#183 The growth of Identity through Death – Joseph Andrin

This week, I had a fantastic conversation with a young gentleman called Joseph Andrin about death; not just death in terms of the end of life, but death in terms of the end of ideas, or stories or narratives that we might tell ourselves.

In this conversation, we talked about letting go, the process of letting go, about actually sitting and being with death and how death can question our identity as a source of its greatest growth.

Joseph is a fantastic person to talk to; he’s very thoughtful and considered. He is very transparent with his emerging thought process as he shares it.

Also, there is an extra 10 minutes after the end of the conversation about the stories of death that we told ourselves probably before the period of rational enlightenment and how those mythical stories now play into our rational scientific view of the world.

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Bryn Edwards 

This week, I had a fantastic conversation with a young man called Joseph Android, about death, not just death in terms of the end of life, but death in terms of the end of ideas, or stories or narratives that we might tell ourselves.

 

In this conversation, we talked about letting go, and the process of letting go. We talked about actually sitting and being with death, and how death can question our identity, and actually be a form of its greatest growth.

 

Joseph is a fantastic person to talk to. He’s very thoughtful and considerate. And you can really see and feel his his thought processes that he shares. Also, often after the podcast, a, I will often get into further conversation with guests. And in this, there’s an extra 10 minutes that we put on the end, because through our conversation, we realised that there was another part to this, about the stories of death that we told ourselves probably before the Enlightenment, rational period, and how those mythical stories now play into our rational scientific view of the world, which is a fantastic little out.

 

So I’m sure you’re going to enjoy, Joseph.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Hello, and welcome back to WA Real. I’m your host, Bryn Edwards. Today I have the great pleasure to talk to Joseph Andrin. Joseph, welcome to the show.

 

Joseph Andrin 

Thanks so much for having me.

 

Bryn Edwards 

So today, we are going to get into what Stephen Walker refers to as our most most faithful companion.

 

Joseph Andrin 

That’s a good way to get things started. And we can maybe leave us suspended for just a moment anyway, our most faithful companion is because it’s not the dog. It’s not it?

 

Bryn Edwards 

Well, we think so. But not everybody has a dog. This companion everybody knows follows them everywhere.

 

 

Yep. And

 

Bryn Edwards 

that being that will be the companion of death, in death in the handling of death, the

 

Joseph Andrin 

ever lurking shadow of death that’s plaguing all of our decisions.

 

 

That’s a great way to start the plagues, all our decisions.

 

Joseph Andrin 

That the fear that we unconsciously run from all the time, and clutch to a fixed reality and a fixed identity, instead of allowing the transients that comes with, with death, metaphor of death, and the and the ability to let something die, which is usually just a thought, in order to become a new again, to let go of let go of things and be made anew and the way that that manifests in our life, or doesn’t if we hang on to something.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Mm hmm. Why are we talking about death? Today?

 

Joseph Andrin 

I guess we’re talking about death today.

 

Bryn Edwards 

To

 

Joseph Andrin 

realise how avoiding it and denying it and fearing it, how it manifests in many ways in our lives, keeping us repeating some patterns that may no longer serve us, and that can be quite destructive, but mask themselves quite convincingly in our life, and as an energy that the letting go or the hanging on is a fruitless energy in some regards, that just keeps reproducing the same things over and over again, and stifles creativity and stifles growth and stifles expression and stifles everything else that’s going on so and and on our way out, in terms of could contemplating and spending some time with this notion of something dying.

 

Bryn Edwards 

So it’s more it’s so it’s more the death of ideas and things within our life as well as the end of our life.

 

Joseph Andrin 

It’s definitely more the former the death of things and ideas within our life.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yes.

 

Joseph Andrin 

The end of our life is possibly the greatest manifestation of that the ultimate final letting go. I’ve had only small amounts of experience with with death. And actually maybe that’s a great way to start. One is going to ask this, yeah, one of the one of the experiences that I’ve had in my life that I’m most grateful for, in terms of meeting death was when a family member, another family member family friend was in a hot in hospice care on their, in their final days.

 

 

And,

 

Joseph Andrin 

and I’m so grateful for this experience and I so love it because this person in my life was a person who came into my life when I was in my mid 20s. And he was already quite an elderly person at that time. And I just lived in a very different world to the world that I was in when I was in my 20s. And, and he was a fantastic mechanic, and you love to build things. And he had this fantastic shed and I was just getting into cars and I had all these crazy cars. I had an old school sports car and and had a crazy old school Jeep and needed stuff maintained all the time. And he used to love to work on cars, and he used to love to share that knowledge. And so we struck up this romantically beautiful relationship, essentially, because he was this the grandfatherly figure that I never had. And he was a person who didn’t want or need anything from me, and was just really delighted and being able to share his knowledge. Yeah. And I really didn’t want to have any need anything from him. I just also really delighted and being able to learn from him. Yeah. So our relationship together was just beautiful, right? Because it just, we just washed in a nature in and out of each other’s experience. It didn’t go particularly deep. Yeah. But there wasn’t that clinging to each other for anything or that needing anything from

 

Bryn Edwards 

desperation of Yeah, need to exchange.

 

Joseph Andrin 

Yeah. And there was a real ease in which we could value and appreciate each other. Like, there was a real ease for me to step into the, into the relationship position to play this relationship game with him where I could come and learn from him. And he could teach me and we could have a laugh together. And there was never any hard feelings about anything. Yeah. And it was about 10 years after I first came to know him that he was on his was on his deathbed. And I’d had a few other people pass in that Meantime, and Ernie started to contemplate what it means for for people’s lives to end. And, and I was spelling his name was Clive I think, probably should say that. Yeah, so I was spending some time with Clive, at, at his bed. She was in hospice.

 

 

And

 

Joseph Andrin 

I didn’t need him to make it. I didn’t need him to survive. I didn’t need him to hang on anything. And, and it was because I had nothing I needed to forgive him for. Yeah, and I have nothing that he needed. He had nothing he needed to forgive me for,

 

Bryn Edwards 

even though there’s no regret line.

