Hyperreal

From the Lectures of Jordan B. Peterson

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You cannot be protected from the things that frighten you and hurt you, but if you identify with the part of your being that is responsible for transformation, then you aare always the equal, or more than the equal of the things that frighten you.

There’s a class of things to be afraid of: it’s “those things that you should be afraid of”.

Those are the things that go bump in the night, right? You’re always exposed to them when you go to horror movies, especially if they’re not the gore type of horror movie. They’re always hinting at something that’s going on outside of your perceptual sphere, and they frighten you because you don’t know what’s out there. For that the Blair Witch Project was a really good example, because nothing ever happens in that movie but it’s frightenting and not gory. It plays on the fact tht you do have a category of Those Things Of Which You Should Be Afraid.

So it’s a category, frightening things. And only things capable of abstraction can come up with something like the caregory of frightenting things.

And so Kali is like an embodied representation of the category of frightening things. And then you might ask yourself, well once you come up with the concept of the category of frightening things, maybe you can come up with the concept of what to do in the face of frightening things. Which is not the same as “what do you do when you encounter a lion”, or “what do you do when you encounter someone angry”. It’s a meta question, right?

But then you could say, at a philosophical level: “You will encounter elements of the category of all those things which can frighten and undermine you during your life. Is there something that you can do as a category that would help you deal with that.” And the answer is yeah, there is in fact. And that’s what a lot of religious stories and symbolic stories are trying to propose to you, is the solution to that. One is, approach it voluntarily. Carefully, but voluntarily. Don’t freeze and run away. Explore, instead.

You expose yourself to risk but you gain knowledge.

And you wouldn’t have a cortex which, you know, is ridiculously disproportionate, if as a species we hadn’t decided that exploration trumps escape or freezing. We explore. That can make you the master of a situation, so you can be the master of something like fire without being terrified of it.