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C10P25 Knowledge belongs to darkness

April 16, 2014

One of the things I really like about writing for Dream Eater is that I get to explore a different world view than a lot of the other characters. By nature his perspective is broader, more abstract and ancient.

The concept of darkness in a spiritual sense is one that I’ve always found interesting. In general, I feel that the society I live in is both too neglectful and too fearful of the dark. People dismiss, ignore, or run from the things that they would call “dark” about themselves. Everyone is capable of ill deeds and ill thoughts. If we weren’t, not a one among us would have the need to grow and improve. Yet people spend a lot of time avoiding darkness, which actually makes it more powerful. The longer you run from the monster within, the harder it is to face if you ever decide to turn around.

I’ve been reading the Earthsea Quartet by Ursula K. Le Guin, and she better than any other writer captures how I feel about both the nature and importance of darkness. I particularly loved this quote from The Tombs of Atuan, talking about the Nameless Gods:


“They do not die. They are dark and undying, and they hate the light: the brief, bright light of our mortality. They are immortal, but they are not gods. They never were. They are not worth the worship of any human soul…They should not be denied nor forgotten, but neither should they be worshiped.”

Have you ever thought about the nature of darkness? What musings have crossed your mind that you’d like to share?

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I love the Dream Eater sections, for much the same reasons you do. What a blunt piece of work he is. It’s wonderful. And I especially love the texturing on that relief sculpture, and the glimpse of the classroom in panel 2 — your visual storytelling and rendering skills really are improving with every page, Robin. I am SO EXCITED FOR THIS CHAPTER YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

As for the nature of darkness…? Well, I can’t say I’ve mused about it very often. My relationship with the more negative side of life has never been more than a vague sense of a gesture — a nod, a “hey how you doin’,” and moving on. Acknowledgement, but not really dwelling on it.

My whole existence has been relatively darkness-free, through sheer luck or levels of ignorance too high to let me see what I should be upset about. The only years when I’ve ever felt truly bogged down by stress, negativity, what-have-you, I eventually learned that giving it a respectful nod and trudging onward was better than staring too hard over that cliff. (And in recent years, this has been refined with a healthy sense of when/how to vent when necessary.) Though it should be kept in mind that I’ve never had a brush with anything truly serious, like depression.

All in all, probably not as well-developed a viewpoint as yours, or many of my friends’. But it’s served me well as needed, so whatever works!


I run roleplaying games in the World of Darkness series. While not the best game in terms of mechanics, the underlying theme is supposed to be fighting one’s inner darkness as you slowly lose your humanity and become a monster.

The thing is, I am terrible at portraying that. I can only hit the players with so much, but I find they produce their own darkness. It gets creepy when they don’t seem to care about it.

So yeah, thats my view on darkness. Its most obvious when we stop fighting and resisting it. When we stop trying to improve, that’s when it is most likely to slip in.

Also, love the Dream Eater sections. Still curious about how he’ll get it all to play out.


There’s a pop song right now. When I first heard the chorus, I felt like it was written about me.

I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head
You’re trying to save me, stop holding your breath
You think I’m crazy, they all think I’m crazy
But that’s not fair!

I’ve read accounts by schizophrenics who learned to function on little or no medication. They hear, feel, and see strange things, notice that the people around them aren’t reacting as if it’s real, and choose to ignore the hallucination. They have voices in their heads that they’ll actually bargain with, or “translate” for so that other people can hold a conversation with their secondary personalities. Crazy as hoot-owls in terms of what they experience on an ordinary day, but by coming to terms with it, by bargaining with disembodied voices, by accepting and ignoring the hallucinations, they can function in the real world. They can be sane. There are a lot of people who’d judge, but seriously, how well do you think you’d cope?

Me, I had my first existential crisis at the age of three. It sounds ridiculous (and it is) but it’s true. I realized that I couldn’t remember the first two years of my life at all, as if they hadn’t even happened. And a hundred years is just about the longest a person can possibly live. My life was slipping away from me. I cried.

An adult asked what was wrong, and laughed at my answer.

I’ve never understood how some people can wait until they’re middle-aged to have a serious crisis over their life direction.

I watch the dark bits inside me, the ones that are angry, the ones that are nihilistic, the ones that want to inflict pain or wouldn’t mind doing so to understand the world around me better. They are there, and there is no denying their presence. Instead I live with them. When unreasoning fear overwhelms me, I remember that fear’s job is to keep me out of danger – and that the fear I feel is not always proportionate to the real danger. When anger wants me to lash out, I remember that anger tries to protect me by destroying danger, but is short-sighted; it does not think about consequences. The part of me that wants to disregard the pain of others and do whatever gets me the biggest reaction, that part tries to learn about the world so I can navigate it better, but I pit it against the part of me that will regret any harm I do.

Anger, fear, pain, hunger, fatigue… they are all trying to protect me. They send me messages, trying to keep me safe. Sometimes the messages are garbled, or foolish, or just stupid, but I don’t ignore them; I acknowledge their purpose, and decide whether they are really the thing to do.

Nowadays I listen to the voice that says, your time is slipping away, don’t lose the past. But instead of trying to remember, I try to make the present moment better.


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