Author Topic: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.  (Read 7192 times)

Telarus

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2010, 02:46:50 am »
Yes, but why Horror as opposed to a happier feeling, such as, er, Enlightenment? This is how I look at it: horror is not the cause of a changed worldview but a reaction to it. 1) something unexpected happens, thus challenging your worldview. 2) Your reaction is a feeling of horror.
Yet it seems like for #2, it's usually horror (which is unpleasant to experience) as opposed to a feeling of "I'm glad I am aware of that now."

The obvious answer to that is that people have some inherent desire for beliefs that they can trust, convictions, faiths... and so quite naturally they are devastated when these beliefs fall away. It's like shaking the foundations of a building. And this is because people always embrace belief at first; belief is instinctive and distrust is inherited.

The obvious answer does not satisfy me because I don't want it to be that way, even if it is that way. It comes down to this: we don't always see things right the first time, and even if we do, the world changes. And what makes humans different from other animals is that we don't always adapt. For animals, adaptation comes first. For us, it's conviction. Horror is natural for us and normal for us and an overreaction to the reality of things. So we were wrong. No big deal.

I think I digressed a bit, but what I was trying to say is that horror doesn't help us build our worldviews; instead, it makes it a more painful experience and it makes people paranoid or blind. It wraps the search for Truth in barbed wire. It doesn't help us embrace reality. I much prefer the Discordian way of doing it: 1) something changes your worldview. 2) you tilt your head, understand, and laugh.

Laughter is the primate response to Horror. The mind only draws the distinction between the highest levels of Horror and Samadhi/Illumination after the fact (after the chemicals have already hit your system and as they're burning off), in an attempt to integrate the experience into the personal narrative. You seem to have an emotional bias towards the word, and may be using it in a different context from the one Dok Howl intended (which to me doesn't draw those distinctions because he's defining scientific variables and part of the definition includes: Fear =/= Horror, but they can be found together.)
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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2010, 03:05:25 am »
Yes, but why Horror as opposed to a happier feeling, such as, er, Enlightenment? This is how I look at it: horror is not the cause of a changed worldview but a reaction to it. 1) something unexpected happens, thus challenging your worldview. 2) Your reaction is a feeling of horror.
Yet it seems like for #2, it's usually horror (which is unpleasant to experience) as opposed to a feeling of "I'm glad I am aware of that now."

The obvious answer to that is that people have some inherent desire for beliefs that they can trust, convictions, faiths... and so quite naturally they are devastated when these beliefs fall away. It's like shaking the foundations of a building. And this is because people always embrace belief at first; belief is instinctive and distrust is inherited.

The obvious answer does not satisfy me because I don't want it to be that way, even if it is that way. It comes down to this: we don't always see things right the first time, and even if we do, the world changes. And what makes humans different from other animals is that we don't always adapt. For animals, adaptation comes first. For us, it's conviction. Horror is natural for us and normal for us and an overreaction to the reality of things. So we were wrong. No big deal.

I think I digressed a bit, but what I was trying to say is that horror doesn't help us build our worldviews; instead, it makes it a more painful experience and it makes people paranoid or blind. It wraps the search for Truth in barbed wire. It doesn't help us embrace reality. I much prefer the Discordian way of doing it: 1) something changes your worldview. 2) you tilt your head, understand, and laugh.

Laughter is the primate response to Horror. The mind only draws the distinction between the highest levels of Horror and Samadhi/Illumination after the fact (after the chemicals have already hit your system and as they're burning off), in an attempt to integrate the experience into the personal narrative. You seem to have an emotional bias towards the word, and may be using it in a different context from the one Dok Howl intended (which to me doesn't draw those distinctions because he's defining scientific variables and part of the definition includes: Fear =/= Horror, but they can be found together.)

