AMERICA DAILY INC
225 Dolson Avenue, Suite 301 Middletown, NY 10904
AMERICA DAILY INC
225 Dolson Avenue, Suite 301 Middletown, NY 10904
Today’s guest is Mark Jackson
“As you go on a quest to find greater vitality and life for yourself, you also seek answers that contribute to a collective transformation. In fact, anytime you identify a wasteland element in your life such as illness, boredom, lethargy, alienation, emptiness, loss, addiction, failure, anger or outrage, it is time to take a journey. You can be called to quest by such dissatisfaction or simply by a desire for adventure. The journey will inevitably transform you.” And then she goes on to say,
“Heroes are agents of change. The hero’s task has always been to bring new life to an ailing culture. So here you can see that you can be called out onto a new path by a sense of adventure or a sense of loss or boredom or even addiction. All can be seen as a call to the hero’s journey when viewed from this great mono-myth. When you step out onto a new path, it signals that the hero is leaving base camp and the world starts to shift and shape to the new reality. Change is afoot.”
“I have always known that at last, I would take this road, but yesterday I did not know it would be today.”
Tony: So we’re talking about lots of men stuff on this show and the first few episodes are really sort of foundational. We’re talking about the initiation of men. We’re talking about men’s work, the power of men’s groups, the Hero’s Journey. What sorts of issues do you see many men struggling within our culture right now? What do men need to learn to grow into mature, strong, powerful men? What’s a couple of things that you see is missing for them?
Tony: That’s a great way to say it. I have talked about what it’s like to be in a great man’s group. I mean, you make lifelong friends but if there’s also this kind of, I played on sports teams my whole life. I played college baseball and it’s like having a sports team in a good man’s group but without all the macho bullshit or you know you don’t have to be a jock to be in a good men’s group. Everybody’s in there. That kind of bond, almost like a canine bond that feels so familiar when you’re there and men don’t get that enough. You know you don’t get it by going out and having a few beers after work and talking about the Seahawks or the Yankees or whatever you, you don’t get it. But in those men’s groups, it creates that kind of strong bond among the men and it’s food for the soul. For me, I go back over and over again because why would I go without that? Like why would I go it alone when I know there’s such a better way to do it?
Mark: Right, right and the Originators of the weekend and all of the guys who, who started to tap into the fact that they recognize that men are carrying around a tremendous amount of grief and they don’t know how to let go and you can’t really share this stuff to girlfriends and wives (maybe a little bit) but not to the extent where you can in, and that’s the thing that most men think, oh I can’t, I can’t show my feelings in this group of men cause I’ll just get, you know, hounded and harassed and bullied, shaved and then you find out it’s the opposite. It’s like that’s where you take all your heavy stuff because men can deal with it.
There’s a movie that just came out, the documentary called The Work that’s something that I recommend to guys who want to know what this is about. They took the men’s weekends into Folsom prison did this with the scariest guys on the planet, the warden of Folsom Prison.
It’s like an atomic bomb could go off in there and you just see like the power of this work to unify these guys and turn them all in the brothers. I mean it’s the most, it’s the most draw-dropping thing I’ve ever seen. I highly recommend that you can get it, but that shows the potential of doing these men’s weekends.
But is that something you would ever consider doing? I think it’s one thing to staff a weekend. It’s another thing to say I’m going to go to a maximum security prison and staff there. You know.
Mark: I thought it was an awesome idea. Turning it over in my mind. But time sort of passed and I never ended up doing it. Well, once I saw the movie, I was like, yeah, maybe I would like to do that. I do feel like I would have to get back involved with regular staffing because I would want to be on my game right away. You know, some guy who’s been locked up for double homicide for and I would need to be on my game.
Mark: Well, I think it’s a bunch of things. You know, I’m a writer. It’s very, Tolkien was just a hell of a writer. It’s great, great storytelling. I mean all of those things going on like Gollum creeping around and Smaug and Shaylab and all those creatures.
ORCS you know it’s tremendous drama and just fantastic storytelling. But also I think it is the fundamental hero’s journey and the path to enlightenment. It’s an enlightenment tale.
I just thought it was a great tale. But looking back now, and this presumes that you believe in reincarnation and Karma and stuff, but most people who get involved in spiritual practices have been people who have had many, many lifetimes where they have burned off lots or Karma within that lifetime, which means they were, you know, maybe a monk or a nun, which is, that’s what that does is constantly taking care of your karma. Most of them don’t accumulate more. And I also think it was the sort of the remnants like coming over the millennia from previous incarnations of that understanding that you have to run a text over and over again.
Tony: Well, it’s funny too, you know, when you were a young man, you were drawn to reading Lord of the Rings over and over again as a ritual, which is this complex multi-layered tale of the Hero’s Journey with all this information that’s kind of underneath the storyline. And you were gathering all this information. Then later on you would be somebody who would be very sort of aware of your Hero’s Journey.
I just find it really interesting. And one of the things about that story I find fascinating is it’s not just one character. You know, all these characters are having their Hero’s Journey. They’re all facing demons in the story but it’s really about their inner demons that they’re facing all throughout. And it’s a super fascinating story.
I’ve always resonated the most with Aragorn because he’s the reluctant king who is questioning his own bloodline as being suitable to be a king. And that is what really resonates with me. And when I ask people “what character do you resonate with the most”? And some people say, Oh, Sam, or, Frodo, or Gandalf, etc. Now as you look back, which is the one character that you most identify within the story? Aragorn has always been the one where I’m like, yeah, I’ve got a little bit of that kind of reluctant, I don’t really have the bloodline for true leadership.
Mark: For me, it has always been Gandalf ..hahaha
Tony: I knew you were going to say that! And with good reason, right? So why?
Mark: From day one it was always these little superpowers, a little one with the firecrackers and stuff that he’d entertain the Hobbits with, but then he’d get into these mighty battles would fall down through the earth and die and then reincarnate and come back as Gandalf The White, with even more powers.