Reply To: The Power of Tenderness: Ted Lasso, Grail Hero,” with Gabrielle Basha”
Such wonderful additional posts on this Sunbug; and if I may be permitted to add; yes some very good points about the individual reality and how one must learn how to integrate these themes that Gabrielle has highlighted into whatever life setting they find themselves in; and yes; I think each one is going to be different and the rule books of various religions or spiritual value systems are no longer to be taken literally because the modern individual is called to make up their own way as they go. I especially liked your reference to Don Quixote because Joseph was asked by Bill Moyers about him in the “Power of Myth” and he replied that the world of “Chivalry” had disappeared and Cervantes was writing about a loss of a moral code because a more industrialized kind of world had taken it’s place. And Quixote was seduced from reality by reading all these works about knighthood and saving damsels and went on his mentally delusional imaginary quest to bring it back. “But” Joseph also illuminates the understanding that he saved his own adventure for himself and by doing so brought back the jewel that refreshed the wasteland by the life he led; (metaphorically speaking of course). In other words this crazy old man attacking windmills riding an old nag with an imaginary squire; (who mainly has to keep him out of trouble); becomes a model in his own demented way for a virtuous life of character that has inspired generations for hundreds of years, (There is definitely a lesson I think in modern terms for finding the joyful sorrow/sorrowful joy for some that Joseph talks about in participating in the life of others to find the meaning of your own life.)
The most powerful example to me was the story Joseph recalled about the policeman who recognized when a young man was about to jump off a bridge in Hawaii to commit suicide when he grabbed him by the ankles as he jumped just as he was about to go over. He himself was being pulled down toward his own death but would not let go. His partner arrived just in the nick of time to help pull them both up to safety. When he was later asked why didn’t let go his answer was: “if I had let go I wouldn’t have been able to live another day of my life”. How come? Joseph recounts. “His whole life including his thoughts and dreams for his future; his responsibilities to his job and his family were at stake and yet he would not let go. Joseph said: “this is one pointed meditation that breaks through our normal vision of reality to the metaphysical realization: that you and the other (are one).”
That one still puts a lump in my throat when I think about it because we are now living in a time when so many things around us that speak of these kinds humanity based value systems are what bring water to the parched wasteland instead of the commercialistic goals that attempt to define us by saying you are what you have; instead of the person who you are inside; what your character is; how you treat people and the values you live for. At any rate I’m starting to ramble but before I stop I’ll mention something I saw during Christmas this year that reminded me of Cervantes and these value systems I was just mentioning.
I was flipping through the TV channels and came across two movies at practically the same moment. One was: “It’s a Wonderful Life”; and the other was a Terry Gilliam remake of Don Quixote in a modern day setting. Adam Driver; yes, from Star Wars; plays a movie maker who had produced an scripted version of the book 10 years earlier for commercial purposes and found himself back near the same village where the character who played Quixote had been a shoemaker had lived and went to see if he was still around. Well it turns out this person had fallen victim to the very same mental state and thought he himself had become Don Quixote called by God to save the world by restoring the “Lost Age of Chivalry”. Yes, a whole new series of misadventures occurs and his messaged realization again stirs within the human heart that we are all Don Quixote trying to bring to life what is precious and worth living for to restore a wasteland that has somehow lost it’s meaning and purpose.
Okay; now I really will stop since this is such a great topic and everyone is bringing such wonderful insights and give someone else a chance to chime in. Thanks for listening.
Now I don’t want to wander too far off from Gabrielle’s topic focus concerning the virtues and attributes of gentleness vs more dominate male behavior but often so much of what determines a moral code in a culture comes from a religious interpretation of what God wants. So I want to add a short little addendum that includes a very short clip from the foundation YouTube channel where Joseph Campbell describes the laws; (aka. the spiritual rule books of a given society); we were just discussing and the difference between a concretized spiritual interpretation of religion and a metaphorical one. In many ways his description of the difference illustrates the problem dealing with how some of the religious conflicts taking place across the planet; (like in the Middle East for example); are concerned with which version different people think is more spiritually correct or relevant and should be in control of governments and peoples lives. One can remember “The Crusades” as an example in some ways; but the real problem I think revolves around the idea of what God wants; and whether or not that God is a fact or is actually a metaphor for spiritual realization. (Also having not viewed the Ted Lasso film Gabrielle referred to I certainly don’t feel qualified to include any thoughts about something I have not seen; so please accept my apologies on that.)