A Memory

Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?
~Daily Prompt, Nov. 26th, 2012 (from The Daily Post)

I really hate prompts and questions like these. But that dislike of them, in and of itself, is something to talk about I suppose. I don’t like the ‘worst/best memory’ questions, or even the ones about my favorite food, song, color, sport, and so on. The answer I give when confronted with them is always bullshit in that there’s usually not any single experience or thing that’s my favorite, nor any single memory I would designate as my “strongest”.

I have a lot of strong memories, and a lot them them come bubbling to the surface when I’m hit with a query about which stands out the most. There’s so many to choose from that, in terms of writing, it doesn’t seem worth trying to respond to, the possble answers are to many, to overwhelming. And my answer might be totally different a day later, especially if I’m still mulling it over and revisiting memories in my head.

Having said that though… fuck it, I’ll just pick one of the ones that came to mind for today.

In my early teens, coming off of being knocked out for the first time a few months before this, I met this guy just outside the high school we were both going to. I was on my way back from my lunch/smoke break, and this guy was apparently looking for a fight. Not wanting a repeat of what happened last time someone took a swing at me, I was trying to get out of the situation without a concussion. As it turned out, there’s nothing like getting right back on the horse after a fall to get over ones newfound fear for riding it, but at the time I was nervous as hell, my kness felt like rubber, and I was already getting shakes from the adrenaline a few seconds into our not-so-friendly conversation. What caused the adrenaline? Probably fear. While I now look at it as “sometimes shit happens”, back then I’d felt emberassed about getting knocked out. It wasn’t something I wanted to repeat.

Justified…? Beats me. It’s what I felt, and in retrospect it served me pretty well. I guess at the time I didn’t feel like it was ‘okay’ to get so nervous, that I was being a bitch about it, but a) it was an effective, helpful aid and b) I was in a situation where being “gut-wrenchingly” nervous couldn’t hold me back whether I’d wanted to let it or not. I was going to get into a fight no matter how I played it. So who cares if it was justified. I came out of it alright, learned from it, and got a little confidence back, so it worked out fine.

(Written November 27th, 2012)

Because I Say So

“As an atheist, you can very well choose to prescribe morals yourself.

Ultimately, anyone can say ‘this is wrong because I SAY SO’ . Sure then you can go with the ‘oh I say it isn´t wrong’, but…”
~MeMyself (excerpt of his response in a discussion)

The discussion I pulled the above from was linked to by Aemilius in his holocoan at the FA (Liber Aemilii). The guy (or girl?) I’m quoting goes on to one of them citing laws, and those being the collectives “I say so”, but this is where the whole idea of “might makes right” comes in, the way I look at it. Just because you “say so” doesn’t mean a damn thing unless you can enforce it. Sometimes, you can turn to laws to enforce your view, to bolster your efforts and asserting it and maybe even imposing it. Other times, they don’t have enough weight or inspire enough fear to back your play. And of course on the other side of that, sometimes the collective “because I say so” is enough to intimidate you into compliance, and sometimes it isn’t. At all depends. Point being, it seems to come down to the idea of “might makes right”.

Inspiring Fear

People don’t seem to understand (or appreciate) the power of fear, of what you can achieve or how far reachilg your influence can be if your percieved as a threat, as something dangerous.

I was watching an old CNN report on Marilyn Manson from 1998, right around the time Mechanical Animals was released, that someone posted on Facebook, and it had snippets of ‘fan commentary’, people saying why they liked him, what they thought about his music, his look, his message. In it, one guy was talking about how with the new look, maybe less people will get scared away and maybe more people will understand what his message actually is. The guy that posted it included his own commentary: “It’s sad that not many people ever took Manson seriously or understood what it was all about. What really gave him a bad reputation were all the kids buying his stuff just to piss off their parents.”

