[Darksky]Nyctophobia (fwd)

Jan Hollan
Wed, 5 Dec 2001 21:59:49 +0100 (CET)

from [OL-Forum] Digest Number 292 (fwd)

Message: 8
   Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 15:51:58 -0400
   From: "Fitzpatrick, Eric (J.)" <efitzpatAvisteon...>
Subject: Nyctophobia

This is interesting.  The nyctophobia article below quotes "The fear is like
a child who won't try spinach for the first time because he doesn't know
what it tastes like. Please do not be that child and avoid parts of life's
richness simply because you do not know what to expect."
This reminds me of two things.

1.  I took a friend of mine to a star party at a State Park here in
Michigan.  I can only describe her reaction to looking through all the
telescopes seeing the moon, planets, star clusters, and galaxies as
"excited".  She had an excellent experience at the star party and went on
and on about how much fun it was.  She used to be afraid of the dark, that
is until she met me :).  You know, leaving porch lights on all night,
growing up with that sort of mentality, and so on.  That has been remedied.
If she was still afraid of the dark, most likely she would have never had
the above experience.
As a side note, at the star party there was a bathroom area lit up on the
outside with MH fixtures.  They did not shine directly on the observing
area, but they did light up the area a little.  I was very surprised no one
shut them off.  So the ranger was walking by and we asked him to turn them
off (the inside bathroom lights were still on).  This really added to the
night time experience in my opinion.  Having those outside lights on, or any
inappropriate lighting for that matter, is like trying to listen to a
classical music concert with someone on the side with a boom box playing
gangster rap.  Even though you can still hear the music, you just can't
appreciate it to the fullest extent with that sort of thing in the

2.  In mid July I visited Arizona and went to Kartchner caverns just east of
Tucson.  We did the tour of the cave, and after the tour, the guide shared
an experience she had during a power outage while they were in the cave.
Normally, at the last part of the tour, you sit on some benches and you are
given a site and sound show featuring a large cavern with giant stalagmite
and other cave growths.  With the power failure, they did not have
electricity for the show, so they made due with flashlights.  And at the end
the lights are normally dimmed, but not shut off for a period for people to
reflect on the experience they had.  For the show without power, the guides
totally shut off their lights for the period of reflection.  The guide told
me the people were so moved by this, that many came out with tears in their
eyes.  So I asked her, if having the lights off was such an intense
experience, why didn't they shut off the lights all the time for the moment
of reflection?  Her response was too many people would be afraid of the
total darkness.  Even though they would have been sitting in a group on
benches for just a few minutes.

It is such a shame of what experiences "Nyctophobia" robs of.

   Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2001 03:33:02 -0000
   From: ctstarwchrAaol...
Subject: Nyctophobia: It's All in the Head


A very interesting article was discovered by Dr. Arthur Upgren 
today.  This 
one is a keeper!