Spiders & Snakes
I am terrified of spiders and snakes. And don’t trying convincing me there’s no reason for it. It’s been tried. There’s already plenty of proof in the world to show me. There’s simply no convincing without a lot of psychotherapy or work at behavior modification, which frighten me almost as much as spiders and snakes cause who knows what might be found or what might become of me after I’m modified. Who knows how things might fall apart once you go tinkering around and rewiring the mind. Who knows what I might be restructured into after Pavlov or Skinner get ahold of me.
My fears are a matter of my skittish temperament. I imagine an ancestor had some terrifying encounters with spiders and snakes and it’s stayed in our genes. My terror doesn’t come from logic. You can tell me, since I’ve set up all the traps and sprayed all the sprays, there’s only a minute chance of a snake or spider getting in my home, let alone surviving. You can try convincing me, even if they breach, most snakes and spiders are harmless. You can tell me, but it’s not my mind that needs convincing. It’s something else. Perhaps something far more primal.
Is it a glitch in my software? Is it something I need to overcome, since a childish thing such as a fear of snakes and spiders is certainly not a thing of the brave? But it’s just as terrify a thing as snakes or spiders to go digging deep into your software and hardware and start monkeying around. Everybody knows it takes just one errant parenthesis in the program to produce catastrophic results. Any fool should know that 5 plus 5 equaling 26 is far better than 5 plus 5 equaling 3,555. Everybody knows a single crossed wire can blow the whole motherboard.
Like spiders and snakes, I don’t like uncertainty. I believe this need for certainty, like my fear of spiders and snakes, is something that’s been passed along in our genes. I need certainty so it doesn’t feel like I’m trying to fall asleep every night in a room that may be crawling with spiders and snakes. I need certainty that tells me when I turn off the lights there’s no chance of them creeping into my room and onto me.
I need certainty, so I’ve chosen a story that gives me certainty. I’ve chosen a story that history and its billions of people have chosen too. It reinforces my certainty knowing the choice of billions and billions throughout history can hardly be wrong. I’ve chosen to believe serpents and spiders were created from evil, and, as such, they loath the virtuous who sleep. I have chosen to believe that any spider that bites the virtuous, instead of infecting him with their poison, rather becomes infected with the intended victim’s virtue. I have chosen to believe, as evil creatures, snakes and spiders have a fixed nature, so they avoid the virtuous who sleep in fear of becoming infected with something they are not. In order to sleep, I accept I must be virtuous. I accept that virtue courses through my veins, prepared to combat the poisons of evil. My virtue is my certainty. A false certainty? Maybe. Probably. But it doesn’t matter. Cause with this certainty – even if false – it assures me there’ll be no spiders or snakes crawling around on me when I’m trying to sleep.