Shopping Cart

No products in the cart.

The Power of Tenderness: Ted Lasso, Grail Hero,” with Gabrielle Basha”

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 28 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #74214

    Gabrielle Basha joins us this week in Conversations of a Higher Order to discuss “The Power of Tenderness: Ted Lasso, Grail Hero” (click on link to read), her contribution this week to our MythBlast essay series. In addition to serving as the JCF’s Communications Manager (which conveys only the slightest sense of all she does for the Foundation), Ms. Basha is a writer and educator with a background in art history and children’s literature.

    Please keep in mind this is not an interview. I will get the ball rolling with a comment and a question or two, but please join in and share your comments, questions, and observations directly with Ms. Basha. Frankly, it’s your thoughts, reactions, observations and insights that make this a communal exchange of ideas – a true “conversation of a higher order.”

    Let’s begin:

    Gabrielle – I confess I have yet to see a single episode of Ted Lasso; it airs on a streaming service I do not have and did not plan to get, though I suspect that’s about to change. However, considering this is your initial entry in the MythBlast series, perhaps you could first introduce yourself to readers by sharing how and when you discovered the work of Joseph Campbell?

    And then I’d like to turn to what strikes me as the theme of your piece:

    What does our admiration say about this brand of masculinity? I’ve sat with this question for a long time. The conclusion, I believe, is deceptively simple: To be hurt and remain vulnerable is the ultimate strength. To remain open, to trust, to forgive, is the ultimate honorability.”

    I am deeply moved by this compelling and poignant observation, Gabrielle. “To be hurt and remain vulnerable” – not to automatically strike out in anger, nor even just be stoic and walk it off, but to step into and embrace the pain and the hurt – certainly not the default perspective in our contemporary “nice guys finish last” culture.

    It’s almost as if Ted Lasso is asking the viewer – especially men – “What ails Thee?”

    Is this vision of masculinity just aspiration – what could be but isn’t yet – or is it within reach? What male figures come to your mind as you sit with this question –not so much real people in your life, but the role models to point the way? Whether public figures or fictional characters, where else (in addition to Parzival, Gawain, and Mr. Lasso) would you suggest I turn (speaking both as an individual, and specifically as a guy) for clues on how to get from here to there?

    Thank you for a profound and thought-provoking piece! There is so much more that is bubbling to the surface right now – I am so looking forward to feedback from your readers of all genders.

    #74241
    Gabrielle Basha
    Keymaster

    Thank you for the introduction, Stephen! I’m glad to be able to talk about this week’s MythBlast with the community. I have to admit, there was so much more I wanted to say, it was tough to keep the word count within bounds.

    I was first introduced to Campbell’s work through my mom, herself a myth-minded storyteller and artist. We watched the Bill Moyers special the summer after my senior year of high school and I was riveted. My introduction to Campbell that summer, then to John Berger soon after through Ways of Seeing, was a one-two punch that bust open up my understanding of what art can do.

    It feels notable to me that the men I have admired in my early life as a reader and artist have had a gentleness to them, a humility that lets wonder in. As a child of the 1980s and ’90s, for me this includes Fred Rogers, Jim Henson, and Bob Ross: paragons of what masculinity can be in our modern Western culture (being American, I can and will only speak to representation in Western culture, in this piece and beyond, so please keep that in mind). It’s also important to note here that these are all white men who have likely been afforded the relative space and comfort in their lives to be able to remain creative and thoughtful, so there is privilege there as well. This doesn’t preclude anyone from accessing this type of masculinity, but it sure does make it easier for some.

    Masculinity manifests in so many different ways, so I want to make a small note about what I mean here: in this essay and for the purposes of this conversation, let’s have a shared understanding of masculinity as this quality in people who identify as men, who move through the world in what’s perceived as a male body.

    What’s interesting to me is that we often talk about our “humanity,” whether it’s about finding it, losing it, or having faith in it restored. Unlike masculinity, “humanity” isn’t gendered… and yet I think we are talking about so many of the same qualities. Compassion, humility, kindness, justice, empathy, the desire to do the right thing and support others, to put them before yourself.

