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Fears
 PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:23 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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All of my childhood fears have been licked, except for one: heights. I'm not afraid of evil dolls, ghosts, or Michael Jackson anymore, but heights still scare me. It doesn't even have to be dramatic heights like looking down a skyscraper. Even looking down from the second floor to the first can do it. I had never given this fear much thought until today.

I was looking through The Philosophy Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained (highly recommended btw) and read the section on Søren Kierkegaard. Every section begins with a short quote from the philosopher it is focusing on. For Kierkegaard it was "Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom."

After explaining Kierkegaard's opinion that humans have absolute freedom to make choices, the book said, "As an example, he [Kierkegaard] asks us to consider a man standing on a cliff or tall building. If this man looks over the edge, he experiences two different kinds of fear: the fear of falling, and fear brought on by the impulse to throw himself off the edge. This second type of fear, or anxiety, arises from the realization that he has absolute freedom to choose whether to jump or not, and this fear is as dizzying as his vertigo."

*mindblown*

I had never thought of my fear that way, but it makes total sense when I think about it. It isn't just the thought of falling or hitting the ground that scares me, it's the knowledge that only my choice is keeping me from jumping. I think the best example is a time I went to an amusement park with my family. I wanted to go on a roller coaster, but in order to do so I had to climb up a tall open staircase (my old nemesis). I had to really force myself to get to the top. Once I was strapped into the roller coaster, I didn't feel fear anymore. Even though the roller coaster went higher and faster than me walking up the stairs and is even designed to make you feel fear, I didn't feel any. When I got off I said that the stairs were scarier than the roller coaster. Now I know why. I could have jumped off the stairs at any point, but once I was strapped into the roller coaster I was no longer in control. I knew very well that the roller coaster might break and I would plummet to my death, but it would have been out of control. Apparently that set my mind at ease.

Can anyone else relate to this?

Feel free to post your own fears and/or your thoughts on them.
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Doubt not, Reepicheep,
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Re: Fears
 PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:41 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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Reepicheep wrote:
All of my childhood fears have been licked, except for one: heights. I'm not afraid of evil dolls, ghosts, or Michael Jackson anymore, but heights still scare me. It doesn't even have to be dramatic heights like looking down a skyscraper. Even looking down from the second floor to the first can do it. I had never given this fear much thought until today.

I was looking through The Philosophy Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained (highly recommended btw) and read the section on Søren Kierkegaard. Every section begins with a short quote from the philosopher it is focusing on. For Kierkegaard it was "Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom."

After explaining Kierkegaard's opinion that humans have absolute freedom to make choices, the book said, "As an example, he [Kierkegaard] asks us to consider a man standing on a cliff or tall building. If this man looks over the edge, he experiences two different kinds of fear: the fear of falling, and fear brought on by the impulse to throw himself off the edge. This second type of fear, or anxiety, arises from the realization that he has absolute freedom to choose whether to jump or not, and this fear is as dizzying as his vertigo."

*mindblown*

I had never thought of my fear that way, but it makes total sense when I think about it. It isn't just the thought of falling or hitting the ground that scares me, it's the knowledge that only my choice is keeping me from jumping. I think the best example is a time I went to an amusement park with my family. I wanted to go on a roller coaster, but in order to do so I had to climb up a tall open staircase (my old nemesis). I had to really force myself to get to the top. Once I was strapped into the roller coaster, I didn't feel fear anymore. Even though the roller coaster went higher and faster than me walking up the stairs and is even designed to make you feel fear, I didn't feel any. When I got off I said that the stairs were scarier than the roller coaster. Now I know why. I could have jumped off the stairs at any point, but once I was strapped into the roller coaster I was no longer in control. I knew very well that the roller coaster might break and I would plummet to my death, but it would have been out of control. Apparently that set my mind at ease.

Can anyone else relate to this?

Feel free to post your own fears and/or your thoughts on them.


I disagree with your basic premise that the only thing preventing you from jumping is your freedom to choose not to. So much of our brain function is autonomous and biochemical and beyond any sort of "freedom".

I've heard of people on certain medications where the urge to jump out of a window or off a building isn't any kind of choice, but a literal compulsion that is difficult to overcome. That's why "suicidal tendencies" is on the side effect warning of certain drugs.

So that's two existential crises: the fact that you have the freedom to jump off a building at any moment but CHOOSE not to, and the fact that "choice" is a biochemical reaction in one of the most complex systems ever built (your brain), and may well just be the product of causality.

Anyways, as to fears, my fear isn't of heights, but of falling. Roller coasters, but of the lack of control and excessive speed. Pain and death by things I have no control over, or worse, have no reason behind them whatsoever (the scariest line in a horror movie is when the victim asks the killer "why me?" and the answer is something like "your light was on" or "you were home" or otherwise random).

