Something I regularly point out to clients is that quite a bit of the symbology we use to make meaning out of the world we experience, both internal and external, is based on the fact that we depend on our sight as our dominant sense.  Which is why most if not all horror movies are based on darkness or on things coming from ‘nowhere’ to get us.  Not being able to see something triggers our lizard brains into remembering that we are in essence herd and prey animals and are subject to being ‘got’ by predators.  Since that’s not the way we actually live our lives (most of the time) horror movies help add that spice to our lives that we aren’t getting from every day activities.

Focusing on sight also points to why so many car accidents are due to rear-ending someone or being rear-ended.  And why some of the most common accidents in stores are people backing into others or bumping into displays or each other with carts.  Gallagher used to say, ‘Look where you’re going or go where you’re looking!’  And our lives are full of wisdom about not looking back, keep your eyes on the prize, keep to the path that is in front of you, it’s always darkest before the light, etc, etc.  I’m sure you can think of a dozen more truisms like this.

Which means that we equate darkness with fear.  Because being without our sight, being in the dark, is one of the scariest places to be.  And we equate not knowing about something, having no experience of something, or not being sure of what will happen next as ‘being in the dark.’  Which means we fear the state of being where we don’t know or ‘can’t see our way clearly.’  This makes delving into the ‘dark’ parts of ourselves even more frightening.  To think that there is something other within us, something we don’t know, something not of the ‘light’ makes it frightening even though it’s part of ourselves.  But the truth is that nothing exists in the darkness that isn’t there in the light.  Even nocturnal animals live in the light, they just sleep through it.  The only thing to be scared about in the dark is that your primary means of knowing the world has been limited.  And there’s nothing actually scary about that because you have other senses. You have other means of knowing and experiencing the world around you.  And there is nothing inside you that you don’t already know about, it’s just hidden right now because for whatever reason you’ve got it in the dark.

Separate fear from darkness and you’ll be able to explore entire new worlds all around you.  Including within yourself.  Who knows what magic and beauty await you?