Time to escape the mind prison. This episode is like a shot of distilled Stoicism… are you ready?
Tapping into our true nature and living a good life often comes down to breaking the cycle – to escape the common fate of becoming just an echo of an echo of all the mistakes that came before you, be it in your family or your community. If we don’t break free, we end up repeating the same patterns and simply becoming a victim of our birth.
This often plays out in what we might call The Drama Triangle, where we alternate between the roles of the Hero, the Victim and the Villain. It doesn’t matter which role you play – the life you’ll be leading is one of unnecessary and harmful drama.
One of the ways to break free, Robert tells us, is to forgive others. But we question this – is it essential to forgive the people who’ve done you wrong, or is there a middle way that’s more of a letting go and moving on?
The world is inherently chaotic and over the years we start building defences to try to protect ourselves. We impose shapes and patterns through our beliefs about the world and about ourselves. Over time, these become ossified and unbending, and we close ourselves off from the great richness and variety of life.
But we can overcome this fearful tendency. We can catch ourselves when we get stuck in fixed beliefs and intentionally restore the fluidity of attitude which brings ourselves and our world alive.
The most important aspect of this is learning to let go of the need to be right and instead experiment with actually being happy in a world which we do not and cannot control.
As we explore, our experience is inherently subjective and, as such, is in our hands. Robert calls on Carl Jung to help us navigate this reality with skill and awareness and thereby avoid becoming trapped in our own, unconsciously-constructed mind prisons.
Robert provides us with tools to escape the mind prisons of anxiety, depression, and resentment (and Jon in particular shares his own struggles with these).
If we don’t do the work, we’ll remain in prison. Free will probably exists – but it’s really, really hard. We have to put in the work or otherwise resign ourselves to a life that rolls along the tracks laid out for us by habit, inheritance and fear.
- How to Chekhov yourself
- Debbie Downers and Negative Nancies
- The Japanese Consulate’s emergency helpline for tourists in Paris
- Finding who you really are by trying out different personas
- Normal-speed montages
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