    I feel compelled to add, too, that this gentleness isn’t just a “nice to have,” but a necessity. Masculinity lacking these qualities is what we call “toxic” for a reason. It’s truly a matter of life and death that the masculine among us conform to more human qualities.

    What I love about Ted is his ability to not take things personally, including how people see him. He strives to understand how other people work. He forgives, and it’s genuine. Anyone who’s spent time in an American high school knows sincerity is the death of coolness, and really, what’s more powerful that a person who chooses kindness and understanding over fearful respect and aloofness? To me, that’s bravery.

    #74240

    Gabrielle,

    I loved your essay! Once one is introduced to Joseph Campbell and his perspective on myth…those reflections and images become rooted in the psyche and imagination…and one begins to see the stories everywhere.
    Not just in the past but in the present (the Now) as you do with Ted Lasso!
    A wonderful comparison which brings life to the old tale anew!
    As far as going over word counts, heh heh…here on these boards, it is lovely to discover I’m not  alone in musing a long on roads of words! It’s because of inspiration!
    And I’m here because I enjoy the musing of others!
    But I’m not going to take off in my usual tangents on this subject, because what you wrote sums up these Grail myths in a beautiful way!
    In fact your introduction to Campbell sounds very familiar!! For me it was also from my Mom (artist/astronomer) and from one of our friends, Clarice Bowman, the first female Methodist Minister in NC. Clarice introduced Campbell to my Mom first!
    At 10 I was too young to fully appreciate the Power of Myth…but like you, as a child of the 80s…Fred Rogers, Bob Ross…(happy accidents! Speaking of Holy Fool moments!) inspired alongside others. And who doesn’t love Kermit?! Speaking of Henson. (Smile)

    But at 17 (attending a public Fine Arts school in my senior year) taking and performing dance…when the Power of Myth returned to PBS…an Aha! Call to adventure woke inside and I was hooked!

    I looked for as many Campbell and Campbell related books as I could find!
    There is something beautifully poignant in your work expressing the need for that return to tenderness and being open/vulnerable/kind. I love it!
    I want to pull that quote back up from your myth blast (the one mis-attributed to Kurt Vonnegut.)
    Will have to pull out from this…to copy paste…but I’m thankful for the Grail subject this month on this site.
    To read all of these contributing authors and now to read your piece, Gabrielle…it gives hope…Hope something deeper and very much needed is waking once more inside each of us!
    Thank you! 

    #74239

     

    This yes! 


    Writer and artist Iain Thomas captures the power of tenderness with this line (which is, fascinatingly, often misattributed to Kurt Vonnegut): 

    “Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”

    Iain Thomas, I Wrote This For You

     

    To not allow the cynicism of the world erase the beauty beneath…

    Can we still believe in the Kindness of Gawain? Do we no longer think this is possible? That a Gawain does not fit the profile of our jaded world view?

    But your piece asks us through the example of Ted Lasso…why couldn’t we? And what a wonderful and remarkable place to be? To once again see the beauty in each other? As well as in the deeper world we all share?
    To be open to the transcendent and not be jaded?

    “Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let bitterness steal your sweetness.”

    Yes.

    And does that openness/kindness return to compassion born from the heart, a natural state, have the potential to heal or thaw the ice in every wasteland from Parcival and Gawain to Ted Lasso?
    Rather than wrestling with compassion from the intellect…more of a mental striving? And defining?
    To return not only to the question but to an un-jaded state, which still can see all the beauty in the world and not apologize for seeing it?
    Not that the word judgement is completely negative but perhaps it’s the head that judges and the heart(or deeper universal psyche,  which discerns. (A gentler word, which listens and observes)
    And now I’ll maybe watch a Ted Lasso too!

     

     

    #74238

    Gabrielle,

    I enjoyed your article very much.  Please clarify for me your following line: “Throughout the first season of the show, Ted never stops asking Rebecca, “What ails thee?” He doesn’t make the same mistake Parcival does—in fact, he makes the opposite mistake. His nature leads him to ask, repeatedly, the exact wrong question.”

