Author Topic: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement  (Read 30381 times)

Don Coyote

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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #90 on: May 31, 2012, 09:23:58 pm »
I'm sorry, but a lot of this smells like the "men's rights" movement. And, uh, fuck that. "Oh noes! Male men are not being required to stick to traditional gender roles for 'men'! This is some how damaging to my own manliness!"

It's more a primitivist thing than a reaction to feminism.  The world has become too complicated, you see, and these guys want to go back to banging on drums to pretend that it's not as complicated.  They don't want to go back to the days before the benefits of those complications (indoor plumbing, pennicillin, etc), they just want to spend a day or two playing make-believe.

They know something is wrong with their culture, but they don't know precisely what it is.  So, instead of examining the culture and looking for solutions, they run and hide behind faux-primitive rituals.

Like a lot of the people involved in historical reenactment/recreation.

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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #91 on: May 31, 2012, 09:30:27 pm »
And there's no reason for any of that to be mutually exclusive, the ideal would be the ability to express or hide pain according to the situation.

True, although my personal ideal would be a society where people could always express their feelings openly...

Imagine a world full of TGRR.  Nothing is hidden.  Everything is bellowed at a volume that assists the conveyance of my current mood.

There's also this to consider.
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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #92 on: May 31, 2012, 09:59:20 pm »
Also it seems to me that Bly's theory can be summed up as "there is a global feminist conspiracy to sap and depurify our precious bodily fluids".

:lulz:

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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #93 on: May 31, 2012, 10:02:02 pm »
I'm sorry, but a lot of this smells like the "men's rights" movement. And, uh, fuck that. "Oh noes! Male men are not being required to stick to traditional gender roles for 'men'! This is some how damaging to my own manliness!"

It's more a primitivist thing than a reaction to feminism.  The world has become too complicated, you see, and these guys want to go back to banging on drums to pretend that it's not as complicated.  They don't want to go back to the days before the benefits of those complications (indoor plumbing, pennicillin, etc), they just want to spend a day or two playing make-believe.

They know something is wrong with their culture, but they don't know precisely what it is.  So, instead of examining the culture and looking for solutions, they run and hide behind faux-primitive rituals.





That about sums it up.  I've been listening to Iron John and yeah....I think you're pretty much right. 

I'd much rather examine our culture and look for solutions.

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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #94 on: May 31, 2012, 11:58:37 pm »
"he was a smart feller who felt smart"

Don Coyote

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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #95 on: June 01, 2012, 02:08:54 am »
Excuse me while I enjoy seeing without having a half ton of fucking glass on my face.

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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #96 on: June 01, 2012, 03:55:17 am »
One of the things Bly talks about is that men don't have ways of dealing with wounds.  That, through diving into ones grief, we can discover a source of spontaneity.  He goes into the archetypal sources of the wound (achillies, parsifal) and uses that as a framework for dealing with our own wounds.

I wonder if that's accurate.  Bly was very anti-war and mentioned, at one point, a distinction between the wild man archetype and the savage man.  The former being the characterization of Iron John...that 'deep masculine' who carries and turns his own wounds into gold and the later characterizing the man who hides his wounds and takes it out in a violent manner.

Ritual drumming aside, there does seem to be grains of truth to that.

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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #97 on: June 01, 2012, 06:14:01 am »
And there's no reason for any of that to be mutually exclusive, the ideal would be the ability to express or hide pain according to the situation.

True, although my personal ideal would be a society where people could always express their feelings openly...

Imagine a world full of TGRR.  Nothing is hidden.  Everything is bellowed at a volume that assists the conveyance of my current mood.

Not everyone has TGRR moods (thank the lord  :p).
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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #98 on: June 01, 2012, 06:20:46 am »
It's more a primitivist thing than a reaction to feminism.  The world has become too complicated, you see, and these guys want to go back to banging on drums to pretend that it's not as complicated.  They don't want to go back to the days before the benefits of those complications (indoor plumbing, pennicillin, etc), they just want to spend a day or two playing make-believe.

They know something is wrong with their culture, but they don't know precisely what it is.  So, instead of examining the culture and looking for solutions, they run and hide behind faux-primitive rituals.

Much truth there is in what you say.
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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #99 on: June 01, 2012, 01:55:27 pm »
And there's no reason for any of that to be mutually exclusive, the ideal would be the ability to express or hide pain according to the situation.

True, although my personal ideal would be a society where people could always express their feelings openly...

Imagine a world full of TGRR.  Nothing is hidden.  Everything is bellowed at a volume that assists the conveyance of my current mood.

... are you trying to make the overweight, sock tan, cubicle dweller banging on a bongo sound relatively pleasant?
 :p

"Relatively".
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« Reply #100 on: June 06, 2012, 05:30:29 am »
Riffing a bit off the archetypal aspect of Bly's Jungian connection, I'd like to mention the four masculine archetypes presented in Robert L. Moore's and Douglas Gillette's book: King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine

From the link:
Quote
They define the four mature male archetypes - the King (the energy of just and creative ordering), the Warrior (the energy of self-disciplined, aggressive action), the Magician (the energy of initiation and transformation), and the Lover (the energy that connects men to others and the world) - as well as the four immature patterns (Divine Child, Oedipal Child, Precocious Child, and Hero).

I also found a nice illustration to describe how the immature patterns manifest in the mature male archetypes. 
Here that is:



The authors, too, think that the initiation rituals present today such as military, gangs corporate structures are inadequate for a healthy masculine Individuation.  You know, if you're into that sort of thing.  (Relatively).

