Monday, 13 January 2020

A Transparent Front for a Greedy Dragon

Dosh 4 Gold

“The exchange of gold is a mysterious process. 

It is our gold, but it’s too heavy for us, so we need someone else to carry it for a time. 

That person becomes synonymous with meaning. 

We follow him with an eagle eye wherever he goes. 

His smile can raise us to heavenly heights, his frown will hurl us to hellish depths, so great is the power of meaning. 

Hero Worship 
Sometimes the exchange of gold takes the form of hero worship. 

For a ten-year-old boy, his twelve-year-old neighbor is a hero. 

The ten-year-old wants to imitate him. He walks like him. He wears shoes just like his. He borrows his vocabulary and hangs around him as much as he can. 

We all know the power of fashion, and especially how fashion runs through a neighborhood of adolescents. 

The style of shoes, prisoner pants, all those things you’ve got to have. 

It’s both inspiring and funny to watch somebody hero-worship. Two years later, when the ten-year-old is twelve, he has become the characteristics that he projected onto the twelve-year-old. 

He assimilated them back and became them. 

Now he hero-worships a fourteen-year-old and has a new ladder to climb. 

I remember vividly my own early hero worshipping. It was so strong. 

Slowly and painfully, I’ve drawn those hero-worship projections—this placing of my own potential onto others—back to myself. 

Turning gray in the process, I have become what I was hero-worshipping. 

Hunting for Gold 

When I was fourteen, I drove with my grandmother to Spokane, Washington, to attend a family funeral. 

One of my cousins, a little older than I, had married, and I saw her husband for the first time. 

Instantly, he became my hero. I was unstable in that period of my life. 

My feet didn’t work well, and I hadn’t really entered the masculine world—I’m not greatly endowed in that direction.

 His name was Thor. 

He was of Norwegian ancestry, in his early twenties, a big, strong guy, an absolute Master of The Physical World. 

That fellow did something so kind and important for me. 

The day after the funeral, he plucked me out of the family gathering and took me into the woods to go hunting, the first and last hunting I’ve ever done.

 He sensed who I was, what I needed, and at what speed to initiate me. 

He knew I had to be told which end of the gun to point where, and he did it all so well. 

He was a God-Man, someone of infinitely high value for me. I was envious and bound to him, almost literally. 

I placed my feet in his footsteps as we walked through The Forest, giddy with his greatness. 

Suddenly he stopped and said, “Squirrel on a limb. Over there.” 

Ten or twenty yards away was a squirrel on a pine branch. 

“All right,” he said, and told me exactly what to do: 

“Line this up with the squirrel. 

Pull the trigger gently, so you don’t jiggle the gun and lose him out of sight. 

It’ll go bang in your ear. 

Don’t be afraid.” 

I did it, and of course I thought I’d missed the squirrel. 

“Come on,” he said, and we went over. 

And lo and behold, I hadn’t missed. 

There on the ground under the limb was a ragged, bloody mess of a squirrel. 

I was so proud and so horrified at the same time. 

I learned in a split second what heroism costs you and what it gives you. 

I had become a big man, but I couldn’t stand it. 

I did not want to shoot squirrels. 

We went back home, and I was more pleased than unhappy. 

So I told this little guy, who hadn’t said a word, “I owe your grandfather an immense debt, and I transfer that debt to you. I owe you whatever you need from me.” The boy latched on to me immediately, and I became his hero. It was a beautiful exchange. This is alchemical gold.

You put your own gold onto somebody until you’re able to hold it yourself. As a fourteen-year-old, I couldn’t do what Thor could. He was twenty-four or twenty-five, and I put my gold onto him, the gold of masculinity, strength, courage, and independence, things I had none of and he had lots.

Over the course of forty years, I got my gold back. I didn’t do it by way of guns—I’ve never shot a gun since.

I was acutely aware of all this as I sat next to young Thor. “I have gold for you,” I said. Of course, it was his gold, or it wouldn’t work. I couldn’t give him anything. But I could carry his gold, if he chose to allow me. And he did, because I’m more like him and he’s more like me than either of us is like his grandfather.

I’ve made my way in this world by a series of carriers of specific gold. With the aid of heroes, I’ve proceeded in the way an alpine climber hammers in his piton, secures his rope, pulls himself up to the piton, and gets hold of it. This is how we grow. Everyone comes to be where he or she is now, to some extent, through the exchange of gold.

Sometimes We Have to Struggle

When the exchange of gold proceeds well, we mature and eventually become strong enough to ask for our gold back. It might be awkward at first. We might have to slam the door as we exit, to convince ourselves that we’re leaving. We act in this kind of adolescent way, clumsy at retrieving our gold, because we don’t re- ally understand what’s going on. Carrying someone’s gold is a fine art and a high responsibility. If you are the recipient of someone’s gold, hold it carefully and be prepared to give it back within a microsecond’s notice.

Unfortunately, there are people who collect gold and refuse to give it back. It’s a kind of murder. They collect an entourage or followers and exploit them. It happened to me, and it was exceedingly painful.

My father didn’t really father me, and so much of the fatherly gold in me was  uninvested. I spent a good part of my early life looking for the father I never had.  One day when I was in my twenties, a man came into my life who seemed ideal for  this investment of gold. He acted like a father and let it be known that he would  carry the masculine archetype for me. I trusted him and was ready for a wise, old  man to guide me to the next stage of life. Here was someone in whose glory I  could bask. I gave him my gold, and it was a wonderful experience—for a few days.   

Within a week, he began manipulating and dominating me, organizing my life  and using me. I could have stayed, and that would have been the price for storing  my fatherly gold with him. But I already knew too much to allow him to keep it. So I  asked for my gold back. He wouldn’t return it. He wanted to continue the manipulation. I had to fight with him, not with blows, but psychologically. I fought my way out of his orbit, and there is still enmity between us. It was a bitter experience.   

Our culture understands little about these matters, so when we ask the other  person for our gold back, she probably won’t know what we’re talking about. She  might say, “Last week you were opening doors for me and treating me like a  princess, and this week you’re ignoring me.” People don’t understand the dynamics. It is only after you get your gold back that you can see the gold of the other person.

 When the time is right, when you are ready to bear the weight, you must get  your gold back. If you can do it with dignity and tact, that’s best.

But you must get  it back, one way or another. 

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