Sam Keen

"The Rites of Man" — a continued reading from Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man by Sam Keen

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Act I: Separation. The cultural task of turning a boy into a man begins by the disruption of the primal bond between mother and son. In infancy he and she have been one flesh. But at some point, usually near the onset of puberty, the boy child will be rudely stolen from the encompassing maternal arms, ready or not, and thrust into the virile society of men. In many tribes, the men kidnap the boys and take them to live in the men's clubhouse where they are subject to hazing, discipline, and teachings of the elders. “Modern Day Job” by John Larsen…

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'WOMAN as Erotic-Spiritual Power' (excerpt) Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man by Sam Keen

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The third aspect of WOMAN is as an irresistible erotic-spiritual force. She is the magnet, and men the iron filings that lie within her field.

It is difficult to give this aspect of WOMAN a familiar name because Western mythology, philosophy, and psychology have never acknowledged its reality. Once, men and women assumed that the goddess controlled all things that flow and ebb—the waxing and waning moon, the rise and fall of tide and
phallus. But ever since God became Father, and men have considered themselves the lords over nature (and women), we have defined man as active and WOMAN as reactive. Consequently, we have never developed a language that does justice to WOMAN'S erotic-spiritual power…

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More from In the Absence of God/Dwelling the Presence of the Sacred by Sam Keen

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As bio-mythic, storytelling animals, we inevitably construct a linguistic frame around objects, events, and emotions. Language is our glory and our downfall, our greatest freedom and our maximum-security prison. Before we know it, the gossamer words we have spun to capture our fleeting experience harden into rigid beliefs that block the flow of passing moments and new meanings…

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"In the Absence of God/Dwelling the Presence of the Sacred" (Excerpt) by Sam Keen

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At first the path leading to an oasis is nearly imperceptible. A slight veering away from the arid landscape and the painful disciplines of self-examination, doubt, and asceticism. A turning toward the promise of transformation— the redolence of green fields and flowering trees coming from a yet-unseen wellspring of life.
The transformation that begins in the desert occurs in the inner spiritual landscape and does not immediately alter the facts of our quotidian existence. A wide variety of metaphors have been used to describe the experience.
It is as if:…
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"Life's Moral Paradox" (excerpt) In the Absence of God—Dwelling in the Place of the Sacred by Sam Keen

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To experience our lifescape as sacred also creates a moral paradox. How can we both revere and use the world? Whatever is seen as sacred is, at least in principle, inviolate. It ought to be hallowed, venerated as an end rather than a means. But clearly this is not always possible. If I am to survive the winter, my glorious, molten aspen may need to be harvested for firewood, and I may need to kill one of the graceful deer who so delight me during warmer months…

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"The Never Ending Journey (excerpt) In the Absence of God—Dwelling in the Place of the Sacred by Sam Keen

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In the desert nothing is exactly what it seems. A distant lake shimmers for a moment, promising relief and refreshment, but as you draw closer it vanishes. Sandstorms obscure the sun and cause the unwary traveler to walk in circles. Springs and oases that were once verdant dry up and disappear beneath the shifting sands. To live in the desert is to become part of an unending quest for water and wild game. To join any new quest we must challenge the values and concerns that have governed our lives to this time. Freud got it slightly wrong. True, many of us suffer from the thorn in the flesh of childhood wounds, but we suffer more frequently from a void, from what hasn't happened to us, from what we haven't found as a result of the questions we haven't asked…

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"The God-Shaped Vacuum" (Prologue from) In the Absence of God — Sam Keen

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"Radical Questions for Critical Times" by Sam Keen (http://samkeen.com)

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[Part 2] ------> "The High Price of Success" (excerpt) FIRE IN THE BELLY: ON BEING A MAN by Sam Keen

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[Part 1] ------> "The High Price of Success" (excerpt) FIRE IN THE BELLY: ON BEING A MAN by Sam Keen

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