The Warrior Hero: Reality and Myth

Who was Joseph Campbell? What is a myth? What does "Follow Your Bliss" mean? If you are new to the work of Joseph Campbell, this forum is a good place to start.

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Post by CarmelaBear » Thu May 31, 2007 7:17 pm

Nandu,

Individual warriors have few choices. The initial decision to go to war is usually made among leaders, sometimes with overwhelming pressure from the public, but usually with that "fire in the belly" that we require of our macho leaders.

Because of my interest in being elected the first woman president of the United States, I've made it my lifelong task to learn what is required for both election to the office and effectiveness as an official. Candidates for president feel pressure to prove their willingness and eagerness to go to war in order to win the right to be "Commander-in-Chief" of the armed forces. Both our national identity and purpose as well as our economy and political power are founded on our military presence in the world. We have about 1,000 bases across the globe and our satellites monitor nearly every square inch of the planet.

In addition, candidates are in a historical pressure cooker to acquire name recognition and good will and the image of a winner. The situation forces candidates to spend enormous time and energy on the tasks of raising money to support a giant media blitz, organizing volunteers to create the appearance of a public groundswell of support, and attracting influential endorsements to establish legitimacy and confidence. The role of the campaigner here is goofy. It's long and drawn out. It's negative and painful. It's a fight that involves every vice known to man, including murder and suicide and sordid intrigue. If like attracts like and karma is at work, then the way we run our presidential races absolutely guarantee that the survivor is going to be a reflection of the process by which the office is bestowed. The performance of the "lucky" winner is circumscribed by a host of similar constraints, making the most idealistic and worthwhile intentions blow up like dynamite.

The warriors who wear the boots and helmets are generally young and impressionable. They buy what the government and the media and organized religion and the culture are all selling. War is a risk that seems both necessary and worthy. The word "warmonger" carries baggage that the word "patriot" does not. No one wants war and death as tragedy and oblivion. Warriors are see order in all the disorder, and they find the flip side in all things. It's what the human brain is wired to do. There is always something else going on, a complex of things going on. The Number One motive for being a warrior is essentially the same as the motive for being a truck driver or an executive. It's a job that pays, and it pays more than cash money. It provides balance. If life has challenged a person, the warrior role provides an opportunity to fight back and win. Even the loss of one's life does not preclude "winning", and it can be seen as the cause of the Big Win that saves the world forever.

Here's a metaphor to illustrate my point. A man is walking along a path and trips on a jagged rock. He sustains a cut on his knee that gets dirty and by the time he reaches a place where he can wash and dress his wound, it becomes infected. If he thinks about his injuries and places all his attention on the pain and misery of it, the healing slows down and he develops other symptoms. His immune system is taxed from the wound, from the infection and from the emotional depression.

If, on the other hand, he takes care of his wound by receiving the proper treatment and turns his attention away from the injuries and simply devotes himself to enjoying life, laughing, being with people and things he likes, making plans for the future, and sharing his happy energy with those who need his services and goodwill, then the wound heals more quickly. While it does, he suffers less pain and it goes away when he's not looking.

Society is similar. We suffer injuries. We can treat them and move on to other tasks or we can give our sympathetic attention to the wounds and feel the pain and witness the gathering clouds of sadness and loss. Or we can take care of the damage as well as we can and turn to life, heads held high and laughing, invested in happiness and sharing and the kind of fun that comes from wholesome and sunny things.

We have to be practical. Some hurt feelings are part of the peace. Given a choice between the polite company of people who accept or promote war and the obnoxious company of peaceniks, I know exactly which one I prefer, and it ain't Miss Manners!

While the individual fighters on the ground feel a certain powerlessness, it's only different from the powerlessness of the president and congress in that it occurs at a different place on the organizational chart. None feel free to choose peaceful co-existence. Why? Because in war we retain some degree of control over the situation. The ones who do the killing are the ones who feel like they're calling the shots. They have the sense of taking control in the midst of chaos. They are paying attention to the wound, to the pain, to the bruises and the blood. They are sad and angry. They are at war, immersed in the fear and anxiety, considering the options that lead to more fighting and more pain and more loss.