 

Joseph Andrin 

No, there’s no story. There’s no anything. I know, in this situation, I was, again, just really lucky, because I just had this person come into my life that I got to just have this beautiful relationship with, without all the stuff that normally can creep into relationships. We never crossed each other’s boundaries in any way we kept. We kept together and apart simultaneously in that beautiful way. Right? So never encroaching on the other person’s life or attempting to identify with how they are proud of them. Oh, embarrassed by them. That was never Yeah, I think right.

 

 

No projection of self onto another night.

 

Joseph Andrin 

Yeah. So So here, I here I wasn’t a very unique situation where someone was like, passing and really facing their own mortality and, and having no need to help them, fight it, help them survive it and really able to be with them. Yeah. And over the next two and a half hours while I was in that room with them. We went through a never ending rollercoaster of just emotions, and it was all allowed. And it was all beautiful. And yes, moments of laughter and joy and just giggling and just being children. Then there was moments of fear coming up, where, you know, he was really talking about what was about to happen and the fear of ending. And then he also got to express many times, one of the things that he was hanging on for was some of the other areas of his life, whether it was non forgiveness. And he still hadn’t been able to, like, know how to let go of that. And those people with which she really wanted to forgive or be forgiven, or whatever narrative he was holding in his mind. He just wasn’t able to let go off. So he was hanging on to that to hope to somehow fix that in his last moments. And for one reason or another that hadn’t happened yet. And so he was in this in this loop in those places, but I got to just journey with him. Because again, I was very lucky in this situation. So I got to go really high with him. I got to go really low with him and then back up to really high and really low and just watch this thing move in three different direction very quickly. And also was able to observe his observe him start to lose his functionality to do things for himself in a way. And there was once there was a couple of significant things that happened while I was there as well. One was that he, he just wanted some water. And so I poured a glass of water and I put it on the counter next to his next to his bed, and he went to go and grab the water, and wasn’t very good at his motor skills, but could drink but spilled most of it over himself. And I just allowed that to happen and watched him spill all his water over himself and put his water back. Now, as I mentioned, there was a there was a some non forgiveness is going on in his life, which is I guess, understandable. And one of the one of those people happened to be a person who was sitting outside the room who had been sitting by his bedside for days and days and days on end. And that person started to Intuit that something different was going on while I was in this room, and could see that we were going on this rollercoaster ride together really with each other in a very connected way. And that person, I think so desired

 

 

that.

 

Joseph Andrin 

But shortly after I had this experience of offering, Clive some water or offering Clive some water, this person came in to give Clive some medication. And I observed as that person put the medication into Clive’s mouth and then grabbed a glass of water and forced it into their throat, and kind of took away any ability for that person to go in grace to to become undignified to kindness, you know, just to let go and to be to be especially in that state in this really precious state to just be. And it’s because those two people have like this long history together. Right. And there’s, there’s this desire to, to seek that forgiveness and that letting go, but neither knows how to go first. And death is possibly the biggest thing that can wake you up to having that having that ability to let go. It’s probably something that in this culture and society we can learn more from, from people who are in that state. But I know from my own direct experience, I don’t actually get many opportunities to spend time with people like that. One, because I have not a lot of family here in in Western Australia. And two, because as a culture we’re hiding. I perceive we’re hiding away a lot of that putting anything to do with death and letting go behind many locked doors from the way that we in every area of life, whether it’s the treating of healthcare to how we eat meat, like it’s all very hidden from the world. We don’t want to see that. Yeah, final, final letting go. So I really think there’s, there’s something there’s a lot to be learned about letting go in the process of dying in that final death stage. And the lesson is really about like letting go of the the identities and the non forgiveness and the things that we have in our life the whole time. And death can be a wake up to just letting go.

 

Bryn Edwards 

is one of the ultimate wakeups isn’t it? Sometimes it takes a near death experience or the death of others, for us to truly wake up? Yeah, absolutely. And often, it takes a direct experience, because we sit in and swim in a culture that, as you rightfully said, doesn’t acknowledge death, in fact, is almost neurotic. On the other end of the scale. We have this sort of object fetish control freakery around youthfulness and, you know, Peter Pan syndrome, and you know, not gracefully, being older, and and, you know, some some cover that grey hairs up, you know, have cosmetic surgery and, and so on. And so, the society that we swim in is almost at the other end of even acknowledging death as a thing. And you know, we, one of the beautiful things about last year 2020 in their arrival of COVID is that like, it or not, it’s forced everybody to think about their health, their mortality, and the fact that it’s, it could be over. And I think you, you, I share the same opinion as yourself right at the very support you said right at the very start of this, which was that we, because so many people are pushing it away, they do not realise how it controls at a subconscious level, every decision that you make. And it’s a topic that’s come up on the podcast before it’s, it’s, we could have the discussion about, does life go on after death, or is death the end of it or stuff like that, but the truth of the matter is, we’ll never know, until we’ve died. And if you want to believe one or the other, that’s fine, I we’re not gonna find out until we either meet on the other side, or we don’t. But make a decision. The decision that we don’t make about death is the one that sits in the basement festering, and then stinks up applies and stinks up your decisions. And that may well influence a lot of what you’ve just also been talking about, which is the holding on so tightly. I had a very similar experience. Very similar, but not same experience recently, where very recently, where, because I swim down at the park porch beat pitch polar bears were at the age of 46, I’m still considered one of the young ones. And I had my 46th birthday recently, and and you know, everyone seems happy birthday to you, which is lovely. And then when the old fellas comes over and says, you know, even half my age, babies, there’s a gentleman who I’ve had a very funny relationship with, over the years that I’ve been going down, very amusing. very inappropriate sense of humour and jokes that we share. And his his health is significantly deteriorated, significantly deteriorated. And his partner, he brings him down, and, and they have this lovely little Nissan LEAF which to park the park on the disabled bit right in front of the clubhouse. And he’s blind, he can’t what he’s deficient in his eyes, and he can’t really see much. So basically, he sits in the front seat, and with the window down, and we’re all there having a cup of tea and toasted. People go and chat to him. And it was it was so interesting. I found myself recently he started talking about why, you know, I’ve lived a good life, I could die at any minute. And, and, and instead of that whole rush to go, No, no, you’ll be you’ll be fine. You’ll be back in the water again soon or this. Yeah, everybody knows he’s not. Right. And so I sort of stayed with him and where he was, and said, Yeah, you are on. Yeah. And it made a joke, because up on the wall, we’ve got portrayed pictures of the polar bears that have passed away. And I joke in the middle of conversation totally went Yeah, I’ve seen the spot where we’re going to pop your picture. It just laughs Yeah. And and there was just this beauty about we’re making a joke about Yeah, yeah, your pictures gonna go up on the wall. Some real good document there.

