I wouldn't say I fear the spirit world as hold a good deal of respect for it.
We have learned to fear ghosts and spirits because some of their actions can be just downright unpleasant when it comes down to it. Granted, it's the special cases that always seem to get all of the attention. You average house spirit most people won't even notice, let alone a pleasant spirit wandering in nature. Yet there are the spiritual entities that can and do cause physical damage.
That of course leads into the debate whether they're human spirits or something else...but base of the matter, is that there are human spirits that have enough anger, rage, hate, fear, desperation...that they can cause physical harm to a living human.
The idea of someone being afraid of ghosts though, is like saying we should be afraid of snakes. Sure, some snakes are more aggressive, and some are poisonous...but if we understand their behavior it dramatically reduces the chance of us being harmed. It is no different with the spirit world. Instead of ordering them out of our homes, or to head into the light, or command them to stop what they're doing...we need to take a moment and try and understand why the actions are going on and at least give an honest attempt before slapping it around. In short...have respect just as if you were dealing with another living person and there's no reason to fear. This does not mean there is no danger, but there is no reason to be afraid.
My dad always used to tell me that if I really saw a ghost, that it was a good thing, because it would be concrete proof that there was something to look forward to after death.
Didn't stop me from being afraid in my room at night in the dark though. :P I will tell you that I had only one experience that I feel was a spirit. My pet dog used to lay by the front door with his legs up in the air against the wall. The wall was opposite my room, and when he was dreaming, he'd run in his sleep, and his nails would scrape against the wall, and I could hear it on the other side in my room. At first it freaked me out, but then I felt protected by that sound, it meant the doggie was guarding the dog. After he passed, I would wake up sometimes in the middle of the night hearing that scraping sound and think, oh good, the doggie's watching the door. And it would take me a few minutes to realize that he was gone, and I couldn't be hearing it, at which point I'd bolt up in bed completely freaked out.
Long story. Sorry. What I was getting to was that even though I'm SURE, if I was really hearing it, it was a wonderful thing, knowing that there might be a ghost in my house still irrationally freaked me out. I think we've just been conditioned to feel that irrational fear, regardless of how benevolent that being might be. And I think it's a shame.
Now that I'm a grown-up, I would LOVE to hear that scraping again. I miss my doggie so much. But a real, personal experience like that would be awesome I think. As long as it was friendly. :P
The funny thing about not having a body is in the rare case that the spirit encountered is not in the least way pleasant...closing a door won't keep them out. I wouldn't say that we can fear them less than an average human because it doesn't have a corporeal form to it. There is damage they can do because they are not bound by a fleshy meat sack. It's just learning to understand when it comes down to the very base of it. One's not better or worse over the other, or more powerful or less, just different
I live with many in my home and they never bother me at all-----the spirits are just people on the other side, not to be feared any more than humans, actually even less as they dont have a body or form
there's a fine line between fear and respect. when we fear something, chances are we don't understand it. and ultimately, chances are we want to destroy it. that way, the fear goes away, and we won't have to waste time trying to understand.
respect, however, is understanding, or working towards understanding, the nature of a thing. when you understand the nature of a thing, you learn what it is capable of. ghosts should be considered that way... to be respected. not feared. the dead are very capable of the same things we are, and as amber put it, the only thing different is they have no shell to hold them back. there is no major difference other than a heartbeat between those living and those not living. truth be told, the dead are alive.... in the aspect that they are unchained... uncaged... fully able to roam where they please... do as they please, and are not held back.
the living can learn a lot from the dead. the living can learn life without fear. life without chains without cages. life, unedited uncensored... unhinged. what a beautiful thing. and why exactly should we be afraid of that again?