The suppressed scream
Nowadays, there seems to be a growing interest than ever for horror and scary movies and games. Many look after what they call “a psychological thrill ride” and the “Adrenaline rush”…
But if the natural drive of fear is to serve as a warning, and fear itself is an emotion that is not pleasant at all: why, then, is there a massive industry dedicated to the production of fear presented as pleasure? Worldwide, and for number of reasons, our reality lacks no causes to produce fear “free of charge”… then, why fear sells that massive amount of tickets?!
Sparks, a professor of communication at Purdue University, who studied the physical effects of scary movies on young men confirms that "We can tell ourselves the images on the screen are not real, but emotionally our brain reacts as if they are ...”but remains his notification about a strange pattern: “The more fear these people felt, the more they claimed to enjoy the movie!!!”
And the question is here again: Why???
No doubt, that fear, has 2 categories “fear of the natural world and fear of the supernatural world”. Both categories speak of our fear of the unknown…
In this same stream, Professor Grant Horner declares an interesting fact: “that all of us share a vague recognition, or at least a suspicion, that there may be more to the world than meets the eye.” It is true even for unbelievers! And, the professor continues:
“Yet, in the part of the fallen human condition this knowledge is strongly suppressed, and in turn the suppression itself is suppressed. As a result of the conservation of truth principle, however, we enforce a double movement that overturns this very suppression: first, we make fiction, including movies, featuring supernatural elements; second, we often find these fictions terrifying, even though we believe they are fiction. It has long been said that art imitates life even as life imitates art... We do not believe our not believing. Our fiction imitates and undermines the fiction of our unbelief. “!!!
Yes, here our mind does double-duty; in a certain sense, we are becoming, 2 persons: one grounded in reality, another in fantasy….however, the most appealing question we can ask here is, what happens when we enter this cinematic creation of fear, which terrifies us even when we know it is not real?
Professor Grant also answers this question, while speaking about an amazing fact widely misunderstood: it is the fear of God! He says:
“There are two kinds of fear regarding God: the reverential trust, awe, and fear of giving offense that characterizes believers and the fear of those who do not believe—they fear that they might be wrong…. The full-blown abject terror of an infinite God—unmediated by grace—would be overwhelming and impossible to bear. And try as we might, we cannot entirely conquer our sense of God or our creeping fears regarding him. The fear is inescapable. It is also unbearable. The only thing we can do is develop techniques to cope with the fear, just like a mountain climber or a skydiver does. The fear has to be managed— it has to be controlled.”
Obviously, many of us run to fiction as a management tool through which “suppressed truths” can be controlled, tamed, and reduced to a manageable package…. And thus we “face” our fear in the dark theater believing that we can bury it there… next, we are walking to the coffee shop laughing with a group of friends. BUT, be aware!!!
The real danger, paradoxically, stands here:
· To believe our “disgraced nature” by exchanging the longing for God into a disfigured fear of God!!
· To believe that we can anesthetize our deepest consciousness for God.
Effectively, our disbelief is "the opium" in contrary to Marx’ claim, because it masks our deepest longing for God. On the other hand, the true fear of the lord, that is respecting Him, submitting to His discipline, and worshipping Him in awe; is what can deliver us from the fear of man and his worst dreads. That is why (Proverbs 9) calls this fear: the beginning of wisdom, but we have to remember that love is this wisdom’s completion.
The ultimate example of the “Holy fear” and “perfect love” working together is Jesus Christ. So may all of us, listen to our “redeemed nature” in Him, because in Him, and Him alone that we’ll be able to transform our suppressed scream of fear into an expressed cheer of victory!!