Horror is a form of aversion, that may bring on horrormirth, or may overlap with Fear, or both, yes?
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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2010, 03:22:01 am »
Yes, but why Horror as opposed to a happier feeling, such as, er, Enlightenment? This is how I look at it: horror is not the cause of a changed worldview but a reaction to it. 1) something unexpected happens, thus challenging your worldview. 2) Your reaction is a feeling of horror.
Yet it seems like for #2, it's usually horror (which is unpleasant to experience) as opposed to a feeling of "I'm glad I am aware of that now."

Telarus and Twiddleton did a better job of replying to this, but allow me to be blunt:

Because some stuff is pretty awful, and knowing it leaves a bad taste in your brain no matter how hard you try to appreciate the learning experience. Think of Horror (capital "H", to denote Doktor Howl's specific use of the word) as the 'darker side' of Enlightenment...

...and then realize that that's a false dichotomy yadda yadda blah blah.


I am tired and should not be trying to discuss these things right now.

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2010, 03:26:57 am »
Yes, but why Horror as opposed to a happier feeling, such as, er, Enlightenment? This is how I look at it: horror is not the cause of a changed worldview but a reaction to it. 1) something unexpected happens, thus challenging your worldview. 2) Your reaction is a feeling of horror.
Yet it seems like for #2, it's usually horror (which is unpleasant to experience) as opposed to a feeling of "I'm glad I am aware of that now."

Telarus and Twiddleton did a better job of replying to this, but allow me to be blunt:

Because some stuff is pretty awful, and knowing it leaves a bad taste in your brain no matter how hard you try to appreciate the learning experience. Think of Horror (capital "H", to denote Doktor Howl's specific use of the word) as the 'darker side' of Enlightenment...

...and then realize that that's a false dichotomy yadda yadda blah blah.


I am tired and should not be trying to discuss these things right now.

Ah, Endarkenment. I've had Endarkenment. If my interpretation here is correct, I am ready to become a Doktor.
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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2010, 03:29:06 am »
As a bit of fleshing that thought out, something happened, it was unexpected, and it led to Rage, pure Rage, and I realized I could not possibly act on it with out consequences. Then I got this cold feeling, realizing that this person would someday be shit in a hole, just as I would, and it didn't matter, and it caused me to laugh, just thinking that. That what this person did to enrage me, just didn't fucking matter.

I called it Endarkenment at the time.
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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2010, 05:30:44 am »
As a bit of fleshing that thought out, something happened, it was unexpected, and it led to Rage, pure Rage, and I realized I could not possibly act on it with out consequences. Then I got this cold feeling, realizing that this person would someday be shit in a hole, just as I would, and it didn't matter, and it caused me to laugh, just thinking that. That what this person did to enrage me, just didn't fucking matter.

I called it Endarkenment at the time.

The Buddhist Sutra of Mindfulness speaks about the meditation on the corpse: meditate on the decomposition of the body, how the body bloats and turns violet, how it is eaten by worms until only bits of blood and flesh still cling to the bones, meditate up to the point where only white bones remain, which in turn are slowly worn away and turn into dust. Meditate like that, knowing that your own body will undergo the same process. Meditate on the corpse until you are calm and at peace, until your mind and heart are light and tranquil and a smile appears on your face. Thus, by overcoming revulsion and fear, life will be seen as infinitely precious, every second of it worth living.  --Thich Nhat Hanh, on the 10 Mediations on the Asubas (Foul Objects)

The 10 Asubas are:

