Fear continued

I continue reading my book on fear, which I can now inform you is entitled “Fear Itself” by Rush W. Dozier, Jr. While discussing the nature of fear, the author makes some interesting statements. “Certain kinds of pleasure — perhaps most kinds — are not independent sensations. They are what we perceive when our subjective level of pain and fear decreases. The fundamental reality is fear and pain. Pleasure is our perception of the reduction of fear and pain.”

And how is fear and pain reduced? Sometimes, by the secretion of natural opiates. This could possibly explain why people like horror movies and roller coaster rides. Your fear system gets amped up, and your pleasure system secretes these opiates to calm you down — the pleasure of horror films is not the anticipation as the killer sneaks up on the nubile teenager, it’s the “rush” (e.g. natural opiates) we get when the teenager leaps out of bed, avoiding danger. We amp ourselves up to enjoy the thrill as we come down.

Of course, there are other ways to reduce pain and fear. Alcohol and drugs come to mind. We think of them as creators of pleasure, but there’s no doubt that they also greatly reduce fear. Think of all the stupid things you’ve done on alcohol or drugs, or perhaps some combination of the two.

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