 

 

Yeah.

 

Bryn Edwards 

But it wasn’t. I felt no need to protect him from what was about to happen. I felt I didn’t feel like I was like, Oh my God, if he then gotcha, yeah,

 

Joseph Andrin 

unit we know this. We know this. We’ve both had the same experiences

 

Bryn Edwards 

similar experience recently. And, you know, one of the things that I do in addition to this is I do legacy interviews, we put our private interviews people that go for like four to five hours. And the first two I ever did, as a as a, as a trial was with two ladies who were same age as me with stage four breast cancer. Neither of them lasted more than three to four months. And one of the thing the key things that they said to me about why it was such an amazing experience was because I just went with them, I let them tell their story. I went with them. And I guess one of the things I find is that because because people don’t spend time reconciling their views, beliefs, relationships with that, and then make a decision about it and then own that decision. When faced with The inevitable companion, it triggers all this anxiety in them. And so, when somebody is actually in that position where all of a sudden, oh my gosh, this is this, this is the runway out now, then it triggers the unresolved relationship within them, which then they become anxious and, and they play out and project and stuff, which means that it causes a large amount of anger for the person who’s actually going because they can’t just be, you know, like, Clive who, who has these unresolved things with people, including somebody outside the room, you know, the ability to just put that to one side and go, it’s okay, let’s just be and that’s, that’s probably all somebody wants, that’s all we want. at the best of times, when we’re in the middle of life, let alone when we’re at the end of it, we just sometimes just want to be with someone without somebody needing to correct the narrative, or, or put a happy shine on something, or, or just because, you know, seeing a loved one that you know, is a strong pillar in your life be depressed or anxious and less than the strong person that they should be, can be triggering. So then, you know, it’s awesome, oh, I need that person to be strong. I don’t need you to be dying. I don’t need. And so I think whilst Yes, it pervades, unresolved, an unresolved relationship with death, yes, pervades our everyday relationship. decisions. And it also means that we can’t serve the people that we love the most, when they’re faced with that. Hmm, that makes sense.

 

Joseph Andrin 

Yeah, absolutely. I, I kept having this thought, bounce in my head, as, as I was listening, that while this is all like a metaphor, in some ways for when a person finally when a physical person is dying, what it is, is a letting go of an identity and identity in any moment in time can die and be born and new. And, and so right now, there’s a part of my mind that’s already constructed very much who I think I am yet, and as a part of has constructed, who I think you are, and, and if I can die to that, then who I think I am, can just disappear in this moment. And I could discover something entirely surprising about who I think I am now. And I can also discover something entirely surprising from you. And there’s this constant opportunity to just like, let go, let go of the things that we hang on to and and so clinging to that thought, it’s sure we can’t see the thought and we can’t be like, that’s the thing I’m hanging on to but that’s essentially what we’re doing and clinging on to identity of ourselves. And that’s manifest in this in this body. So this is the final thing that I’m like clinging on to which when a person is actually dying, they have to they have a very rare and unique opportunity to finally let go of the clinging to this thing, which which is hugely profound to consider for a little while. And what that actually means is something that you can only know for yourself by contemplating it. And I might say that we don’t have to personally be physically dying, in order to contemplate that yes, and we have the opportunity to contemplate at any given moment in time to be able to let go of our identity to just allow a new identity be born and so in this in this thing I’ve I’ve come here in some ways to die on a new right to see what what else is there like what else is there new that can that can emerge from this

 

Bryn Edwards 

and I think it I think that clinging on to about letting go but there’s also that holding on so tight of someone else have an identity and an idea, your house or relationship or a job. It it’s so interesting because we cling on yet. things come and then they go and then they come and then they go you know you could cling on to the you know the romantic charm. part of your children’s journey as a parent, that they’re going to grow, and they’re going to become adolescence and they’re going to become little shits. And then, you know, they’re going to then become a young person, and they’re going to have boyfriends and girlfriends, and it’s going to be up and down. And, you know, and they’re going to be different from the little child that was very dependent on here, and just thought roses. Brilliant, and just wanted to skip or die. Yeah, you know, and, and we can have jobs where, you know, I am an engineer. And then after 20 years, you realise that you’re no longer an engineer, because the world’s moved on, or whatever. And, and, and I think you’re very right, with the identity part. Who am I. And I think one of the things, so one of the things that I have played with, put it this way, one of the things that experience has presented and I have reflected on is where we place our anchor points or reference points for who we think we are external externally, or internally. And the more we have external anchor points, the more they can move, and then we end up with some sort of existential crisis. Yet at the same time, if we completely remove remain internally focused, we don’t have that such a existential crisis. But then we don’t make connections. And we don’t have all that love and beauty in our life, of having really good friends and, and those beautiful moments with loved ones and things like that. So there’s this really lovely tension of having the anchor points inside and outside. But then I think it’s this wanting things to remain the same, because then they become safe. And then that can become comfortable and then becomes a challenge.

 

Joseph Andrin 

In the external and internal anchor points, one of the thoughts that bubbled up there for me was like, one way that sometimes we identify with things outside of ourselves externally. And then that is just an even greater desire to be able to control more. And, and that’s when we get into our mess of things. Because if I start to want external validation from you, for example, and then you don’t do something that I want you to do, then I’ll take it very personally. So I’ve just made the thought of how the world should be now expand outside of me to like, include, yes, you, which is obviously never going to work. Yeah, and it’s just a recipe for disaster.

