Charles Clanton Rogers

Reflections based on poetry, music, visual art, book reviews, history of science, first-person history, philosophical essays and International Blogging

nypl.digitalcollections.510d47db-1471-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99.001.w-2It seems an essential component of Television News and a favorite of internet videos,  are dramatic reports of people who, with great courage and determination, have overcome a congenital handicap or physical injury, to achieve a remarkable skill. Quadriplegics and amputees are shown painting art with a teeth held brush, or dancing and running on prosthetics. There’s even a guy who can pitch a baseball with his feet.  It appears to me that physical challenges stimulate a survival response of: “this physical obstacle will not arrest me! I will prove to the world that I have whatever is required.” These factors are physical.

Ironically, the  biggest negatives for humans, have no physical reality; no substance; they are not composed of molecules or atoms nor the lack of something one can touch. These are creations of the adult human imagination. Their names are fear and resistance.  I understand how chemical errors in DNA replication and physical trauma are imposed on us.  What is remarkable and puzzling is how these invented ideas are passed to our children who do not come with them. Like hate, our children are taught resistance and fear.

Go to any group of kindergarten  children and ask: “Who can sing?” Every hand goes up; several start singing without an invitation. “Who can dance? Kids get up and improvise an Arethra Franklin imitation!  At least until we start to school, we are not encumbered by resistance and fear, which strengthens my argument.  These great negatives are without substance and should it should be more nearly manageable  than physical handicaps.

Regardless of their explanation, these  threats  immobilize us  and, even worse, are accountable for destruction, injury and death worse than diseases,

I have just finished what I believe is the definitive treatise on Fear. Mary Doria Russell penned A Thread of Grace,  a somber, yet riveting, historical fiction set in Italy during WWII, dissects the entire spectrum of human behavior from the most deplorable to the most loving, benevolent and selfless. The extent of the physical destruction is beyond description.

The Epilogue  shook and rattled my bones. She lists the enormous and greatly protracted consequences of inhuman actions with resounding consequences manifest to this day, and pointedly shows that it was largely orchestrated by “the corporal-messenger survivor of the First War, a hollow, little man who never fired a gun” and persuaded other people to cause the injury, death and destruction.

Russell, Mary Doria, A Thread of Grace, Barnes and Noble, 2005




2 thoughts on “Ravages of Fear – A Book Review

  1. Ordering this book today. Thank you for your recommendation Charles.


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