Afraid of the Dark

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.

2 thoughts on “Afraid of the Dark

  1. We have failed to advance as a society. Our species is caught in a world dominated by apperances, which is feed by our darkest fears of needing to be accepted. We have lost our willingness to collectivly commit ourselves to doing the right thing, because we first must presume how our actions will be viewed. We have started to accept setting the bar low so that we can guarantee ourselves not to fail instead of success. When did we scale back success to equate to not failing? We must be willing to fail to see the prize of success, regardless of how society views it. There is a story about Benjamin Franklin creating the lightbulb wereBenjamin was asked why he didn't give up creating the lightbulb after 990 times. He responded as I have not failed, but rather have come 990 ways closer to finding the one that works. It is the appearance of failure must be ignored and the willingness to chase success that must be promoted to remove society from darkness.PS like the blog


  2. Ah, I love that Ben Franklin story. Repeated failure: Otherwise known as 'practice' which supposedly makes perfect, right?Concerning ourselves about how we look to others is certainly a factor in keeping us from attempting things we might fail at. This is a problem distributed widely across society. Perhaps once we stop judging people, they won't worry about how we see them.Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. :D


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