Author Topic: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement  (Read 10125 times)

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2012, 06:37:59 pm »
Maybe I'm biased because of Campbell... but everyone has an epic existence, in some sense.

Not everyone will be Hercules or Parsifal, but everyone does go on the journey from Fool to Hero in their own life. The process of being born is an epic journey, from a bunch of cells floating in a womb to a living screaming external entity. The trip from infant, who must be completely cared for by an external source to the adolescent becoming self-responsible and self-directed. The trip from Youth to Adult, is another instance of the epic journey. From the first job of "Do you want fries with that?" to finding the job that fulfills you... its all epic within the experience of the individual.

According to Campbell its these epic journeys that the traditional hero myths are designed to direct.That's why many cultures have rituals related to these points in life. Its the process by which the society brings the individual into the next stage. Without it, as you pointed out earlier, you end up with twenty-somethings on the parents couch.

There are plenty of American myths (lies) but not much in the way of mythic stories or cultural rituals.
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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2012, 06:38:13 pm »
One thing that stands out in my mind is how rights of passages like the military and gangs seem to be rooted in aggression and violence.  That's not to say that having a good sense of strength and responsibility that comes with these groups...(maybe not so much responsibility with the later...) isn't a necessary quality that comes with manhood.  I just wonder if using that model is really what men need.  I'm really not sure--it's just that something kind of seems off with that.

Um.

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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2012, 06:40:08 pm »
I also think we're getting a bit scattered in our terms.

First, Bly's understanding of what it is to be a "man" seems... clumsy.  Rigid.  And very "Occidental".  Do we even see the same "problem" he sees?  Are men becoming weaker, or are they moving away from a social norm that could be rooted in primal behavior may not in itself be beneficial to bipeds?

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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2012, 06:41:14 pm »
Maybe I'm biased because of Campbell... but everyone has an epic existence, in some sense.

Not everyone will be Hercules or Parsifal, but everyone does go on the journey from Fool to Hero in their own life.

Balls.  Most people go from cradle to grave not even qualifying as a fool.

There are plenty of American myths (lies) but not much in the way of mythic stories or cultural rituals.

Mythic stories:  The crossing of the Delaware, the "art" of Bob Dylan, and Ronald fucking Reagan.

Rituals:  NASCAR, the backyard BBQ, the bachelor party, the Superbowl party, and the 4th of July.
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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2012, 06:41:52 pm »
Wait, actually TGRR, there's a little bit of a miscommunication here. I'm not talking about heroes, I'm talking about an approach to living/a kind of experience.

So am I.

How depressing is THAT?
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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2012, 06:43:02 pm »
One thing that stands out in my mind is how rights of passages like the military and gangs seem to be rooted in aggression and violence.  That's not to say that having a good sense of strength and responsibility that comes with these groups...(maybe not so much responsibility with the later...) isn't a necessary quality that comes with manhood.  I just wonder if using that model is really what men need.  I'm really not sure--it's just that something kind of seems off with that.

Eh, most of the rights of passage in the military that I have experienced are not rooted in violence. In fact the only one that was rooted in violence was the final day of combative training.

Most of it was "take care of my shit", which in fact IS pretty epic, when the predominant cultural more is "someone take care of my shit".
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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2012, 06:44:10 pm »
Also, Rat, the reason you aren't seeing these rituals, etc, is that you're too close to them.

You aren't alone.

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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2012, 06:45:06 pm »
Wait, actually TGRR, there's a little bit of a miscommunication here. I'm not talking about heroes, I'm talking about an approach to living/a kind of experience.

So am I.

How depressing is THAT?

Haha, looking at your post again, I think we actually are on the same page. I think I have to go get some fresh air.  :lol:
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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2012, 06:46:06 pm »
Wait, actually TGRR, there's a little bit of a miscommunication here. I'm not talking about heroes, I'm talking about an approach to living/a kind of experience.

So am I.

How depressing is THAT?

Haha, looking at your post again, I think we actually are on the same page. I think I have to go get some fresh air.  :lol:

I wouldn't.  You never know what's in that shit.
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Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2012, 06:57:21 pm »
I also think we're getting a bit scattered in our terms.

First, Bly's understanding of what it is to be a "man" seems... clumsy.  Rigid.  And very "Occidental".  Do we even see the same "problem" he sees?  Are men becoming weaker, or are they moving away from a social norm that could be rooted in primal behavior may not in itself be beneficial to bipeds?

This is a very good point. He's still looking at what men "were"... not what men are.

However, there isn't much direction, even from culture about what men 'are'. We have so many competing concepts, most of which seem incompatible. Are men tough and macho, are they thoughtful, feeling and in touch with their 'feminine side'? Is being a man about making money, or 'making a difference'?

