How to stop agonizing over possible disappointed hopes


Hope (Photo credit: true2source)

Daniel wrote (apparently without very precise attention to typing) :

“Hope is false love- it is false moments but yet a part of the whole. Hope causes the frustration or constant and desperate effort that makes up the desire of a mind. Hope is the label of something that takes consciousness away from the peace and joy that it already is. What is to hope for… other than what is different than what is? Or not this clown devil will never see the difference but who is taking account of it all anyway. Look for heaven where it lies and stop allowing definition to become you then…”

JR replied:

Let’s simplify. Attention may spontaneously focus on a particular method or opportunity. Hope is the concentrating of a desire or value in to a particular outcome or method. Hope without the identifying of a method or action is just a vague attraction, like “I hope I can make it through this traffic light before it turns red.” Pressing down harder on the gas pedal is an action.

Green Traffic Light

There is also the hope of fantasizing, like “I hope to one day visit Italy and meet my second cousin Giovanni who lives there. I also hope that he will give me a tour of some museums.” That is mostly idle daydreaming- unless there is an actual communication to Giovanni about the interest.

So hope can mean having some interest. Hope can also mean a specific method to produce a specific result. That second kind of hope is still totally functional and normal… But when presumption and expectation start to arise, that can complicate things.

Hope There's Someone

Hope There’s Someone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There can be a frightened hope, desperate or despairing. That is still hope, but it is a panicked hoping. It might just be called fear. Fear is also functional, but when there is a terror and then a hope for relief from the terror, that hope can have very little flexibility at least at first. The hope itself does not alter the background of terror and panic.

That terrified hope corresponds to very little awareness of one’s presumptions as just being presumptions. The inaccurate presumptions can lead to confusion, frustration and blame, then despair or resignation (pessimism, cynicism, anti-hope bias, shame for past hopes unfulfilled, etc…)

In that case of inaccurate presumptions, there may be a background of panicking, and yet no actual urgent danger. There may be a “conservative” presumption of danger. But the panic is based on a presumption of danger.

referee time-out

A false presumption of danger creates hysteria. What if relaxing and doing nothing about the presumed danger is quite satisfying?


Presuming danger is safer than presuming safety. However, sincere presumptions are not measurements or direct observation. In a panic of sincere presumptions, arguing can arise- including the form of arguing called agonizing, which is an internal arguing without any other people.

There is no need for hope to be able to stop arguing over a false presumption of danger. The only issue is whether to continue the internal arguing (agonizing, worrying) or to do something else instead- anything, nothing at all.


Agonizing requires more agonizing to continue. It is like “how do I stop whistling?” Whistling is an action. Agonizing is a behavior. 

Calling agonizing “fantasizing” or “hoping” is still argumentative. Notice how argumentative you can be with yourself. How do you stop being so argumentative? Notice it. Then notice something else. 

The reflex to suppress hope is normal but not usually functional. If there is arguing that “hope is the source of disappointment,” that is fear. That is not even hope anymore. That is a moment of hope, then resisting it or judging against it. That is being reserved or shy. That is terror about hope, not actual hope and creativity.


So, I may learn to interrupt my hope to check for danger or safety- to confirm my presumptions and clarify my expectations. That arguing against hope is fear. It is healthy.

Hope, then fear that the hope may be unfulfilled, then be realistic about expectations and presumptions, then, keeping both the hope and the fear, open to the courage to stop arguing with yourself and either take bold new action or continue other familiar actions instead. Notice agonizing as a reflexive barrier of panic to suppress hope, and then stop agonizing by starting anything else-like noticing your breathing go in and out. When the desire or fear is sufficient, action will arise.


Hopes (Photo credit: matley0)

Daniel responded:

It is sad all is fear and i can’t speak of anything else thank god you are here to save me from the fear of all the mind games that are played. What is there to be afraid of? The “I” is either conscious or it is not so what conditions should I ACTUALLY be concerned about? You confuse me as I post clown posts maybe i should be posting serious posts….what do you think?

zen fool

Is “What should I be afraid of” a dimwit question or a sage’s question? A clown sage knows that whenever someone fear something, that is what they should be fearing.

Fear brings your attention to something. Notice if there is actual danger- like maybe you are traveling 40 miles an hour and directly ahead of you is a car with yellow flashing caution lights and you suddenly realize it would be best to press the brake pedal NOW.

BEAR yawning

A reflexive suppression of fear is VERY DANGEROUS. It is not just innocent, but the argumentative sincerity of arrogant niavete… which shouts things like “NO I AM NOT AFRAID, YOU ANNOYING PEST! I COULD JUST KILL YOU SOMETIMES, SERIOUSLY….”


Be open to fear. The people who are chanting mantras of fear suppression may be arrogantly ridiculing conspiracy theories as they go marching to the slaughter of the sheeple who are terrified of fear.


Should you be afraid of a person with a gun (whether apparently a cop or soldier or none of the above)? If you are afraid of them, that may be wise. You may also be comforted by their presence- whether that is an accurate presumption or quite inaccurate.

tank tunisia

Some people are so afraid that they clown around to “defuse” danger (or distract)- that is what I call “faking.” I used a word starting with F because of these others: the Four Forms of Fear: Fight, Flight, Freeze, and Fake.

the escalations of fear leading to courage


faking is great…but faking what? fakng life? faking knowledge? faking what? what is there to fake? I will stand a dimwit but what the f*ck is faking in the manifestation of what is? clueless

JR: Faking could be when I pretend not to be afraid when I am quite afraid (which is related to “freezing”). It could be pretending to have a loaded gun (or to start talking in to my cell phone to pretend that I am on a call with someone in that moment- which may be a pretense in the service of my physical safety when some “sketchy-looking” people are approaching me in a secluded area). Faking could also be pretending NOT to have a loaded gun when in fact I do and I want to surprise some approaching ruffian but only when they are relatively close to me.

Fear: the root of prejudice, blame, contempt, hatred, hysteria, phobia & paranoia


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