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Sam Keen : Outlaw Consciousness

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{Sam Keen (born 1931) is an American author, professor, and philosopher who is best known for his exploration of questions regarding love, life, wonder, religion, and being a male in contemporary society. Keen completed his undergraduate studies at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and later completed graduate degrees at Harvard University and Princeton University. Wikipedia}





Quotes


"For the adult, all the world is a stage and the personality is the mask one wears to play the assigned role. The outlaw quietly takes a seat in the back row of the theater of the mind and watches."

Sam Keen

The Passionate Life

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"There is a crucial difference between the criminal and the outlaw. The criminal is a perverse rebel who acts out against the law. … The outlaw is a supranormal individual who cares about others too much to accept the limitations on eros that are imposed by normal life. Thus the outlaw question moves outside end beyond, not against the law. While the rebel is an antinomian, merely rejecting the established, the outlaw is motivated by a quest for autonomy."

Sam Keen

The Passionate Life

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"Outlaw consciousness is born the moment I drop out, stop the world, cease being an actor identified with the mythic roles I have been playing in society. Change begins when I do nothing except observe. The wisdom of the railroad crossing: Stop. Look. Listen."

Sam Keen

The Passionate Life



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"The first part of the spiritual journey should properly be called psychological rather than spiritual because it involves peeling away the myths and illusions that have misinformed us."

Sam Keen

Hymns to an unknown God



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"Myth is the system of basic metaphors, images, and stories that in-forms the perceptions, memories, and aspirations of a people; provides the rationale for its institutions, rituals and power structure; and gives a map of the purpose and stages of life."


Sam Keen

The Passionate Life

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"It is only from the perspective of the outlaw … that we are able to see that mythically informed normality is a form of mass hypnosis."

Sam Keen

The Passionate Life

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"Kierkegaard said that the only way we can be released from the enchantment, the siren song of the myths, is to play the music through backwards. To break the spell of the ego I must recover my personal and political history, I must demythologize the private, family, and public myths that have informed me."

Sam Keen

The Passionate Life


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"Living mythical-political systems are invisible to those who live within them. The problem of myth and consciousness is reflected in the old saying: We don't know who discovered water, but it certainly wasn't a fish. Myth is the sea of commonly accepted assumptions that are not questioned by the majority of those living within a system. To the average, normal member of society, the myth is what is natural and obvious."

Sam Keen

The Passionate Life

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"A society that trains us to specialize in making, doing, performing, and producing neglects to educate us in wonder and appreciation."

Sam Keen

The Passionate Life

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"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

Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man

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"The gentlest and most insidious way we are dominated by the body politic is by the official versions of the good life that are implicit in advertising and propaganda. Happiness is a new car, a color TV — fill in the gap with your own freely chosen artificially stimulated desire."

Sam Keen

The Passionate Life



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"The Greeks invented the idea of nemesis to show how any single virtue, stubbornly maintained gradually changes into a destructive vice. Our success, our industry, our habit of work have produced our economic nemesis. Work made modern men great, but now threatens to usurp our souls, to inundate the earth in things and trash, to destroy our capacity to love and wonder."

Sam Keen

Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man

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"The neurosis of normality is a case of repetition compulsion caused by the repression of awareness."

Sam Keen

The Passionate Life

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"Being impotent because they have never dared to assert themselves, they continually play the blame game. They are innocent and powerless and, therefore, others are always to blame when things go wrong. … They have yet to bite the apple of consciousness."


Sam Keen

The Passionate Life

*


"Neurotic identity crises come when our defense mechanisms have been too successful and we're encapsulated in the fortress we have constructed with nothing to refresh us in our solitary confinement. So we play the old movies with their stale fears and their unrealistic hopes until we become bored enough to risk disarmament and engagement."


Sam Keen

What to do when you're bored and blue


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"Burnout is nature's way of telling you, you've been going through the motions your soul has departed; you're a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker. False optimism is like administrating stimulants to an exhausted nervous system."

Sam Keen

Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man


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"The carrot of happiness has been dangled in front of me, just beyond my reach for as long as I can remember, and I have never gained on it. It is always still just a step beyond me. And, what's worse, I have been hypnotized by the promise so that I keep going for it, stay in the harness. The moment I turn my eyes from the carrot and ask the radical question about my true desires, I step out of the harness and begin to wander freely in search of what will satisfy my hungers."

Sam Keen

The Passionate Life



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"A man must go on a quest to discover the sacred fire, in the sanctuary of his own belly to ignite the flame in his heart, to fuel the blaze in the hearth, to rekindle his ardor for the Earth."


Sam Keen

Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man




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"The decision to become an individual, to allow oneself to be moved by the deepest impulses of the self rather than the social consensus, can only be made with fear and trembling."


Sam Keen

The Passionate Life

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"The outlaw will often wonder whether asserting the right to know, to taste, to experience, to judge is not an act of arrogance. To become an outlaw, I must decide that my personalexperience rather than the mores of the tribe is the authority upon which I will base my judgments. In a bold act of self-love and self-trust, the outlaw proclaims that individual to be higher than the universal."


Sam Keen

The Passionate Life


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"The outlaw uses the knife to separate the persona from the self. The outlaw uses the warrior's sword to cut through his own character armor to destroy the defense mechanisms that have kept him imprisoned within the citadel of personality and role."


Sam Keen

The Passionate Life

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"Hero tales suggest the price of courage is beyond the ordinary budget. They tempt us to disown the common capacity of the human spirit to transcend normality."


Sam Keen

The Passionate Life

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"To be on a quest is nothing more or less than to become an asker of questions."

Sam Keen

Fire in the belly: on being a man



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"There are two questions a man must ask himself: The first is 'Where am I going ?' and the second is 'Who will go with me?' If you ever get these questions in the wrong order you are in trouble."

Sam Keen

Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man


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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

Fire in the belly: on being a man



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"To love is to return to a home we never left, to remember who we are."


Sam Keen

The passionate life