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Topic: What is Fear?
Message: Posted by: Jon_Thompson (Dec 5, 2012 07:54AM)
The first part of a very interesting discussion about what fear actually is on the BBC World Service:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p010z9xw
Message: Posted by: YitzhakNoDice (Dec 5, 2012 09:17AM)
One key idea from this show is that you can manipulate peoples fears and control their behaviour. This concept is exemplified with political propaganda, but there's no reason we "spooky folk" can't take advantage of it too. A couple quotes from the show: "In the nineteenth century there was a profound fear of what would happen with the body at or near death" and "People were hysterical about being put into graves before they were really dead." These ideas may be outdated now, but in Victorian times fear of sudden death was very real. Seance workers then, I expect, used the concept much to their advantage. The question for us is, what are modern fears that we can manipulate for entertainment purposes? Any thoughts?
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Dec 5, 2012 09:45AM)
They're right, to some extent. Like many academics, they overthink it. Fear is a response pattern, that protects us from perceived damage to our bodies and egos. The key word is "perception". We tend to think of our sensory information as a solid thing, carved in stone. Really, it's highly variable, dependent on physiological and emotional habit.

They discuss fight or flight as the two faces of fear. There is a third...just acknowledging it, and doing what you were doing anyway...turning it into a learning tool.

The number one fear in the US, for many years, is public speaking. Death is down the list, below spiders and snakes.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Dec 5, 2012 12:25PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-05 10:45, Harley Newman wrote:
They're right, to some extent. Like many academics, they overthink it. [/quote]
Which makes this study and forum magicians a marriage made in heaven. ;)

[quote]They discuss fight or flight as the two faces of fear. There is a third...just acknowledging it, and doing what you were doing anyway...turning it into a learning tool. [/quote] But, then is this truly fear?

[quote]The number one fear in the US, for many years, is public speaking. Death is down the list, below spiders and snakes.
[/quote] Leading to the obvious joke that more people are afraid of delivering a eulogy, than being the body in the casket.
Message: Posted by: Michael_MacDonald (Dec 5, 2012 12:57PM)
Fear of the unknown fear of the paranormal. both of these I use in my shows as well as many others. the key is to set the stage realistic enough to cause them to doubt that your just doing a trick.
Message: Posted by: Dreadnought (Dec 5, 2012 01:52PM)
I think the fear of death is down among those who are still healthy. I do a lot of hospice work and work in the cancer wards. The fear of death is alive and well amog those who are staring it in the face.

Peace and Godspeed