1. Uddhumataka: a rotten, bloated corpse, its body all swollen and its features distended out of shape.
2. Vinilaka: a livid corpse, with patchy discoloration -- greenish, reddish, yellowish -- from the decomposition of the blood.
3. Vipubbaka: a festering corpse, oozing lymph and pus from its various orifices.
4. Vichiddaka: a corpse falling apart, the pieces scattered about, radiating their stench.
5. Vikkhayittaka: a corpse that various animals, such as dogs, are gnawing, or that vultures are picking at, or that crows are fighting over, pulling it apart in different directions.
6. Vikkhittaka: corpses scattered about, i.e., unclaimed bodies that have been thrown together in a pile -- face up, face down, old bones and new scattered all over the place.
7. Hatavikkhittaka: the corpse of a person violently murdered, slashed and stabbed with various weapons, covered with wounds -- short, long, shallow, deep -- some parts hacked so that they're almost detached.
8. Lohitaka: a corpse covered with blood, like the hands of a butcher, all red and raw-smelling.
9. Puluvaka: a corpse infested with worms: long worms, short worms, black, green, and yellow worms, squeezed into the ears, eyes, and mouth; squirming and squiggling about, filling the various parts of the body like a net full of fish that has fallen open.
10. Atthika: a skeleton, some of the joints already separated, others not yet, the bones -- whitish, yellowish, discolored -- scattered near and far all over the place.
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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #36 on: August 16, 2010, 05:33:50 am »
But is this relevant to Horror?

ie, was my Endarkenment a recognition of Horror?
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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #37 on: August 16, 2010, 05:37:52 am »
These definitions are awesome, Dok. I look forward to reading more. :D
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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #38 on: August 16, 2010, 06:31:00 am »
Dok, I'm echoing the praise earlier in this thread, very intriguing!

There's one bit that kept nagging at me while reading the thread though, until I realized what was about it, Telarus touched upon it for a little bit already:

Consider:  An infant is only afraid of two things...Loud noises and heights.  He hasn't yet had enough experience with the world to view anything else as a scary part of the natural order.  As adults, we know that there are demented people who like to molest and/or harm infants...This is a disgusting thing, but part of the natural order of how the world works, so we loathe it.  A child has no idea of this, and when the concept is introduced as part of the natural order of things, the child feels horror.

See, I don't remember this. Maybe because when my parents told me about such people I just categorized them with the Wicked Witch and the Big Bad Wolf from the fairytales. But that's not exactly it ...

Then I remembered part of a documentary I saw more than a decade ago. This was before the time of CGI and other video trickery. Well, there was video trickery of course, but people didn't automatically instantly suspect it, like today's hordes of YouTube commenters calling everything "FAKE!!!".

What happened was this: They showed a person holding a brick. The person let go of the brick. The brick fell upwards.

I suppose this falls somewhere in line with Dok's "roses singing" example. The interesting part of the experiment was of course when they filmed people's reaction to seeing this video:

An adult would frown, trying to understand, not liking that he couldn't. (Then probably concluding it must be some kind of trick)

A child would laugh.

That was it. Show a child something that doesn't fit their current worldview and they will laugh. Say, a magic trick, make something appear or disappear. The child will laugh. The adult will instinctively try to figure it out--unless they are smart and know that in order to fully enjoy the magic show they have to suspend their skepticism for a while and willingly choose to go along for the ride. (as far as my understanding goes it is the latter kind of mental state that mentalists/hypnotists exploit in their subjects)

The obvious hypothesis-explanation is of course that the young child still has to learn a lot about the world. So, encountering something unexpected, something that lies outside of the path of their current world-model, is a positive experience for them (not talking about molesters here, but singing roses), because it provides them with an opportunity to learn.
There is something in adult behaviour that makes this a relatively negative experience for them, it's probably something really obvious, but I can't come up with it right now (anyone?).

Something about Discordians is the desire to preserve this child-like laughter and joy at the unknown. RAW called it neophilia.

Then there is Horrormirth. As Dok said in his 4th post ITT (reply to Cram), it can be a perverted joy in anything that is new and terrible (and if you're addicted to the new, you can find a lot of it in the terrible), but it can also be more balanced. A break with the bliss-ninny hippie views, that not all novel experiences are singing roses or DMT elves, and that focusing just on those provides a lopsided tunnel-vision of Reality, no matter how open-minded you are, even an infinite multitude of observations can be biased if you consistently ignore the bad stuff.
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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #39 on: August 16, 2010, 07:03:03 pm »
Yes, but why Horror as opposed to a happier feeling, such as, er, Enlightenment?

