Soul Brother

“We’ll tear your soul apart.” —Hellraiser

The scariest kind of horror fiction is that stuff that talks about the torment of the soul, of a negative post-human transmigration. In fiction, those elements were always the scariest parts of Lovecraft, Clive Barker, Arthur Machen, E.T.A. Hoffmann, etc. After all, that’s how religions and cults brainwash people — they imbue them with terrifying stories under the guise that they are real.

Oh, not that they’re wrong — hell is real, but everything looks and seems different when observed from far away. We might be in hell right now (we probably are) and just don’t realize it because we don’t have the eyes to see it, or because our perceptions are made up of hellish perceptions. And besides, to someone with an agenda (enlightenment, heaven, freedom, power) anything that obstructs that agenda is bad, dangerous, a hellish manifestation.

Lots of horror stories function under the premise of someone encountering deep underworld elements (occult or social) which they are not prepared to comprehend. This is how our “souls” can be damaged — by attaching to negative influences or encountering tantric forces we do not understand. When fear is too powerful, a person attaches to it and becomes ensnared by horrible things, ideas, whatever.

It’s the same when confronting or fighting somebody: even if your structure and technique is fantastic, if a person’s spirit is far stronger, you become paralyzed and frozen in fear. Nothing works and you succumb to their energy. This is why eliminating fear is such an important step in religious/martial training. As Glenn Morris likes to chant in his charming and entertaining occult/martial arts books, “the stronger spirit wins”.

We’re often told of the conundrum that the final peace or whatever arises of its own accord. You can’t force it, blah blah blah. It’s true, but it also arises as the only alternative to disenchantment with all of these painful things. There is a point where the hells just become boring.

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