Last night at work was my first night cleaning the office building without my boss/trainer being there. Occasionally, a tenant will stay late at their office, but the majority clear out by 8:30 or 9:00 at night. It was around this time that I made it up to the second floor, and was making my rounds through a fairly large suite. I had already turned on all the lights from a central location near the entrance but when I rounded the corner I spotted movement coming from the next room. A surge of adrenaline filled my mind and I could feel my heart flutter for a second. Then I realized that it was merely my own reflection in the window of the room across the hall. Rather ridiculous and comical in its own way. It all happened in a manner of a few seconds but it was fascinating how quickly the mind and body react to a perceived threat. That surge of emotions, raw and primordial. Despite the facade of our superiority with our iPods, smart phones, and our pancake thin high def televisions there’s still something primitive about us. The dark, a stranger, a peculiar sound outside the window while we’re home alone all can cause our minds to go spiraling down into a mire of primitive emotions. There’s something fascinating in an ineffable way about the experience of Fear, at least when taken in the context of a cheap scare like I experienced or something more daring like a roller coaster or zip lining. That rush, where you’re right on the threshold of peril but are yanked back at the last moment. Fear is God wagging his finger disapprovingly in your face, perhaps. Or your brain’s way of screaming, “Dude! What the hell are you doing?!” Depending on your view point on such things.
The further we deviate from living close to the earth and Nature, the more we seem to need to find a way to experience Fear, albeit in a safe environment. Whether it be within the pages of a good horror/thriller novel, a video game, or movie. Humanity has no real enemies, other then ourselves, so perhaps there’s some instinctual need to experience this Fear. Perhaps it has become less of a safety guard/survival instinct and devolved into a experience sought for sensory gratification alone. It’s not that far fetched considering most of us are prone to eating or drinking more so for the pleasure of the taste rather then the nutritional value. Food itself is now more about pleasurable social experience then it is about survival. Sex is not merely engaged in for procreation but for pleasure and developing a bond between partners. Perhaps the reason we engage in risky activities, or watch scary movies or read creepy books is because we derive pleasure from Fear, and it becomes an acceptable norm and something we need or crave much like some feel the need for certain foods, and etcetra in order to feel ‘normal’.