The First Fear

My wife Lisa and I were talking this evening. I found a comment she made about fear very interesting. She said that when we enter the world at birth, the first thing we experience could be fear. Her thought centered around the idea that at birth everything has just changed in a harsh and extreme way. Is that sudden change causing the baby to cry? Is it the fear of the loss of comfort?  Birth takes away the warmth and closeness of the womb and replaces it with unrestricted, cold air. Is it fear of the loss of the familiar or fear of the new and unknown? The fight or flight instincts don’t work at this point because a newborn can do neither. So could the other instinct be fright? Fight, flight or fright?

At what point does a human being recognize these types of changes? I don’t think the newborn mind understands at those early stages the concept of fear, but is that what is happening? Does fear exist undefined at the moment of birth? Is that our starting experience?

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2 Responses to The First Fear

  1. Annis says:

    That is such an interesting thought, one that I never had before. A newborn might not understand the experiece as fear but each experience we have we know affects us in some way, imprints something onto us and birth is such a dramatic occurance, how could it not? Is it fear or discomfort or pain? If if is our starting experience, are the warmth, nourishment, touch and love an infant experiences enough to erase that imprint? Are our lingering fears the ones that could not be soothed by others? by ourselves?

  2. Pingback: The World Before I Was Born « Dancing Through Life with Spirit

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