Nandu, the United States is in a class by itself. The fear from which we suffer is the basis for our wars and our seemingly endless sense of insecurity and loss. I don't feel that my being elected president would be of any use to anyone if it meant spending one minute of my time having to prove that I can respond to our national challenges with bombs and bullets. I'm one of the meanest, most ornery, frightening people that most of you will ever know, but I don't have to kill anyone with guns or bombs or poison. My "weapon" of choice is thought and feeling, expressed with words and pictures. My "atomic weapon" of strong, clear messages will eventually sow the seeds of a peace that will last. How do I know? Because I'm smart.

My job is to create institutions of health, happiness and fun. I've spent most of my life enjoying these gifts of health, happiness and fun, and expect that I'll continue to be so blessed for a very long time, whether I'm "officially" recognized and elected or not. It is the rest of the world that is caught in this little trap I've set for all of you. There are no other human beings anywhere on the planet or anywhere in the universe who will do what I do, who can be what I am in this place and at this time. I'm the only one who can assume the office of the president and make the CarmelaBear transformation of the office, the country, the world. I can't delegate this power or teach it to someone else. It's who I am, and it's the product of the interplay between all of you and me. Because of the way we all find this world and interact with everything here, we've reached this juncture. What we discover is that I've been president in this way for all of my life. It sometimes feels weird and scary, but mostly it's fun and exciting and interesting and easy. I can't explain why.

So, here I am at the Joseph Campbell Foundation forum, being who I am and knowing who I am, being happy where I am, and knowing that I'm not alone. Even my uniqueness is common. Everyone shares it in the same measure. The job of actually electing me to the White House job is not mine. It belongs to everyone who wants to be in control of the process or the outcome. The nice thing about democracy is that the "leader" is off the hook. I can't substitute my work for yours, and the work is not something for which any of us can be or should be paid in cash or in special privileges. We have to think, feel and be ourselves. We have to make our lists of what we want and what's most important to us, because that is precisely what we are receiving.

Wash the wounds, dress them in white finery, and go fly a kite.
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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Post by A J » Thu May 31, 2007 7:58 pm

CarmelaBear,

You addressed your post to Nandu, and I want to say from the beginning that I am not attempting to ahswer your response to him, but as I read your post, I find some comments that I would like to address on my own, for clarification.

CarmelaBear wrote:Nandu,

Individual warriors have few choices. The initial decision to go to war is usually made among leaders, sometimes with overwhelming pressure from the public, but usually with that "fire in the belly" that we require of our macho leaders.
I'm not sure about the last part, but I agree that the individual warrior does not make the decision to go to war. The leaders do. The warriors do not have much to say about the decision to go to war. But that doesn't mean they don't have choices. there is a good discussion of the circumstance in the first scene of Act IV of Henry V, where a group of soldiers discuss the issue.
Given a choice between the polite company of people who promote war and the obnoxious company of peaceniks, I know exactly which one I prefer, and it ain't Miss Manners!
Do our only choices lay between such polarized extremes? It seems to me that there is an awful lot of gray area in the middle. And I must say that I know an awful lot of polite people who do not promote war, who are, in fact, very much opposed to it and are working hard, in thier own ways, to stop it. Since NoMan's thread refers to me and my book, It seems all right for me to interject here that neither I or my book promote war. I am very much opposed to it, and my book does not promote it either. Personally, I would have no objection what-so-ever to being referred to as a "peacenik." At the same time, I try very hard not to be "obnoxious." I have found, along my personal path, that such behavior does far more harm than good. :)

AJ
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A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living
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Post by CarmelaBear » Fri Jun 01, 2007 1:12 am

Hi AJ! You honor me by your response.
A J wrote: ... I agree that the individual warrior does not make the decision to go to war. The leaders do. The warriors do not have much to say about the decision to go to war. But that doesn't mean they don't have choices. there is a good discussion of the circumstance in the first scene of Act IV of Henry V, where a group of soldiers discuss the issue.