 

Bryn Edwards 

And, you know, we started off by talking about death, but you’re also now talking about a really key part of development. That, I think has been so overlooked, which is this whole object subject, where do I start? Where do I end? Where do you end? Where do you start? And what’s your what our journey through time? Because by understanding that, you know, I, and you start when I know, I know, it’s the very new age thing, say, yeah, we’re all energy and Okay, if you want to expand your perspective to the all inclusive, inclusive Hold on, or universal set, yeah, I get that. That’s not going to help you in everyday life. Right. That’s a that’s a lovely place to be if you want to dissociate and bypass from the reality of the 3d world that we’re now we’re in in here to enjoy.

 

Joseph Andrin 

Yep, I’ve got sort of started interrupt, but I’ve had a thought come through as a Yeah, absolutely. Right. If it’s a belief, if we believe that we are all one, and we’re all energy, and we cling to that, that’s actually just a thought, again, and it’s a really nice story that we can tell ourselves look like. I’m one with you. We’re all one everybody’s one. Yeah. Yeah, whichever version of the story we want to tell. It’s actually just nothing more but another thought that we then become identified with, whereas magical mythical store it is. But the the thought itself, I think can almost always point at the way out is not by identifying with the thought, but it’s really to actually like, contemplate and go deep into the thought. And this one’s popped up in my mind a lot recently in the great scientists Let’s say Stephen Hawking’s and Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein spent most of his time imagining what it would be like to be a photon that was moving at the speed of light.

 

 

Yes. Which is,

 

Joseph Andrin 

it sounds like an insane thing to do. No, but that’s what he did. He spent his time thinking about what it’s like to be a photon travelling at the speed of light. And then he had all this revelation. And then he seek to express this revelation. Now he had that not because he just believed in it, he actually went there with his mind. Yeah, like, had that experience, and then brought it back. And now he’s explained it to us. And he’s actually pointed to you and me, that we too, could also spend our time imagining what it would be like to be a photon, and actually have that direct experience to then be able to actually understand Einstein’s what Einsteins written down. Yeah, we can’t believe in Einstein. It’s pointless. Like, it’s pointless to just be like, I believe what Einstein says. Because the theories there we actually need to go and, like put our mind to do the exercise, we need to do the exercise, which is only imagination and Stephen Hawking’s is the same, he did something similar. He spent all of his time imagining what it’d be like to be a black hole, like, these ideas are crazy. So and in depth is the same to spend all your time imagining what it be like to be dead. Also seems nuts. And to say, I believe there’ll be an afterlife, or I believe we’re all energy, I believe we’re all one, I believe we’ll be reincarnated. None of that means anything, it’s just a thought that you’ve just identified with because that’s actually just hiding what it is that you don’t want to address in the first place. And then if you go and actually just spend a lot of time imagining it, they’re all seem equally as impossible to imagine yourself as a black hole. So imagine yourself as a photon motor, imagine yourself dead. They all seem equally as impossible things to do. But all three of them I actually a, like a, an insight to a letting go of the identity you have to something

 

 

else. Correct?

 

Joseph Andrin 

Yeah. I like that. Yeah, that was fun. I like that, too.

 

Bryn Edwards 

I enjoy it. I wonder whether it might be rather than imagine yourself dead. madness of dying? Yep. And that lead in? Yeah. I think that, you know, we spoke briefly about beforehand about being in the ocean and the fear of the fear of the ocean and what’s in it. And, you know, the fear of seeing a shark, let alone You know, being bitten by one, this is remarkable for a lot of people or the prospect of seeing a shark, let alone them. So maybe part of this is is spending some time imagining what your demise would be like, feel like, what would it actually feel like to go into this state of ultimate letting go? Yeah, I think but in that, that raises a something that I had a lady on the podcast before, it months ago, who Nicola Robbins is an ICU nurse. So she deals a lot with that. And one of the things we realised was, there’s just no language about it, you know, to for her for her. So she was asking a question, what is a good dad in our night? So now using the word good with that?

 

 

It?

 

Bryn Edwards 

Is that appropriate? Does it work, does it not? That just doesn’t seem to be the language,

 

Joseph Andrin 

you have to invent a language. I mean, like Einstein, and Hawking’s like invented different ways to express their ideas using math and symbols. And today in the world, we’re inventing languages continually to talk about all kinds of ideas and technology and art is an art is an expression. Music is an expression, which is we’re just trying to articulate the thing that seems articulable, so that you can finally communicate the revelation that you’ve had about something with someone else. And the the language and thoughts that existed in the past won’t work to describe a new revelation, you’re going to have to look for new words. And we’ve been doing this kind of, yeah, just watching language evolve. And it’s, it’s not just words anymore. It’s much more than that. Yeah.

 

Bryn Edwards 

But I think I think to recognise that there’s a gap, even before we invent it, yes. recognising.

 

Joseph Andrin 

That’s great. That that’s a that’s a, I think that’d be a great place to be. Yeah. Because then you’re like, there’s this thing I need to express.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yeah.

 

Joseph Andrin 

And I don’t know how, but I will work it out.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Exactly.

 

Joseph Andrin 

I will work it out. And I will work it out to a point that this expression can come from God knows where this expression can come from God knows where and I spend so much time pondering it, that I get to a place where I can finally expressed that thing. So that it’s possible for someone who wants to listen to actually be able to hear that and connect with it right back at the same song. Right? I had the great privilege of meeting a few geniuses in the last few years. And, and it’s really amazing to meet someone who’s just like in their genius mode, especially if you happen to bump into him in that time, and they’re firing at whatever 10 bazillion neurons are perfectly aligned at that time. And that expert have something that I know nothing about. And they’re just they’re just like, way over there.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Over there.

 

Joseph Andrin 

And, and I guess we meet geniuses all the time. And I’ve just been lucky a couple of times that I was present enough to recognise the genius in the other and be like, wow, this person’s a genius. And, and to ask them about their work. And the beautiful thing that they did was they first assumed that I was a genius on their level as well. So they’re like up here. And I asked him this question. They answered it here. And I was like, I still don’t know what you’re talking about. And they go, Okay, here it is. I still don’t know. And it doesn’t matter. Like just keep asking. He’ll just keep coming down and peg until a connection point is built. Yeah. Right. And he’s just trying to wire up getting this path from here to here.

