One other idea that came to mind from the essay I mentioned in the last two posts was of the ‘predator’. The unseen cause of anxiety. It reminded me of something I thought about a while ago which was of the ‘forest’. This is as old as the hills really. The idea of a forest that you may be about to enter. If it is unfamiliar it can seem daunting or terrifying as you don’t know what is in there. To someone more familiar they may understand the key features. From a distance you may be able to appreciate the whole scene, but entry is entirely different.
For some with familiarity the forest is a place of food and shelter and to others it may be a place of an awaiting predator. If you take a classic German fairy tale like ‘The Twelve Brothers’, you find the forest a place of magic that is at times dark with unforeseen results. The brothers are turned into birds due to a curse and silence is the only way to break the spell. Understanding the fear of the predator is a good way to understand how anxiety works. How it can coax us into fear. There seems to be always something lurking if we look at human behaviours and interests.
Say for example our fear of the planet becoming uninhabitable or out of balance. We have fears that we monitor. This is in a way a part organising research. It is logical to follow our current understandings. It helps curb anxiety. Maybe this is the core way humans deal with a world of potential predators whether it is cancer or other ailments. We attempt to alleviate the state of anxiety we find when dealing with anxieties by researching them.
Take for instance the building of a town or city. It also alleviates our need to worry about disorder. Then we build the city and worry about impending disorder within the city. Human nature is based around worrying about the unknown. If we look at current trends in Australia, we see levels of government trying to curb violence by simply shutting whole areas down at certain times and limiting access to alcohol. People say this is to help real estate prices, but it is as much about trying to alleviate anxieties and in a way real estate can clean areas up as well through gentrification.
Understanding anxiety and the role of the predator can make us less likely to fall too heavily into anxieties in general when we realise it is a human state. It is in our nature.