I came across this quote from Jordan Peterson:

Well what would you want to be king? You could say king of the world or king of your own soul: What do you wanna subordinate yourself to. How 'bout your heroic willingness to encounter the unknown and articulate it and share that with people. There's no nobler vision than that

https://youtu.be/nVlCsILzAXw?t=737

Peterson is an exponent of archetypes and would surely expect to see heroes confronting unknown dangers to win great rewards throughout mythology.

My question is: Does anyone have a sense of which ancient figure is the best example of a 'willingness to confront the unknown'?

  • Mr Peterson is a nice guy, he wrote a wonderful book years ago Map of Meanings, and a not so excellent book recently 12 rules for life. To corrabate his view: almost every heroic figures is underlying that. Think about the opening of the Epic of Gilgamesh: "He who saw the deep" (deep is nagbu and nagbu is deep water, or the totality). The Epic is the clear illustration of Mr Peterson's view. OR... The multiple travels you find in lots of myths. The fights against monsters. Really you know from the Enuma Elish up to the Evangils (Perterson fav) myth is about the unknown and what it teaches us. – Gibet Aug 3 at 12:49
up vote 4 down vote accepted

In "Divine Comedy" ("Divina Comedia") by Dante Alighieri, while exploring Hell("inferno" section) , chapter 26 ("canto" 26), lines 85-142 ("versi" 85-142)": Odysseus last journey is described.

He was getting older, but it's desire for exploration and adventure was not so, he left for a one way trip:

link to paragraph

nor fondness for my son, nor pious reverence for my agèd father, nor ev’n the bounden love which should have cheered Penelope, could overcome within me the eagerness I had to gain experience both of the world, and of the vice and worth of men; but forth I put upon the deep and open sea with but a single ship, and with that little company, by whom I had not been deserted.

and one paragraph later he gives a speech to his travel companions:

link to paragraph.

And then I said: ‘O brothers, ye who now have through a hundred thousand perils reached the West, to this so short a waking-time still left your senses, will not to refuse experience of that world behind the sun which knows not man! Bethink you of the seed whence ye have sprung; for ye were not created to lead the life of stupid animals, but manliness and knowledge to pursue.’

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