Freedom and Anxiety – The Inner God vs The Inner Worm

Man is a creature forever pulled between two extremes. Between what some have called our inner god and our inner worm. Our inner god represents our powers of imagination and our symbolic awareness, which together grant us the ability to project into the future and to envisage almost limitless possibilities Our inner god offers us the gift of psychological freedom It shows us what we could be and tells us that the creation of our destiny is at least partly in our hands if we can but move forward into the realm of the possible but alongside our inner god exists our inner worm and this is the side of us that fears freedom and keeps us tied like all other animals to a limited set of behaviors and a limited set of possibilities Unfortunately, for many, it is our inner worm, not our inner god which is the ruling factor of our life We fear psychological freedom more than we desire it and in this video we are going to investigate why If psychological freedom entails the ability to envisage constructive ways to change or life and then to act upon these possibilities, why should we fear this? According to Dostoevsky one of the main reasons for this is due to the intimate connection between freedom and anxiety For anxiety follows freedom as its shadow Our ability to project into the future and to imagine how things could be makes us aware of better ways of living But we can never be certain if the pursuit of the possible will contribute more to our salvation or more to our suffering We may be god-like in our ability to conceive of the possible but we lack the omniscient power to know if we are correct in what we see and if we are capable of achieving what we desire And so our inner god wants to pursue the possible but our inner worm fears what will become of us if we do That strange mixture of desire and dread that arises in the face of the possible creates an inner conflict which for Kierkegaard is the essence of anxiety for as he put it: Or as Rollo May explained: To protect ourselves from the anxiety which accompanies psychological freedom the 20th century psychologist Erich Fromm proposed that we enact behavioral strategies in order to flee from freedom He calls such strategies mechanisms of escape and argued that these mechanisms of escape are primarily motivated by masochistic strivings In popular culture masochism is typically associated with sexuality But Sigmund Freud isolated a more prevalent form of masochism, which he termed moral masochism, and which the psychoanalyst Anita Weinreb defined as: On the surface moral masochism seems puzzeling for how can a longing for submission, for humiliation, and suffering and for the belittlement of oneself be felt as a worthy objective to strive for But from thought the riddle of mental masochism can be solved when viewed as an attempt to escape from the anxieties of freedom by submitting to a powerful other Whether the masochist submits to an external god, a church, a nation, the state, a leader, an ideology, company, a significant other, a drug or an inner compulsion, the objective, according to Fromm, is always the same The masochist cannot bear the anxieties of choice of possibility and freedom and so happily he hands over the reigns of his soul to a master Or as Fromm wrote: Moral masochism is ruinous to psychological health The extreme dependency the masochist develops for a powerful other leads to infantilisation and the enthusiastic acceptance of chains ..wrote the russian dissident Viktor Gorskii.. Yet a masochistic flight from freedom also has wider social and political effects For it is easy to find numerous examples of societies whose citizens feared freedom to such a degree that the only means of escape they saw was to submit to a powerful other in the form of an authoritarian regime ..wrote Rollo May in her book “The quest of our lives” The author Ida Wylie notes a telling comment from a young german slightly before the horrors of WW2 The negative social aspects of moral masochism are not only seen in mass submission to an authoritarian regime For a more covert mechanism for masochistic escape exists And this involves the submission to the tyranny of the majority, or what Fromm labeled as obedience to.. The strategy behind this mechanism of escape involves identifying ourselves so thoroughly with whatever society deems self-evident, normal and expected that we are saved from having to formulate and commit ourselves to our own principles, values, beliefs and ways of life We repress our awareness of possibility and accept only that which is socially given This mechanism of escape may protect us from the anxieties of freedom but the more we obey the tyranny of the majority, the more we loose our self And the more society becomes inhabited by automatons, who ostracize all who dare to deviate from the status quo As Rollo May wrote: Given that moral masochism makes us weak and servile and promotes the enslavement of a society, we must ask: What can we do to develop the strength to bear the anxiety that freedom elicits and to move forward into life instead of remaining stagnant How can we reignite the god within? Remembering that psychological freedom is the awareness of possibilities plus the courage to move forward into the possible, Kierkegaard suggested that one way to become free, is to recognize when it comes to the decision of whether to pursue the possible, it is always better to take the risk and to venture into the unknown ..wrote the poet Robert Frost or as Kierkegaard echoed: In choosing a life of venturing, in embracing the possible even though this means inviting uncertainty into our life we will not be tempted to resort to moral masochism, rather in venturing we continually expand the confines of our comfot zone we learn how to remain resilient in the face of failure and we cultivate courage, self-reliance, independence, and hence self-repect And so one question remains: Will we embrace our inner god and choose a life of courageous venturing or will we succumb to our inner worm flee from the anxieties of freedom and seek out someone or something to call master ..wrote the psychologist William James and the second is to take the actions that are necessary to be free and realize that life is short and the greatest suffering comes not to those who are bold but to those who remain cowardly

