DC, in his terrific “Open Letter To The Body” talks about that fear in the body which is difficult to work with. There are a few different ways of looking at this fear from a psychological perspective.
Existential “Angst” is said to come about at the same time as one fully owns one’s life. The idea seems to be that as time becomes less important, the imminence and certainty of death loom larger. In my own case the belief in reincarnation is so strong and firm, the certainty of death has more to do with the promise of a blessed release – from a blessed life.
Another possibility mooted by some has to do with seeing the earth as one giant cafeteria, where everything feeds on everything else. Having around five billion years of experience of waiting to become some other animal’s next meal, this theory goes, will mean that we have developed in our DNA the memory and feeling to keep us cautious, and hence alive for longer. Yet, the birds sing louder than the tiger.
The theory of projection, in the Freudian sense, would suggest that we experience fear and anxiety because we have a personal knowledge of our own inner capacity for violence. We know what we are capable of, and at an unconscious level assume others are the same. Result: fear of random acts of violence, out of the unknown. The Jungian idea is superficially similar: we cannot accept our own violence, so we banish thoughts of it’s existence far away, from which psychological place it appears to sit as a malign force waiting to attack us.
Reincarnation is seen by some as having given us a lot of experience of dying, hence we know dying is something to be feared. However this is in contrast with those who have had NDEs (look it up) who say that the experience of dying is in fact wonderful.
Developmental psychology has a good idea, that as helpless babies we will all have had experiences which created fear and anxiety. These experiences will not have been coded in memory in the same way as later experiences, because of the absence of language. Continuous conscious memory seems to be connected with language skills. Before language, we are left with what are literally nameless and indescribable fears.
DC’s implicit suggestion that we need to look after and care for ourselves in order to heal has to be a good strategy.