There was a great quote in a spiritual book I was reading the other day, which I cannot unfortunately quote at length because I don't have it with me. But the gist of it was that modern man is absolutely horrified by the idea of suffering. But actually, he is not only horrified by suffering. He is also horrified by the thought of suffering. This is dread. We fear fear itself, quoth Winston.
It is a cruel trick to be bested not by a thing itself, but by the fear of a thing. But you know what? It happens all the time. It actually happens more often that we are bested by the fear, and not the thing itself.
At least that's what happens to me.