Interview with Sybe Starkenburg

You say that your book has been in the making for a very long time. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
At some stage I became disillusioned with religion. I’ve always been an avid reader of literature and philosophy and started taking notes of all the books I read. The thought came one day about what I was going to do with all those notes? And with that thought the book was born! The book is my journey, as Dante’s was in his Divine Comedy, but a spirituality without God.
The question then arises: what if God does not exist. Please continue with that thought, surely religion is all about spirituality?
Yes and no. Spirituality is in the mind, an illusion so to speak. What is in the mind is not reality! A life only has value if it is lived to the fullest. To be able to live it to the fullest we first have to strip ourselves of all those imposed values of our conditioned upbringing. I have used the theory of Abraham Maslow about Self-Actualising. Maslow was intrigued by people who stood out from the pack. Why were some people more actualised than others? That theory is very similar to the theory of ‘Individuation’ or personal growth as advocated by Carl Jung.
What motivated you to self-publish your book?
I realised that as a new author it would be difficult to get published by one of the established publishing houses. I opted to self-publish because it gave me more freedom, a subject close to my heart. Being free comes with consequences because you are responsible for your own writings, your actions, your own morals and values.
Also I worked on my book for a very long time and I didn’t want it to go to ‘waste’. The message I needed to share is that ‘freedom of thought’ without anyone else feeding me with dogma, is our most precious value.
Can you tell us about the absurd (pun intended) title of the book.
Yes, that is interesting. The tightrope bit is easy, life is a balancing act, very difficult at times and if one thinks too much about how difficult it really is (at times), it becomes impossible. As in the following example; when the centipede was asked which leg he moved first, he fell over. That problem was too much for the centipede to contemplate!
The Absurd part is the magic called life. Life is absurd, says Albert Camus; it was previously a question of finding out whether or not life had to have a meaning to be lived. It now becomes clear on the contrary that it will be lived all the better if it has no meaning. Living an experience, a particular fate, is accepting it fully. Now, no one will live this fate, knowing it to be absurd, unless he does everything to keep before him that absurd brought to light by consciousness.
Do you feel that you have the qualifications to write a book about spirituality?
.I am a Navigator and love exploring, including the spiritual. What better place to experience the universe than on those many wonderful days and nights on the bridge of a ship? On the many ocean passages alone with stars?Many authoritative writers are biased, e.g. the psychologist as opposed to the philosopher, the priest versus the palaeontologist or closer to the bone, John Gray (of Straw Dogs) versus Steven Pinker (of the Better Angels of our Nature), the former is pessimistic about mans future, the latter optimistic I share the latter view; ultimately, life has been getting better for many of us, especially over the last 100 to 200 years.
Are you targeting a specific reader ship?
Yes. To all those people who (like myself at one time) believed in a higher being, ‘just in case’ (known as Pascal’s Wager), and to everyone who would like to be inspired in their search for truth. I would like to achieve that people will feel better about themselves, and their thoughts and convictions, after reading my book!
Who are your favourite authors?
I’ve listed all my favourite authors in a comprehensive bibliography. Each book was an undiscovered treasure. Salman Rushdie is my personal magician of words and thoughts.
Are you planning to write another book?
Yes, and the title is ‘Gone to get my Earring darling’ (the ‘Walden’ of the High Seas).

In the end of the world

roaring sea
screaming storm
running mountains
bloody smoky battlefield

In the salty fog hidden
black rock from the sea
worst of the worst
the terrible cape, Cape Horn
Jure Sterk
Published 2016-07-30.
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Books by This Author

The Tightrope of the Absurd
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 46,500. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Personal Growth / General
(5.00 from 1 review)
The author has created a unique path to understanding the third dimension of life. Acknowledging the role of religion in life, he says that one does not have to be religious in order to find spirituality or the third dimension. Through the conditioning of our upbringing, religious beliefs may even be a stumbling block to finding ones true self, free of pre-conditioning or opinions.