And of course I have Anakin Skywalker level fear of losing the ones I love (namely my wife). And my wife has the same fear of losing me. I've heard that this is a common fear, especially among women (the fear of dying after their spouse, specifically), but among men too I imagine (I sure as hell have it). I have stories on this, but they speak more to my wife's fear than mine, so I won't share them here.
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:22 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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That's interesting. I've never considered that while up high in a spot where I might fall. Well, I never thought of it as "I could jump" so much as "If I don't keep my balance or place my foot right, this is going to really hurt".

I'm still repulsed by snakes, though. That repulsion goes up exponentially as they increase in number. Seeing one snake isn't so bad, it's the fear of seeing everything covered by snakes and squirming around.

There's no control there. I can't wish away the snakes, at least not until I wake up from my nightmare.
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:25 am Reply with quote  
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  YodaBauer2442
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The two things that scare me: Tidal waves and bunnies.


Yeah, I don't get it either.
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:00 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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@Taral: Predestination vs. free will. Now that's a can of worms. Razz

I might respond, but I would need to gather my thoughts first.
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Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:55 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Bunnies? Like cute furry little bunnies or evil rabbit with monstrous fans glowing red eyes (I'm thinking Twilight Zone)?
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"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:00 pm Reply with quote  
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  YodaBauer2442
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Or from Holy Grail!

I was almost eaten by one in a high school science class. Those things are creepy.
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"To understand what happened at the diner, we use Mr. Papaya. This is upsetting because he is the friendliest of fruits. " Dr. Walter Bishop

"WHERE'S THE FIRE?! I've always loved that expression, which is curious since my lab assistant was killed in a fire."
- Walter Bishop



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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:34 am Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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The big thing for me is bees. Not because I was ever stung by one but when I was 6-7 years old while hiking in the woods once my friend stepped on an underground bees nest and went screaming into the woods pursued by the angry nest.

I think it's the combination of my friends terror and the thought "two steps to the left [or was it right?] and that could've been me instead"
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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:34 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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I have this really weird thing about sea/ocean water. It scares the hell out of me. I was playing Assassin's Creed 4, which has underwater sequences. As amazing as they looked, I was just so creeped out by it all that, after a prolonged period, I was left shaking. The Jaws music and sharks didn't help.

I also dislike heights. Which is fairly understandable, because I tend to fall over, apropos of nothing. Seriously, I could be standing on the (very steady) ground, doing absolutely nothing, and I'd suddenly fall over. Going up to a height where that would get me killed is not a good idea.
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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:25 am Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Opaque water. Not water itself...I love to swim. But it has to be in a pool or some such. If I can't see what's in the water...forget it. This goes even as far as video games. I will get into a panic on any kind of level where I have to walk or swim through murky water, and I generally have to pause the game and walk away to compose myself.

I believe this all stems from watching Disney's live action Jungle Book from the 90s. If you've never seen it...it wasn't necessarily a kids' movie. The demise of the nemesis contributed to, or completely started, my fear.

Not exactly for your viewing pleasure:

Kaa (The Jungle Book)
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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:24 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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*Shudders* I did not need to see that, Mara!
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I am a Star Wars fan. That doesn't mean that I hate or love Jar Jar. That doesn't mean I hate or love Lucas, or agree or disagree 100% with him. That doesn't mean I prefer the PT over the OT, or vice versa. That doesn't mean I hate the EU, or even love all of it (or even read all of it). These are not prerequisites. Being a man is not a prerequisite. Being a geek is not a prerequisite. The only prerequisite is that I love something about Star Wars. I am a Star Wars fan.


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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:54 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mad Wook
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Enclosed spaces of any kind. Locked in a closet or buried alive, it doesn't matter. If I even see someone stuck in a drainage tube in a movie my chest gets tight and my legs get twitchy.


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 PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 3:38 pm Reply with quote  
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  Queen Padmè Skywalker
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Not really a fear, but I really, really hate birds. I'm not really sure why, I didn't have a bad childhood experience, I just can't stand their wings and sharp, little beaks and ugh.

Also, clowns. Because of this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEdZh8a4ZvE
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 PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 3:48 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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The Brave Little Toaster is a seriously messed up movie. Confused
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Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


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 PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 5:25 am Reply with quote  
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  Hogy
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I have a mild fear of heights. But what I really don't understand is why this fear kicks in when I watch crazy teenagers that climb crains, towers and tall buildnigs.
Like in this video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLDYtH1RH-U

I have no problem watching base/bungee jumpers, or cliff/mountain climbers.


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