Monday, May 9, 2011

I think I kenophobia

The other day I was watching a video of someone playing though LSD and slowly flipping the fuck out and attempting to figure out why the game scares him so much. As it turns out, there is a phobia called kenophobia that pretty much describes what he is talking about.

And I think I may have it as well. As I described in a comment to that video, one thing that always bugs me is looking strait up into the sky, particularity a clear sky, and especially a pure black night sky. Another thing that freaks me out is in games when you find yourself outside the map either though cheating or a bug. Because there is nothing there.

It's particularity bad in Doom and it's clones because rather then simply blackness, parts of the screen are simply not updated causing a rather disconcerting visual effect.

The effect is best described in a passage from the short story "—And He Built a Crooked House":

"Teal lifted the blind a few inches. He saw nothing, and raised it a little
more.still nothing. Slowly he raised it until the window was fully
exposed. They gazed out at nothing.

Nothing, nothing at all. What color is nothing? Don't be silly! What shape
is it? Shape is an attribute of something. It had neither depth nor form.
It had not even blackness. It was nothing."

Okay so visually it really actually looks more like when two mirrors face each other, but it's still creepy.

Anyway this was kind of the point behind this post I made a while ago. Because the entire notion of "Nirvana" seriously creeps me the fuck out. I suppose the fear of nonexistence is also the reason so many religions offer some kind of afterlife, but Buddhism is one of the few that says basically that the afterlife is a bad thing in the end. It runs contrary to a lot of my philosophical beliefs. I am a firm believer in some kind of Horror Vacui though not of a traditional kind. Without getting too deep into it, I think the reason things work the way they do is because everything has a inner need to prove that they exist, and do so by interacting with other things. Existence is something that is everything wants in some form or another.

So, I sort of think this fear of nothingness is a natural and instinctual part of existence. Hearing that this is thought as an actual phobia doesn't necessarily mean it isn't natural (after all I am pretty sure a lot of phobias make sense in there own way), but it does make me wonder if I always had similar fears and if it influenced my philosophy or if it was the other way around. I also have to acknowledge that some people express contrary opinions, and even kill themselves. I could dismiss it as seeking a kind of power over their own existence rather then actively seeking to not exist, and maybe thats what it is, but there still is room for doubt. And really doubt is a good thing to me. It lets me question things in new ways and come up with ever stronger ideas.

Well I certainly don't have a fear of obsessing over silly details anyway.

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