One of the greatest fears of anyone, no matter how brave they may think they are is the split second of wondering what may lurk in the dark. This fear is known as Nyctophobia.
The day and night often come with two different types of mentalities for all different types of people. No matter the type of person, no matter how courageous a person may believe themselves to be, there is always a cautious mystery that stirs in the mind when pondering what exactly is lurking in the shadows?
Even the most brawn and tough individuals all have their fears that they carry through their lives.
Although few adults admit to being worried of the dark, it is an innate factor that has actually been developed as a part of our evolution to be more willing to participate in life events during the daytime as opposed to the night. When our ancestors were human beings but were far from being farmers, all societies were built upon hunter and gatherer techniques. The human eye is best adapted for hunting and gathering during the day time, and that’s when their bodies naturally lined up to that sort of schedule. Humans were becoming the strongest species on Earth, but that didn’t totally protect them from other animals seeking them out for their own hunting. Especially during the night time, other animals gained the advantage on humans where their eyes and their species characteristics gave them a stronger chance to kill and eat a human.
A characteristic about humans that has not been extensively studied but is quite interesting is the whole aspect of dreaming. Dreams are incredibly interesting in that as of now we have no clue how they work. What gives us these visuals that can create scenarios of positivity, neutrality, or absolute terror while we sleep. Most people believe that dreams are made up of a bunch of ideas and sequences that has been thought about in the conscious level of thinking, and are re-enacted in the unconscious level of thinking during sleep.
One fascinating hypothesis concerning dreams was brought to my attention by a hobbyist in psychoanalysis in Dr. Terrence McKenna. One of Terrence’s greatest hypothesis for which he is well known for is the belief that humanity owes much of it’s development to the some special fungus (wink, wink) that grew on the feces of bovine creatures that allowed them to have an explosion of neurotic firings in the brain. He explained that this is what led to many of the ways of thinking that humans currently possess nowadays. For those that have eaten this substance that our ancestors ate, there is a dramatic amount of knowledge to be attained from them and it’s not out of the realms of a solid hypothesis.
One of Dr. McKenna’s beliefs about dreams is that some of the terrors that we face throughout them often concern predatory animals coming after us, the main character of the dream. He believes that perhaps dreaming may still be something we carry from our ancestors, some sort of their thought process. The way they survived is by hiding throughout the night and avoiding the big predators that could jeopardize their lives. Our dreams reinforce this type of thinking to fear those that could harm us and remove ourselves from those circumstances. Much like many of the big cats that exist today, they often will do their hunting at night, when other animals, like humans, are usually sleeping. Maybe our dreams are continually telling us to be wary of the night.