Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

The Folly of Fear of the Future

I once talked to a unicycle teacher. He taught people how to ride these one-wheel bikes. He told me that he preferred to teach five- and six-year-olds because … they were not scared of falling. He would teach them to balance and how not to get hurt when they lost their balance. Learning to be or being fearful was not needed and even unhelpful.

Fears are Unhelpful and Unnecessary

But most of us, while we stocked up on knowledge, we also got a big reservoir of fears on the way. But we don’t need the terror!

Surely, we can feel terrified about the future. The future, a decade from now, or the next minute. Scary things are most likely to happen in the future. Your worst fears may come true. But while we’re being scared, we are most likely to do what will bring on what we just were so terrified of.

Subconsciously, we so much want these scary things to really happen to get rid of our fear. But there are safer ways to undo what intimidates us.

Learning to dread is not a dependable way to keep us from doing things.

Surely, fear can make us a hero—when we disrespect it. Very meritorious.

But we can be as heroic without old trepidation to overcome.

While fear tends to accumulate, it also will slowly wear off, undo itself.

The Future Doesn’t Hurt!

When we have time to examine what actually scares us, we always find that every microgram of our intimidation consists of past fear. Fear that frightened you in the past and you didn’t undo yet. But it’s never too late.

The way to get over fear is to disrespect its intimidation. To make fun of it.

Yes, we can also mournfully talk about how terrified we are and it will help us a little bit. But really uprooting fear, sending it to our memoirs, comes by scorning it. Scared of dying? I’m ready to die right now! G^d, beam me up! G^d knows when you want to die or when you’re just trying to get rid of your fear of death. But your recorded fears don’t know the difference and they will burst out in deep, healing shivers, perspiring, laughter.

Fearful of hurt? Please let me be in tremendous pain right now! Forever! What makes pain unbearable is not the pain but panic about it. Bring it on!

Intimidated about embarrassment? I’m so ready to be humiliated forever!

We don’t need to be daredevils to get rid of our fears. (Acting it out may actually get us hurt, maimed, or dead.) Just threatening them is enough.

Don’t blurt out your scary plans in front of police, psychiatrists, or others who may think that you are dangerous and would lock you up. Do it in front of friends who are ready to joyfully shiver along with you.

The future needs more people who are less intimidated. Scorning fears will get us there. Explain to others that not deeds but threats of deeds suffice.

First, Reassure

We first may need to reassure ourselves or others that we believe that all fears felt about the future have solid roots and reasons for being there. That we believe their terror when they say they can’t go on any longer.

When they feel that we are on their side, which we are, of course, we can inform them that we nevertheless know of a way out. While we believe they don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, we do. It will get better.

Hope is not enough, though. We need to agree that even if the worst will come true, we’ll better cope when we’re not dragged down by old hurts.

Overcoming losses takes sobbing. Overcoming fear is done with joy. Hah!

For more information about the War: Click here.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here:
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