courage and awe, clutching a focus


One wonders whether people are equally handicapped by fear. Our experience suggests that fear tends to remain invisible: it frails and ferments the very memory of itself, nudging the rationalizing Interpreter into illusion of control and agency (of thinking: “I am where I want to be”). It is when the fear is lifted, by needling ShouJie for example, or when we compare a tipsy daredevil with a California Sober, that the extent of our prison is revealed to us.
This might in turn explain the wonderful correlation between the liquid courage and hypnotizability scores: Inhibiting the brakes is what allows us to explore new territory. Like a hangover, the fear can then return with a vengeance (resulting in the whipsaw resistance mentioned above).

Clutching a focus (2021-04-11,, structuring personality around an archetype, or idea relevant to a story arc – might put us in a bubble capable of traversing the “Here Be Dragons”, the expanses of the unknown not yet on our map. When a person represents an idea, it’s like they carry a piece of a home space around with them (captured powerfully as a metaphor of native earth capable of resurrecting a vampire; akin to a “secure base” of Attachment theory).
The focus itself (and the “meaningful, goal-directed striving” of clutching it) is a powerful technology: a simple bauble might anchor a person to the stronger-then-life-and-death forces the likes of motherland, friendship, love, faith.

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