1.  What's intrinsically unhappy about horror?

2.  Happy is an appropriate emotion for some situations involving horror, but not others.

3.  I can have my notions as to the natural order of things changed without achieving enlightenment.

Don't tell me what to fucking do.  In exchange, I will not tell you what to fucking do.  Note that mocking each other's actions is still permissable under this system.

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #40 on: August 16, 2010, 07:06:21 pm »
Yes, but why Horror as opposed to a happier feeling, such as, er, Enlightenment? This is how I look at it: horror is not the cause of a changed worldview but a reaction to it. 1) something unexpected happens, thus challenging your worldview. 2) Your reaction is a feeling of horror.
Yet it seems like for #2, it's usually horror (which is unpleasant to experience) as opposed to a feeling of "I'm glad I am aware of that now."

The obvious answer to that is that people have some inherent desire for beliefs that they can trust, convictions, faiths... and so quite naturally they are devastated when these beliefs fall away. It's like shaking the foundations of a building. And this is because people always embrace belief at first; belief is instinctive and distrust is inherited.

The obvious answer does not satisfy me because I don't want it to be that way, even if it is that way. It comes down to this: we don't always see things right the first time, and even if we do, the world changes. And what makes humans different from other animals is that we don't always adapt. For animals, adaptation comes first. For us, it's conviction. Horror is natural for us and normal for us and an overreaction to the reality of things. So we were wrong. No big deal.

I think I digressed a bit, but what I was trying to say is that horror doesn't help us build our worldviews; instead, it makes it a more painful experience and it makes people paranoid or blind. It wraps the search for Truth in barbed wire. It doesn't help us embrace reality. I much prefer the Discordian way of doing it: 1) something changes your worldview. 2) you tilt your head, understand, and laugh.


I already replied to this last night, but I've had more time to think about it and feel it should be further expounded upon, to drive the point home.

My cousin came back recently from a semester of school in South Africa, where she worked with various nursing and healthcare programs, including AIDS clinics.

Stories she brought back were things that I had not known about, and which changed my worldview. Some of them caused me to experience a feeling of Horror.

For example, AIDS is so heavily stigmatized among poor South Africans (who live mainly in townships, the ramshackle slums) that women will sometimes refuse to be tested for it. Even though clinics are available and subsidized by the SA government, they're too afraid of social rejection to get tested. This leads to pregnant women giving birth to HIV-positive babies, even though it is medically possible to reduce the chance of transmission to the newborn child to nearly zero.

Another example: we take knowledge about the truth of HIV and AIDS for granted, but over there, there is a persistent urban legend that one can cure oneself of HIV by having sex with a virgin. My cousin told me a story of an adorable little 7-year-old girl she saw in a clinic who was being treated for AIDS because she'd been raped by a man who thought he could cure himself of the disease that way.

The burn wards there are also filled with children: the most cost-effective way for these people to cook their food is with paraffin stoves... which have the unfortunate habit of exploding and spraying burning paraffin all over the kid who's doing the cooking while the parents are out.


Learning these things created a sense of Horror, because it wasn't part of my worldview before. I don't feel particularly "Enlightened" knowing these things.

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #41 on: August 16, 2010, 09:56:16 pm »
Thanks Dok, thanks Cainad for the explanations.
Hm... Dok, are you sure the word Horror is good for this? Based on your definition, it doesn't have to be a negative emotion at all; yet the word Horror has mostly negative connotations and is connected to Loathing and Fear. Based on your definition, is is connected also in the same way to Enlightenment and Love. (The latter two I think is what Triple Zero's theoretical child was feeling in his post, quoted below. Well, maybe not enlightenment, but the child laughs because he/she loves the magic trick.)
Eh. The word just seems misleading, although I guess that's why you posted a definition. I'm sorry.


What happened was this: They showed a person holding a brick. The person let go of the brick. The brick fell upwards.

