The Call of the Void

We all have suicidal thoughts from time to time, even if you have no history. This can vary from jumping off the cliff, or a high bridge or a skyscraper. These are intellectual suicidal thoughts, or the urge to self destruct, a behaviour during everyday life. It is the urge to do destructive things out of intense curiosity. It can be thinking of driving at the opposite lane of the road, or swerving sporadically.

I have experienced it too, and it was really uncomfortable but controllable, most specifically when you are in a high place or at the peak of the mountain. It’s like someone’s urging you to try it and see what happens. This is called The Call of the Void or l’appel du vide in French where the term originated. It is actually pretty common for most people and according to study, they have at least experienced it once.

The reason behind, from my research, and majority, is that our intelligence is built to create a model of any situation and contemplating alternatives. In a sample scenario; when we are asking for permission from our parents for an upcoming event that we would like to join, our brain starts to formulate and think of any possible scenarios or outcomes, it thinks of what our parents would say, alternative reasonings, and other things you can do instead when all else failed. That’s how our brain pattern works, by creating a model of a certain situation and render as many scenario as it can.

When you are standing at the edge of the cliff or any high places, or about to cross the street, one of your possible thoughts is to step forward. However, since we know that this would bring highly unfavourable consequences like broken bones, or broken heart and promises, our internal censors, or the part that keeps us from doing the first move to asking that cute guy out, or having the entire pizza for dinner, or drinking the whole oil canister, yells us that there’s no way we would do that. Except for the pizza part.

The logical explanation is because we aren’t really tempted to self destruct or do terrible things, but are just taking it into consideration, the natural way we do all our alternatives. You are not really pushed to do it, but are just merely thinking of what would happen if you do it, that is intense curiosity. I used to tell my friends a lot that curiosity is a dangerous thing, well now, here’s one reason my friends. Curiosity is not a bad thing but there are some thoughts that you should never try unless you think your life is worthless, or you  never really care about anything.

There are all sorts of possible actions appear before us, even those with grave consequences, that do not have similar call of the void. For example, when smashing a nail into the wood panel, I never get the urge to place my finger on it. It’s the contemplation of the possible with some added elements of desire that makes us think or pushes to do and try it. There are other forms or urge to do destructive, unethical, or out of the ordinary. It can be having to pee anywhere when at the bookstore or library, or flipping all the tables around you just to see how people will react to it, or putting your finger inside of the blender. I can go on forever, because the call of void has many forms of urge.

I think it’s at a deeper and simpler level, depth perception. When you’re looking straight down a chasm, you’re looking at something that’s visually right by your feet, yet parallaxed much farther away. That paradox has to play hell on some part of the brain. Weird brain is really weird, I suddenly became a psychologist, and psychopath.