Why do we humans like to categorize, label and sort the world around us? Anything inexplicable is immediately an object of fear. There are many of the opinion that this stems from our days as cavemen when we feared the unknown. Not having mastered fire we feared thunder and lightning, then the negotiator in us was born and we felt that by befriending them, idolizing them perhaps we could garner their favor?
Metaphysicists, the proponents of the law of attraction, say that this correlation was not to actually draw a contract with the Gods but to tame our own fears, the root cause of our limitations.
The fear of the unknown I feel goes even deeper and more so for some individuals. while I agree that the desire for survival is paramount and governs all most all our actions, the fear of pain is even greater. Case in point take someone suicidal, hypothetically and I explicitly state that I mean no disrespect to anyone suffering from mental issues, would you be able to scare them? Why? They have no fear of dying, they are even eager to end their lives yet, the unknown can scare them. Fear of pain? Most suicides are gruesome, train tracks, etc.
There is something very primal about fear, the theory of Good versus bad, angels and demons, God and Devil, fear always had a label. And we fear Fear more than death or pain. why? It’s our need for an identity. Stories of past lives, rebirths abound because the thought that we are nothing and will return to nothing is appalling.
The scariest stories are the ones about mind control or outright possession cases when you are no longer yourself. Offer someone all the money in the world but with the caveat that only their body will enjoy it, their mind will be erased and a new one uploaded and they will reject it. It is useless as far as they are concerned.
Ever been scared of a ventriloquist dummy? Like my little one says after watching goosebumps, slappy isn’t scary because he isn’t a real dummy, he’s a possed toy! We like to imbibe personality to lifelike toys and the reverse is mind-boggling, blood-curdling and terrifying.
If we can personify our fear we can conquer it, aptly put in the movie predator, ‘if it bleeds we can kill it!’. It’s when it’s faceless that we curl up and hide.