I suppose this falls somewhere in line with Dok's "roses singing" example. The interesting part of the experiment was of course when they filmed people's reaction to seeing this video:

An adult would frown, trying to understand, not liking that he couldn't. (Then probably concluding it must be some kind of trick)

A child would laugh.

That was it. Show a child something that doesn't fit their current worldview and they will laugh. Say, a magic trick, make something appear or disappear. The child will laugh. The adult will instinctively try to figure it out--unless they are smart and know that in order to fully enjoy the magic show they have to suspend their skepticism for a while and willingly choose to go along for the ride. (as far as my understanding goes it is the latter kind of mental state that mentalists/hypnotists exploit in their subjects)

The obvious hypothesis-explanation is of course that the young child still has to learn a lot about the world. So, encountering something unexpected, something that lies outside of the path of their current world-model, is a positive experience for them (not talking about molesters here, but singing roses), because it provides them with an opportunity to learn.
There is something in adult behaviour that makes this a relatively negative experience for them, it's probably something really obvious, but I can't come up with it right now (anyone?).

I think that last part may be what I was getting at (in a more confused way).

It's a relatively negative experience for adults because adults already have worldviews and already have firm beliefs. They have faith in things now, think that they know a lot about the world already as opposed to a child who starts out with nothing, and thus, when their firm beliefs are challenged, they just feel insecure.

This might have something to do with The Machine - the Machine tells them how society works and is supposed to work, and tells them to get to work. No time for learning more things about the world; this is the world and this is how you fit in the system. Adults get this message, and so their learning ends. So they just want the world to stay how they were told it is (how they think it is) so they can get on with their lives... or something like that. It's like something (from the Illuminatus!, I think) about how people go to college not to actually learn but to get a piece of paper that allows them to qualify for certain jobs. It explains why adults hate the unexpected instead of being delighted by it. Perhaps society is structured to make people feel that way.
not quite there yet.

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #42 on: August 17, 2010, 02:21:07 pm »
Thanks Dok, thanks Cainad for the explanations.
Hm... Dok, are you sure the word Horror is good for this? Based on your definition, it doesn't have to be a negative emotion at all; yet the word Horror has mostly negative connotations and is connected to Loathing and Fear. Based on your definition, is is connected also in the same way to Enlightenment and Love.

I'm not arguing about this all fucking week in an effort to satisfy a pedant.

NOT THE FUCKING POINT.

That is all.
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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #43 on: August 17, 2010, 03:37:39 pm »
What happened was this: They showed a person holding a brick. The person let go of the brick. The brick fell upwards.

I suppose this falls somewhere in line with Dok's "roses singing" example. The interesting part of the experiment was of course when they filmed people's reaction to seeing this video:

An adult would frown, trying to understand, not liking that he couldn't. (Then probably concluding it must be some kind of trick)

A child would laugh.

That was it. Show a child something that doesn't fit their current worldview and they will laugh. Say, a magic trick, make something appear or disappear. The child will laugh. The adult will instinctively try to figure it out--unless they are smart and know that in order to fully enjoy the magic show they have to suspend their skepticism for a while and willingly choose to go along for the ride. (as far as my understanding goes it is the latter kind of mental state that mentalists/hypnotists exploit in their subjects)

The obvious hypothesis-explanation is of course that the young child still has to learn a lot about the world. So, encountering something unexpected, something that lies outside of the path of their current world-model, is a positive experience for them (not talking about molesters here, but singing roses), because it provides them with an opportunity to learn.
There is something in adult behaviour that makes this a relatively negative experience for them, it's probably something really obvious, but I can't come up with it right now (anyone?).

For a child, encountering something unexpected is a chance to learn something new, which is pleasant. To an adult, it means they have to unlearn something old, which is always unpleasant, regardless of Machines and social conditioning.

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #44 on: August 19, 2010, 12:05:42 am »
Eh, good point. Learning is good, unlearning bad. Makes sense.
not quite there yet.