The Myth of Heroic Masculine Purpose

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2 years 1 month ago #366573 by Loudzoo
This pretty much nails it:
https://youtu.be/RKdT_d-_vYs

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2 years 1 month ago - 2 years 1 month ago #366596 by Skryym
Tom (LSOO) always hits so deeply with his critiques. As a "poor farm boy", I grew up with the sole purpose of leaving the farm and doing great things around the world. It's a consuming mythology that will take everything you give it, and make you question any lapse in self-discipline. In pursuit of these goals I became emotionally detached from my closest friends and family. Funny enough, I got exactly what I asked for in life. Despite having the "dream job", my real fulfillment comes during mundane tasks, when someone asks me to change a fire alarm battery, or when I get to spend time with family and friends. When I'm abroad, I just want to be home, on the farm in the struggling rural economy where I grew up, surrounded by friends and family and dogs.

When I want to go back to the farm, I feel the same guilt, like I am letting Aragorn down, so to speak (in my case it is more like the odd combination of Luke Skywalker and Nathan Drake / Indiana Jones). But it's important to recognize that ALL desires are a form of myth. The myth of an easy and peaceful life on a farm surrounded by loved ones may not be the "Heroic Masculine Purpose" as defined by Hollywood, but it requires the same virtue to achieve.

It requires an enormous amount of work just to be an average parent - to be a good parent, that can give a child a better life with better access to healthcare and education than you did? That parenting requires heroic virtue.

It requires an enormous amount of dedication just to hold down an ordinary job and accrue savings. To hold such a job while financially providing for others? That is heroic virtue. I

t requires an enormous effort just to be "present" with your friends and family. But to take care of sick parents, or support a friend who lost their job or suffers from clinical depression? That is heroic virtue.

I am writing as someone who is tired of the myth, and recognizes its danger, but does not want to let go. Maybe it is better to let go, or maybe it is better to integrate the "heroic masculine purpose" into our relationships, household chores, and visits to the doctor or grocery store. It is difficult to see which argument LSOO is making. Maybe both. But ultimately, I think he is speaking against selfish heroism. It is interesting he has released this video essay now, at a time when the world needs "heroic masculine purpose" more than ever - so we have to ask ourselves if its the myth or the motive that's worth throwing away.

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2 years 1 month ago #366610 by Loudzoo
I think you're right Jesse, LSOO is saying we need to balance the myth with the motive, and apply that to our lives. Many would say that it is misdirected Heroic Masculine Purpose that got us into the current situation . . .
Pascal had it about right:

'Sometimes, when I set to thinking about the various activities of men, the dangers and troubles which they face at Court, or in war, giving rise to so many quarrels and passions, daring and wicked enterprises and so on, I have often said that the sole cause of man's unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room. A man wealthy enough for man's needs would never leave home to go to sea or besiege some fortress if he knew how to stay at home and enjoy it. Men would never spend so much on a commission in the army if they could bear living in town all their lives, and they only seek after the company and diversion of gambling because they do not enjoy staying at home.' Pascal, Pensées, tr. A.J. Krailsheimer, London: Penguin, rev. 1995: 37. For another translation: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18269/18269-h/18269-h.htm.

The Hero's Journey is a fine template but it takes no account of the fact that society offers us about 100 different, often conflicting, adventures every day. Realistically we should reject the call of at least 99, if not all of them.

Don't worry too much about 'letting Aragorn down' - I suspect he would quite happily have remained as Strider, the Ranger.

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