Joris Swinkels - 24 oktober 2023

Face your fears

Tap into your inner strength

Facing fears and challenges voluntarily allows individuals to become more than they are. By looking into the darkest aspects of life, such as mortality, suffering, and malevolence, individuals can tap into their inner strength symbolized by the sleeping father nested inside the beast. Looking long enough into this abyss reveals who one could become through ancestral figures and incorporates their strength. Confronting the full terror of life leads to psychophysiological transformation, turning on new genes and building new structures within oneself. This requires taking on the reality of suffering, death, and malevolence in order to find a solution to them. The realization of this concept has a profound effect on the view of your life.

Little bit at a time

So if you face fears a little bit at a time, fears and challenges, and you do that voluntarily, then you become more than who you are, okay? Now let’s recast that in archetypal language and make it into a kind of ultimate. If you want to become everything that you could be, then you look into the abyss itself, which is the darkest place that you can possibly contemplate, and that would be the terror of mortality and insanity and of suffering and of malevolence, all of those. It would be like looking into hell, to some degree.


And then by voluntarily doing that, then you call upon the strongest part of yourself to respond. And the strongest part of yourself is symbolized as the sleeping father nested inside the beast. And so the fundamental truth when you look into an abyss is that you don’t see the abyss.


If you look long enough, it’s like the answer to Nietzsche’s conundrum, if you look long enough into abyss and abyss, then the abyss looks into you. It’s like, well, if you look long enough into an abyss past, when the abyss looks into you see who you could become in the form of the great ancestral figures nested inside the catastrophe of life. And then you can join them, so to speak. You can incorporate that and become stronger. And you do that partly by taking on the challenge voluntarily. And that informs you because you learn when you take on challenges voluntarily.

Psychophysiological transformation

But you also do that as a consequence of psychophysiological transformation. Because when you place yourself in challenging situations, let’s say the abyss is the archetype of the ultimately challenging situation, then you turn on new genes in your nervous system and in your body. That code for new proteins, and you build new structures inside of you.

And none of that’s going to happen without the demand that’s placed on you by being willing to confront the full terror of life. And so then I would say the full terror of life is something like the reality of suffering and death and the ever-looming presence of malevolence in your own heart and in the heart of other people. So it’s evil and suffering. And to confront that is really well, you risk blindness by confronting that. That’s also a very old story. You risk damaging your vision.

Who can you be?

But if you do it forthrightly, then you discover who you could be as a consequence and who you could be is the solution to malevolence and suffering. And so that just blew me away when I figured that out. It was partly a consequence of having lengthy discussions with Sam Harris and thinking this through more and being pushed to think it through, but I think that’s an absolutely staggering what would you call it?

Articulating that image fully. For me, I don’t know if I’ve articulated it fully, but articulating it more fully really had a profound effect on me think it’s such a brilliant conceptualization that:

Inside the darkest place is the heroic ancestor.


Transcription of podcast snippet from:

Het leven is iets héél bijzonders!

Maar soms moet je daar even aan herinnerd worden.

Regelmatig deel ik mijn bevindingen en reflecties over het leven. Dingen die ik ben tegengekomen die me opvielen, me verwonderden. Zoals dat vergeven niet de handdoek in de ring gooien is, maar ruimte voor jezelf creëren. Of dat een breakdown het begin is van een breakthrough. Ik leer je op een andere manier kijken naar het leven, zodat je dit kan blijven vieren.

Dingen als deze, die ik graag wil delen met je. Zodat jij je leven net zo gaat waarderen als ik dat doe.

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