"We could distinguish between the wild man and the savage man by looking at several details: the wild man's possession of spontaneity, the presence of the female side in him, and his embodiment of positive male sexuality. None of these implies violence toward or domination of others. I feel that the man under the water resembles a Zen priest more than a so-called primitive who in our view would only grunt. The image of the wild man describes a state of soul that allows shadow material to return slowly in such a way that it doesn't damage the ego. Apparently what we're hearing in 'Iron John' is a narrative reminder of old initiation rituals in northern Europe. The older males would teach the younger males how to deal with shadow material in such a way that it doesn't overwhelm the ego or the personality. They taught the encounter more as a kind of play than as a fight.
"When the shadow becomes absorbed the human being loses much of his darkness and becomes light and playful in a new way. The unabsorbed shadow can darken the air all around a human being. Pablo Casals is an example of the first type, and Cotton Mather of the second."--Robert Bly, pg.53, A Little Book on The Human Shadow
Monday, November 19, 2012
The Wild Man and Zen Priest
This quote is one reason I decided to start sitting zazen over a year ago now.