I recently read "War and Peace" by Tolstoy. He describes in huge detail how a country can be attacked from the outside and, with the patience of effective leadership, draw back and back until battle and hardship become inescapable. When battle-eager, bored young men find themselves within cannon range, they can surge forward into deadly conflict without orders or plans. Sometimes the planning by high level officers is more about personality and politics than wise choices. Until the young men actually experience battle and injuries, they seem to live in a world of illusion, where glory and honor and the mother country completely erase the shadow side of war. Their motives are extremely complex.

Often, individuals who assume the need for war are attracted to the heirarchy of command. They suck up to authority and develop wonderful, popular personalities that make them very promotable. Precisely because they are the nicest people around, they are entrusted with the right to take armies into war. Politicians look good. They assume power. They use that power with a self-righteous vengeance.

The best example of this is the Gentleman Among Gentlemen, Abraham Lincoln, who sweetly presided over the deaths of over 600,000 Americans in a civil conflict that he deliberately and knowingly provoked. Those who believe the American Civil War was "the only way" to achieve the goals he sought will defend him with great enthusiasm, but I tend to think that the ends could have been reached by different, superior means that would have included open and honest airing of differences in the context of effective negotiation. He felt that war overtook him, happened to him like a wave of tsunami water that clobbers everything in its path. I think he saw it coming and methodically made it happen.

Free expression, which must include the exposure of the entire range of emotion, can sound and look and feel just awful. Tender sweet peas like yourself would not wear well under such conditions. Your best bet is to carry lots of water and wear comfortable running shoes. It can involve risks akin to competitive sports and other meritocratic endeavors. The best skills in that arena of competition do not involve resort to violence, but they do involve the ability to manage conflict and even resolve conflict....without violence and without withdrawal (which often turns out to be just a prelude to violence or a passive-aggressive violation of a prior understanding).

Notwithstanding the downside of freedom of expression, it remains preferable to outside control. Interpersonal relationships between individuals (no matter how challenging) are far, far less likely to result in large numbers of deaths than group-to-group clashes. The smallest conflagration between nation-states (usually headed by the Polite Ones) is a massacre or worse.

Here's another one from my drawstring bag: The most peaceful professor I ever knew at Harvard Law School was a man who loved to start loud arguments with me in a faculty office hallway marked by a sign that admonished visitors to please be quiet. I remember that Archibald Cox must have overheard our screaming matches. I never knew what Archie thought about the quarrels that broke the silence of those hallowed halls, but no one ever interupted or objected, either directly or otherwise.

The wonderful, peaceful professor challenged me regularly. He even tried to convince my teachers to flunk me out of school, but I still regarded him with real admiration and affection. I cherish our skermishes. Can't remember what any of them were about, but I am exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to deflect his best verbal blows. He had power in the school heirarchy as head of the committee that meted out justice for infractions of the rules. Much of my self-confidence came from the fact that I'm not only a truly decent person, but I'm smarter than him and people like him. It's probably not an inaccurate observation to say that most members of the law school faculty would agree that I'm a solid citizen with a good mind and a sharp sense of boundaries, capable of being just as stupid and bumbling as all other mortals.

I learned to value my ability to answer verbal rage with enthusiastic verbal responses of my own. I rarely start quarrels in the sense that I hardly ever shout first. I can count on people with formal authority and power to do that. I just stand up to them and do my best. I can sometimes lose the first rounds, but I often gain the upper hand in the end. The results can be rather spectacular. People like me don't need macro weapons. I have a look that would shave your father's mustache. If there were a national association of temperamental people, I'd belong to it (oh, wait a minute...I'm a member of the State Bar...never mind). I don't go looking for verbal fights, but I enjoy being able to let the dogs out. We lawyer-dogs are the glue that holds our diverse community together, but we often do this at the expense of the lives of others. Our bad.