What do you folks think of these archetypes and immature patterns?  Can we use these archetypes to grow in other ways aside from making a male ritual space where old dudes recite poetry and spout fairy tales?

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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #101 on: June 06, 2012, 09:02:03 am »
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.

This is right up my path, don't know how I missed it. I riffed on this last year with a similar issue specifically that men don't have defined roles. Or if they do, they're commercial messages, and rejecting those messages puts us back to square one. In the end I thought the best move was to develop a personal vision of masculinity to aspire to.


I also grew to realise that there's a lot of people who just don't give a shit about what being a man/woman means, and that's cool too.
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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #102 on: June 06, 2012, 09:05:14 am »
I'm sorry, but a lot of this smells like the "men's rights" movement. And, uh, fuck that. "Oh noes! Male men are not being required to stick to traditional gender roles for 'men'! This is some how damaging to my own manliness!"

It's more a primitivist thing than a reaction to feminism.  The world has become too complicated, you see, and these guys want to go back to banging on drums to pretend that it's not as complicated.  They don't want to go back to the days before the benefits of those complications (indoor plumbing, pennicillin, etc), they just want to spend a day or two playing make-believe.

They know something is wrong with their culture, but they don't know precisely what it is.  So, instead of examining the culture and looking for solutions, they run and hide behind faux-primitive rituals.

That said, if you know that's what you're doing, sounds like fun.
If sheep entrails could in any way be related to the weather, i.e. sheep trails only originate where it rains, then you could use it as an accurate model for discerning what the weathers going to be like. Either, sheep shit makes it rain, or raining makes sheep shit. Sheep don't shit "randomly" sheep shit after they eat, it doesn't rain "randomly" it rains after water collects in the atmosphere.

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Re: King, Warrior, Magician, Lover
« Reply #103 on: June 06, 2012, 09:11:53 am »
Riffing a bit off the archetypal aspect of Bly's Jungian connection, I'd like to mention the four masculine archetypes presented in Robert L. Moore's and Douglas Gillette's book: King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine

From the link:
Quote
They define the four mature male archetypes - the King (the energy of just and creative ordering), the Warrior (the energy of self-disciplined, aggressive action), the Magician (the energy of initiation and transformation), and the Lover (the energy that connects men to others and the world) - as well as the four immature patterns (Divine Child, Oedipal Child, Precocious Child, and Hero).

I also found a nice illustration to describe how the immature patterns manifest in the mature male archetypes. 
Here that is:



The authors, too, think that the initiation rituals present today such as military, gangs corporate structures are inadequate for a healthy masculine Individuation.  You know, if you're into that sort of thing.  (Relatively).

What do you folks think of these archetypes and immature patterns?  Can we use these archetypes to grow in other ways aside from making a male ritual space where old dudes recite poetry and spout fairy tales?

I look for practical models, and this seems to fit the bill. I like it a lot.

I also like the work of John Beebe. He talks about Jung a lot. THIS PIECE mashed up the Myer-Briggs test with Jungian archtypes by taking your four strongest functions and putting them on par with heroic archtypes, and them takes the four weakest functions and connects them to Villain archtypes.
If sheep entrails could in any way be related to the weather, i.e. sheep trails only originate where it rains, then you could use it as an accurate model for discerning what the weathers going to be like. Either, sheep shit makes it rain, or raining makes sheep shit. Sheep don't shit "randomly" sheep shit after they eat, it doesn't rain "randomly" it rains after water collects in the atmosphere.

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Re: Robert Bly - The Mythopoetic Men's Movement
« Reply #104 on: June 08, 2012, 09:42:48 am »
(...) The mythopoetic men's movement aims to liberate men from the constraints of the modern world which keep them from being in touch with their true masculine nature, and is best known for the rituals that take place during their gatherings. (...)

I haven't read the whole thread yet so maybe this has been answered, but I couldn't find anything about these rituals on the Wiki page either, what are they?


From what I've read so far it doesn't even seem that tight of a uniform. Maybe not quite as loose-fit as Discordianism, but like many types of self-actualization things, it seems like you can do it for a while, learn some valuable things (about yourself and/or people in general), and then drop it as you discover you reached the bottom of what there is to learn. Maybe I'm being too optimistic, but I think that people who get "stuck" in such a uniform would have gotten stuck in one thing or the next, regardless.

(BTW in all fairness, the above paragraph also holds for the whole PUA thing. At least, 10 years ago when I became interested in it: Learned some very valuable things [actually basic social skills that I had managed never to pick up], noticed how the rest was kinda flawed, and moved on, but an experience richer)


The flaw in this particular movement, from what I've seen so far, is that it makes the assumption that before feminism, all great men were very masculine. And men that weren't, can't have been great men.

Even if this were the case--which it isn't--that would mean the situation is reversed, complain now about how men might feel restricted and held back to "express their masculinity" (lol), means that back then, brilliant men that had a more feminine streak or just didn't care for the whole masculine thing, would feel pressured to behave according to the "manly" expectations of the time.

In other words, it's going for the fallacy that there was some mythical period in time when people were still "pure" and "natural" (and organic! and not from concentrate!) when everything was better and we somehow lost this paradise over our lust for progress and we need to get back to this and die from infected toenails at the age of 30 again (oh wait that was the other movement).
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