Sam Keen Quotes

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Image, As a mode of perception that often becomes a style of life,

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As a mode of perception that often becomes a style of life, paranoia weaves around the vulnerable self or group an air-tight metaphysic and world view. Paranoia is an antireligious mysticism based on the feeling or perception that the world in general, and others in particular, are against me or us. Reality is perceived as hostile. By contrast, the religious mystic experiences the ground of being as basically friendly to the deepest needs of the self. That which is unknown, strange, or beyond our comprehension is with and for rather than against us.

Sam Keen

Image, The spiritual journey is one that we must take “alone together,” in

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The spiritual journey is one that we must take "alone together," in the same way that a good marriage involves a dance between solitude and communion. The life of the spirit entails a continuous alternation between retreating into oneself and going out into the world: it's an inward-outward journey. There is a solitary part to it, but that solitude helps us to develop richer and more in-depth relationships with our friends, our children, our community, and the political world.

Sam Keen

Image, The traditional gender ideals of the strong-silent man who plays his cards

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The traditional gender ideals of the strong-silent man who plays his cards close to his chest and the mysterious woman who disguises her feelings with coyness go so far as to make a virtue of being unavailable and secretive. But wholehearted intimacy can develop only where two people are equally forthcoming and self-revelatory. To take the risk of loving, we must become vulnerable enough to test the radical proposition that knowledge of another and self-revelation will ultimately increase rather than decrease love. It is an awe-ful risk.

Sam Keen

Image, In a way, human beings have never been part of the natural

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In a way, human beings have never been part of the natural order; we're not biological in the normal sense. Normal biological animals stop eating when they're not hungry and stop breeding when there is no sense in breeding. By contrast, human beings are what I think of as "biomythic" animals: we're controlled largely by the stories we tell. When we get the story wrong, we get out of harmony with the rest of the natural order. For a long time, our unnatural beahvior didn't threaten the natural world, but now it does.

Sam Keen

Image, On the pilgrim’s path each man must become Moses, going on a

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On the pilgrim's path each man must become Moses, going on a vision quest to some mountaintop and returning with the ten or twenty commandments that he holds sacred. So long as we obey or break the rules that have been set up for us by the Giants - Parents and other Authorities - we remain good or bad children. Growing into the fullness of our humanity means that we become co-authors of the rules by which we will agree to have our lives judged.

Sam Keen

Image, There is no easy formula for determining right and wrong livelihood, but

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There is no easy formula for determining right and wrong livelihood, but it is essential to keep the question alive. To return the sense of dignity and honor to manhood, we have to stop pretending that we can make a living at something that is trivial or destructive and still have sense of legitimate self-worth. A society in which vocation and job are separated for most people gradually creates an economy that is often devoid of spirit, one that frequently fills our pocketbooks at the cost of emptying our souls.

Sam Keen

Image, Call it “womb awe” or even “womb worship” but it’s not simple

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Call it "womb awe" or even "womb worship" but it's not simple envy. I don't remember even wanting to be a woman. But each of the three times I have been present at the birth of one of my children, I have been overwhelmed by a sense of reverence... It was quite suddenly, the first day of creation; the Goddess giving birth to a world... Like men since the beginning of time I wondered: What can I ever create that will equal the magnificence of this new life?

Sam Keen