Masculinity-Movies blog

Intimate interview with me on movies and archetypes

posted by Eivind on December 3, 2014, at 9:58 pm

One of the great joys of running quite a well-known website such as Masculinity-Movies.com is that interesting people I've never heard about contact me and tell me they share my interests and want to talk.

Darren Foley of the Must See Films podcast/Youtube channel is a man who did that quite recently. He was interested in my work on movies and my approach of applying the archetypal-mythological lens on reviewing them.

Below is the resulting interview that I hope you will like. It's a very personal interview where I share a lot about my own personal journey. It got quite emotional for me at times and I hope my passion for this work comes through.

I really enjoyed this talk with Darren. It's always such a treat to speak with people who share my passion. And make sure to check out Darren's work; I love what he's doing – incredibly insightful and something I learn a lot from every time (I'm a fan!).

You can also check it out on iTunes.

My hope is that this talk can inspire you and I would love to hear what you think.

Eivind

Life ends at 20!?

posted by Eivind on November 11, 2014, at 1:15 pm

 (answer: no it doesn’t)

The other day, I overheard a conversation where a man about my age (mid 30s) shared matter-of-factly that after he turned 22, his life had turned more and more monotonous. His days were all the same now, and the years now flew by.

I hear this a lot. I hear it all the time from old people, such as my parents. They seem to have this pervasive belief that there is a certain age at which your days suddenly all start looking the same. And then time turns into a fast-moving blur of monotony.

It's always interesting for me to hear people talk about time in this way, as my experience is so different. For me, the years are getting longer and longer. And this last one seems to have lasted for a small infinity.

I remember back to a year ago; I had only just moved to Boulder, Colorado, to start my training to be a Circling facilitator. Little did I know what adventures awaited me there, and the profound transformation I would experience both there and on my return back home.

When I think back on it, I can hardly believe the amount of love, pain, transformation and adventure I've experienced in that short time. So much has happened! It feels so long ago that it's almost "the good old days", you know back in the days when I was digging for gold at the foothills of the Colorado Rockies.

gold-digging-colorado

Arr, those were the good ole gold-diggin' days

And here this guy was sat sharing how all his days seemed the same. I don't like hearing that. In fact, it feels me with sadness and anger. "Another one bites the dust". Another man gives up on life. There's even an article about it that's all the rage online right now: Man Tells Heartbreaking Story Of How He Realized He Wasted His Life

I remember reading somewhere that the average human being stops growing psychologically at age 20. This is not the time to do a profound scientific piece where I research that fact (so if you know of this research, please share in the comments below), but it makes perfect sense.

Why? Because that's about the time when our biology train arrives at its station of adulthood. The biological impetus for change all of a sudden vanishes. So we stop growing. We go to universities and cram our heads full of knowledge. Maybe we have a few adventures. But for the most part, it's all a continued movement across a horizontal plane; we don't actually deepen. We don't become more enlightened people.

Does it have to be this way?

Of course not!

Our sense of monotony, perhaps even depression, is just an expression of profound cultural ignorance of what it takes to be an alive human being. We offer our young men and women a template of what success looks like and tell them to conform to its associated social norms and peer pressure. They obey and in the process, they lose touch with themselves. They stop being soulful individuals.

Some of them may wonder if life's supposed to be this way, but they see no alternative - because everyone around them is unfree, out of touch with a better alternative. So they keep plodding along hoping for better times. They never come.

When this man shared that all his days felt the same, he broadcasted loudly that he had stopped living a courageous life. He was simply coasting along, having a little bit of fun here and there, but generally being uninspired. He was betraying himself and I'm certain that he knew this deep down. But he seemed too busy with following the cultural narrative of adulthood to notice.

You can often tell such a man by his frequent use of sarcasm, irony and self-effacing humor.

Here's the deal about 20: Not only do we stop growing biologically, but - as the Jungians would tell us - the ages 20 and 40 are very important thresholds. It appears that our unconscious comes closer to the surface at these times. I myself had a profound life crisis in my early 20s. I answered its call. Some lucky people do. Others feel a call inside them, but choose to ignore it. And we start harvesting the bitter fruits of Self-denial shortly after.

Since we don't initiate people in our culture, we don't have the mythological context or the confidence or courage to take the path less travelled, the path along which the voice of our unconscious would so gladly follow us. So must of us start going down the safe route, even though our unconscious may be hammering us from below screaming for us to listen.

When you feel dead inside, when all your days feel the same, it's not saying anything about the objective nature of reality. It is, however, saying everything about how the choices you've made have impacted you.

