I mean change in the positive sense here.
So many people, myself included, are afraid of changes. This fear is, at its core, no different from a fear of the dark. In light of that statement (pun/irony intended): why do we strive to teach our children not to be afraid of the dark but are afraid of the dark ourselves?
Obviously the simplest answer is that we are hypocrites. That, in my opinion, does not really answer the question. We truly don't realize (or cannot admit) that we're all, to some degree, afraid of the dark. This is the real answer to the above question as far as I see it.
Darkness is something that we are actually taught to fear from a young age. Though our parents want us to be "brave" enough to sleep alone in a relatively dark room, they teach us, in other ways, to fear the dark. We have a culture that is, ultimately, founded on fear. If I am more honest, our culture is, at least in part, based on the manipulation of fear in order to gain power. Fear can be a magnificent tool. As can "darkness."
To clarify my use of the words "darkness" and "dark":
I am not referring to simply a physical lack of light. I'm sure anyone reading this blog will realize that I view many philosophical concepts from a metaphysical/spiritual point of view. So, when I speak of things or concepts being "dark" or having "darkness" I, usually, mean these terms in their metaphysical sense (whatever that means for you). I may, depending on context, also mean physical darkness. It is up to you to determine when I am referring to physical darkness, metaphysical darkness, or both.
With that out of the way, I will continue. Where was I? . . .
Oh, yes! The use of fear and darkness as tools, correct?
Now, as it is, to me, patently obvious that fear can be (and often is) used as a tool for control (or "manipulation" or "power," depending on your ethics and word preference) I will be operating under the assumption that fear is a tool. If you do not see fear as a tool or a possible tool, then I encourage you to look around and refresh your knowledge of history.
Darkness, as an intrinsically ambiguous concept, is more difficult to use as a tool compared to fear. Fear is used by our politicians, bullies, parents, teachers, philosophers, evangelists, and countless other people that seek power, control, or dominance over others. Using one's "dark side" to accomplish things is something many people frown on and even fewer truly understand.
Rather unfortunately, our society tends to shy away from (or, more often, <b>run</b> from) or even condemn the dark aspects inherent in our universe and in ourselves. This is unfortunate because darkness is ubiquitous and must exist if light is to exist. I'm not saying anything new here, and I realize that. There are countless philosophers and even video game developers that deserve thanks for guiding me to these "realizations." However, as I mentioned previously, I find that I must learn things for myself before I truly "hear" the idea.
More to the point and perhaps more importantly: "The closer you get to the light the greater your shadow becomes."
I realize I've wondered from my original point about change and I have done so purposefully. Along with my realization and acceptance that change is good came the realization that using darkness as a tool isn't necessarily "bad." Neither is being "dark" in general.
That being said, I do think that manipulating others for the purposes of personal benefit can be very "bad." I cannot deny that power and control are very seductive concepts for myself (and many other people). However, that something is seductive does not mean that it is the right thing to do. In some cases (usually when someone is manipulating, or attempting to manipulate, you) gaining control/power over someone via manipulation is necessary, but these occasions should be weighed on a case-by-case basis.
To sum up:
1. Change is "good."
2. a. Fear is not always entirely negative.
b. Nor entirely useless.
3. Darkness is something to be explored, not needlessly feared.
|Quotes of the Day**|
|"It was the experience of mystery - even if mixed with fear - that engendered religion." - Albert Einstein||"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." - Thomas Jefferson|
|"A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds." - Percy Bysshe Shelley||"Beyond a doubt truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness." - Leonardo da Vinci|
|"Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folks have left me." - Anatole France||"And out of darkness came the hands that reach thro' nature, moulding men." - Alfred, Lord Tennyson|
|"Close your bodily eye, that you may see your picture first with the eye of the spirit. Then bring to light what you have seen in the darkness, that its effect may work back, from without to within." - Caspar David Friedrich|