RISK & REALITY: when fear traps us

May 27, 2021

DCF 1.0

We can’t help knowing that something bad could happen if we do X…or Y…or maybe Z. Like Odysseus steering his ship between sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis, we must navigate between risk avoidance and recklessness. One keeps us out of life; the other jeopardizes wellbeing. In pre-modern times life in the external world was fraught with danger and risk; in the modern world, the consequences of risk are more often internal.

Possible disappointment, shame or failure may feel intolerable, but not constitute actual disaster. Assessing risk requires willingness to engage inner conflict–and discern, then answer, the call to enlarged life. When Odysseus’ ship later sank, he clung to the roots of a fig tree. He, and we, have access to psychic roots that can support us. And the day came when the risk to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Anais Nin 

 Here’s the dream we analyze:

“In the countryside I find a baby crawling on the side of a road with some cars driving by. I saw the mother earlier and I judge her for being so irresponsible. It enrages me but I fear expressing my rage. I do not want to provoke drama from her. I pick up the baby and bring it to where she stays with her family in a holiday home. The family doesn’t take her so seriously, but when I place the baby with them they are not even surprised or shocked about that. She seems unimpressed as well. I still worry for drama coming from them but it doesn’t seem to come. The baby appears unbothered, too.”


Learn to Analyze your own Dreams:  https://thisjungianlife.com/enroll/


  1. Marilyn Sundeen

    I love your show and want to thank you for another interesting episode on Risk and Reality. However I was surprised and saddened by the comments about people who are questioning the speed of the re-opening procedures at this point in the pandemic. I can’t speak to Lisa or Joseph’s patients, but please know that some of us are choosing to continue with very limited social contact/essential business based on the available (though ever-changing) science. This decision is informed by a lot of self-reflection. It is a well-considered and emotionally grounded choice and not “being stuck in the hallway” as was asserted. In fact some of us have heard the call to “decend” which COVID invited and will continue in our conscious retreat. I value the depth of your considerations on topics and so, was surprised to hear a somewhat superficial treatment of that aspect within the context of Risk and Reality.

    Thank you again for your work and your show!

    Respectfully submitted
    Marilyn Sundeen
    Registered Clinical Counsellor

  2. Mamie Allegretti

    Hello Joseph, Lisa and Deb,
    Do you know where the picture for this episode comes from? I believe it appears in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. But I’m wondering if it comes from a certain book, etc. Thank you.

  3. LAB

    Mamie, the artwork is from the Indiana Jones Last Crusade film. It’s not a real medieval artwork, but they created the piece for the movie. The artwork was then featured in the National Geographic Museum’s 2015 exhibition “Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology.” Unfortunately, the museum’s official exhibition website is no longer available, but you can google “knights leap of faith painting” and find images of the piece made for the movie.


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