Written by: Robert Moore; Douglas Gillette
Originally Reviewed: 1-29-2021 on Project19
Rating: 1, Must Read, but specifically men and boys
The Subconscious Manifested in Our Behaviors
I’ve often repeated to my children that the most pertinent and memorable thing (i.e. legacy) about them is their character; specifically, how they treat others. It’s easy to tell them that but getting them to actually practice what I preach is tantamount to a Herculean effort, especially with regard to their siblings. However, perhaps my strategy should fall along the lines of helping them identify behaviors and their source. This book is a great start in that direction.
I originally learned about this book from Stephen Pressfield who recommended it as essential reading in the study of the Warrior Archetype, which is a video series he produces that’s nearly 50 (at time of this writing), 5-10 minute episodes on that subject. If you don’t know who Pressfield is, then simply understand that he is the preeminent author of warrior literature (e.g., Gates of Fire, Virtues of War, Killing Rommel) so he knows what he’s talking about.
This work was so insightful and impactful on me. I had to keep from highlighting everything because “if everything is special, nothing is special”. But right from the get go this book slaps you upside the head:
–We have written this book in order to answer this question, which is on the minds of both men and women. In the late twentieth century, we face a crisis in masculine identity of vast proportions. Increasingly, observers of the contemporary scene—sociologists, anthropologists, and depth psychologists—are discovering the devastating dimensions of this phenomenon, which affects each of us personally as much as it affects our society as a whole.
–We need to learn to love and be loved by the mature masculine. We need to learn to celebrate authentic masculine power and potency, not only for the sake of our personal well-being as men and for our relationships with others, but also because the crisis in mature masculinity feeds into the global crisis of survival we face as a species. Our dangerous and unstable world urgently needs mature men and mature women if our race is going to go on at all into the future.
And Those are merely two from the introduction, with so much more when actually discussing each archetype and it’s shadow side. This book is primarily based off of the work of Carl Jung the Swedish Psychiatrist and his ardent followers and practitioners. It’s also a good companion to previously reviewed works such as: The Boy Crisis, Strong Fathers Strong Daughters, Grossman’s Assassination Generation (as well as both On Combat, and On Killing), and Jordan Peterson’s Maps of Meaning.
I originally looked for this work on audible, but it is not available in that format. Kindle had it and I’m grateful for this as I was able to take note of so many passages I want to refer to in the future.