How we all have an Antagonist inside of us, and it’s not all bad.
Yes, the Antagonist archetype within us can cause us grief.
But, learning to appreciate what it is trying to do for us is a great first step towards acceptance of all our parts.
- An unusual appearance of the Great Crested Flycatcher
- Jill Bolte-Taylor has taught me a lot about the four parts of the brain, one of which is represented here by the Antagonist archetype.
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[0:15] That is a bird that’s not around very much. It’s a Great Crested Flycatcher.
Thanks to the Merlin app, I know what it is. I’ve got two of them in my yard right now it’s about the size of a mocking bird.
It’s gray and pretty bold because it’s only about 30 feet away and here I am talking and right in front of it and it’s not acting like it’s concerned at all.
[1:14] So pretty cool. I couldn’t tell you if I’ve ever seen one of these in my yard.
I started recording on the Merlin app because I thought, you know, I don’t recognize that sound.
Not that I know all the bird sounds because I definitely do, not.
But as I’ve said in some earlier recordings this past week, it’s uh, it’s cool to start this project back up where I’m going out into nature and paying attention and waiting to see if something happens.
So this is what has happened. The, the crested, great crested, flycatcher? See I don’t even know the name yet. So pretty cool.
Now this brings Up what I wanted to talk about.
And as you can hear my voice is pretty croaky. I think that’s because of all the pollen and all the time outside recently.
But I think, um, I’m struggling to say this, what am I trying to say?
Oh, there it goes. (The bird flies off.)
[2:50] I’m trying to say that being outside and doing this project has been really great. And there’s a part of me that thinks, asks myself, why am I doing this?
Why am I trying to do this every day?
Okay, okay, I take one day off a week. I’ve been taking off Sundays.
Why am I doing this? Like, is this really something?
And I have to recognize that that’s partly my antagonist that’s kicking in.
[3:21] I believe that we’ve got four main characters that live inside of us.
And one of them is the antagonist, meaning it’s where the resistance comes from. It’s that part of us that tries to self-protect.
The ego isn’t within this realm. It’s the survival part of us, meaning the part of us that wants to keep us safe.
The part of us that did keep us safe as you know whenever, everything was about feeding yourself and protecting yourself from your enemies every day.
And yes, while that’s true to some degree, it’s not nearly as true as it used to be back whenever things were much much more hand-to-mouth.
And so So that’s kind of left over.
That antagonistic part of us serves us well until it doesn’t.
Meaning when this voice kicks in and says, Dave, why are you doing this?
Like this project is stupid. taking up way too much of your time.
[4:49] You know, I’m not seeing the benefit of this. Well, I know, Because I have awareness which is so important.
I have awareness that this antagonistic part is within me, That is going to be some self-critical.
[5:09] I Have to say, okay what which voice is this and I’ve identified because you don’t you don’t always know that’s the thing, You don’t know Like if you have a thought,
You don’t know where that thought is coming from. It’s just a thought but, If we can raise our awareness and say wait a minute, which part of myself is talking here?
I’ve recognized that this Voice is my antagonist now.
[5:42] An Antagonist, you may know is from storytelling and from narrative.
It’s the bad guy.
So, what about the protagonist? Yep, we’ve got one of those two.
That’s the hero. And we’ve got a protagonist, we’ve got an antagonist, I believe we’ve got an artist/ lover, and then we’ve got a guide, within us.
And those four characters, they line up with the four, gosh, they line up with the four seasons, they line up with four parts of the day, they line up with, fours as you see them in religion, in art, in cyclical patterns that we see in narratives.
[6:38] I’m obsessed with this idea of four parts and the four phases of change.
I’ll link to some other places where I talk about that.
But this antagonist, I want to talk about it because the other day I realized, you know, what, antagonist implies that it’s a bad thing.
And it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
And that’s really important because self-compassion is so critical when you’re working through personal growth.
And it’s super important that you, that if you recognize something within yourself, that, there’s a part of you that is trying to help.
So this antagonist throughout human history, his job was to keep us safe, to keep us away from the mountain lions and you know keep us keep us away from snakes whatever is bad.
[7:40] Tribes you know when tribal I mean we still have tribes today but you know what I mean like when the people that lived five miles away we’re trying to kill you, and your job was to keep your clan safe and kill them if they came into your clan.
That’s super simplistic to say that, but that part has served us well.
So what about now in modern times?
What do we do with that part of us? Well, unfortunately, it does go off the rails. It sends us into wars. It sends us into calling people the other, and You know that.
[8:20] It doesn’t serve us. It doesn’t push humanity forward very well in the way.
[8:28] That it used to. But if we can recognize that part of ourselves, and if we can say, hey, is this trying to help me out?
Like, why does this voice say, Dave, this project’s taking too much time? Well, sometimes it does. Let’s tell them the truth.
Sometimes it takes too much time, and I don’t want to give it that much time, which is why I’m pulling back on the web page of this podcast.
I’m not gonna put as much time into that because that’s where most of the time goes. It’s pretty, quick for me to record something, send it to the server, and you know press the publish button.
All that’s quick. What’s not quick is me putting in a transcript, writing down a summary, linking to other stuff
So I’m pulling back a bit on that side of things, at least for now, to say, okay, Critical Self, you got a point, and thank you for, thank you for pointing that out, but this project’s still going forward.
I’m still gonna publish six days a week, every day but Sunday, and I’m still gonna go outside and hope that something cool happens like this crested flycatcher and I gotta look it up.
[9:53] Is it the great crested flycatcher? (Does that imply that there’s a lesser crested flycatcher?)
[10:01] Something cool is going to happen in nature, which is going to get you talking about something else that’s been on your mind.
So that antagonist could be a good thing.
And it can also help you, you can tap into that fighting energy when you want to get something done.
Like, I want to get this project done, I want to get my ideas out into the world, and I can tap into that part of myself to get the energy to do that.
That. It’s just a little bit of a mind shift and recognize that at times I’m, gonna need that and at times I’m gonna have that kick in.
And so I think that’s all I want to say about the antagonist right now, but in the future I will be talking more about the protagonist, the antagonist, the artist / lover, and the guide, and also talking about how those four characters are within us all.
A lot of these ideas are connected to some ideas I’ve gotten from Jill Bolte-Taylor and the four parts of the brain, but also from Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey.
And also from just so many stories, the narrative of the protagonist, the hero, fighting against some antagonistic force or person or group.
[11:30] And then those artists, the people that come together and create something new, so that that new thing can then benefit the community, and that hero can become the guide for the community.
So this is David Bourne signing off for now with the frog voice, which hopefully will be going away pretty soon.
You can find out more at DavidBourne.com, hope to see you there.