The Litany Against Fear

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

The Bene-Gesserit “Litany Against Fear”… I say this when I am dealing with great pain.  I know this sounds stupid, but when I recite this in my head, usually by the third or forth repetition I am back in control and can continue with what I am trying to do… such as standing up on a broken ankle, or other severe mind-numbing pain.    I said this when I shattered an ankle.  I said this when I took a round to my vest…

I also said this before I shot a 298 at the MAG-40 class.  It’s not necessarily about fear… but more about focus.  I can’t explain it, but it works for me.  It might work for you too.

 

22 thoughts on “The Litany Against Fear”

  1. It is self hypnotization. It is a little ritual that focuses your mind. The Lord’s Prayer works for me. It reminds me that I am not alone, and that millions before me have endured much worse.

  2. Ah…Ogre,

    Major WIN for the most awesome classic Sci-Fi reference I’ve heard in months. (Qualifier: Very significant because I do business with many IT shops) ;)

    Now you just have to work in “the Box” (pain box). You can’t use the next State of the Union address either…

  3. Somewhat related. I can no longer use this one, dang it.
    “The litany of Beer

    I must have beer.
    Beer is the mind-killer.
    Beer is the little death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my beer and I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when the beer has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the beer has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain.”

    1. Will this work for you?

      It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion,
      It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed,
      The hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning,
      It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

  4. I have used this too… amazing how it works…nice to know others use it too.. even though it is from a work of fiction

  5. It’s not stupid, man will prevail he has some kind of belief that he will survive. We are wired up to have beliefs to carry us through obstacles and turmoil.

  6. There are also Mantras as well as litanies.
    “Jesus Christ have mercy on me.” Is an old Christian one. You continuously repeat on a long exhale either internally or audibly to achieve calmness
    Mantras are often done in languages the reciter does not understand. They are used to quite the conscious mind. Sanskrit is probably the most often used though there are old Chinese and Japanese ones. The Sanskrit “Om Mani Padme Hum” is probably the most famous one.
    An old translated litany:
    “My pain is a ball of orange floating outside my body above my head.
    It is no longer within me, but outside of me.”

  7. Embrace your fear.

    It quickens the heart.
    It focuses and sharpens the senses, you become more alert and aware of your surroundings.
    It makes you hyper-cautious.
    It activates the reptile brain and when embraced, activates your survival instincts and makes you more capable and dangerous as required to overcome the fear situation.
    Fear is good. Fear is your friend.

    Embrace your fear.

  8. If it works, it works. I might give that a try.

    Fear can act as a ‘sharpener’, but it’s like anger: you control it, or it’ll control you.

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