 

 

And then,

 

Joseph Andrin 

and then it’s like, got it right on this one tiny thread. His thing unfortunately has a million threads on the top. But if you honestly want to learn from someone who knows something profound, and you happen to recognise that profoundness I think we kind of need to put ourselves in check, be quite curious, because it’s quite likely that if they’re in another Echelon, it’s taken them a while to get there, but they’ll get you there. You just have to be willing to like, genuinely listen to the answer, and then admit again, I don’t know.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yes.

 

Joseph Andrin 

Here’s the next question you can adopt for? I don’t know, again, I don’t know, again, I don’t know, I might have to go quite deep, and that’s fine. But it’ll work. Like it’ll work eventually, like connect from wherever you are to wherever they are. And you’ll like have one point of connection through and be like, Well, okay, I got that. That was quite, that’s quite profound. Yeah. So yeah.

 

Bryn Edwards 

So where are we at in our conversation? I thought rather than just look down and come up with a question, I

 

 

ask you, a,

 

Joseph Andrin 

I guess, to part of what inspired this, this meeting, is some wonderfully creative, big minded friends of mine. And I have got together to put on a show about death. And, and it’s just given us a lot of opportunity to, frankly, share our experiences about it, and contemplate it and philosophise about it and, and come to understand it in different ways. And it’s a very tough subject. and wanting to put on a show for the public. That doesn’t, that isn’t preachy. Try and say that, you know, what’s out, becomes a very quick challenge. Like,

 

Bryn Edwards 

because you got the same challenge as genius, haven’t you? Yeah, you’ve got to connect down but the next and then bring people on a journey. And it’s,

 

Joseph Andrin 

we have to go connect with our genius. First to

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yes. But there’s a there’s a there’s another, there’s another, there’s another connector part. You know, you could argue that genius is you know, that that mental capability to understand. What we’re talking about here is your connecting through people’s nervous system, as well. Because you could just say, oh, we’re gonna talk about death and that’ll be you know, we talked about triggering earlier on. So it’s like, Fuck you. Here’s the boundaries is right now, I’m not, I’m not even gonna buy a ticket. I’m not even gonna step through the door, or might come in and just be like, you know, in those those layers, so I guess one of the challenges you have with it is is not only coming through the intellect part but coming through. Yeah, the nervous system,

 

Joseph Andrin 

I think the the intellect part might often be what’s getting in the way because the intellect part is the identification again, it’s the it’s the not wanting to die. And something that I’ve realised in, in myself and and that I continually see in the world because it’s in myself. Yeah. Is this this thought I’ll tied back in with, with, with death and the death show in just a moment. But it’s this thought about actually what like our unconscious drivers are and again so one of them is to be identified with something and for that theme to be right. So this is like really strong desire to be to be right. Yes, that equally reflects in a very strong desire to not want to be wrong. Because it’s quite likely that you might die if you’re wrong about something that’s part of how the ego was programmed. It’s just like, I need to be right for my own survival in my own security, I have to have to be right all the time. And so the metaphor that comes to me for this one was something that I got to observe my younger brothers do years ago, which I just so loved watching him and I love extreme sports like I’m a kite, surfer, surfer snowboarder. You know, I swim in the ocean all the time as well. And I’m happy to be in the environment that’s slightly out of my control and might be shocked, then whatever. But my brother at the brothers at the time was skating, and they were doing 10 stair jumps on their skateboards. Now, in the world today, we just see the YouTube snippets of the person who can do it, making it look graceful and beautiful and fun. Oh, yes. like watching, like a teenager learning to do a 10 stare. Jump is it’s mind boggling. Because you watch as our watches, my brother would get on a skateboard and skate as quickly as he could, and then jump with all of his energy, to then realise midair that he wasn’t gonna make it. And then to land on the ground and hit the ground hard and command a roll out of it. And then maybe curse maybe not curse, but then pick up his skateboard, walk back up the stairs. Yeah, and do it again. And this could take, like 50 attempts over multiple days before he finally gets it. And then he’s only going to share that one little video where he gets it. Yeah, with the world’s so the disappointment of every other skater on the planet. But you just you just see that snippet where he got it. But obviously it goes on in the background. But the the thing underneath that is the intention. Because even the intention was to not get hurt. Or to not be wrong, but to not get hurt. Yeah, then don’t pick up the fucking skateboard. Like, just, just don’t do it. And you’ll be you’ll be sweet. But if the intention is to land the skid steer gap, then you kind of have to like, learn to trust intuition and put yourself in places and refine and do it in a in a in a way that you don’t destroy yourself. But that can’t be the driving intention. Like that can’t be the thing that you’re setting out to do is to not get hurt, because the easiest way to do that is to not touch the skateboard. And so we’ve constantly hit this same dilemma with with being performance and creating art and putting on a show because if you want to not have a critic, then don’t go on the fucking stage. Yeah, it’s just don’t do it. Because you putting yourself on the stage. It doesn’t matter how right You are good you are. Someone’s gonna come for you. Like on any subject matter. And if they don’t you’re I don’t know. You’re just reading the dictionary? Yeah, yeah, you’re doing something that you can’t be tactful. In which case there’s kind of no point doing it anyway. Yeah. So we’re in this like, paradox of just like, so wanting to be like, right and not others and not get attacked ourselves and hang on to our thing, because we’ve done the work and we’re like, supposed to be really good at this thing. And then, but then you can’t because then you constantly compromise yourself. Because now you’re like, you’re injecting all these things onto the world to be like, I know, welders and other people aren’t yet. It’s hard.

 

 

It’s hard.

 

Joseph Andrin 

I think I lost a little bit of myself. I think I came back to nice.

