Bismillahi ar-rahman ar-rahim
I like to watch anime, and I used to love watching anime, though these days I’ve been occupying myself with other endeavours such as reading and reflection.
An anime I’ve recently watched was “Ito Junji:Collection” which is an adaptation of a manga series of short horror stories. I watched it because I wanted to feel challenged and see if something that is more focused on horror will actually scare me or unsettle me. After the disappointing first episode, the anime actually got decent in the following episodes (the first episode had a slapstick comedic feel which ruined the horror mood).
These episodes featured self-contained short stories that just portrayed either a frightening man-eating monster or some scary concept like having dreams that feel like you have lived hundreds of years.
Though I wasn’t that perturbed while watching the anime, I did feel a bit of unease afterwards upon thinking about the scenes and scary concepts, and then I started to think about why is horror even scary.
Well actually I had the thought that why would anyone waste time consuming horror, and at first I thought horror was just another distraction of the world (like money and material success are) but I realised that actually it must have a purpose if it exists within the world. It didn’t take that much reflection to realise an answer.
If you think about things as signs and symbols for the Unseen realm, for God, for the Afterlife, then essentially anything you experience can fit under this umbrella. Everything is a sign that we are within the dominion of a powerful creator god who wants us to worship him, and that He has created the Trial of Earth for us and that the Day of Judgement is coming. Everything in one way or another points to this reality. So, for those that reflect, realising the inherent meaning of a symbol serves to strengthen our certainty.
Ok, so what did I realise about the whole existence of horror stories in the human experience? The most obvious point is that horror stories remind us that there are things that are Unseen and are generally hidden from the experience of many humans. But that these things are no less real than everyday mundane life and in fact there are people for whom these sorts of things are real experiences. But there is even something deeper here. There is a sense of unease attached to horror images. Why does a stickly figure with a jaw full of sharp fangs with dripping saliva induce a sense of unease and fear in us? I mean that all it is, is an image. Or is it? I believe that there must be a “reality” to which these images themselves point to. And because of “that” thing’s actual real existence, a symbolic depiction of it necessarily evokes fear. This could be thought of as a reflection of the world of Forms philosophised by Plato. We live in a world of Images, which are themselves reflections of deeper realities.
Whatever the case, I’d rather not consume too much horror as that would be a distraction from important matters, but it’s important to keep a keen mind that is constantly reflecting and keen eyes to notice connections and patterns.