. Physical self-protection, the instinctive urge to keep away from the venomous snake, to draw back from the precipice, to avoid falling under the tramcar, and so on, is sane, normal, healthy.
If you consider what fear is and how to approach it, you will see that for most of us the word is much more important than the fact. Take the word loneliness. By that word I mean the sense of isolation that suddenly comes upon one for no apparent reason. I don't know if this has ever happened to you. Though you may be surrounded by your family, by your neighbors, though you may be walking with friends or riding in a crowded bus, suddenly you feel completely isolated.
Now, the word loneliness prevents us from entering into a complete understanding of that state. The word, associated with past experience, evokes the feeling of danger and creates fear; therefore, we try to run away. Please watch yourself as in a mirror, do not just listen to me, and you will see that the word has extraordinary significance for most of us. Words like God, communism, hell, heaven, loneliness, wife, family - what an astonishing influence they have on us.