Do our only choices lay between such polarized extremes? It seems to me that there is an awful lot of gray area in the middle. And I must say that I know an awful lot of polite people who do not promote war, who are, in fact, very much opposed to it and are working hard, in thier own ways, to stop it. Since NoMan's thread refers to me and my book, It seems all right for me to interject here that neither I or my book promote war. I am very much opposed to it, and my book does not promote it either. Personally, I would have no objection what-so-ever to being referred to as a "peacenik." At the same time, I try very hard not to be "obnoxious." I have found, along my personal path, that such behavior does far more harm than good. :)
You are absolutely right about the grey. Obviously, there are all those variations. My personal observation is merely a generalization and it may be entirely off base. I assert it in the interests of discussion. It is my experience that when two sides are armed and capable of violence, the most delicate manners simply mask dangerous intentions. You and I are not enrolled in a military force, but we feel utterly powerless to halt the creation and maintenance of the world's most formidible fighting force and the astounding number of covert operations that support and promote armed conflict. We enjoy living in this economy, which seems to have arms and military conflict at its foundation. We accept the benefits of war. We take advantage of the fruits of the land grab that resulted in genocide of the First Americans. I don't think we are off the hook for being peaceniks. We choose to live here. We don't organize to impeach the rascals who keep funding the war in Iraq. That would be impolite?

I know we're gentle, but we are also angry.

As for your book, I have to apologize. I haven't read it and I assume that you abhor violence. Don't we all? In that we are of the same mind, I think.

Where we part company is that I have chosen a skill set that helps me respond to the challenges I have decided to approach with a clear end in mind. I don't like the horrors of war. I find peace dreadfully boring and vapid. Conflict that does not involve heavy armaments seems, ...well, not so bad. Sometimes conflict can be absolutely exhilerating. I'm a bit of a hypocrit where that's concerned, because I avoid conflict a lot, but when it hits me straight in the chin, I respond with a complex set of thoughts and emotions. I get what I want without guns or violence. As president, I would use every skill to focus on the capacity to make it possible for bliss to become a universal experience for those sentient beings we choose to protect and defend. (I still kill microbes, ants and roaches without apologies to their mothers.)

I cannot break into tears over the destruction of the World Trade Center. I'm sorry, but we had it coming. I don't think it's too much to ask that our government and our corporations get out of the business of exploiting every inch of God's green earth and killing anyone that opposes us. In the meantime, folks like you and me just keep living as if the oil was a birthright. We're complicit in the violence. We let our sense of powerlessness overwhelm us. It's embarrassing.

I brag like a demon about how powerful and angry I am. Good for talk, I am!!! I'm a plebe, a pawn, a puppet, a poor, miserable excuse for a citizen of the latest version of Rome. The circus is a 24-hour news cycle.

When I wax philosophical, I tend toward a libertarian approach consistent with the quantum physics that identifies consciousness as the highest, best and most valuable good. There is a sacred body, a material organism that houses our ability to observe and sense and figure out and think. The body has a fragile border of skin. The body is given to being attacked from inside and out, functioning for only a few years. It is not clear what the nature of senscience is, though there are signs that it may exist as the sort of energy that changes form without being diminished, may reform matter and transform energy.

When I settle for what is most clear, I absorb the experience of life like a sponge, filled to the point of wanting only to be sheltered from the noise and the smell and the memory of the terrible helplessness of the latest version of Rome. We languish in the face of our own folly, unable to imagine a positive and healthy and happy outcome. How come Pixar and ImageWorks don't have offices in the Pentagon? Why can't the script-writers fill pages with visions of competent, honest, beautiful Moslems, with a drive toward peaceful co-existence? Is that so far-fetched?


Again, I'm proud of you, AJ. I know you are a peaceful person. It is terrible that some animals are born with claws and big teeth, but bears will be bears. The best suggestion is that you should carry a cell phone to call for tranquilizer darts when necessary.
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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Post by noman » Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:49 am

I’d like to explain something to Nandu, who may be at a little bit of a disadvantage when comes to recent American history and how it fits into this topic of the warrior hero. If I get it wrong hopefully my fellow Americans will correct me.