    Though I haven’t seen the show to understand if context is relevant to your statement, why do you say that it is the “exact wrong question” when Parcival’s mistake was not to ask it at all?

    Thank you.

     

     

    #74237
    Gabrielle Basha
    Keymaster

    Thank you very much for your kind words – and isn’t it funny how discovering Campbell is like finding a door to a room in your house you didn’t even know was there? His work puts so much else into perspective.

    I also love how much our stories have in common. Thank god for mothers!

    #74236
    Gabrielle Basha
    Keymaster

    Thank you for your comment, and your question. Both these men are strangers in an uncertain situation far from home. While Parcival fights his nature to appear as a proper knight, Ted leans into his nature as something of a crutch. Whatever the reason, he makes the opposite blunder of Parcival: rather than holding it all back for appearances, he lets it all out, appearances be damned.

    Whereas Parcival would have been able to heal the Grail King with his nature, try as he might, Ted will not be able to do the same with Rebecca. Maybe there was no “What ails thee?” equivalent in Ted’s case. Not to spoil the plot too much, but Rebecca does eventually bend. Ted himself doesn’t heal Rebecca, though his nature does show her there’s another way to live; she’s responsible for healing herself.

    #74235

    Hey Everyone, if you haven’t seen the show, spoilers ahead.

    I watched Lasso in almost one go and not sure how I missed it. Lasso and Resident Alien are two of the best stories I have watched in the last years, interesting that they are both comedies.

    Gabrielle, thanks for the essay I needed that, people tell me I am too stiff these days, especially in the workplace.

    Ofcourse the ultimate trial in all our lives and I dont think this has to do with gender is like Campbell said and like most stories focus “is the system is gonna deprive you of your humanity or are you gonna use the system for human purposes.” Then again we have to be honest about this. I am a firm believer that in this life everything is about balance, this view of masculinity that seems to be a new age trend, like embracing your feminine side which also means compassion and kindness, does not come without a cost, nice guys do finish last and men who embrace this side do seem to fail and break in a harsh and competitive environment which we call society. That is just a fact and it also one of the points the story is trying to make, kinda, you can feel the author struggling with this idea a bit. For that honesty, I give him a thumb up, and even though the author seems to imply that men (husband, father) are the root cause of the wasteland and leaves it open without reconciling it, at least he is honest that kindness and relationships wont get you the win. And therein lies the rub. Being the winner and alone or be the loser and with good relationships. Like Jung said the opposite of power is not powerlessness, its relationships.

    Romanticism is obviously escapism but its very much needed sometimes. I guess the question is can you be like Lasso and not break down. Well Lasso did seem to have a couple of break downs but the show being predominately a comedy it has to have a happy ending. Personally I think we are a mixture of qualities.

    Anyways, just saying.

     

    #74234

    Thanks.  I’m still confused trying to discern the lessons of the two stories, and your thoughts on them, to apply to my life in terms of whether to offer a type of “What ails thee?” question to a friend.  We’ve been told that Parcival errs by not asking it, though you suggest that he still would have been able to heal the Grail King with his compassionate (?) nature.  You also suggest that Lasso blunders by blurting the question out regardless of consequences (whatever they turned out to be), and that he shouldn’t have asked the question, instead of leading by example and allowing Rebecca to heal herself.  Thus, in both cases, it sounds like you suggest it’s better to not directly ask the question and instead only demonstrate compassion.  Am I reading you correctly?  If so, why does your take differ from the traditional one in which we’re told Parcival failed by not asking the question?

