The endlessness of the universe and the finite nature of our physical bodies can provoke some deep questions and anxieties. Next to the concept of infinity, some people may feel anxious and insignificant.
About The Fear Of Infinity
Infinity is never-ending, and its scope is difficult to grasp. For some people, a feeling of powerlessness and fear can result from contemplating infinity. If you fear infinity, you are really expressing a fear of the unknown. As well, you are displaying the symptoms of fear of mortality.
This Fear Is Related To The Fear Of Mortality
Often, common phobias like this are the result of a fear of death. In the case of fear of infinity, also known as Apeirophobia, the feeling of a great unknown that dwarfs mere human existence is terrifying.
The infinity symbol is represented as a figure eight, which flows into itself again and again, illustrating the endlessness of time. For those who suffer from Apeirophobia, the infinity symbol may be a trigger for anxiety and a feeling of rootlessness.
Space And Astronomy Are Triggers
Often, staring at the night sky, filled with galaxies of stars, can trigger this phobia. For centuries, philosophers and scientists have pondered the endlessness of the cosmos, trying to get a handle on its dimensions and its many mysteries. While some people feel joy and even wonder as they stare up at the wonders of space, others feel a sense of nothingness. Space is so vast, that they feel frightened by its expanse.
Science fiction films and books may play up the theme of infinity, and they can trigger fears in people afflicted with Apeirophobia. The 2007 science fiction film, Sunshine, directed by Danny Boyle, told the story of a group of astronauts who are on a desperate mission to restore the sun’s power. The sun is dying, in a sense, and if it continues to lose its heat, humankind will become extinct.
This film shows the vastness of space, the difficulties that await human beings as they attempt to control the mysterious forces it contains. Space is limitless, and filled with perils.
Science fiction is one of the most potent triggers for fear of infinity. Often, bad things happen to the characters who travel into space. They are forced to remain in spaceships, because the universe outside is unsafe, endless, and forbidding. Inside of spaceships, there is a sense of claustrophobia, and a sense of being at the mercy of the world outside. Anything can happen.
The symptoms of Apeirophobia include a sense of doom and terror that is intense and persistent. A feeling of disconnectedness and rootlessness is common, whereby people who fear infinity feel inconsequential, compared to the universe they see all around them. Sometimes, low self-esteem con contribute to this phobia.
People who feel they lack control over their own lives may be more subject to the fear of infinity. Gaining control over one’s life can be an important way to face fears and feel more powerful. If you feel that the world controls you, you will always lack a certain joy and confidence. Controlling your own world by moving in a positive direction can be a good way to feel more connected to, and less controlled by, the world that surrounds you.
If fears persist, getting therapy, and learning more about the cosmos, can be beneficial. Trips to space centers or astronomy workshops may replace some of the fear of space with a sense of knowledge and even wonder. But it may be necessary to go through a course of therapy with a trained, compassionate counsellor before taking this step.
The greatest authors, poets, philosophers and scientists have all come up against the vastness and mystery of space and time. The fear of infinity can carry with it a sense of wisdom, and a feeling of realism. However, if it affects daily life in a negative way, it should be addressed and dealt with accordingly.