Produced by Roaring Heads Podcast
This week we have a discussion with Dr Paris Williams. We discuss the transition that took Paris from world champion hang gliding athlete, to the depths of an intense personal inner transformation and awakening that led him on a journey of exploration of the human condition.
Paris attained degrees in ecology and psychology, specializing in humanistic, existential, transpersonal, somatic and ecological approaches to understanding human nature and healing, becoming a registered Clinical Psychologist and Hakomi Teacher. His exploration led him to conduct research on extreme states, trauma recovery and deep personal transformation, as a result he published the widely acclaimed book, Rethinking Madness.
The podcast theme revolves around human metamorphosis, interwoven with a message of hope for those people who suffer and struggle with self definition and purpose. This is one for both the athletic and general community. It speaks to power of coming to understand the deeper existential truths of the self that impact our enjoyment of the outside world, our place in it, and our impacts on it.
Many of us get stuck in our struggles or find ourselves falling down in life, however what we can fail to realise is that the fall is often a stage in a metamorphosis. The first stage in an important process of transmutation that can move us directly into our own power.
Paris uses a metaphor of the chrysalis in the stage of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. In the chrysalis stage, the bulk of the caterpillar’s pudgy mass is recycled into the adult features that are meshing together inside the tough shell of the chrysalis. The interior is, at this stage, mostly a nutrient soup, feeding the embryonic imaginal discs as they complete their delayed development into butterfly.
In our lives we can go through a similar experience of inner transformation that will first expose us to our own darkness. It’s very easy to get stuck in these first intense stages as we hold on for dear life, when often what is required is a letting go.
In this sense depression and anxiety can be seen as part of that chrysalis, two of the drivers that can alert us that something is not right. When we are in the depths of despair, it is often hard to see it as movement of hope and opportunity.
This podcast shines a light onto the darker areas of the process that illuminates a path of hope, not just for the benefit of humanity, but also for the planet we live on and the impacts we have on it when we are not fully awake in life.
Life is for living and living is for life!
Thank you Paris.
Centre for Nonviolence and Conscious Living