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.

Continue reading →

Young And Hopeless—I’m Angry At My Father

young hopeless and angry

I know I'm making something out of this life they called nothing. It’s me against this world and I don’t care.

A few years ago I was living in Tilburg, The Netherlands. This is a small town in the middle of the country. The one amazing thing they have is a large pop venue that is a favourite touring venue for punk bands. It is one of the few places in The Netherlands that my son, a punk drummer, has been to. One night I went to see ‘Good Charlotte‘, the US punk band based around the Madden brothers. I had an envigorating, rocking evening, even though I was in my sixties! The song that remains with me from that gig is ‘Young and Hopeless’. It is a personal song that aches with teenage angst and disconnection.

Continue reading →

Love And Anger—Living With Emotional Authenticity

love and anger

How I live with my emotions and what I need to do, moving forward, to remain authentic to my intentions.

Love and Anger are two emotions that are central to how I live my life. On the one hand love is at the core of my emotional responses. It is either the lack of love, the desire for love or the need for love. On the other anger is such a powerful emotion for me, it has dominated my life and caused untold chaos. The desire, or need, for love is easy to confuse with the play of love in my life.

Continue reading →

Anger and the Superior Man – Is it about Gender or Personal Inadequacy?

I look at the anger surrounding the recent shooting in the US, and explains how it all relates to an expression of personal inadequacy.

Anger is a part of all our lives whether it comes from inside or whether we experience it from other people. Anger is a recurring theme in relations between men and women both on a personal and cultural level. The recent shooting in the US has generated countless pages both about the shooter’s anger and the anger of those reacting to him and what he did. Much of that anger has been directed at a perceived battle between men and women, some of it has been about the pressure of men’s entitlement and the effect this has on women.

Continue reading →

The Lesson of the Wall: Why My Anger Looked Different to Me from The Inside Than It Did on the Outside

I often felt the urge to exert control, the need to get people to listen to me. What happened when I resorted to violence to be in charge?

I left home and school at the age of eighteen and went off to work in the theatre, far away from home. I was rebelling against what I felt was a restrictive background. I was shy, not at all sure of myself, and not in control of myself.

Continue reading →

Walls Are Ambiguous, Two-Faced – Just Like The Boundaries We Set

I was trying to exert control over others to force them to do my will. I had no real control over myself, as I discovered over the following years of struggle with my anger.

I realised later in life that you can only control yourself. To lead others you need to be seen to be in control of yourself, then others will respect you and follow you.

Continue reading →

Letting Go Of Anger – It Is Right But It Kicks You In The Gut

Let go of the necessity of being right. It can take courage to be silent but then you can look yourself in the eye and not flinch.

Some years ago I ran a company along with a business partner. He had founded the company years before and he was proud of what he had achieved. I put money into the company and trusted what he told me. I did not look too deep because I was proud of what the company did and flattered to be asked to join as a director.

Continue reading →