the thing about fear

“what are you most afraid of?”

…if he did have one fear, it would probably be of being wrong, or maybe of not being at all (as wrongness is both relative and a necessary step towards true correctness). He is afraid that he is not, or will not, consider the world around thim adequately. That he is/will not effetively understand why things are or should be. He’s mostly afraid that the thoughts that come out of his head don’t so much flow (let alone torrent) as much as trickle, and that out of the resulting pile of mental excrement very little of value for him, or for anyone else, will result.

It seems likely that he’s afraid of being stupid.

When he was in grade four (9 years old, the age when one first starts becomming aware of their own thoughts) he questioned whether those around him were sincerely themselves, or just actors. He asked this not because he thought that the was in a television show, or that he was being maliciously manipulated, but because he suspected that those around him were too much smarter than him to be in the same class.

He thought that he was in some way mentally handicapped, and that he was being deceived into believing that he possessed normal intelligence so that his feelngs would be spared.

One could argue that such thought in fact display precociousness on the part of a child. But that would not comfort young Jeremy, and the anxiety associated with this consideration would seem to be the most common example of fear found throughout his life. It would also seem relevant to note that on the few occasions during which Jeremy considered the possiblity of not being, it was his academic life, rather than personal, that instigated the loathesome doubt.

He is also extremely scared of large insects, to which he attributes more intelligence and danger than they could possibly deserve.

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