So if you feel like your days are all the same, it's time to make a change. This is your life. This right here, right now. You're reading these words in the midst of what is *your life*. And it won't change just because you want it to. God won't drop a better life gift-wrapped into your lap simply because you pity yourself. No, you must commit. You must stand up and exclaim into the world your "I am here!", and you must do it not as an act of rebellion or of validation-seeking, but as an invocation of the very depths of you, as a commitment to start filling up your deflated Soul.

And then you must start planting seeds. One by one. And with time and patience you shall harvest the fruits of your labor. Don’t be in too much of a rush, however. True change takes time. I started on this path 14 years ago.

More and more people tell me how great I am these days. That’s nice, but not that big of a deal. In fact, I downright don’t like it when I pick up in the cadence of the person that he puts me above him, that I’m somehow special.

I just smile, thinking of the one simple truth that they seem oblivious of: Greatness is a result of doing many little things, often in the face of fear, consistently over time. I used to hear this “I’m not special” from people I admired. Now it's my turn to say the same thing. I'm not special. Neither are you. But the seed of greatness lives in you still. (and please, bypass the greatness of immature bravado and go for the mature and humble kind)

No-one is special. You choose to live or you choose to die and your life shall reflect the exact shape of your commitment.

That is all.

The Magician that lives in the dark woods

posted by Eivind on September 25, 2014, at 9:33 pm

(this post is adapted from a post I made on Facebook)Haunted Forest

Modern minds go crazy in the woods at night. We do not know how insane we are until we stand under the shadowy silhouettes of huge trees, hearing the gentle breeze ruffle the branches and feeling the pregnant silence of a forest mostly asleep (and it is the "mostly" that gets us).

There the dark night lovingly seeks out the places in our subconscious that the distractions of civilization conveniently brush aside. We have been invaded: By marketing, movies, computer games and a culture gone grazy (it can mostly be summed up in the word "addictions"). In the woods at night, this is revealed. There, the dark of the night brings the dark of our minds to light.

The way our mind responds to a dark forest is a great barometer of the depth of our soul-connection. If the unknown of that dark place drives us mad, it is because we have not explored our depths; we have not come to know ourselves truly.

Mindfulness/meditation practice can help us stay in the moment and not run off into fantasy, but it is Soul practice that allows us to receive the communication of the night fully; reframing the whole language of darkness from a potential threat to our presence to an invitation to a deeper encounter with Self.

When we look out into the night from behind our window panes, do we see a threatening unknown? Or do we see a womb lined with the essence of love and the promise of inner alchemy?

I have noticed that the deeper I go with my soul work, the more the dark of night starts opening up. From being a place that brings out our fears and inner demons, it becomes a place which starts resonating with our yearnings, transmuting our fears and showering us with gratitude and wonder.

It's a challenging practice, but it's one worth taking on: Go alone into the wilderness in the dark of night ready with a question – or a sacrifice – and a willingness to listen. Last night, I made my way – as I did the night before – from my little meditation hut into the dark woods. I have been in this landscape at night before, and while I've braved it many times, I've always felt like something of an invader in an alien land with unknown threats lurking around every corner.

I notice this perpetual subtle anxiety of the dark woods is fading, and as I make my way to an opening, moving gently so as not to disturb the sleep of my surroundings (and perhaps more importantly not to stir up the demons that live in me), I find myself a clearing to lay down in.

Speaking out loud, I invite the benevolent forces of the woods to come feast on me, to eat my addictions and egoic patterns. In so doing, the warmth I had felt vanished and I felt fear. But I called on the resources and help I have, and was soon accompanied by benevolent beings of the otherworld (this is the kind of thing that may sound strange in front of a computer screen, but I've found it to be a foundational skill to navigating the wild at night).

No creatures of the night showed up in the flesh (this time), but as I made my way back through the woods to my hut, I felt joyful and elated. I went to bed feeling as if the night embraced me like a warm cozy blanket, rather than a threatening unknown.

This womb of the night is a place where the Magician archetype comes alive. The dark unknown – and the way in which it dialogues with us – calls on the Magician that lives in us to utilize his skills proper; To spontaneously set up ritual space/ritual circles, to call in help, to transmute emotions, to work with the subtle energies of the surroundings, to banish demons and seeing, as we do so, that they were but twisted apparitions of our most sacred inner gifts.

This is one of the things you will, in some form or another, experience if you come with me on the Reclaim your Inner Throne journey (and you’ll need to be quick because it’s almost full).

For me, this is just warming up. In a few days, I will make my way into the Wilderness proper without food – four days to spare – and a request to be consumed.