American soldiers that came home from WWII, such as Audie Murphy, were celebrated heroes. People were so very proud to wear the soldier’s uniform, or to be seen with someone who wore the uniform. And the more medals, meaning more combat experience, the more pride there was.

Twenty years later, America was engaged in campaign we now call the Vietnam War. It wasn’t really a military defeat. The enemy was outgunned. But it was an utterly devastating political defeat. The result was that returning soldiers from that war were treated either with indifference or outright contempt. Some people would say to returning soldiers, ‘Why did you go there?’ ‘Are you crazy?’ ‘Don’t you know right from wrong?’ Very obnoxious people would call them, ‘baby killers’ or just turn away and spit on the ground in disgust. As if being a combat soldier wasn’t hard enough.

On the flip side of this, you had people viciously defending American motives. Every American military campaign is a good campaign. Every American bomb is a good bomb, every American bullet a good bullet. And every American that dissents to American motives as dictated by the leadership is America’s enemy.

But aside from political debates, a soldier’s job is going to be done, whether justified or not, whether appreciated or not. There will always be conflicts, with or without nuclear weapons. If the guy who lives next door is beating his wife and kids to death someone has to come in and stop it if such power exists. And if a situation gets out of hand in a country and there is too much abuse and bloodshed, such as the Rwanda genocide in the 90s or what is happening in Sudan at present, the UN may decide to send in troops and end it. Each soldier who serves will have a story to tell, and each story will relate to Joseph Campbell’s hero cycle. And some of those stories will relate to AJ’s examination of the life of one particular true-life warrior-hero named Audie Murphy.

- NoMan
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Post by CarmelaBear » Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:46 pm

Hi NoMan,

Until you express a kind of hopelessness about human behavior, everything you said was consistent with my view. I think it's important to understand that although conflicts are a normal, healthy part of life and relationships, mutual assured destruction is neither healthy nor inevitable. Nuclear weaponry has changed human conflict.

The factors that lead to violent conduct can be identified and predicted. The belief that killling is inevitable or necessary is the number one reason why people continue to kill. This belief is not justified.

The number one reason most voters vote for a political point of view or a lparticular candidate is because they believe that view or candidate will inevitably prevail and dominate. When we look around to learn what everyone else is thinking or doing before we make up our own mind, we are seeking validation, a sense of belonging, and an escape from having to do the more difficult work of searching for information and finding our own way. When the individual is confident enough, even proud of the process of independent consideration of facts and careful awareness of one's own thoughts and feelings, there will be a sea change.

Left to our own devices, we prefer to enjoy conflict within limits. We are not given to war and violence by nature, nor do we withdraw from tension and competition. Humans like a fair and safe fight. It's exhilerating, even when we lose and reluctantly bare our throats to our foe.


There is more than hope, NoMan. We are on the verge of a great transformation, which will begin with an awareness of the power we possess, both as a species and as individuals (alone or united). That is what the next presidential election is about. We can settle for incremental change or we can go for the gold.

It's important to note that the "gold" will not be found in bank accounts.
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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Post by noman » Thu Jun 07, 2007 3:05 am

It seems inevitable that if we start talking about the true-life warrior hero we will get into the ethics of war and warring – raising questions as to what constitutes a ‘just’ war, how nuclear weapons have changed war, and whether a terrorist can be a warrior hero.

But what I got out of AJ’s book is the juxtaposition of the true-life warrior hero and the classic myth warrior hero. Remember, the mythic warrior hero that Campbell writes about and that we see endlessly in film wouldn’t exist without the real thing. And the differences are interesting to consider. If we were to insert some of the elements of the modern true-life warrior hero into the classic myth the story would go something like this:

* * * * * * *

An invading army threatens the kingdom. A young knight sets out on the adventure to defeat the enemy. After many great battles, and all the horror of war, the young knight is victorious. But then he hears of a dragon that is menacing the countryside and sets out to slay the dragon. Many other knights have died fighting this dragon. But he kills the dragon, survives intact, and returns to the castle to claim the princess as his bride. But before he can cross the drawbridge into the castle he has to cross a picket line of war protestors declaring war to be wrong and to ‘give peace a chance.’ However, once inside the castle walls he finds himself among appreciative crowds cheering him on, treating him as a celebrity.