100 thoughts on “Freedom and Anxiety – The Inner God vs The Inner Worm

  • Become a Supporting Member and gain access to our growing library of exclusive videos and courses:
    Join through PayPal or Credit Card (payments processed by Stripe)
    Follow us on Instagram for more content!
    Find the transcript (and a gallery of the art work) here:
    Recommended Readings:
    Academy of Ideas Bookstore –

  • You. We! Reality.Have been groomed to believe there are bigger problems today because you take for granted the food on your table. All food comes with an element of fossil fuels! That is also the case for industry and commerce. There is no alternative energy replacement. The Zero fossil fuels project is a globalist sentence for YOU, us to mass starvation for their depopulation UN agenda 21. You won’t be an observer. Peer review study reveals. Three climate changes last century and greenhouse gases were present. (Sun spots control earth’ climate). Historical geo studies reveal that the earth is co2 Impoverished. (Don’t shoot the messenger. Start a Collective to partition parliament to withdraw from the Paris climate accord). There won’t be a tree left standing on the planet.

  • Many are rewarded for lesser attempts I've made in life, and yet I continue despite the set-backs. I laugh at my inner masochist. Freedom is still worth it to me.

  • I think this explains why people in america are losing their minds these days and so many in are in support of socialism and are trying to clamp down on free speech. Life in America is becoming harder and more individualistic. Combine that with liberty and people are desperate for an escape from said liberty. There are SO many choices in life in america and so much to be responsible and accountable for, be it good or bad. And it breaks people. When you think about it and about the average person, no wonder so many people are looking for a way out. No matter how insane that way out may seem.

  • According to statistics, based on the post-mortem studies, clever people make up 6% of the population, and geniuses — 2%.

    In the near future, with the help of the computerized tomography with the resolution of 1—2 microns, it will be possible to diagnose mental abilities by the size of certain fields and subfields in the cerebral cortex. This is called "cerebral sorting".

    Then, and only then, the "Academy of Ideas" will be able to find its true audience.

  • Lately i've been thinking about getting old and how much I desire it. Because when you are old now one expects nothing from you, you don't need to rush anywhere, there's no ego pushing your agenda, you just don't care anymore.

    This video came and showed me the same from another perspective. I want to be free from freedom. I'm scared of all the possibilities. And age could become some kind of master, I guess?

  • when u watch one video of jordan peterson owning libtards for the first time 👌😂😂😂

    just kidding 😊
    u have anxiety?? 😳have some pizza 😍😍😍

  • Question for everyone: what do you find yourself submitting to when you feel morally masochistic? For me, it's a lot of weed whenever I feel anxious from life's responsibilities.

  • The inner God will become the outer God.
    I'm a jealous of Satan our bodies are Satan we want happiness and we will never get it because God is a piece of shit.

    I'm a scapegoat and so is my body and spirit but not my soul she likes the child molesters, murderers and people who take life away.

    She's literally telling me to commit suicide I see you in my eyes as a vision calling me a liar because I won't improve but guess why because I'm Satan.

    Sorry I guess I'll get crazy guys continue on.