It’s my contention that a lot of people took him very seriously, in large part because they percieved him as a threat (to their kids, to their beliefs, to the youth of america, etc). The fear he inspired arguably played a significant role in so many people being exposed to him; whether they hated or loved him, they new who he was. That’s not sad at all. What I used to think was sad is how people got accustomed to it, started looking at him as a human being, as just a man. And maybe he even started looking at himself that way instead of trying to embody and be living representation of his concepts and ideas. When you’re not a threat or an idol, it’s easier for people to turn their attention elsewhere. The thing is… people don’t worry about what he might do, because by now those that feared him – an even those that adored him – tend to see him as benign.

I had thought that was the sad part, before. But honestly, what I really think is sad isn’t that he might seem benign or that they’ve gotten desenstized to the kind of theatrics he’s he’s known for…  it’s that people don’t appreciate just how dangerous he actually was. He seemed intelligent, soft-spoken, with a keen eye for uncomfortable elements/truths about Man, Religion, society, etc. and a talent for fucking with perceptions in such a way that it would threaten peoples lies about these things, the lies they comfort themselves with, and the lies they feed to their children. He was dangerous enough to inspire a United States Senator to hold up a copy of Mechanical Animals to his colleagues with the proclamation that “this is a hand grenade”.

Inspiring fear means your on peoples radar. And it gives you an avenue to enter through, to get something across one way or another. Whether it’s well recieved or not doesn’t matter as much as whether it’s recieved, and whether it’s a catalyst, an inspiration for thought or growth. It’s only one Gateway, and I grant without any hesitation that there are plenty of other openings one could take, but this is an effective one worth noting.


Litany Against Fear

“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”
~Bene Gesserit

I first read that on one of Seti I Shadim’s blogs, years ago. I would think back to it, and somehow ended up replacing ‘fear’ with ‘doubt’ in recalling my favorite line: “Doubt is the mind-killer.” It was years later when I rediscovered that litany, and saw the original version used ‘fear’ instead of ‘doubt’. It was an accidental variation of my own it seems.

I’d meant to revisit it sooner, but only started playing with the whole litany a little earlier tonight…

Litany Against Doubt | Doubt Is The Mind Killer

I must not doubt. Doubt is the mind-killer.
Doubt is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my doubt, acknowledge it, understand it, and pass through it.
And when it has been dealt with I will move forward.
Where the attention given to it has gone, there will be vitality and passion.
For when doubt has been embraced and surpassed, only I will remain.

Pondering Fear

(Written June 30th, 2009)

What do I believe about fear? I believe that it is one of our basist emotions, one of those very connected with the humans more “bestial” nature. It is viewed by many as nothing more than a survival mechanism, but while I can agree that it is probably just that, its function as such is only part of the picture. Being a built in tool, existing for the purpose of survival, is, in and of itself, an important point to consider as survival is a relative subject – philosophically and practically – to a Sith. Because of this alone it proves itself a valuable emotion. But in modern times, the function of fear is not solely exclusive to physical survival anymore; not as it was in hundreds or thousands of years ago, and even then there was always the danger of allowing fear to “freeze you in place”.

No, in today’s more complex world, there are a great many things that bring fear to life within us; it could be anything from speaking in front of a group of peers to missing an “important” call. Obviously, these are not matters of kill or be killed, at least not in the conventional sense. So then I suppose the question arises: Is it still valuable in this day and age? I happen to think so as spiritual and menal survival are just as important as physical survival, and that is what is at stake these days.

(Written June 30th, 2009 | Part of a private discussion; I was asked what I thought about fear, its uses, its pitfalls, and anything else I thought might be relevant [to the person] at the time. Basically, it’s just a fragment of an old, old, discussion.)

Sith Quote | Necrom

“A man who makes himself an ideal, or more specifically an idea, can never truly die. His ideals/idea will always live on in the hearts of those who harbor and shelter it. A man who does not serve an Ideal is a man more broken than a man burdened with all the fear in the world. The man with the Ideal can lean on it in times of pain and struggle and use its power to boost his own.”
~ Darth Necrom