Thoughts, lessons, and theology from an eclectic witch from a varied background.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Is the horror genre discordiant with the Divine harmony?

The esteemed Matrona Georgia of the Elegant Lady Feminine Seminary at one point mentioned that she believed that the horror genre could be considered this athamë, or in discord with the Divine harmony that can be understood as the proper functioning of the universe. It was something that I had found myself circling back to frequently. That which is in accordance with thamë is generally viewed to be beautiful, pleasing and possessing qualities of order and correctness that has a resonance with nature that is undeniable.

In the Chelouranyan community, there is a strong association with the Japanese Lolita subculture. Purity, innocence, and simple beauty reminiscent of pre-1960s era Europe are the hallmarks of the Chelouranyan manifestation of this subculture. It is, in many ways, the antithesis of the horror genre. At first glance, it would seem that this and other manifestations of the Filianic aesthetic are strongly opposed to horror and the genre can be considered to be a manifestation of the modern era's 'fall' from the more genteel society of the past.

Thamë, however, is not all things pleasing and delightful. Thamë includes everything from birth to the dissolution of the physical corpus, in all it's processes. Some are quick to quote the lessons of the Thoughts of the Mind from the Scriptures:

 (1) Thoughts of the mind pass not away, nor vanish into air. (2) For everythought is a builder in the subtle world that lies about you. (3) Thoughts of beauty and of things of the Spirit refine and purify the soul, making her fair to look upon and graceful in her movements, (4) uniting her with the universal music of eternity and gathering about her the servants of the Janyati. (5) But harsh thoughts harden the soul; coarse thoughts coarsen the soul; thoughts bound only to thinks of clay burden the soul with heavy chains.
It is tempting to use these verses to argue that the horror genre (which has been present in some manifestation since the advent of story telling within this world) as a sign of how the human mind has devolved from a state of spiritual wholeness and purity. Indeed, some would argue that the fascination that is held within modern society with the grotesque and excessive violence described in the media through movies and television programs that are in this genre as clear evidence that the Eclipse spoken of by the Aristasian community and referenced by the Chelouranyan community marks the progressive moment of Western society away from the state of thamë that is mentioned of earlier eras in human spiritual development.

If we step away from this and look at the stories we tell ourselves, we must keep in mind the following, also from the Thoughts of the Mind lesson:
(28) And not a sparrow lights upon a twig but it shows forth the conflict between evil and the Good, nor any grain of sand shifts in the desert reflecting not some spiritual truth; (29) neither does a star fall in the farthest corner of the firmament with out an inward meaning.
Stories of horror do not mean that we have fallen farther away from Dea's presence and the grace of her love. Indeed, they can be a means to find Dea's presence in the times of sorrow and evil that happen within our world. This sounds counter intuitive. When we look into the dark mirror of horror, we find that which is wrong with the world highlighted and illuminated. While some would argue that this is because the genre is a celebration of these things, it is equally likely that the horror genre serves the same need that the fairy tales of old did. (And when you read the old versions of the fairy tales, you find that they have far more in common with the horror genre then they do with the sanitized versions that are presented for children of today.)

These were cautionary tales intended to teach the listener about the dangers in the world. They serve as vehicles to give the listener warnings of that which is dangerous to them, even as they are intended to entertain. A casual survey of the villains presented in modern horror, we find that they share characteristics and traits. While an assessment of theses traits and presentation of a character sketch for the villain that is most predominant in modern horror is outside the scope of this article, it is interesting to note that many of the people who engage in acts of atrocious and egregious evil in this world carry the same traits.

The stories we tell ourselves to warn others of the dangers in the world around us may have become more graphic as time has gone on, but so too have the stories of the good in the world. The character of the hero has grown in complexity just as the character of the villain has done so. Where the hero represents that which moves in accordance with thamë and corrects that which is athamë, the villain shows what is the opposition of the hero and warns of the dangers of moving against the Divine harmony.

While the proveribial note struck by horror is dissonant, it ultimately is well woven into the fabric of following Divine harmony. It encourages the observer to keep close to that which is the correct course of action. It also presents the consequences of failing to adhere to such things for even in horror stories, the villain has consequences for their actions to deal with.

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