Monday, November 24, 2008
Just finished reading Iron John, by Robert Bly. He starts off describing most guys today as not having a well-established sense of identity. To change that situation, he reads a Grimm's faerie-tale as an archetypal male initiation sequence which was in effect since the Neolithic, and then unpacks his understanding of it.
I suppose that contemplating these ideas and progressively applying their principles into life, is supposed to catalyze one's personal development comparably to Iron John's initiation. These days, when I feel the force of an impersonal force from without or within I pay attention to it and see what I can learn. That's why I appreciate personal truth in much of Robert Bly's thinking and really enjoyed this book. The names of the days of the week come from Norse and Roman deities, + the 7 ancient astrological planets. Bly's roundup of male archetypes (The Wild Man, the Magician, the Warrior, the Trickster, the King, the Lover, and the Grief Man) enriches that understanding for me. Every day, I am reminded by cosmology to stir up and sip on and embody these previously ignored, hidden or forgotten qualities in my self.
I am also thankful for the literary criticism provided by Paul Wolf-Light, and Charles Upton. Society has changed a lot since the Neolithic; that the Wild Man has been going MIA in white culture since the rise of asceticism several thousand years ago reflects it. If there were bad reasons for his disappearance, I assume there were also some good ones. Inequality between the sexes has been rejected, so sexed archetypes that apply to both sexes can seem ridiculous. Also, if you're like me you got sick and spit up lots of the initiation/indoctrination of our native society. With climate chaos, zombies and robots running towards us, we have our work cut out! We are reinventing culture, keeping our subjective reality based on truth, and in the end passing a beautiful, sufficient way of life to our kids. I know my friends in the Little House in the Ghetto are doing this, anyway- investment analysts could learn a lot from you guys! Happy Thanksgiving!