15 January 2010

Shock and Awe

I mentioned in an earlier post that "shock and awe" seemed a good description of a numinous encounter, except that it had gained military connotations. Now "shock and awe" is meant to demoralise, to force surrender. But I want "shock and awe" to mean challenge, invitation, a kick from the place you were to the place you could be. I want it to be about possibilities, not power.

However, many years ago I did study Foucault and I know power is everywhere.

A numinous encounter is about confronting a power greater than yourself, and being energised by it. Not energised in the sense of receiving in a passive fashion power from the other, but energised in the sense of experiencing new possibilities in yourself and the world. Isn't this part of the growth journey/quest of the heroine in an urban fantasy? It is a story of accepting more of ourselves, and so achieving more.

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