 

Bryn Edwards 

It’s almost part it’s almost a template part of the human journey. To to continually go through this cycle. Yeah, getting lost into something enjoying it, and then it coming to its end and it’s but then how do I let go in How do I detach and am I detaching early? Should I hold on a bit longer? Have I held on too long? Fuck, it’s been taken off me now through somebody else or through life just moving on or, or something of that nature. It’s

 

 

Yeah,

 

Bryn Edwards 

I I’ve encountered so. So the podcast, if I look back, there’s been almost, I didn’t call it there’s always been seasons or focal points. And it’s fair to say that that pretty much the first 120 episodes, by and large, we’re listening to people’s stories, and it was pretty much the hero’s journey. And more often than not, I you know, I talked to people who, who want to be coaches for detoxifying your life or, or gut biome or something like that, and often they’d had a brush themselves with, I used to be like this. And then I was hitting my head against the wall, and the bruising hurts so much, that I had to start hitting my head against the wall. And then I sat still for a minute and let go of the wall and healed the bruise, then the Epiphany dropped, and then something new arrived. And, and it was the, the real part of the wi rail. The real part was that golden moment, when you realise the story, the narrative that I had been working on working is this has been the, you know, the operating system, or that it’s time to let it go, because it’s not serving me. And more often than not, as I’ve subsequently found lots of those stories, the response to some sort of early childhood trauma. And I’m not necessarily saying that trauma has to be, you know, really Stark and abuse and stuff like that. The trauma can be your older brother or younger brother calling you a dick when you felt a low edge in it, and it really stung. Right. And that brother may never remember calling you a dick at that point. But it sticks with you forever. And then you create this defensive part of yourself. And then Off you go, and you run with that story. And then we we cling on to those stories at such a deep level. And it’s that finally getting to that epiphany part, which is why you know that the midlife crisis is essentially that you get to the end of your 30s and 40s into study 40s and there’s just, there’s no room anymore. For the old story, it just doesn’t produce what it used to produce, you know, it worked for a period of time. And now it just doesn’t work. It’s like, you know, trying to stick a bloody tape player into a CD player or something like that. It’s like we’ve moved on from that. And and it’s that letting, letting go of stories letting go and in that story is as you rightfully say I think the our our identity, who we are and I think the fun thing for me is once you get not just your head around that but your embodiment around that you realise we do it collectively as well. Let’s just take Australia for instance. Are we clinging on to a story that’s no longer serving us of who and what we are

 

 

collective

 

 

collective stories

 

Joseph Andrin 

have been like one that’s popping up in my attention a lot of deaths. Yeah, or resistance to?

 

Bryn Edwards 

Is that what we’re going through right now?

 

 

Well,

 

Joseph Andrin 

I mean, we’re we are in the COVID pandemic in the tail end of the COVID pandemic at the moment perhaps the middle or maybe the beginning who knows

 

 

they’re dying and one that’s

 

Joseph Andrin 

popped up to me just in the last week or so that’s also been really fun was really fun to observe the situation can be as it is the situation was of the the Capitol Hill riots. You if Riot is the word that you choose to use to describe it as Yeah, and and I haven’t subscribed to a lot of mainstream media for a while and I’ve attempted to get rid of some social media as well. And, and so I didn’t hear about it. As it happened live. Yeah. And then I heard about it later because it’s kind of hard to know hear about it at all. You’d have to have your head under

 

 

a rock and which is possible getting your vote by someone else telling

 

Joseph Andrin 

you it’s not advisable to just not want to hear anything. eventually came to me. And I was like, all right, I want to go and learn about this. And then as I went to want to learn about this, I got confronted by the problem of working out whose story I wanted to side with. And so I jumped on the internet, and I watched the fox news story. And then I watched the CNN story. And I heard the story of like, the people who are who are wanting to demonstrate that there’s this oppression of freedom of speech. And then I got the CNN story about these like horrible, crazy riders. And then I jumped on nine US, Australia, and watch the nine news story. And I have this fun little observation of the nine news story, which is like tragic in the world tonight, as riders break into Capitol Hill in America. And then you see this story start to unfold. And the nine news version of the story, there’s lots of scenes of the the riders breaking into the places and mad looks in their eyes and chaos, just lots of chaos on the screen. And, and my perception in that moment. And so now we cross to leaders of the world, as they talk about the situation, we’ve got to see Angela Merkel, and we got to see Boris and they’re just like, it’s horrible what’s happening in the world today. And it’s it’s disgraceful the actions of these other people. And I got this idea that our main media is reminding us of the Australian story, which is we’re the lucky country, which is all these problems are existing somewhere else. We’re just this island over here, just like minding our own businesses. Yeah. And I so and actually, so enjoyed our media the most, but I just, that’s because the one I’ve been brought up on, right, like, it’s our version of drama, that I’m like, Oh, it’s so nice to know that all of this chaos is over there. And I’m safe over here in Perth that has, you know, zero COVID cases, and no political unrest, and whatever. It’s all happening somewhere else. But the whole point is, it’s just another identity. It’s another story. It’s another thing that we like to cling to, and keep repeating. And it’s the Australian identity and the Australian story that’s in a cycle as well. And it’s part of a larger world narrative. And we’re all currently stuck in heaps of world narratives that have crossed over making my problems, your problems and your problems. My problems, and the problem of the ocean is all

 

Bryn Edwards 

about the boundaries. Yeah. Yeah.

 

Joseph Andrin 

Yeah. And the way that we deal with it, and it’s, it’s crazy how many like different lenses you can put on to view the exact same story, and then you can be like, I don’t know what the story is anymore.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Correct. But I don’t know. In a world, I talked about this a lot. In a world where we’re culture alized and educated to know things. totally stupid, look smart. Be right, don’t be wrong. Even earlier on when you were talking about being right, can often be linked to, you know, life death outcomes. But even still, I read an interesting article that the word risk, its use, skyrocketed in the sort of, I think it was late 80s, early 90s. And it’s skyrocketed. And now we become very risk, observe and risk averse. And yet, previous to that risk was a word. You know, there’s places you can go to find the use the general use of a word in articles, and the general use of the word risk was pretty low. And now it’s vocabulary. Yeah. Remarkable. So what does that say in and of itself? That now it’s another layer that gets in the way of that, letting go. And then we’re trying to, you know, it’s this damn not as always risky. It’s risky.

 

Joseph Andrin 

It’s kind of like, what’s the what’s the underlying narrative that we’ve got programmed in ourselves, and sometimes can be very hard to see from inside of your own skin, or your narrative. And story is, but it’s the attachment to that idea that’s producing everything that’s going on in our life experience. Yeah. And and if it’s to, you know, not get hurt as a skateboarder, then eventually you’ll quit skateboarding and you’ll get really hurt. Yep. If it’s attention to not get hammered on stage as a performer, you’ll eventually either quit that completely compromised your show or you’re just going to attract that. Hell, that whirlwind of abuse Yeah, but but that that thing is like guiding us. And it’s like just really that strong attachment to that that keeps coming up, like over and over again. And that’s the one that we need to bring into the light at the moment. And I think the world is giving us all the opportunities that we need to do that. So long as we don’t just put our masks on and run from ourselves. Yeah.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yes. Over there. Not over here. Yeah. Hmm. Is there anything else you think we need to be?

