Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Hunter's Mindset: Fear

 The most successful hunters are not the strongest, fastest, or smartest, and while none of these things can hurt a hunter the most useful tool we have is our mindset. A hunter's mindset is what keeps him alive and working.

The hunter must accept that he will probably not live to see a ripe old age as long as he remains a hunter. The creatures that lurk in the shadows are all deadly foes that have preyed on humanity since we ventured from our caves with crude flint to do battle. Some have learned to hunt and survive over a hundred human lifetimes. Some such as Dracula have taken the lives of countless vampire and monster hunters and still remain*.

Fear has a very healthy place within the hunter's mind. Fear sharpens the hunter, it releases chemicals that sharpen his aim, speed his reflexes, and strengthens his arm. This extra boost is what allows the hunter that final push to get the deed done. If a slayer feels no fear then it is only because they do not care about their own life. While not necessarily suicidal these individuals may take incredible risks that will endanger civilians or their team.

To this extent the highest chance of survival lies not in being fearless, but in controlling ones fear and channeling it into productive means.

Who fights with monsters, likes to see that he is not a monster. And if you look long into an abyss, the abyss can also look into you.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Of all the cliched phrases that ring true to the hunter this one is the most accurate. The sights that an individual will see take their toll on the psyche. Nietzsche's encounters with the preternatural have been documented by hunters of the day, such as his encounter with a wolf strap** user, this partially explains his rejection of atomism and his works on perspectivism.

Many hunters go beyond pragmatism believing that the ends will justify the means and that as long as they fight monsters then everything is allowable. More than one hunter has tried to justify the butchering of innocents or sacrificing their comrades to slay a beast. There are many zealots in the ranks of monster slayers who view themselves as pure no matter what crimes they commit. By this a hunter must learn to accept the opinion of those they trust as a moral compass.

*There is some debate over whether Dracula is actually a title, claimed name, or something that is passed on as reports of his demise using every known method have been repeated yet within a decade there is always another reported Dracula.

** A monstrous instrument by which a person can turn themselves into a werewolf at will. The technique for handling a wolf strap and its user will be covered in a later post.

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