The Fall of Babylon (circa 1555), engraving by Jean Duvet from the Apocalypse series
A concept I’ve recently become interested in: “horror vacui,” fear of empty space, which in the visual arts results in the artist filling the entire surface with detail. Examples of this include the above engraving or the work of outsider artist Adolf Wölfli.
An auditory example of this is “background noise:” inability to be in silence, so there’s always a TV or radio in the background, etc.
In psychoanalysis, the significance of this is that such people are likely to be unwilling to reflect on their unconscious, of going outside their “safe” spaces alone, and will want a protector rather than an analyst (e.g. favor the kind of therapist they call by their first name, if they do therapy at all.) They will think that they are interested in psychology and the like, but only in so much as it allows them the illusion they are “learning about themselves” but doesn’t force real self-reflection.
Empty spaces= incomplete ego. I’ve carefully avoided the words “castration anxiety” but I will say that the empty spaces represent sudden, intense violence, i.e. you’d have no chance of protecting yourself from it. But the violence isn’t external, it’s internal— sudden, intense emotions which are painful. Because of this fear they don’t venture out of their safe world (unless it’s with someone they feel has a more stable ego), so they also experience considerable boredom and ennui, which gets filled with the things that fill empty spaces— TV, internet— and the cycle continues.
Simple example: say you’re an angry, spiteful person (even though you project to the world a caring, warm exterior) so the background noise of the TV blocks out your own wandering thoughts that turn, inevitably, to thoughts of The Ring coming to get you.