Here is why I think being afraid of the dark is re…

Here is why I think being afraid of the dark is really being afraid of yourself.

Everyone knows that (most) people have an irrational fear of the dark. They are afraid of ‘things’ that aren’t really there. But how did those things, that don’t actually exist there and then, actually come to be there? Imagination. A person has to imagine up the fear-source and place it in their context (whether it be their bedroom, out in the open, where ever) for there to be something to be afraid of. Thus, it stands to reason, that a person is merely fearing their own imagination if, in fact, there is no actual object to fear.

Now imagination is one of man’s (and yes I proudly use the un-P.C. term) defining characteristics for all we know. It is hard to see (though, granted, also hard to prove) examples of creatures in the wild using an imagination. You don’t see zebras playing ‘lion and zebra’ or a crocodile playing ‘fish’. And you also don’t see animals displaying an overabundance of fear at non-existing objects. You see them fear other animals, but that is generally only in their presence, or habitat, where they are likely to be found. Otherwise you would see very few animals as they would be hiding all day long.

As humans, we use our imagination for a variety of reasons, least of which I am going to put here, but suffice to say without it, we may very well not get by. Now if we ourselves are imagining up these fear-sources out of our own perceived experiences, and not, for example, from actual experiences, then it is quite easy to say that a we are imagining our own fear, and thus, we are the course of our own fear, and therefore, we are fearing ourselves, because there really is nothing to fear.

I make the emphasis on perception above because, given, someone who has experienced a traumatic event, and are afraid of the culprit/fear-source returning to continue said traumatic event, there is an actual fear-source, though likely not present. But perception is important in the rest of the cases. Who has actually physically ‘experienced’ the Boogieman? Seen him? Actually know what he does? I still don’t know the answers to those last two question, though, ignorantly, I haven’t actually given much thought to Mr. B-man as of late, which is surprising given the amount of time I spent in trains, train stations and lesson breaks last semester. But suffice to say, fear of the dark, which is generally transferred to fear of a monster or something like that, is only being afraid of what you can think/imagine what is in your closet, under your bed, etc.

Now, as I said, if you are afraid of what you are imagining into existence, then no doubt, you are afraid of the product of your own mind. It is also accepted than no two persons learn or think alike, and if this is the case, then each person is creating an individual product from their mind, though applying the generic label created within society to this product, i.e. Boogieman. Thus, people are afraid of the thought processes going on in their own head, and ultimately, afraid of their own mind for what it can potentially, and eventually, does imagine is in the closet or under the bed.

Now, if this scenario is suffice for you, what is to say this fearing one’s self cannot be extended into the world of light, where the only a major fear is a bombing, a terrorist attack, and the like, for people out there. The vast majority of people haven’t physically experienced a terrorist attack, but they have perceived that they have. The amount of times 9/11 images were shown to the world, the way it is commemorated every year, the way it is talked about at least once a month, the way it is the ‘image of terrorism’ for the world; the amount of times the Bali bombings is talked about here, the amount of times it was shown over here, the importance it now has become to Australian society, the continued ‘travel advice’ we receive; the references to the London Underground bombings across the world, the media ready to publish reports of how it could happen here, or in America, or anywhere, the continuous ramming home that it was home-grown terrorism, that the attack was carried out by ‘average’ Englishmen; all of these things give us, the public, the customers of mass media, the customers of politicians, the customers of fear, are duped into believed we have physically experienced the attacks, rather than viewers of.

This perception is further played up and drawn on by the likes of the politicians, who use it to their own agendas (elect/pay/sign away liberties/ignore me), the likes of the media, who use fear these days as an advertisement to get us to watch a show like Border Security (and trying to get people to believe in the ‘other’s’ stereotypical identity, and reaffirming our views that we shouldn’t trust anyone except who we are told to), the likes of the people with their own, personal agendas (racists/homophobics/fundamentalists/extreme lefties/extreme righties), who exploit the fear the most in that they are ready to attribute blame to people who did and did not have anything to do with the fear-source.

Now because majority of people haven’t physically experienced a terrorist attack, though fear on anyway, through perception of experience, they are imagining what could happen. While it is accepted that there is a healthy amount of fear, fear something like a terrorist attack anywhere, any time could, and possibly does, lead to an unhealthy amount of fear. I don’t mean fearing it so much that you don’t leave you suburban home because terrorist attacks happen only in high-density population areas, I’m talking about fearing a terrorist attack so much you are prepared to prejudice a sect of people because of your fear. “Be alert, not alarmed” might sound like a good slogan for a political campaign (the fear that this campaign created will inevitably, and has already, be used to political gain), but how “alert’ should/can one be before it is too alert? And how afraid does one have to be to single out entire groups/nationalities/religions as a fear-source? And how long will it be allowed for society to label their imagined fear source with labels created in society?

Thomas.

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