Once upon a time, these questions were simple, so the biped could figure out what they were supposed to be doing. Today, most people don't need to be hunters or warriors. They don't even need to be laborers which is what many from the last few generations identified with. Even for the hunters, warriors and laborers, the work is simplified by technology. No one is hunting a bear with a spear, knowing that failure means the neighborhood won't eat. No one is looking across the field at an enemy, knowing that they'll be coming to physical blows and many of their companions won't be coming back. Even the labor is now more about pushing buttons, than hauling heavy loads, or descending into a deep mine, where your life (and the welfare of your family) is constantly on the line.

Dok, I take your point on rituals and myths... I think there are some American myths Washington, Johnny Appleseed etc. and we do have some rituals, as you mentioned. However, these aren't the mythic sort... they aren't the kind that guide the individual on their own journey.

Maybe birthdays, graduation and weddings count... but those have mostly turned into excuses for parties rather than any kind of serious idea of change.
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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #40 on: May 30, 2012, 06:57:57 pm »
One thing that stands out in my mind is how rights of passages like the military and gangs seem to be rooted in aggression and violence.  That's not to say that having a good sense of strength and responsibility that comes with these groups...(maybe not so much responsibility with the later...) isn't a necessary quality that comes with manhood.  I just wonder if using that model is really what men need.  I'm really not sure--it's just that something kind of seems off with that.

Campbell used to bemoan the unisex culture a lot. Not LGBT or any of that, but identical roles for everybody. He said things like "the male body is built for combat" and "the function of the male is to secure and maintain a field for the female to bring forth the future". I don't think he literally meant that everybody nowadays needs to run around clubbing people over the head, more the fact that we have the same basic wiring as people did a long time ago and it doesn't have an outlet. The outlet could be athletics or something, he seemed to be saying that some things need to be available that are "just for guys" and some "just for women".

I don't think he meant Robert Bly mens weekends, either, though.  :x
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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #41 on: May 30, 2012, 06:58:57 pm »
One thing that stands out in my mind is how rights of passages like the military and gangs seem to be rooted in aggression and violence.  That's not to say that having a good sense of strength and responsibility that comes with these groups...(maybe not so much responsibility with the later...) isn't a necessary quality that comes with manhood.  I just wonder if using that model is really what men need.  I'm really not sure--it's just that something kind of seems off with that.

Eh, most of the rights of passage in the military that I have experienced are not rooted in violence. In fact the only one that was rooted in violence was the final day of combative training.

Also this.
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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #42 on: May 30, 2012, 07:01:24 pm »
Maybe I'm biased because of Campbell... but everyone has an epic existence, in some sense.

Not everyone will be Hercules or Parsifal, but everyone does go on the journey from Fool to Hero in their own life.

Balls.  Most people go from cradle to grave not even qualifying as a fool.

There are plenty of American myths (lies) but not much in the way of mythic stories or cultural rituals.

Mythic stories:  The crossing of the Delaware, the "art" of Bob Dylan, and Ronald fucking Reagan.

Rituals:  NASCAR, the backyard BBQ, the bachelor party, the Superbowl party, and the 4th of July.

TGRR's got this. I'm gonna make popcorn and just read.  :lulz:
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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #43 on: May 30, 2012, 07:03:07 pm »
Dok, I take your point on rituals and myths... I think there are some American myths Washington, Johnny Appleseed etc. and we do have some rituals, as you mentioned. However, these aren't the mythic sort... they aren't the kind that guide the individual on their own journey.


Sure they are.  You're expecting them to look like myths from the classical era and the middle ages, and you're expecting rituals to look like something out of RAW or Campbell.

But they don't.  They look like everyday shit, the usual business of crawling from the cradle to the grave, and the fact that they happen every day sort of makes them invisible...If you're expecting something like Parsifal traipsing around in samite.  Parsifal is a completely outmoded concept, and so is Heracles.  They were archetypes for a lawless world.  That world no longer exists in our context (though people in Africa or parts of Mexico may have opinions of their own).

And there's no need for "chapel perilous".  It's jargon that no longer means anything to anyone outside of a very small community of people who seem to need jargon from another time to describe what they THINK they need today.  You can accomplish the same thing with the ECH-ean "Sack the fuck up" terminology, for three times the result, with the added bonus that you don't have to sound like a dork at parties.
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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #44 on: May 30, 2012, 07:08:54 pm »
Another PERFECT American myth:  The Alamo.

It's got EVERYTHING.  A few dozen brave losers, an evil horde of enemies, and a glorious last stand.  Of course, from a historical point of view, it looks a little shabby when the glitz rubs off, but as a myth, it's right the fuck up there with Xenophon and his ten thousand.
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