Follow the Dark

I found myself walking along an untrod path last night. The time must have been a little after midnight. Naught but a few lonely streetlamps lit up this path, this path so far from all human life save one. As I walked on, I began to wish that the lights would vanish, and that I could fully weave myself into the darkness spreading its wings all around me. As if by magic, the lights began to go out one by one as I walked by them, illuminating the path I had taken with a trail of darkness.

I reached the end of the road. I looked back and saw nothing but the night. I was at peace.

They say humans are a diurnal species. They say we rise with the sun and set with the sun. It certainly makes sense. Poor night vision. Questionable hearing. Fear of the dark. These are not the qualities we would expect of a nocturnal creature.

Haven Monahan over at Social Matter points out that beauty is not solely in the eye of the beholder, but that certain aesthetic preferences are hard-wired in humans, such as a preference for women in red. I too love a woman in red, but it is not just red that elicits a visceral response. It is also with black.

What is black? It is a color of foreboding. It is a color of evil.

Who wears black? Villains. Bad guys. Anti-heros. Misfits who wish to set themselves apart. Would-be succubi and incubi who wish to portray themselves as dark and mysterious.

Would Darth Vader have been as fearsome in a coat of red? Would Dobermans look nearly so menacing if they were bright orange? Why do we not portray vampires or witches in shades of vibrant yellow?

Black is the color of evil because black is the color of night, and humans fear the night.

I’ve long suspected that the implicit bias against blacks that has been found in both whites and blacks at least partly derives from this innate apprehension when confronted with the dark.

Vampires. Hellhounds. Werewolves. The night plays host to all of our fears; a blank canvas upon which to scrawl all the horrors of our imagination. You will note that humans do not project the same madness upon the day. This should tell you much.

A species bred to fear the dark will always choose to walk in the light.

If you wish to make yourself more than just a man, you must learn to embrace the light of the dark.

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5 thoughts on “Follow the Dark

  1. Aeoli Pera 05/08/2015 / 1:22 PM

    You might enjoy wearing all black clothing while walking in the same pitch-black area. Instant dissociation from your physical body. It’s an odd feeling, but I enjoy it.

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