Saturday, December 15, 2018

Authority, Power and Corruption - more from Robert Bly


Lord Acton was attributed with the commonly recognized phrase, 

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely 

Corruption, the effect, is illustrated in that cartoon, acting as an anchor beyond the buoyancy or ship's capacity to stay afloat.  It may work for awhile, corruption, but eventually brings the house down, a Titanic tragedy that takes the innocent with the guilty.    

On a personal level, Robert Bly writes in Iron John:   
There’s a general assumption now that every man in a position of power is or will soon be corrupt and oppressive. Yet the Greeks understood and praised a positive male energy that has accepted authority.
Authority and Power are not always the same. The first uses power judiciously and generally has some Skin in the Game and thus, sees the use of a power as a reflection on them, the outcome; whereas the second is much more inclined to abuse, assessing no costs are skin-lost the consequences of abuse, corruption.  

Forgiven, forgiveness - more from Robert Bly

Continuing on insights from Robert Bly, the reason(s) why forgiveness is the best course for life and living, 
Each of us deserves to be forgiven, if only for our persistence in keeping our small boat afloat when so many have gone down in the storm.
Forgiveness enables those wronged to be released from those who wronged them.  It is possible (but not impossible) that the one that wronged will never seek forgiveness--let alone admit to their wrongdoing(s).  It is within your own will or power that, when wronged, you forgive...such that their power is diminished, perhaps dead. 

Only in forgiveness are you truly free; this said from one who struggles to forgive or be forgiven.  

The deepest wound - more from Robert Bly

The image to the right (or above) is from the film, "Braveheart"; in this segment, the boy imagines sitting aside his now dead father, the sharing of, "Follow your heart".  

The fathers wounds are physical, mortal while the son's is emotional, the experience(s) of his village's sufferings under the reign of a tyrant.  

Another excerpt from Iron John,  
...where a man's wound is, that is where his genius will be.  Wherever the wound appears in our psyches...whether it stems from isolation, disability, or disease, that is precisely the place for which we will give our major gift to the community. 
Where is your wound?  If you know...than do you will to give your gifts? 

With age comes health - more from Robert Bly

Continuing on this book and the general theme of manhood, is the natural aging process.  As I share this..., age is (or has been) creeping up on me; the realities that my physique is morphing into an older version without any chance of reversal or "anti-aging".  I can pretend that I am younger but then there is reality, right? 

In Iron John, Robert Bly remarks,  "I know men who are healthier at fifty than they've ever been before, because a lot of their fear is gone." 

In this potential fear-less aging is mental or emotional maturity, "because a lot of fear is gone."

What fear(s) do I mean?  To answer that, I ask another question: 
What fear(s) do you have?

Our Fathereless Nation - the plight of the children

 

The social ills of a fatherless country are serious, a growing statistics.  What is sure about fatherhood (as positive, participating parents) is that where father's go, so to marriage and family and finally, society.  Without the presence and participation of fathers, the family as an institution is doomed.  

Where have all the fathers gone? 

There is more than one answer; that is, there are variety of reasons why...nevertheless, this social ill of our society grows and the consequences are enormous and very troubling; virtually all risks for young people are raised with the consequences often long-term, lasting a lifetime.  The most troubling aspect of this trend is that it by design; yes, the decline of fathered families is intended to undermine our society and to weaken social strength.  

More on this is sure to come.

Iron John, Robert Bly -- The perpetual "victim"

My first and only copy of this book came to me from a church, I believe, when my children were very young.  In and around that time, a men's movement called "Promised Keepers" was underway, inspired and initiated by the convictions of a college football coach.  

Robert Bly is more a poet but here, combines the mystic legends of manhood in combination with sage instruction, instances to reflect (on); here is one excerpt from the book: 
The inner boy in a messed-up family may keep on being shamed, invaded, disappointed, and paralyzed for years and years. "I am a victim," he says, over and over; and he is. But that very identification with victim-hood keeps the soul house open and available for still more invasions. Most American men today do not have enough awakened or living warriors inside to defend their soul houses. And most people, men or women, do not know what genuine outward or inward warriors would look like, or feel like.
When one is a perpetual victim or prey, everyone else is the predator, every challenge or constraint a predation, giving the excuse for  variety of indulgences and excuses.      

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Neither Liberty nor Safety - Robert Higgs

"Fear is the most elemental and powerful human emotion," so says Dr. Higgs (during an interview posted to YouTube in 2009).  He elaborates that, with fear, people act instinctively rather than rationally--which is why the state is ever and always using it.  

It is not the conduct of the state so much as the capacity and capability to cause pain in the individual's life, projected or protracted to the public, society.  One recurring condition (causing fear) is a crisis   He writes in On Crisis and Government Expansion:
We know that other great crisis will come. Whether they will occasioned by foreign wars, economic collapse, or rampant terrorism no one can predict with assurance.  Yet in one form or another great crises will surely come again.... When they do, governments almost certainly will gain new powers over economics and social affairs. 
Given this cycle (or crisis...fear), what becomes of you, me and us?  
Can anyone really have a fulfilling life if constantly or continuously faced with fear?  Is Liberty or Safety possible under these conditions?   
No, not at all.