This, I'm afraid of. I know it will call upon all of my training. It's not the woods at night themselves that scare me most; it is the dialogue I'm inviting.

And if the woods answer – which I hope and fear they will – I will be overpowered completely; with no choice other than to surrender to the powers of the unknown.

See you on the other side and hopefully on the Reclaim your Inner Throne journey.

Warm regards,
Eivind

Guardians of the Galaxy: Funniest movie I’ve seen all year

posted by Eivind on August 10, 2014, at 11:18 am

guardians-of-the-galaxy-posterIf you haven’t caught Guardians of the Galaxy in the movie theatres yet, now is the time.

I had absolutely no expectations for this movie when a friend invited me to go see it with him, yet had more fun watching it than I have had in the cinema for a long time.

Guardians is a silly, well-made space opera featuring the charming Earthling Peter Quill, an adolescent yet incredibly courageous and likable man,  as the unlikely savior of the universe. He’s not going to give you profound lessons on how to be a mature man in the world, but he is going to take you on a riotous ride together with his unlikely quartet of space freaks.

Guardians of the Galaxy is riddled with gags that actually hit home and cliche-busting laugh out loud moments. I can tell the people behind this movie must’ve had a lot of fun making it.

In the movie, Peter (aka “Star-lord”)  gets wrapped up in a quest for a very powerful orb of mysterious origin. Arch villain Ronan the Accuser, who seems to want nothing more than to lay waste to the Universe, predictably also covets it, as it seems to have the ability to lay waste to entire planets with great ease (who wouldn’t want that eh?).

In the battle against this totally enjoyable nemesis, Peter pulls on the support of Drax the brute, Groot (a talking tree), Rocket (a genetically alterted genius Racoon) and the green femme fatale Gamora.

The makers of the movie have employed a 70s and 80s soundtrack, featuring classics such as Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a feeling”. This is a genius move, that serves the double purpose of connecting Peter to the earth that he was taken from (he plays the songs on his old walkman). The eclectic mix of music and sci-fi scenery lends the movie incredibly personality and leads to some very funny moments, among others a dance showdown between Peter and Ronan.

I’m not going to share much more, but suffice to say I haven’t enjoyed a Hollywood-production this much in a long time. Guardians brings levity to a genre that often takes itself too seriously and has an uncanny ability to penetrate Hollywood cliches with charm.

It’s not profound (which is why I’m not doing a formal “Masculinity-Movies review”), but it’s a lot of fun.

I’d give this movie a 9 out of 10.

Have fun!

Saving the world has to be fun: Interview with Terry Patten

posted by Eivind on August 1, 2014, at 4:12 pm

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Terry Patten a few days ago. Terry is a highly respected teacher of Integral Spirituality and the author of four books, including Integral Life Practice (co-authored with Ken Wilber among others). After spending time with him over the past year, I also have the pleasure of calling him a friend. I wanted to interview Terry since he will visit Oslo, Norway soon with his workshop “The Revelation of the Soul”.

In the interview below, we touch on a lot of topics dear to my heart. Terry is highly passionate about helping activists remain joyfully alive even as they try to tackle serious problems in a world in crisis. He is clear that we cannot hope to affect real change if we’re coming from a place of frustration, fatigue and despair.

No, the people who will help us move forward are the ones who are passionately alive and who know how to dance and “love brilliantly”. This strikes home with me strongly; I sometimes carry my vision in a way that wears me down.

Archetypally, what I hear Terry say is that we must nourish our inner Lover in order to carry out the Warrior work in this world. I cannot agree more.

At the 07:25 mark, Terry speaks directly to my heart. He is pinpointing the most central theme in my life right now: Letting go of ideas about ourselves and our identities in order to step into who we really are.

Here are some of the highlight moments in this fantastic interview:

02:53 - Activists need to feel alive
04:55 - Being seriously playful
07:27 - Love brilliantly and let identities fall away
12:35 - Strategizing the moment is not going to work
16:40 - Soul and self-transcendence
17:50 - The paradoxical relationship between Surrender and Action
19:25 - The need for Self-compassion
21:50 - Healthy idealism and the heart of the heart
22:40 - What to expect from the workshop
24:15 - 15 years with Adi Da
28:00 - Adi Da: Reconfiguring the image of enlightenment

I look forward to bringing more of Terry to you soon, as he is almost certainly going to be featured as one of the experts in my upcoming archetypal home study course “Reclaim your Inner Throne”.

Enjoy this interview and let me know what you think.

Warmly,
Eivind