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Release the Animal in Your Soul: How to Lose Your Anxiety

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March 17th, 2021

By Simon Cole

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

The problem with anxiety is that it’s part of us.

That might sound too obvious to be worth saying, but look again… it’s part of us, not part of what is actually out there in the outside world.  If you are feeling anxious at this moment, there is nothing in what is actually present around you here and now, that is responsible for your anxiety.  Only you.  It’s all inside.

Fear is different.  Your fear is an emotional reaction to what is not intrinsically part of the ‘you’ you think you are right now.  The object that is responsible for your fear is outside that ‘you’.

And animals are different – from us of course, but also from each other (though for brevity we’ll have to generalise).  Other mammals might be startled, alarmed, panicked – I don’t want to say ‘afraid’ because the basis of animal emotions is so vastly different to that of humans – but they do not exhibit anxiety.

Rilke, for some the greatest European poet, first pointed us to the animal – “…where we see the future, it sees all time / and itself within all time, forever healed… / And we: spectators, always, everywhere / turned toward the world of objects, never outward.”

The animal does not know itself as “I”, but just ‘being’, its own being, joined to everything else being, without self.  For unlike humans, they are not self-conscious.


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