Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Sam Keen was, in his words, "overeducated at Harvard and Princeton" and was a professor of philosophy and religion at "various legitimate institutions" and a contributing editor of Psychology Today for 20 years before becoming a free-lance thinker, lecturer, seminar leader and consultant. He is the author of a baker's dozen books, and a co-producer of an award winning PBS documentary, Faces of the Enemy. His work was the subject of a 60 minute PBS special Bill Moyers--Your Mythic Journey with Sam Keen."

During the next couple of weeks I am going to feature and add commentary when time allows to what Sam Keen has written in two of his more popular books, Fire in the Belly and To Love and Be Loved. I'll begin with his book Fire in the Belly. Keen was/is active in the Men's movement, ala Robert Bly and his book Fire in the Belly is directed towards men but the implications of what he has to say is relevant to women, as well, imo...and... These quotes will hopefully be a part of the ongoing series of meditative thoughts that I have pondered and copied in my journal over the years.

Here are some of the thoughts of Sam Keen..."There are two questions a man must ask himself. The first is, where am I going and the second is, who will go with me? If you ever get these questions in the wrong order you are in trouble"

Another quote: "We can't be comfortable in intimacy with women because we have never been comfortable in being distant from them. Most modern men have never learned the joy of solitude."

And finally, "No one ever suggests that men's lives have a claim to the sanctity and protection afforded in theory to women and children. It is wrong to kill women and children but men are legitimate candidates for systematic slaughter-cannon fodder"...

This last quote and it's implications are chilling to hear and think about...and...what does it teach men in regards to their value?...Here is a dirty little well kept secret about the lives of most men, imo....They don't feel good about themselves, unless they are wealthy or in positions of power over the lives of others. Like women, men are often objectified, according to their economic viability and their willingness to sacrifice their lives, at any cost...even if it is for cannon fodder in a war drummed up by politicians, religious wacko's, or the wealthy who are attempting to protect their assets at any cost, even if it is human life....

3 comments:

Dave said...

Keen makes sense to me. What does he suggest as the alternative? I think I've found my own solution to the dilemmas he spells out here but I'm interested to see what he's come up with.

Bilbo said...

Hi Dave,

I assume who are referring to Keen's comments about men being used as cannon-fodder and the implications for using men to fight wars??? If so, I can't quote you chapter and verse, Keen's alternative, but based on the books I have read by Keen I think he would push the envelope in the pacifist direction...I think Keen is trying to get us to think about how men, often in the name, of some supposed "higher good" are often the victims and sacrificial offerings for greed and the power trips of others...and...I think Keen, in his writings, is trying to encourage men to think and consider their own hopes, dreams, passions,desires, and not continue to simply be a cog in the machine. I acknowledge their is often a fine line between being responsible and doing what one needs or wants but oftentimes "I" feel too many men have become reduced to simply being breadwinners who work, and work and work...at home...and outside the home...and over time loose the other aspects of what it means to be a well balanced human being...which...in the long run is not only bad for men but their wives their family and their communities....Better stop here....I suspect I am probably starting to sound like a preacher....

Kansas Bob said...

This is good:

"Like women, men are often objectified"