 

Joseph Andrin 

And then I feel like that was I feel like that was fun. Yeah, like it was a fun conversation.

 

Bryn Edwards 

So the last question I ask all my guests. Yeah. Is if you could upload one question into the collective consciousness, everybody spends five to 10 minutes, quietly considering it? Or that day?

 

Joseph Andrin 

Let’s see if I can articulate this one. What are you proving or winning at? That’ll point out what it is that’s currently guiding all the decisions while improving or winning. That’s the that’s the thing that you’re most identified with? It’s usually going to be something about wanting to be right about something or make someone else wrong about something. Yeah. Sure, a different than the two are different, kind of related kind of different, but they are different. And it can often be a parent, or it can be someone else that you for one reason admired, and now wanting the attention of,

 

 

and by

 

Joseph Andrin 

attempting to continually prove that person wrong. You can guide your life in a certain way that continually produce not what you wanted.

 

 

Yes,

 

Joseph Andrin 

but you’re winning and doing it. Like you’re actually making your point very clear to yourself over and over and over and over again. And, and that’s the goal. And goals are actually easier to change than our value systems. And, yeah, and the other parts of our identity, our shadows and everything else to just kind of change that is, is possibly key. So yeah, so what do you what are you currently winning at? Or what are you succeeding at? Hmm,

 

Bryn Edwards 

I love that. I really enjoyed talking today. No, that’s a lie. It’s been good. It’s It’s been nice to see where it went. Yeah. Yeah.

 

Joseph Andrin 

Cool. Yeah, I really enjoyed chatting with you, as well, Brendan, I very much appreciate the energy and the presence that you’ve held here. For me in this conversation. It’s really great. It’s really great to be in it and to just be able to converse with the

 

Bryn Edwards 

so people would like as always listen to this, and they would like to come and see the show or find Joseph where How do they do that? Ah,

 

Joseph Andrin 

the show out. Yep. The production company are called the hairy godmothers. We are the Harry godmothers.com. We’ve got a bunch of shows coming up in fringe and Perth and Adelaide and Banbury, and likely to do the Belmont festival as well. And that’s probably the best place to do that. Otherwise, a large part of the intention of this conversation was just talk about death. And remember that we’re all gonna die,

 

Bryn Edwards 

indeed. But it’s, I think, what if, if there was one big thing that came out of it was don’t just park death off to be in that event that ends happens at the end of your life? It’s happening all the time.

 

Joseph Andrin 

Yep. Yeah. Die to the identity and the thoughts,

 

Bryn Edwards 

thoughts, identity, things that you hold on to? The very much.

 

 

Yeah, thank you. Thank

 

Bryn Edwards 

you. So often, what people don’t realise that after the podcast, I have just as fascinating conversations with the guests. In fact, I wish I could record some of them. But something was about to emerge in the discussion post this podcast, which Joseph wanted to share, and we’re gonna dive into that.

 

Joseph Andrin 

It’s one it’s one that I thought was quite fun. And it’s the thought that I’ve had before and I was like, oh, man, I don’t know why we didn’t talk about this one earlier because it’s got some funny ideas in it. And, and it’s about the church of science. I’m not talking Scientology, I’m just talking about what’s happened in the world of science today. Interesting. They

 

Bryn Edwards 

should call it the church of science. Yeah, it is known as that, was it? I’ve heard it called the religion of reason. And rationality, absolutely High Priestess, the PhD, and we have

 

Joseph Andrin 

surrendered to science in the exact same way that a peasant farmer have surrendered to the Vatican once Yeah, like it’s the same thing. And beautifully with science, we gave birth to a new way of thinking, and it came around the European enlightenment or scientific enlightenment or revolution, whatever we want them

 

 

to hundreds.

 

Joseph Andrin 

Yeah, we did this nominal thing. Yeah, that time with

 

Bryn Edwards 

a whole new way magical mythical creatures into rational creatures.

 

Joseph Andrin 

Yeah, but we also became creatures who like could develop systems to undermine our own thinking. And we also became creatures who could start to imagine an ever growing pie and an ever expanding body of knowledge and other things like lots of new concepts were birthed all simultaneously around that time. Credit was a big one. Not sure if you’ve read in Yuval Noah Harare, Sapiens here. He also talks about the invention of credit arising at that same time as this, this scientific way of thinking. to oversimplify the story, because if and for anyone who’s listening and for for you, as well, we have to have a little bit of grace in the way that I articulate this. Because if we just look at it on the surface and point at me, then you can shoot me down. No problems.

 

 

Yeah.

 