    #74233
    Gabrielle Basha
    Keymaster

    Well, not quite. What I’d like to get across here is that there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. The nature that Ted and Parcival both seem to share is that of openness, of asking questions. Why does Parcival fail when he fights his nature, yet Ted follows his nature and still fails? The Grail King is not one man, and the Wasteland is complex, even if the solution itself is simple. In writing this piece, I began thinking of Ted as an evolution of Parcival: perhaps he did learn why it was important to follow his gut instinct earlier, before we met him, which leads to him believing he can save Rebecca the same way. What Ted learns is that there isn’t one solution to healing others, and there’s a certain amount of responsibility they have to take on themselves. How could Parcival, from his perspective, have known a simple question would heal the Fisher King? You live, you learn, and hopefully you get the change to get up and try again.

    #74232
    Gabrielle Basha
    Keymaster

    I think I get what you’re saying, @drewie.  Let me know if I’m off base.

    You’re right about the world being unforgiving; most people don’t get a second shot at the Grail Castle. There is a cost to choosing kindness over competition, and we get the chance to make that choice over and over every day. I don’t expect that being tender means being naive; Ted said to “be like the goldfish” and forget past hurt, which feels naive. He also says to “be curious, not judgmental,” and “do the right-est thing,” which are both much closer sentiments to the one I hope readers take away from this essay. There are lots of reasons, situational and institutional, that allow Ted to come out ahead. If all of us bent a bit more and had that same compassion for ourselves and others, we may be surprised what would happen.

    To be blunt, “nice guys” don’t finish last because they’re nice, but because it’s a quality that isn’t valued in our society as much as competitiveness, power, and rugged individualism. (Note: this is a totally different conversation if we talk about “nice guys” in the romantic sphere, so please take all of the above as regarding more concrete endeavors! I’m talking specifically of career here, based on what we see of Ted and Parcival’s aspirations.)

    #74231
    jamesn.
    Participant

    Gabrielle; thank you for your inspiring MythBlast and added follow up with Stephen and everyone. I’ve been thinking about it for several days now and I must admit I’m a little awed about saying anything that would do it justice. From my view male persona in our culture so often presents a very distinctly dominating and controlling side without the very virtues you stressed in your piece; and those virtues loom very large in my world. Kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion, and especially gentleness are so often left out of the male imprinting of young boys who must learn to become men. In a complex modern world which often is so very unforgiving when those same attributes are interpreted as weakness instead of respect in my opinion is one of the reasons I think both men and boys in our society are in crisis. Youth crime is skyrocketing; men’s behavior in many instances within public discourse displays the exact barbaric opposite; and the sensibility that any kind of chivalric code for protecting the weak these attributes once represented concerning manners and respect of others seems to more and more be taken out of some kind of context of fairy tale romances for children instead of from the actual adult spiritual and emotional DNA of mankind’s mythical heritage. Perhaps a little strong for an opening expression of why your essay struck me so profoundly; so if I may I’ll attempt to offer a few examples that I hope might be helpful in my defense.

    When I think of male heroic qualities within today’s complex world at the top of my list is the single parent lawyer: (Atticus Finch) in: “To Kill a Mocking Bird”; I think Lt. John Dunbar’s transformation into the Sioux warrior named “Dances with Wolves qualifies but the Indian is the hero here and not the soldier.  Three different Robin Williams portrayals come next; #1 is English Teacher John Keating in the Dead Poets Society; #2 is Robin’s portrayal of the mental breakdown of Parry in the Fisher King and the transformation of Jack Lucas played by Jeff Bridges, (each rescuing each other); and #3 is his role as therapist: Sean McGuire, in treating an angry gifted young male from the scarring of early childhood abuse and the mentoring of him into adulthood in: “Good Will Hunting”.

    Each of these characters in my humble opinion evoke these important qualities for role models because they represent many of the same features you spoke about but within different contexts. And these films I think have a great deal to do with Joseph’s Hero theme about inner realizations and transformation.

    In today’s Covid world I think because of the extreme anxiety surrounding everyday existence that’s being affected by this deadly and unpredictable virus it’s become much more difficult think in terms of normalcy and timeless virtues because everything is so uncertain. And you can add Climate Change and Global Warming as two more along with an extremely volatile political atmosphere as well. And yes; I think it is important to note that one could say: (the world spins); and there has always been difficulties that heroic qualities are called for.

