posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 10:12 PM
I wrote this for an english class. It's just a descriptive essay about my thoughts on fear. I hope you enjoy.
Children will always be afraid of the dark, and men with minds sensitive to hereditary impulse will always tremble at the thought of the hidden and
fathomless worlds of strange life which may pulsate in the gulfs beyond the stars, or press hideously upon our own globe in unholy dimensions which
only the dead and the moonstruck can glimpse. -H.P. Lovecraft
People are afraid. People are afraid of everything imaginable, and many things unimaginable. Some people fear the dark, some the water, and some their
own shadows; still others fear the abhorrent undulations of some seething mass of rotting flesh sleeping at the bottom of a blasphemous forgotten city
in the depths of the south pacific. Fear is a complex, tumultuous, and necessary emotion. Fear will make you shriek with glee or shrink in horror. You
feel fear in staring into the deep abyss of your own soul on dark and lonely nights; you feel fear in the human capacity of evil and hatred; you feel
fear all around you because we live in a world powered by fear. But still, true fear- true unadulterated, dreadful, indescribable, repulsive terror is
something known to but a very few poor souls.
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” So often we find in
today’s culture that “fear” is portrayed as naked teenagers being chased by some massive, blade wielding lunatic with a taste for blood. This is
not fear, this is not even a hint of the true horrors one can find if they look hard enough. The type of fear portrayed in American film and
“literature” is hardly scary enough to make an eight year-old have a nightmare, it is but a mockery. No- the real terror lies in what is unseen,
and what is barely noticed. The expression in a man’s eyes after some horrible unspeakable act he has committed, the look of complete serenity and
satisfaction. That is where you will find true horror.
It has long been said that if a person wants power he would need not to have people respect him, only fear him, this is unquestionably true. As long
as there have been governments to control people those same governments have used fear as their great motivator. We fear attack from some foreign land
so we slowly and steadily give away freedoms for protection. Even the violent takeover of Germany by Hitler was facilitated by the fears of the German
people about their future, about the Communists, about their country. Roman people in the early days of Christianity feared Christians because of
Nero’s crusade against them and subsequent burning of Rome, which he later attributed to the Christians. He used this fear of the people en-masse to
torture many followers of Christianity, the historian Tacitus explains, “Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon
their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every
sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to
the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.” All because of the fear of what was not understood, yet again,
fear of the unknown.
“Life is a hideous thing, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousand-fold
more hideous. Science, already oppressive with its shocking revelations, will perhaps be the ultimate exterminator of our human species -- if separate
species we be -- for its reserve of unguessed horrors could never be borne by mortal brains if loosed upon the world.” More and more, every day, we
are confronted by the growing uncertainty which scientific advancements bring to the world. We are learning that there are worlds betwixt that which
we can see, that we may be struck at any moment by a beam of energy so concentrated that it would cook everything on the planet in an instant; we are
learning that the entire universe may be conspiring against itself leading, eventually, to a full collapse which would rip every atom in the whole of
creation in twain and bring all of reality back to true chaos as the ancients spoke about æons ago. String and superstring theory tell us that there
are many dimensions, that these dimensions are no more than an inch or two away from us at any time. What lies inside of these micro and macrocosms
which have thus far gone beyond the comprehension of scientists is a mystery. Let us look now at what HP Lovecraft had to say about this very
possibility in the early years of the twentieth century, far before string theory was proposed: “With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend
the boundlessly complex cosmos, yet other beings with wider, stronger, or different range of senses might not only see very differently the things we
see, but might see and study whole worlds of matter, energy, and life which lie close at hand yet can never be detected with the senses we have. I
have always believed that such strange, inaccessible worlds exist at our very elbows, and now I believe I have found a way to break dawn the
barriers.” More and more the small island of humanity’s ignorance is slipping away into oblivion and that sea of dread that is the knowledge of
how infinitesimal our existence is.
Poe once said, “Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting…” in this statement we see the pure bleak
landscape which someone who has experienced fear in all its forms sees. The fathomless abyss which we rarely glimpse into, and when we do gaze into
that yawning gulf we scream as it mockingly and maddeningly laughs its guttural primal tones into the very core of our being, cutting deep into where
once there were souls. Very few people will ever know the whole grip of fear; very few will stare into that endless abysm of hatred and doubt. Those
who do, like Poe, will too often be labeled madmen. They will be cast away to die in some dark alleyway, alone, frantic, and beaten. Those few will
know that fear is bleakness, fear is hopelessness, fear is when you realize that you have absolutely no power and all you had passed long ago. They
will know that fear is when you realize you never even had a chance.
Our species fears a great many things; we fear the thoughts and acts of others; we fear kindness, and we fear hatred; we fear the light, and we fear
the dark. Maybe it is best left, though, that we fear (largely) superficial things. The majority of people can still go to sleep at night and feel
reassured that they will wake in the morning. But who’s to say that as our society begins to decay and collapse, as science drags humanity into new
and unknown gates of existence, as the whole of humanity’s consciousness becomes increasingly more frantic and paranoid that we will not begin to
fear what really lurks in the deep recesses of ourselves and our planet. After all, madness is an external viewpoint; an insane person is completely
sound to himself it is only the opinion of society by which he is considered mad. The order of society could be turned in a single instant and
suddenly madness would be the only acceptable escape from the vistas of dread which could open up to the human psyche, and then you would be thrown
into a cell to scream your life away.