Drawing Upon the Dark
Within each and every person there is a darkness. Whether you attribute it to science or magic or religion, each and every one of us contains the capacity of evil. Luckily, most of society is able to control these dark impulses, yet none of us can honestly deny them. Like height and weight and intellect and eye color and any number of other things, each person contains this darkness to varying degrees. Should you find solace in an enlightened few, be they labeled saints or avatars or any number of other things, they too have a shred of darkness. Think about it. You have to have an understanding of a thing to be able to negate and/or nullify a thing.
Some are drawn to primal acts of physicality whilst others turn to more artistic pursuits. Destruction and creativity are all part of the endless cycle of things, so how can one direct a bit of detached darkness and apply it in their own work?
Imagine a bad impulse. Someone cuts someone else off in traffic and the victim honks their horn and a fight ensues. Violence unchecked. How would this exchange occur in the space lanes, in a dystopian future where society is controlled by machines and the only currency is your social worth? Are fists flung or does one person let the other punch them to a pulp? The victim certain to gain contributions in societal chits while the other is ostracized? Do people have individual exchanges where one can view another’s worth as easily as you and I can check the stock exchange?
Take a (potentially) good idea and twist it. A number of years ago, someone told me that a big tech company wanted to be the keepers of documents which fell out of copyright. Not losing works and having them available to all is a pretty good idea and, on the surface, sounds altruistic. Doesn’t it? Certainly, even such a company with the purest of motives would transform with the passage of time, with the possibility of preservation turning to obliteration or transformation as people age out of the company and those with fresher (*cough* *cough* better?) ideas move into established roles and redirect and refocus a company’s vision.
Caveat: Should you be one of the few who have a shining halo, you’ll have to do some research. The masses are still trying to master the whole “walking on water” thing.
Dig into history. There are glorious leaders and endless egomaniacs from which to draw inspiration. Learn about them. Learn from them. There are biopics. There are documentaries. There are countless studies on those who deviate from the norm. Exceptional falls along the bell curve from the infamous to the famous. What separates the two?
Finally, my favorite…
Face your fears. The unknown can terrify. Water can cleanse us and drown us. Everything counts in small amounts and nothing exceeds like excess. Take a common fear these days, that of identity theft, and imagine it on a grander scale where someone completely takes over your entire digital identity, making you actually disappear by degrees in the real world, the physical world. As they compromise you online, you begin to disappear in the real world. It would be like Bladerunner meets Single White Female and would be a horrible, horrible way to go, a digitized death. How would you prove you are you in a society where everything is data stored some far away place?
In closing, when a dark impulse strikes, write it down. Put it to some creative purpose. Dark thoughts are not intrinsically evil, any more than bright thoughts are inherently good. (Setting aside certain religion vantages upon the same.) It is the rational mind acting upon them that determines their morality. Channel your energies towards the creative at every opportunity and you’ll find your outlook brighter.
Heroes shine the brightest whilst driving back the darkness. Give your heroes that opportunity.
Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu.