Fear and Fatalism

By Jin-yeong Yi

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”

—Jim Morrison

“I was not; I have been; I am not; I do not care.”

—Epicurus

About a month ago, I found myself aboard a starship. It was eerily quiet. All of the crew members were long dead. Pools of blood and stiff bodies marked my path as I walked around in circles, searching for weapons and any clues that would help me to escape to safety.

Every now and then, I would look outside of a window and be met with the vast, starry abyss of space, wholly indifferent to my predicament.

Since my brain was equipped with functional amygdalae, I was naturally apprehensive. What was lurking in the shadows? Will I have time to react? Will I end up like the others?[1]

Then something occurred to me: Why this obsession with survival? Death can only be delayed, not stopped. The Grim Reaper will come for all, whether at eighty years or eight minutes.

Why should I be afraid? Because I want to live. Why should I fear what is inevitable? Because, because—

Notes

[1] In case you haven’t guessed, I was speaking of System Shock 2.

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