A great wedding is performed. But at the wedding reception he hears some of the nobles debating about whether it was right for him to kill the dragon. Some animal rights advocates strongly object – even though the dragon was a menace to humanity. If we kill all the dragons, they say, it may upset the whole ecology of the forest. Furthermore, if dragons become extinct, future generations of young knights won’t have the opportunity to slay dragons, and prove themselves worthy of the title of prince. Only the most menacing dragons should be slain they argue. And it isn’t clear that this particular dragon was one of the most menacing.

The hero’s marriage is wonderful at first but its hardly happy-ever-after. The princess starts complaining that her prince wakes up in the middle of the night screaming for no reason, drinks incessantly, and takes too many painkillers and sleeping pills. She seeks professional advice and they tell her he is suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. In fairytale slang he’s having ‘knightmares’. She begs him to get therapy but he just gets angry with her. At the threat of divorce, he reluctantly agrees to get help. But the marriage deteriorates anyway. He marries twice more but those marriages don’t work out either. He is forced to give up his title of prince due to mismanagement and decides to live a quiet life in the countryside.

When a young knight seeks him out for advice he tells the young knight that even fairytale heroism isn’t worth it anymore.

* * * * * * *

This is my description of the fairytale hero interpreted with respect to the reality. For a serious examination of the real hero interpreted with respect to Campbell’s mythic hero, you’ll have to read AJ’s book.

- NoMan
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Post by Lizpete » Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:15 pm

Um, CarmelaBear, How did you jump into French? existentialism?
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Post by CarmelaBear » Sat Jun 09, 2007 5:08 pm

noman wrote:...what I got out of AJ’s book is the juxtaposition of the true-life warrior hero and the classic myth warrior hero. Remember, the mythic warrior hero that Campbell writes about and that we see endlessly in film wouldn’t exist without the real thing. And the differences are interesting to consider.- NoMan
The real life hero and the classic mythic hero is a guy. As a girl, I have an ambivalent view of this archetypal character.
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Post by CarmelaBear » Sat Jun 09, 2007 5:10 pm

Lizpete wrote:Um, CarmelaBear, How did you jump into French? existentialism?
Hi Lizpete,

I'm sorry, but I have no idea what you mean. Really.

Carmela
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Post by Lizpete » Sat Jun 09, 2007 8:59 pm

existentialism as taught to me:

Greek myth: Sysphus (sorry spelling? and something wrong with my computer- time) was condemned to push a rock up a hill and for it to roll back for all eternity. Has the brief moment of exuberation? and a new challenge? after the devastation. Taught to me as the moment of being alive is when the rock rolls back....

French (Post WWII): see "Man's Fate": I know I am alive because I feel pain.

Fellow student (who had a mentor) told me "Tao of Pooh" was a good to counteract the downer of existentialism. At the time I didn't understand that. Had to go to intellectualism first, I think before I got to simplicity and plain speaking.

Hey sometime the complex is the complex....

Don't know if that clears it up or just takes it in a different direction. (?)
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Post by A J » Sat Jun 09, 2007 9:07 pm

CarmelaBear wrote:
noman wrote:...what I got out of AJ’s book is the juxtaposition of the true-life warrior hero and the classic myth warrior hero. Remember, the mythic warrior hero that Campbell writes about and that we see endlessly in film wouldn’t exist without the real thing. And the differences are interesting to consider.- NoMan
The real life hero and the classic mythic hero is a guy. As a girl, I have an ambivalent view of this archetypal character.
As a girl, I see Audie Murphy as an animus figure. :)

AJ
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A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living
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Post by CarmelaBear » Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:52 am

[quote="A JAs a girl, I see Audie Murphy as an animus figure. :)
AJ[/quote]

:shock:
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Post by Lizpete » Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:06 pm

:shock:? I have no understanding of what you meant with it, CB...
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Post by CarmelaBear » Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:54 pm

Anima - feminine

Animus - masculine

:shock: :shock: Double Shockeroonie.

