Comments on “Romancing the shadow”


"When we were one or two

not your mom's picture

"When we were one or two years old we had what we might visualize as a 360-degree personality. Energy radiated out from all parts of our body and all parts of our psyche. A child running is a living globe of energy.
One day we noticed that our parents didn’t like certain parts of that ball. They said things like: “Can’t you be still?” Or “It isn’t nice to try and kill your brother.”
Behind us we have an invisible bag, and to keep our parents love, we put the part of us that our parents didn’t like in the bag."

lol, written by someone who's never taken care of any kids.

A great mystery is why people listen to stories about the meaning of childhood from people whose only knowledge of childhood is half-memories of their own.


Bly had kids. They were teenagers when he wrote the Little Book, but his memories of them as toddlers were probably reasonably fresh.

What do you think is mistaken in what he wrote?

I didn't say he didn't have

not your mom's picture

I didn't say he didn't have children. Bly wasn't a primary caregiver and given his travel and work schedule after he divorced the mother of his children in 1979, it wouldn't have been possible for him to do much caregiving at all. He just doesn't know very much about children other than himself, something that is true for many people and most men in the West.

The idea that all or even most children pay that much attention to non-abusive parents is pretty lol from my perspective as someone who spends all day with kids, who for sure don't think beating on their siblings affects my love for them.

Children can, however, be instantly and deeply affected by the opinions of their peers. What peers think is acceptable is of much greater consequence than parents.

So that's what I think is mistaken - kids don't care what non-abusive parents think very much because they have a rocksolid, egocentric assumption of love. The first experiences of basic non-acceptibility as a person, in our culture, come from peers (again outside a context of abuse, and other cultures are different). The shadow, in our culture, is not constructed from parental rejection; it's constructed from peer rejection.

And now I will ask you, why did you think that Robert Bly knew anything about kids?

Tibetan book of the undead

Alice Fraser's picture

Is the Tibetan book of the un-dead for purchase? or is there a pdf file i can find?

Tibetan post of the undead

I'm afraid the "Tibetan Book of the Undead" is just a single web page, here. The title is a bit of a joke.

There are actual Tibetan books about the undead. There's references to them scattered around this site. None of them are exactly user-friendly, though.

I wouldn't fret over the

E.J T.'s picture

I wouldn't fret over the Romantic origins of the vampire tale for your novel. Those writers rarely knew what they were doing, and when they had flashes of insight, like Coleridge finishing "Christabel" or attempting to complete the ol "Mariner", they hurriedly scrubbed the depth-full monsters from view. One reason I love Ligotti, even though he's more postmodern than most Weird writers, is that he plunges into the dark waters where Coleridge hurriedly swam away at the first sight of terrible glowing things. Of course, having some troubles in one's belfry is an occupational hazard in that line, but it's better than caning the bad medicine in nightclubs every weekend (not to imply that's why your serial remains unfinished! )

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