| ?he ??call of the void??. . . Can?t you hear it?
Photo by CJ Dayrit on Unsplash
You?re driving along, minding your own business, and suddenly ? you have the inexplicable compulsion to swerve into oncoming traffic?you have no intention of actually acting on this ?impulse,? nor are you ?suicidal?? but it?s an eerie (and quite uncanny) passing-thought, nonetheless.
Or, have you ever been up somewhere ? up really, really high ? looked down? and had the tingling urge to jump?
? Why do such things even cross our minds when we have no intent or desire to act on them? I wouldn?t recommend that you read too much into it, *per occurrence, for your own sanity?s sake.
Not to fret, though ? plenty of science-backed research is here to address such fleeting thoughts and lay your concerns of ?mental instability? to rest:
Scholars and scientists have vigorously studied these strange phenomena, which is better known as ?the call of the void,? or, l?appel du vide (as coined by the French). *Note: researchers/scientists will often (also) refer to this as the ?high place phenomenon.?
?Hanging off a Bridge? on Unsplash
Upon review, researchers and scholars alike have surmised that this ?inexplicable? desire? an unseemly urge to jump off a cliff, or ledge, for instance?actually ?affirms the urge to live, an empirical examination of the high place phenomenon.?
Hmmm?. Quite paradoxical (if you ask me).
Photo: Patrick Hendry on Unsplash
Furthermore, April Smith (et al.) found that:
?About 50 percent of people have experienced aspects of the call of the void. And?that it?s the result of some kind of miscommunication in your brain.?
You can listen to the (corresponding) in-depth podcast, and/or read its transcript, here.
From l?appel, meaning ?the appeal,? and le vide, involving ?the vacuum,? meaning:
We don?t want to endanger our well-being, but we also can?t deny the rush that ripples through our bodies when we find ourselves in ?precarious? situations.
Some call it a death wish, but the French expression for that brief moment when we consider succumbing to the ?lure of the siren song? ? l?appel du vide (which references the swelling desire to suddenly swerve onto the wrong side of the road while driving, or to poke our toes out over the edge of a cliff)? is far more fitting…*
Maybe we become ?seduced? by the possibilities that certain uncertainty holds?
Or, perhaps, we just crave the freedom to make our own choices.
Or, alternatively, we?ve all just gone outright mad.
?Spring Bloom Flowers? on Unsplash
So? What?s your ?void??