  • I did a Ph.S in Philosophy and Logic. Thank you so much for sharing Philosophy with the world. Philosophy is so important, yet not respected as much as it should be.

  • I experience Dostoevsky as useless. Anxiety is simply fear. If a man is aware of his demise he experiences fear. I wonder what kind of fear he went through at his death. An animal with out awareness of its fatal choice still fears fear at the time of death. The awakened one whether human or animal is not afraid. I just think he is a coward as is Kierkegaard.

  • Sorry I do not understand… this sounds like “people” are afraid of what others think 💭 and have low self confidence

  • Stopped listening when he started rambling nonsense about fascism and national socialism. Anyone who has any knowledge of the Weimar Republic would know that the degeneracy of that time can hardly be called freedom.

  • The "inner worm" is our personal lesson, that which is to be understood and overcome, our vice and the impulsive behavior we enforce by continually succumbing to our vice. This selfish behavior is what keeps us in dense fragmented material consciousness, or rather unconscious to the ecstatic vision of the higher spiritual hierarchy. "Freedom" is the attainment of free will, the overcoming of the self defeating fragmented inner self. This is accomplished by adhering to the Logo's, the organizing principle behind creation, which manifest's itself in man as the voice of the moral order, it is the deviation of this inner truth that causes anxiety.

  • I know you guys like quoting Nietzsche all over the place, but I don't get the feeling you understand him, or that you've even read all that much of his work for yourselves. When you keep using the word 'god' the way you do, you speak in a priestly manner, which makes your use of Nietzsche odd, given his views on that word and on priests:

    "God is a crude answer, a piece of indelicacy against us thinkers – fundamentally even a crude <i>prohibition</i> to us: you shall not think!" – Ecce Homo, pg 21.

    "The concept 'God' has been the greatest <i>objection</i> to existence so far… We deny God, we deny responsibility in God: <i>this</i> alone is how we redeem the world." – Twilight of the Idols, VI.8.

    "Before [the ascetic priest] can be the healer he must first inflict injury; so, while soothing the pain which the wound causes, <i>he also puts poison into the wound</i>." – On the Genealogy of Morals, 112.

    "All religions are in essence nothing but systematic cruelty." – On the Genealogy of Morals, 47.


    As for some supposed "free will" that we ought to exercise, this is just another priestly ploy to set us up for failure when we discover we can after all not accomplish much of what we direct our will at. Another wound he can "heal".

    "The doctrine of the freedom of the will has human pride and feeling of power for its father and mother." – Daybreak, 128.


    Furthermore, your thinking about anxiety looks rather unhelpful. If you watch Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's TED talk "Flow, the secret to happiness", I think you'll see that the solution to anxiety is not to resort to some imaginary part of yourself, but to acquire more knowledge and skill.

  • I've been pondering on why I've felt so angry and trapped in my life, recently. 5 years ago, I came out, and there was a whirlwind of new experiences and choices to make and in the excitement, I said yes to everything, every new, previously forbidden opportunity I didn't allow myself to take I seized and explored. The first couple years were the best of my life. I faced each previously crippling fear with curiosity and resolve.

    But as I was exposed to other gay people more and more, the mystique and the novelty wore away. These weren't brave rebels living each day for their truth, they were mostly conformists in their own ever more normal society. They shared all the same burdens and anxieties and toxic behaviors as any straight person. It crushed me. I joined a new segment of society but with the same judgmental attitudes and rigid ideas of acceptable behaviors, many of which are explicitly masochistic.

    I didn't realize the difference until just recently, that I had reverted to most my self censoring, closeted kinds of behaviors and have become miserable, reactive, and in constant dread of choices and the unknown because I stopped being brave. I stopped seeking out new experiences because I started to feel like I had already seen and done it all. I stopped taking any risks because I feared losing the rediscovered comfort of numbness and routine.

    I find myself more terrified now of my idleness becoming my legacy and of dying of old age after a life that I only really lived two years of. I need to do better to ensure that doesn't become reality.

