Be Careful, hmmm?


 

“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

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About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, essayist, cartoonist, graphic artist, peace miller, new mythologist, and fledgling world citizen.... I grew up in Northwest Arkansas and have lived and worked all over the United States.... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
This entry was posted in history, Michael R. Patton, myth, new age, new mythology, peace, psychology, religion, spirituality and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Be Careful, hmmm?

  1. Love it! I like to tone it down a bit and lead many of my presentations and lectures with “40% of everything I think, say, do, believe, know and argue is wrong at any given time. The key is to figure out what is in and what is out of that group.”

    If I dismiss observations and data through prejudice and arrogance – I will never know, and may even cause harm.

    Great blog!

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