“I want to warn you not to take too seriously things you hear today…
“…because I lie about one-third of the time—some people say two-thirds.
“And I don’t know when I’m lying and when I’m telling the truth. So be careful, hmmm?”
— Robert Bly, from an “Iron John” workshop
How bold!—for someone to admit in public that he could be wrong! That his ideas can not be called fact, and so, remain speculations.
Of course, in that statement, Robert Bly’s also telling us that he’s right at least part of the time. Right enough to be worthy of our consideration.
But the key thing is: he wants us to remember, that when all is said and done, we must make up our own minds. By putting the burden back on our shoulders, Bly does us quite a service. If only more speakers could be so generous!
Too often in this life, I’ve had people tell me what to think. Too often, I’ve accepted what they’ve told me without much counter-thought.
It doesn’t comfort me to know that others suffer from this same habit of mind…
From what I’ve read of history, we humans are too easily swayed too often by the words of authority. We’ve followed the tune of many a piper—and too often they‘ve led us off a cliff.
Though we may think ourselves more sophisticated today, I don’t see that we’ve changed so much…
Any good hypnotist or salesperson will tell you: human beings are very susceptible to suggestion.
I know I still am, though I’ve worked hard to develop a healthy skepticism.
With all this in mind, perhaps we’d do well to include Robert Bly’s words of warning in our new mythology, to be repeated on a daily basis:
“Be careful, hmmm?”
© 2012, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry