We all like to think that we’re rational people, lots of us having come from a background of woo or religion or some other superstition. I have to admit that I sometimes fall victim to culturally-instilled views and some of it is so ingrained in me that I have a hard time mastering it with reason.
Sometimes when I walk through the dark, I feel a gripping fear in my chest. I grew up watching horror movies, and some of them have had themes of things materializing in the blackness, such as Darkness Falls. I’m not complaining–I thoroughly enjoy the experience now as well as then, even if the bad guys used to be plausible in my mind.
It’s probably that plausibility that makes me almost panicky nowadays. It reminds me of a quote from God Is Not Great: “Religious faith is, precisely because we are still-evolving creatures, ineradicable. It will never die out, or at least not until we get over our fear of death, and of the dark, and of the unknown, and of each other.”
Magic and demons and heaven were some of the best aspects of fantasy, and I (like many others) have always secretly wished that some of these things existed. To this day, Chris and I have hypothetical conversations about what we’d do with various superpowers (or what we’d do during a zombie apocalypse, etc).
When I feel that adrenaline shoot through my veins in response to a non-existent danger in the dark, I’ve lately been able to suppress it. I’m definitely way more confident that there’s nothing there to hurt me than I am in the possibility of danger. When my hackles go up as if there’s something in my path, I move forward with a hard conviction in the knowledge that I’m being irrational.
Using reason instead of succumbing to my more irrational emotions is getting easier. I’m historically very bad at keeping up good habits, but applying the skill everywhere should really help my ability to use it consistently.