    But here is what I’m humbly attempting to point out. The themes you addressed could not be more important for the times in which we are living because so much more complexity has been added to what the hero will be called on to address. And a lot of the same conditions listed in the earlier “rule books” no longer apply. (Men can’t just be “tough” guys any more!)

    Most animals; depending which ones and what the circumstances are; will respond to kindness and gentleness. Trust is something that’s earned and it’s instinctual. Read any newspaper or newsfeed on the internet and you most often will see all kinds of stories about people who no longer know how to talk to each other; or that some kind of violent act has been committed because of bad male dominant behavior. Machoism may be a reality in some cultures; but it is a dinosaur with a limited life span if we as a species are to survive in a future globally interdependent society.

    For instance the debate between literalized religion and scientific fact is now settled if you believe that myths are Fairy Tales only for children – (not) life vivifying metaphors that can help point the way out of one’s psychosis and bring depth and meaning to a universe that has no meaning. As Joseph might say: “Life just is and you are to bring the meaning to it”; (not the thou-shalt system promoted by some concretized personal deity up in the sky).

    Well; that’s one of the views Joseph articulated.) But to me Joseph’s main point was that Myths are metaphors and symbols as tools to help point the way out of man’s mental and spiritual dilemmas, they are not subservient rules to be governed by; and these old stories that are causing global conflicts have to be re-interpreted or retooled or looked at in a different way you might say to have modern relevance. “There is no God but mine” will no longer work in a technologically informed new world; and when man walked on the moon the argument surrounding Genesis was settled.

    So I hope you’ll forgive my gushing praise for your essay for I just can’t say enough about how important I think these male features are in the coming times ahead; and how eloquently you expressed them in relation to Joseph’s themes. I so very much hope to see more of your participation in these forums in the coming weeks ahead. And I thank you for this piece.

    #74230

    To Gabrielle: Yes Thank God for Mothers! Cannot help it I’m a little drawn to those “synchronous moments!” A breeze of fresh air letting those glimmers of transcendence and hints of mystery back into mind and heart.
    I think I do understand what you were saying about Ted Lasso relying too much upon his nature (now that I’ve started watching the series!)

    In some ways it’s not unlike Inspector Closeau well minus the physical bumbles…Ted’s natural state may come off “as too much” or “over the top.”
    His constant talking might cross personal boundaries not everyone likes chatter or easy familiarity.
    As for the wrong question I can see that…too…it’s a case where the answer is obvious (not profound, or mysterious)  the answer is KNOWN so asking the question is Rubbing salt in the wound. The question must remain silent to be kind. And Ted sort of bumbles along. But so far at least as far as I am in the show…his resilience (and learning as he goes) that’s inspiring. And yes the kindness for sure!
    You say Rebecca heals herself so Lasso is not responsible.
    Though I wonder after having read another myth blast on Reflection if there is another side to the Ted Lasso coin? You imagine Lasso as the “Parcival” in his own quest…we see from his eyes and journey as well as watching the others around him.
    BUT what if in inverse the story is viewed with others at the center such as Rebecca’s story? Etc?
    If so can Ted Lasso represent something (someone) symbolic to them? The image of the “Holy Fool,” comes to mind. Of course the fool is going to make mistakes and bumbles and ask the wrong questions but in Native/Indigenous societies as well as others…sometimes the trickster becomes the Teacher.

    In quests there is often a figure who represents a call to adventure but perhaps Lasso in guise of “the Holy Fool,” or “teacher” is coming to “bring a Call to Awareness? Instead? Not as a “controlling guru,” because as “the holy fool,” he is not fully aware himself…yet remains determined.
    So yes Lasso  is not responsible for Healing them BUT he brings the “horn” the “call” that “wakes…” which allows the other characters to re-tune with themselves. It’s a “challenge” but each character has to decide what to with “that challenge.” And so THEN the Healing is UP to them not Lasso. But they had to “wake” or “hear” that call first. It still feels he has influence in his interactions and through his compassion but he is not directly Healing them. More like he is removing Obstacles from the path which allows the other characters like Rebecca to finally begin Healing themselves.

