Individuals living under dictatorship rule or those involved in an abusive relationship find themselves at this level. There’s a sense of paranoia here, where you think everybody is out to get you. Suspicion and defensiveness are basic.

Dread – Seeing the world as grave and unsafe. Paranoia. Commonly you’ll need help to rise above this level, or you’ll continue trapped for a long time, such as in an abusive relationship.

We have a lot of dreads -dread of terrorism, dread of death, dread of being separated from individuals we love, dread of losing control, dread of commitment, dread of failure, dread of rejection, dread of losing our job, the list is never-ending! Many of our present dreads are rooted in what are identified as “delusions” – distorted ways of viewing ourself and the world around us. If we learn to control our mind, and reduce and eventually eliminate these delusions, the source of all our dread, healthy and unhealthy, is eradicated.

A balanced fear of our delusions and the suffering to which they inevitably give rise is consequently healthy because it serves to motivate constructive action to avoid a true danger. We only need fear as an impetus till we have removed the causes of our vulnerability through discovering spiritual, inner refuge and gradually training the mind. Once we have done this, we’re fearless as we no longer have anything that can harm us.


Want is a major motivator for much of our society. Although want can be an impulse for change, the downside is that it leads to enslavement to ones appetites. This is the level of dependence to such things as sex, money, prestige, or power.

Want – Not to be confused with setting and accomplishing goals, this is the level of dependency, craving, and lust — for income, approval, power, fame, etc. Consumerism. Materialism. This is the level of smoking and drinking and drugging.

Our wants can lead us to do great things or horrifying things. We deal with our wants daily. We deal with wants to do things that we know are wrong, and wants to do things that we know are right.

Many of our wants are illusory or exaggerated at best. It was suggested that by not satisfying many of the wants we have, a mood of dissatisfaction was a prevalent characteristic of life due to the letdown of the lack of achievement in these quests to fulfill our desires.

The ultimate conclusion is that one can have a tolerable life not by complete elimination of want, since this would lead to boredom, but by becoming a detached observer of one’s own will and being perpetually aware that most of one’s wants will remain unfulfilled.

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