The Tyrant’s Confusion

the tyrant's confusion

The journey out of the tyrant’s frenzied fantasies returns our sense of self to the felt reality that holds us in its arms.

In his classic book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell presents not just the hero, but also the tyrant with a thousand faces – and shows him to be an equal force at work within the stories of world myth. As those stories bring the tyrant to life for us, we witness his desperate self-centeredness, his need to acquire and hold fast to whatever he can, and his impulses to manipulate people and circumstances to suit his personal agenda. What distinguishes the tyrant’s attitude above all else is his belief that he deserves his special status because, according to some private yardstick, he is better than others.

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Sat Purusha

sat purusha about

Living in uncertainty is the experience I have of life.

I am Sat Purusha, although I used to be Graham Phoenix. I am British. It’s important to me to clarify what that means. I was born in England to Scottish parents with Irish ancestry. There’’s even some Welsh in there somewhere.

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I’m in Trouble Now and I Don’t Even Know What For!

in trouble as a child

I remember a defining moment from my childhood. It helped to shape my relationship with my father and mother.

“That’s the end of the announcements, children. I’m sure you’ll all be happy to hear that it’s now time to go home! Quiet now! I said quiet! Before you go could I just ask Graham Phoenix to stay behind till everyone’s gone? Quiet! You can all go now.”

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How to Find Your Bliss: Joseph Campbell on a Fulfilling Life

how to find your bliss

In 1985 mythologist and writer Joseph John Campbell sat down with legendary interviewer and idea-monger Bill Moyers for a lengthy conversation.

You have to learn to recognize your own depth.

The conversation continued the following year at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The resulting 24 hours of raw footage were edited down to six one-hour episodes and broadcast on PBS in 1988, shortly after Campbell’s death, in what became one of the most popular series in the history of public television.

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The Cars That Made Me a Man

the cars that made me a man

From mountainside picnics to curbside views of conflict to getting to know the girl of his dreams---cars have always shaped my memories.

This faded photograph is from 1958 and is of a memorable family holiday in France. Taking pride of place is my father’s favorite car, the Ford Zephyr Mark II. This was a UK produced car of distinction, it was in production from 1956 to 1962. My mum and dad are in the picture wearing sporty hats with me, in the middle, and one of my brothers.

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My Decade of Freedom Before Middle Class Life Drew Me Back

I remembers the 60’s and 70’s, my years of rebellion, and how they ended up in the power of marriage, parenthood and ordinary life.

I left school in 1966 and I am now 66 years old. This seems to me a great reason to celebrate my decade of freedom that started that year, nearly 50 years ago. It was the year The Beach Boys released the album ‘Pet Sounds’, The Doors released their eponymous album and John Lennon met Yoko Ono leading to the end of live concerts by The Beatles and their break-up. The Vietnam War was causing chaos, almost revolution, in America, but it didn’t really enter my consciousness.

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When a Man’s Responsibility Has Gone – What is There Left

Men keep going because their wife, children, colleagues expect them to. They keep going because of the shame of giving up.

I lay under the duvet cover screaming, screaming out loud. I could feel the break coming. I felt helpless and hopeless and I did not know what to do, I did not know how to deal with my wife, with my life. I was lost; as a husband, as a man, as Graham. I knew something was wrong, something more than the clash of brute force and stubbornness, something more than titan struggle that had been going on downstairs. I was so lost I could not even work out what was wrong, I just wanted the world to go away.

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