I was being sarcastic and mocking the notion that girls are girl-like and boys are boy-like.

Audie was a mucho macho warrior, one of the major archetypal figures, and in some ways THE hero of the hero myth. They may have a thousand faces, but all of them involve going to battle against the forces of evil and doing damage for the sake of rescue and furthering the good, etc.

Those of us who are sick unto death of the uses and abuses of violence and dominance and winner-take-all competition, find the quintessential hero mythology extremely tiresome, entirely unworkable, morally reprehensible, and just plain stupid.

No offense to Joe Campbell, to Audie Murphy, to my many relatives who have fought for and died and suffered for our nation-state in war, to AJ for her good work on the warrior hero......BUT I think we need to turn the page on the glory and the honor and the admiration of the warrior. We need to acknowledge their good work and excellent intentions and their extreme reluctance to do harm to innocents, and concentrate with all our mights on finding ways to approach life and questing so that we minimize the harm done in the process of making things better.

We have to start with the idea that OUR hero is better than anyone else's hero. Different, okay, but better? I'm sorry. I don't like where that leads.

Here's an example:

When Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. and Desmond Tutu went after their enemies, they used what they called "non-violent resistance", but when you hear Tutu explain his strategy, he makes it clear that the purpose of his resistance was to provoke the enemy into being extremely violent. This is a method that can be used both by the non-violent and the violent. The purpose of the terrorist activities is to provoke the nation-state into a predictable overreaction, which will always go wildly wrong and create extraordinary sympathy for the underdog.

I'm sorry, I don't see how it helps to deliberately provoke violence.

As for those who are so easily provoked, I feel sorry for them. They lose and lose and lose, even when they're winning, because the moral edge goes to the one who is at a disadvantage.

If individuals can behave in ways that cause terrible damage to each other, to society, to humanity, to other critters, and to the planet, then the astounding efficiency with which groups and nations clear away the landscape in the rush to action just boggles the mind. In concert, people go at, tooth and nail, destroying the planet in their quest for heroism. It has brought us to the brink of annihilation.

In the meantime, people struggle with their own inner demons, locked in a battle of the body and the soul for control over means and ends.

The meek are the only hope for the earth. If anyone is to inherit this planet as a source of diverse and plentiful life, it is the meek who will make room for life. That is another paradigm for the act of heroism. It is the act of forebearance and patience and consideration for the future.

I'm done with the warrior who confronts demons and beats them down with a stick or scares them off or provokes them into overreaction. I say this knowing that I engage in verbal jousts of my own, and I can be quite provocative with my own word warring.

Makes me want to turn my attention entirely to positive things and simply work on seeing good in all things, creating a way to be so that others can feel safe, too.

It starts by not being afraid. It starts by being more than hopeful. I see the good. I know it is mine. I have it already. It's only a matter of time before everything I want is mine. Somehow, by placing an emphasis on how grateful I am for everyone and everything, no matter what happens, I am more likely to see the ends to which I aspire. I will see a planet that thrives, people who are not afraid for their lives, healthy everywhere, and a universal acceptance of life principles.

I have no use for kindness that kills or killing that produces something very nice. War, opposition, competition, challenging through confrontation. Ick!!! :(

Ya basta! [Spanish for Enough!]
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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Post by nandu » Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:58 am

CarmelaBear wrote:Audie was a mucho macho warrior, one of the major archetypal figures, and in some ways THE hero of the hero myth. They may have a thousand faces, but all of them involve going to battle against the forces of evil and doing damage for the sake of rescue and furthering the good, etc.

Those of us who are sick unto death of the uses and abuses of violence and dominance and winner-take-all competition, find the quintessential hero mythology extremely tiresome, entirely unworkable, morally reprehensible, and just plain stupid.
Carmela, I'd respectfully suggest that you have not read Hero mythology deeply enough. Joe Campbell's Hero is not about any of the things you mentioned.

Nandu.
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu
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