    Back to Closeau: I feel something very similar in this but more especially the new one with Steve Martin. (I enjoy Peter Sellers too) But the 1st Martin Pink Panther adds that extra touch of kindness even though his bumbles are risky for those around him…and he seems to get everything wrong. He is a duck out of water but by the end his determination proves through.

     

    #74229

    I think I understand the frustrations expressed by others here as well.
    It reminds me of your reference to the kindness of Gawain.
    Thoreau came to mind but the belief in the possibility of “wilderness poets,” those “individuals,” seems to become lost in the weeds…

    Not everyone has the time, space to lose themselves and regain themselves going “into the forest.”
    It can be a struggle and a balance…there are the urban forests to consider…appointments, deadlines, expectations etc.

    The power fight competition becomes a fight for survival (in life)  except for the top gamesters. And the stress is high.

    I can feel a Campbell metaphor about Ladders… but going to let that one go.

    Cause if I’m off the Mark just proves I might be blundering out of my territory too! Please forgive me if I am! I wish the best for everyone!
    *care!*

    The “rule book” is a curious thing.
    yes I can see that that would change

    just as in life,  learning opens new horizons, different thoughts and new discoveries.
    My question would be if that is the slightly more concrete yet metaphorical rule books of “life?”
    Or the “Universal rule book which seems to eternally have the same deeply rooted themes?

    Returning back to Compassion?
    My sense is that logically it might be easier to prefer a Galahad for his “sensible purity.”

    Yet Parcival and Gawain are eclipsed by the “worthiness” of Galahad and the shenanigans of Lancelot.
    It becomes uncomfortable if Parcival asks a question based on the equivalent of “intuition.”
    It works for him the 2nd time.
    But “rationality,” intellectually would seem to be the better game plan. Or maybe less uncomfortable than P going against “team code.”
    Yet over and over that seems to be the challenge of these myths.
    And trusting “gut instinct,” that’s not easy or to be taken lightly.
    I’m still impressed by Lasso’s resilience but need to see the rest of show.
    That call of the myths, bards and mystics…to go within and “heal thyself” first that’s hard too.
    ….Even if the “stories” try to show a Universal “connection,” that transcends.

    Did Thoreau or Black Elk feel that connection with every thing? (And everyone?) Even in individual moments?
    We become restless without action, “positive doing,” so that’s difficult.
    And I agree there can be a cognitive dissonance in recognizing and feeling the eternal mythic themes yet looking at them logically from present time.
    We long for them but maybe have lost trust in the kindness possibility of a Gawain…that it no longer fits modern times.
    Our times really seem to define all our journeys? And definition and words can have “power,” as “well as define what it is.”

    Is the challenge to move, think through Fear(being aware of it/acknowledging it) rather than from fear?” (Where it might become paralyzing? Or overwhelming?) 

     

    The latter seems like the block in conversations in the world “as is.”
    Staying in the eye of the storm for peace and clarity is not easy for anyone!! Especially hearing all the howling winds.
    But who knows how each “ Parcival” will approach the journey?

    To go back to Compassion as an eternal trait? That is hard in all the sorrows and “psychos” of the world.
    It’s definitely not a “psycho” trait…

    But we still long for it to be a Human one.
    What stands out with Parcival and Ted to me (even if Ted blunders about) is the spontaneity of “Compassion.”

    I love that!

    That’s sort of what I miss..

    Where Compassion is a “happening” felt in the heart and coming straight from heart (bodhisattva?)
    rather than an intellectual decision alone.

    And I love Jamesn examples of heroes/characters:  starting with Atticus Finch and on…yes, yes,yes! 🙂

    Ok enough!  I feel like Don Quixote chasing wil o the wisp tangents.

    Hope everyone finds their path and right action…that resonates for them:-)

    Not my business as not my journey!

    So I’m off before blundering along any more.

     

    #74228
    jamesn.
    Participant

    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.)

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 28 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.