Joseph Andrin 

But that’s defeats the purpose. So prior to the Enlightenment, the scientific revolution, the church was in power. And as the one of the house and was telling a narrative, about an end of days, a second coming of Christ, and Apocalypse, and Arma, Armageddon, or something. And people were a large subset of people who believed the story, we’re continually looking for evidence that the Energizer is coming, right. And they were looking for it everywhere that they could find it through anyway. And they were interpreting whatever book whether it was the Bible, or whether there was the Quran in the Middle East, or the Torah, or any other religion, many people were looking for this end times, and projected out into the world, continually looking for evidence that they were right, that the world was about to end, and interpreting the text in any way that they could onto that. Now, then science came along, and we’re like, Alright, we’re done with, with our religion, we get to like put that all down now. And we don’t have to worry about that small minded way of thinking. And yes, it’s all silly talk. And it seemed like we had a giant breakthrough. And we did. But at the same time, we haven’t stopped telling some of the stories that we used to tell. And in the world today, we continue to tell the story that the end is near, like, we’re all gonna die. And, and the Armageddon, the apocalypse is coming. And so now we’re taking the very powerful tools of science. And using that weapon to look for the evidence that we’re right, that the world is going to die. And, and that the stories we’re producing are infinite and fascinating. And they continually get more exciting and larger, year by year, and everyone’s had their story that they’re quite attached to whether it’s like, we’re all going to die of cancer, or it’s going to be nuclear winter or COVID. That’s just like, frickin fascinating, like, actually, like how big these stories are. Because we’re still just like looking for evidence that the world is going to die. Yes. And, and with that perspective, it doesn’t matter how much we search, we will only continue to find more evidence that we’re right. And there’s a lot of people prior to COVID, who are very concerned about climate change. And that’s kind of almost dropped off our radar, amazingly, because now we’re all worried about COVID cells. Yeah. But But before that, we were very worried about climate change. And if you’re convinced that climate change was bad for the earth, no amount of logic will sway you from that. That situation, and we’re just kind of done there. And the only way out of that is to be willing for just a moment to like, let go of the identification of that idea or to take off those lenses for just a moment. And whether we can actually see the real truth. I don’t know. I’m gonna speculate No. But we might be able to put on a different set of lenses and maybe put ourselves into a voluntarily another layer of delusion yet, but perhaps one that might be more invigorating, exciting, inspiring for our own personal life experience. Yes, the narrative that the world is going to end. And climate change is bad or COVID is bad, or that nuclear winter is coming. And looking for evidence for that will lead you to live your life a certain way. And so let’s insist on being right about that you’re identified with that thought. There’ll be quite a lot of fear in one’s life, where if if we’re just looking for signs of life and looking for looking for excitement, enthusiasm, inspiration, joy, joy, we’re looking, we’re looking for something else that then we can, but you can never actually get that from the logical point, doesn’t matter how much data we go through, you won’t get there. That’s, that’s it. So that was the thought that I that relate back into that? Well, that we’re actually looking for signs that we’re going to die. Like we’re we’re looking for signs that the end of times is coming. And we’re quite strongly insisting that we’re right about that. We’re looking for evidence that there’s climate change. And then we’re insisting that we’re right, that there’s climate change, I’m not denying climate change. Yeah. But I’m saying that if we go looking for it, and obsess over it, we will find more evidence for it, and we go looking for evidence that cancer is going to kill every person, then we will find plenty of evidence that cancer is going to kill every medicine, if we look for evidence that our political systems are corrupt, and we’re all going to nuke each other, we’ll find that

 

 

like and go and find out who the sharks in the water go, look, we’ll go and find sharks in

 

Joseph Andrin 

the water. And so we’re continuing to tell the exact same story we told before the scientific revolution, that the end of times is coming, and that no one’s going to come and judge us all and send us to hell or heaven, or whatever story version it was, but essentially, that the world is going to end, the end of the world is near. And we’re still in that paradigm, still looking for the world. And now using the tools of science to do that, we can very rightly, find all the evidence in the world to justify that we’re correct and put ourselves in a deep pit of logic, just bury ourselves and route ourselves in endless logic, no one will be able to refute you ever not, it’s

 

 

almost like a service, it’s like can’t

 

Joseph Andrin 

see how that can possibly serve anyone in their righteousness in a situation. a data scientist who’s got all the science in the world to say that climate change is going to end our times that that’s them just burying themselves in data to justify that they’re correct about some things which, for that individual, is only going to produce anxiety and stress and neverending fear.

 

 

And the end of the day.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Why don’t the other day, as I’m coming to realise, you know, being able to out worry out concern out anxiety other people’s is not a virtue. Fast I find at the moment, the ability for somebody to have a darker more grave view on the situation gives them this level of gravitas and authority. It’s not the the unscared is not avert out scaring your friends. Being out scared. Sorry. Being more scared than your friend is not a virtue.

 

Joseph Andrin 

And our and our current responses to those fears as well are, I think very manifest as well in the, in the wave of veganism and keep cups and wanting to drive green vehicles. Again, each. Each initiative in itself is seems like a good initiative. But it’s not. It’s just a another layer. That’s not finding the root cause that we think we’re all gonna die and the world is going to end. And so we’re just adding all of this stuff

 

 

do my bit I’m doing

 

Joseph Andrin 

I’m doing my bit and like our bits. Like we’d really don’t want to look at how insignificant I’ll be like to be honest, like the idea of you know, having a keep cup and only having vegetables and you know, I’m a vegetarian who has a keepcup so I’m just hacking on myself at the moment. Yeah, but the idea that me having only vegetables and having a keepcup to save the world is probably don’t probably want to get it Yeah.

 

 

And

 

Joseph Andrin 

but it’s a reaction. They’re having vegetables in a keep cup at the moment is a reaction to the to the story and the fear that the world is going to end. Yeah, and if that choice is coming out of this scares. The paradigm that the world is coming to an end and I need to use my, like keepcup because we don’t have enough. And I need to eat vegetables because we can’t sustain stuff like, that doesn’t solve the problem, the the root cause keeps to propagate. And every time you use a keep cup, and eat your vegetables, you may work very well be reminding yourself that the world is in a dire state and not enough around, in which case, your vegetables are almost certainly not even good for your health. Because at that time, you’re just eating like a plate full of fear.

 

 

 

Joseph Andrin 

as well have got back into takeway coffee and to be oblivious to it right like and like in, in some sense that ignorance is bliss statement is in some ways, like really true, because like, like, in that in that ignorance someone can actually maybe just focus their energy on something that is aligned within themselves is their own personal truth, not taking on the world’s problems and attempting to save the world, which you know, I have a problem with always wanting to save the world. And it’s like, well, I got to let go of that one. Because it’s, it’s a bad paradigm to be in. Yeah. Because you’re constantly projecting that the world is in trouble and I have to do something because the world is in trouble like the world’s gonna die for goodness and like then you’re you’re in trouble. You’re in trouble if you’re attempting to save the world. Like you’re, you’re done for like if you’re wanting to save the world. Well, yeah, so a small amount of ignorance is bliss and just in a desire to like, maybe not may not be the right word, but I like a seeking of an ecstatic energy in oneself and like wanting to cultivate that and being quite responsible for oneself and again, not attempting to overstep one’s boundaries to world saving can possibly also be another thing so yeah.

 

Bryn Edwards 

I think that’s been invaluable

 

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