Posts Tagged 'Robert Bly'


When the demons are so suspicious, how can the son later make any good connection with adult male energy, especially the energy of an adult man in a position of authority or leadership?  As a musician he will smash handcrafted guitars made by old men, or as a teacher suspicious of older writers he will ‘deconstruct’ them.  As a citizen he will take part in therapy rather than politics…”

“…in traditional cultures, the older men and the older women often are the first to speak in public gatherings; younger men may say nothing but still aim to maintain contact with the older men.  Now we have twenty-seven-year-olds engaged in hostile takeovers who will buy out a publishing house and dismantle in six months what an older man has created over a period of thirty years.”

Text from Iron John: A Book About Men, by Robert Bly, 1990


“Most of the language in this book speaks to heterosexual men but does not exclude homosexual men.  It wasn’t until the eighteenth century that people ever used the term homosexual; before that time gay men were understood simply as a part of the large community of men.  The mythology as I see it does not make a big distinction between homosexual and heterosexual men.”

From the Preface of Iron John: A Book About Men, by Robert Bly

It was a mistake to set homosexuals and lesbians apart from heterosexuals.

And it is an even greater mistake to set homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals (or transgendered individuals) apart from heterosexuals–and into a category called LGBT.

The heterosexuals who set these groups of people apart–into a separate group of groups that have nothing in common with one another–marginalize the people in these groups.

In an effort to encourage (or appear to encourage) inclusion, the politically-correct establishment encourages exclusion.

The politicians and the press do not even define this deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history as an attack on the gay community.  They define it as an attack on the LGBT community.

In this way, it is easier for the majority of Americans to remove themselves from the victims.

No.  This deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history was not an attack on the LGBT community–or even the gay community.

It was an attack on the American community–and the large community of men.


You are the notes, and we are the flute. 

We are the mountain–you are the sounds coming down. 

We are the pawns and the kings and the rooks you set out on a board. 

We win or we lose. 

We are lions, rolling and unrolling on flags. 

Your invisible wind carries us through the world.


(translated by Robert Bly)


The mind is an ocean . . . I and so many worlds

are rolling there, mysterious, dimly seen!

And our bodies?  Our body is a cup, floating

on the ocean; soon it will fill, and sink. . . .

Not even one bubble will show where it went down.

The spirit is so near that you can’t see it!

But reach for it . . . don’t be a jar

full of water, whose rim is always dry.

Don’t be the rider who gallops all night

and never sees the horse that is beneath him.


(translated by Robert Bly)


Bookends+maidenformIt’s strange how alcohol makes me feel like writing.  Honestly, I’ve written nothing but these posts since October.  That month, I wrote a poem.  At this time, I’m more interested in getting what I’ve already written published than writing anything new.  What’s the point in writing if no one will ever read what you’ve written?  This year, my writers’ group publishes its biennial literary review, and I plan to submit everything that it will possibly accept. 

I’ve never written a novel–I’ve started several, but have always gotten involved in writing something else.  There are two kinds of people in this world (theoretically): creators and maintainers.  Creators constantly make new things, but have difficulty finishing what they’ve begun.  Maintainers keep things going, but have difficulty starting new things.  Without creators, society would stagnate.  Without maintainers, society would deteriorate.  We need both creators and maintainers.

Have you ever read any life-changing books–the kind that enlighten you to such an extent that your entire life changes?  I have.  None of them are novels–all are nonfiction.  The first was See You at the Top, by Zig Ziglar.  This book changed my life.  Then I read Iron John: A Book about Men, by Robert Bly, and The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck.  These books changed my life.  Next, I read Jesus: A Life, by A.N. Wilson, and The Lost Gospel: The Book of ‘Q’ and Christian Origins, by Burton Mack.  These books changed my life.  And finally I read Men, Women and Relationships and Mars and Venus on a Date, by John Gray.  And these books changed my life.

Speaking of books, I’ve never read any by Anne Rice–just seen the films, “Interview with the Vampire” (one of the best I’ve ever seen) and “Queen of the Damned” (one of the worst I’ve ever seen)–but I’ve always found the writer quite attractive.

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