Tom, do you have any words of encouragement for someone with a deep phobia? Are all phobias the same? How hard should it be to get over one? What would be the steps in reprogramming your mind to get over a phobia? How damaging is that type of fear to our intellect? What if someone chose not to get over a phobia? I think it could be seriously harmful. I hear so many different things, should someone try to face their phobia...or just work on 'fixing' their mind? I understand that it is one's choice to have a phobia in the first place, but are there any certain steps in fighting fear that we should know about? Actual phobias are not just like regular fears though, they seem worse. I'm wondering how this happens in the first place, and how to avoid/reverse it.
My understanding (which may be limited) is that phobias, compulsive disorders and other seemingly unexplainable self limitations of the mind are results of people's past failures to study The Self.
Their purpose is to prompt/provoke studying of The Self - the working principles of one's own consciousness. Phobia or compulsion comes from Within. It is a pre-programmed problem, solving of which is supposed to be the main homework of those who "suffer" from it. People who have phobias and compulsive disorders have chosen to have them before they were born as a part of their Lesson of Conscious Existence in the Universe (=Life).
Avoiding to solve the problem of phobia/compulsion is, in principle, similar to avoiding solving problems at an examination that people have themselves chosen to sit. Consequences are also similar - they don't pass the test and it is likely that they will have to undergo a similar test again.
Needles to say, people have The Freedom of Choice to try their best in understanding how their own mind works and how to improve its performance or do nothing about it.
Here I would like to stress that solving the problem of phobia/compulsion can be achieved ONLY as a result of one's individual effort. Evolution of one's consciousness can occur exclusively as a result of one's individual effort.