Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Nervous Animal

the nervous animal:

such is the nature of the human being, an animal born with fear, nervous from the very start. fear of what? it is said some of our fears are irrational but could we ever be completely rationally afraid? perhaps it is just not possible.

we have several words that imply horrible, dreadful things but, if we are lucky, and nothing truly bad has ever happened to us, can we really think about these things with any clarity of thought? we have only a hint of what they entail. this is to argue the case that only someone who has actually done or really experienced something can truly think about it. the rest of us live in a dimmed awareness of such things.

but fear remains, it is connected to our thought, it swells when we consider bad possibilities, when we worry about our future, it can lead to irrational panic attacks when the impossible horror seems either totally possible or real already.

a girl walking in the forest alone, she keeps looking behind her, it just goes to show state of mind. perhaps she is scared of getting lost and looking back to get her bearings straight, perhaps she is scared someone is following her and she is all on her own. indeed, a lot of nerves are about travel and other people. given that it is a universal truth we are socially anxious animals, easing others' nervousness is a skill.

there is in human nature an urge to explore and to create. this is in itself a dangerous thing, not everywhere or everything is safe. once we have made mistakes, we are nervous whenever it seems they might happen again. could we ever be so aware of danger that we can avoid the whole learning by making a mistake thing?


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