  • One of the best yet. I’m not sure freedom in its truest sense is ever attainable. No man is an island, and life without relationships with other people and other living things would be a very sad existence. I guess the question is how much of your personal autonomy/freedom are you willing to give up in order to maintain a balance between freedom and slavery? From personal experience, finding the “sweet spot” is not easy!

  • Sorry, I have serious problems with this essay. Every act is a submission. Every choice we make is in service to something greater than ourselves and it need not be masochistic. Freedom, in this sense, is an illusion.

  • Freedom doesnt exist, it is a coping mechanism created by your brains to deal with the knowledge that you are actually a useless idiot. Look around you, show me where our modern idea of freedom exists anywhere else in the entire universe, it does not, so it is not real.

  • If you haven't subscribed to this channel yet….then you don't know what you're missing about yourself and life. 🙈🙉🙊🤓 Open your mind to a new way of thinking.

  • I have to say it, it s like the time when Socrates that " I know that I know nothing" and the Oracle said that he was the wisest man in Athens. This is what I think after I finish watching your videos : You are the best channel in youtube for sure ! Sincerely Thank you very much for all your job!!

  • Wow great summary! I recommend reading alan watts wisdom of insecurity, there are some great parallels in it.
    Combine these two and you have a sweet motive of living your life 😀

  • The last phrase written by Ferdinand Magellan was a brave filipino warrior who fought during the war in Philippines. Im really impressed by the concepts mentioned in this video. 9:58

  • It was a really good video, but I think it is importent to see, that the inner god can be just as dangerous as the worm. The ideal, as always is in the middle. Being brave, but not reckless. A man without fear is not great, nor admirable. A man without fear is stupid. Fear keeps you grounded, wich is good. Without fear, you would get hit by cars, and fall of rooftops. Fear is good. Fear of hurting your loved ones, of creating more trouble than good with your idea. These are good things. Embrace it, don't run from it. The world needs brave people, not delusional, reckless ones.

  • It's so funny because I was thinking about this a while back. I feel super free and confident in myself yet, kinda fear it at the same time and I don't know why. Well let me get my popcorn for this one. 🍿

  • This Dovetails nicely with Peter Thiel on “The Straussian Moment”   Two perspectives that speak of the same thing.

  • Anxiety doesn’t have to always be demonized this way…Anxiety is in itself a double edged sword we mostly hear about the evils of anxiety, but there is also positive anxiety which we should learn. Or rather re learn to embrace and which many people can do. Some without even knowing it. Children
    Enjoy this positive anxiety more than anyone when they learn to trust those around them… is black or white the only way to think?

  • Would being bold or taking a risk just be doing the things that scare us the most?

    I consider myself to be spiritual and pray to deities for wisdom, guidance, healing, etc. Is this considered to be moral masochism in this sense? I feel like I am at a very transformational time in my life where everything is being reconsidered and broken down, as it should be with the state of our climate and world. I have been feeling this anxiety daily of having so much freedom that I have no idea what to do with it so I do nothing at all but ruminate over past experiences. I want to move out of this and onto taking more risks and channeling that inner god, as we all want to, but the role of spirituality in this and praying to deities and believing in angelic intervention is merely support through this anxiety, which is what feels the most true and right for my life, but when does it cross the line over to moral masochism?

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Jeremiah expressed it pretty well:
    "The heart is deceptive above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" Jer.17:9
    God must have thought it worth it to give "Free Will" to man:

  • A lot of these videos are a simultaneous reassuring hand on the shoulder, an encouraging lesson and a punch in the liver. Thank you for all of your work.

  • Freedom needs to be earned. Hard to gain, easy to lose. Ive lived my life with the inner strength to make my own decisions and lead my own path into the unknown. This video made me proud to have had the courage to pursue what Ive always felt my soul desires most.

  • Wheres that line between submitting to a master and getting a mentor?

    I had this desire to flip houses but I recently become an assistant position to a guy who is very successful is SEO.

    A part of me is thinking that I could just use that knowledge to put it into my real estate investing business in the future but then another part of me is not sure if I'm submitting.

    What do you guys think?

  • Psalm 11:4 KJV
    The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *