top of page
  • Writer's pictureRob Allaert

Upset, what is it?

We all feel the upset, but we can't seem to put our finger on it. What is it? And how do we get rid of it?

Melancholy by Edvard Munch (1894)

Every person has a shadow. There's no denying that. We are bored with a dark place in which we find unpleasant things that we like to keep out of the confrontational light. This sounds very negative, but there is good news.

The shadow is not in you. As if man consisted of a white and a black component, where the black would be a kind of festering source of malice. You cast a shadow and fall to the ground. You sign it with your entire person, provided the right incidence of light.

It is important to recognise that our shadow does not mean that we are bad. The shadow does indicate our bad behaviour, but that bad behaviour has a 'good' reason.


To enter that shadow spot, I like to use the word "dismay" because it is a non-accusatory term. Dismay is a feeling; a difficult feeling. It is not an act, but an event, a state in which you find yourself. Unfortunately, this feeling will excite us and make us act.

To be horrified is to be deeply impressed; be encumbered or off the map. Dismay becomes anger because we reject and even condemn that unpleasant feeling. We may be blaming ourselves. Self-love diminishes, and dismay increases.

With continued terror, it is inevitable that we will behave differently. We step beyond the innocence of yesteryear and start to behave dislocated.

He who is horrified does things that he himself dislikes. Yes, this may be evil behaviour, but without malicious intent. That distinction is of great importance, because whoever judges himself unjustly will only sink deeper into his or her shadow.

This may be evil conduct, but without malicious intent.

Dismay comes upon us, and since we cannot explain where it comes from, we are left with it. What's more: without good news or without a hopeful perspective, dismay only increases.


The shadow we cast has an impact on our entire being, on our psyche or soul. And so man collects for himself a mountain full of psychosis or anguish of soul. Hence our psychotic behaviour.

Science could not explain the human horror. As a result, psychology focused on its fruit, namely undesirable behaviour. Hence behavioural therapy.

Monotheistic religion has traditionally linked horrified behaviour to a break with the deity. Whoever wants to go his own way disobediently is abruptly pushed into the world and will therefore pile up the deserved dismay with the sweat of his brow.

New-age has worked hard to deny the dark side. There is no shadow, there is only the illusion of it.

Buddhism does recognise the horror and links this suffering to the futile desires of man. Detachment is the path proposed here. But it goes even further. It is stated that you too are an illusion. “Therefore try to disappear; away from thinking and away from being.” You disappear into thin air.

Today's society proposes to agree with each other and then lay down in standards that we will behave less dismayed. "Let's get over the horror and give ourselves completely to a great ideal like saving the planet."


Dismay is either punished above, or denied, or evaded, or seen as a marching order to disappear. It seems to me better that we find its cause and explain it. For psychosis is only healed with understanding.

Yes. Our dismay - a consequence of the human condition - is explainable. And when that horror is finally explained, objectively scientifically, and not just with mythological stories, then our bad behaviour can stop. For beneath the horrified man sits an innocent well-oriented creature. There you are!

The shadow we cast doesn't mean we're bad. The shadow is our dark behaviour that comes from not-understanding ourselves. Until we can explain the dismay, we cannot recover. As long as we do not dare to defy the shadow, the sun cannot break through. When we understand ourselves, we will understand that we should not condemn ourselves, but rather encourage us to find, indicate and leave the terror behind. That will make all the difference.

The good news? Philosophical biology can now explain the human condition. This means that the solution is now available. That is really good news!



Shadow = bad behaviour (that does not tolerate the light)

Shadow = human condition

Shadow = incomprehensible situation

Shadow = darkness around you

Shadow = not understanding

Upset = trigger bad behaviour

Upset = consequence of human condition

Upset = being off the map, anger (dismayed/upset)

Upset = dark feeling, hesitation

Upset = misunderstood self-condemnation

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page