I have been so intimate with fear for so long that I can rarely tell the difference between it and reality. And, in fact, I'm not so sure that there *is* a difference. I've tried, more and more often, to be transparent with my fears, to show them to a more fearless, more rational person and ask, *is this thing real?*
Most often? The answer is no.
Most often? I think they're lying to me out of duty/affection/their own fear.
One of my favorite meditations has always been the mantra, if it rises from fear it isn't real. But that seems dangerous to me. So. What is fear? What is reality? How can you tell?