In 1977 Walker Percy wrote a strange, insightful, and altogether interesting book called Lancelot. The book covers not the life of a mideval knight but that of a man imprisioned in an asylum for unknown reasons. The caged man makes an interesting observation about modern emotions during the course of his conversations with the reader. The passage goes like this:
"Yes, interest! The worm of interest. Are you surprised? No? Yes? One conclusion I have reached here after a year in my cell is that the only emotion people feel nowadays is interest or the lack of it. Curiosity and interest and boredom have replaced all the so-called emotions we used to read about in novels or see registered on actors faces. Even the horrors of the age translate into interest. Did you ever watch anybody pick up a newspaper and read the headlinePLANE CRASH KILLS THREE HUNDRED? How horrible! says the reader. But look at him when he hands you the paper. Is he horrified? No he's interested. When was the last time you saw anybody horrified?"
During the course of reading the book that paragraph stopped me dead and I kind of stared stupidly at the page for a second while some thoughts of all the shiny fast moving things I have/like/want danced through my brain. Then I actually began to think. I thought about the last time I had a powerfull emotion and welcomed it. I also came to realize that I have never felt actual horror or fear raw and unfiltered. It seem so sad because I belive that aside from death pure terror is the closest a human being can come to union with the devine. In short, this paragraph gave me the mechanism to step outside of my life, take a look from a new perspective, and reevaluate the risks I'm willing to take.