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Avdullah Monthly Book Review #2 - February 2022
Love, Art, War, and everything in between.
Ever since my teens, I’ve always been heavily interested in topics of male psychology and positive, masculine development. It wasn’t because I felt I had any glaring faults of my own, but the kind of artist that I am forces me to be drawn to topics such as these, which more or less is the study of PEOPLE and their growth. This book was written by two Jungian psychologists, whom I believe take an approach unhindered by gynocratic myths built up over many decades in the so called field of “psychoanalysis”; a practice now tainted by scientism and effeminate rationalizations for inherent behavior in men. It has reached a point where the vast majority of men in dire need of professional mental help are better off not seeing the practitioners of this astrological bullshit field in the first place. So as you can imagine, reading something like this was a breath of fresh air.
Moore and Gillette seperate the different energies of man into the four titular categories, and do so using Jung’s framework of the “archetype and its shadow”. They make the case for each using both historical and modern day examples in our lives, and make the case that for men suffering issues with their confidence, self esteem, countless insecurities, and a general dullness with life are most likely suffering with an immature shadow “pole” of one of these archetypes. For example, a man who has severe issues standing up for himself in tense social situations is suffering from a deep lack in his Warrior energy, or in other words, is muddled in its shadow pole, The Coward. This is a diagram that’s presented a few times in the text:
After the introduction they lay out in great detail what each of these archetypes and shadows mean, and then finally how to better access and develop the mature aspect of that archetype within yourself. They often make references to case studies of their own clients who suffered from some of these complexes, but here is where I have a criticism. This was written in 1990, so this probably wasn’t that controversial at the time, but even then they tread the line such that they’re careful not to offend the culprits in what causes much of these destructive immaturities in the first place. They do criticize the feminists of their time somewhat, especially their role in cracking down on any forms of male aggression in American culture.
Still, either they wouldn’t tread that far or didn’t realize that the gynocratic social order which was already in place in the 90s, the matriarchal aspects of nearly all American education and media is what brings out the ugly and resentful shadows of men by fostering them in childhood. The Warrior aspect is the one most directly attacked in young boys today, but the female-centered upbringing and stagnation that the institutions have adopted smother not only that but the Magicians, Lovers, and Kings amongst men as well - and they explain it themselves, each of these are interconnected in their own way. A great king is also a great warrior, lover, and so on. I also appreciate how they went over the immaturity of the King archetype being highlighted in the societal wide failure of the boomer generation, who in well-known fashion denied future generations the fruits of a benevolent king, each in their individual way.
Boys with an interest in art struggle with the Magician and Lover aspects the most, as that is what makes up the center of their being. It’s very easy for an Artist to fall into the polar shadow of The Dreamer, the imaginative boy that never acts on what he thinks of and remains in an onanistic state of fantasizing. But what doesn’t help is when in addition to this natural struggle he is told that much of the paths of risk-taking involved with becoming a great artist are ‘sexist’ and ‘fascist’, when those idols he’d naturally learn fundamental truths from later on in life as a young man like Yukio Mishima (who was given a shoutout in this book as a Warrior-Artist) or Nietzsche, are buried under a mountain of obscurity. This is one example, and just an extension of things I felt would be necessary in an “updated” version to this book, if written in 2022.
Overall, its a great read for any young man that desires to learn more about the insecurities and strenths they can only think of in abstract terms, put into concrete concepts that can change your eye towards yourself and the other men in your life. The next book I read however, I’d describe as an actionable work that explores the Warrior archetype described by Moore and Gillette:
This was written by a friend some of us know, he goes by @corsair21c on Twitter.
As a disclaimer, my perspective reviewing this work is of a young man in his twenties who does loads of physical training and grew up having fought a lot as a kid in school, but that’s about it. I have never served in a military, and have not (by God’s mercy) been presented with a life or death combat situation. Yet.
It’s works like these that remind me of the marvel that is our dissident space on the internet - where an expert can easily outshine with clear, concise advice and reasoning a topic of their specialty for the benefit of those on a similar path. This is an incredible book, amoral and practical not just for avoiding a sewer gutter death, but a shift in perspective on violence and combat to one that is more natural and in line with man’s nature. Many of us, even those in sports and other competitive areas of life, have a neutered conception of what it means to actually fight against a worthy adversary for fatal stakes. Savage dispels these tendencies from the outset with a philosophical outlook inspired by many forgotten heroes in both fiction and history, while also presenting realistic arguments based in harsh biology and physics. The thesis presented at the beginning is that men will undergo war and battle whether you like it or not. Therefore, it is your obligation to prepare for it to protect not only yourself but everyone and everything you care about. Got it?
Whether it be in the open air of the battlefield or the streets of a grimy inner city, Savage gives you a rundown on the pros and cons of types of physical training, fighting styles, weapons, tactics, and towards the end of the book an extensive detailing on the spirituality of combat and training of the mind for that endeavor. I’m a cerebral man by nature, so this last third of the book was the most enjoyable for me. This is not a book you’ll read just once. I encourage you, if you haven’t read it already, to highlight and keep it nearby for rereading and as a general guide as you progress in your martial training.
The physical training chapter hits a note on something which became a well known meme amongst veterans of weight training, being that having a 45” chest and 21” arms don’t mean shit if you can’t fight and are brawling with someone who can. Sorry Curl-cels. It sounds like common sense, but its quite shocking how many guys don’t acutely know that if you want to do well in a fight you have to train specifically for fighting. As far as your needs go for this, Savage makes the case for a base level of strength which is achievable for most men, and going beyond that does more harm than good in terms of your physical capabilities in warfare; as well as eating up precious time that could be used for what he discusses next - fight training.
This is the most comprehensive part of the book, so I won’t summarize but rather say I agree with all the sentiments about boxing and grappling, and as someone who doesn’t know shit about guns, that section was easy enough to understand. He’s heavily inspired by James Lafond, another expert in urban combat (especially with regards to concealed weaponry/sudden assaults on your person in inner city shit holes). Savage also explores various other topics that relate to fighting, such as leadership and how the American ethos was shaped by combat.
Those were all the rational parts. The more abstract, which I believe in wholeheartedly, is when he goes over the parts of man that make him a warrior from the inside. The heart, mind, and spirit that makes up a fighter deep in his bones is explained plenty through many case studies and applying all the concepts he explained in the first two thirds of the book. If he were to cut out all the actionable advice and only have sold this part of the book, I still would recommend you buy it anyway.
That’s really all I have to say about it. If you’re inclined to steer your life in a more martial direction, even if you’re not familiar with any other reading like it, this is a must read.
That’s all for now. I’m currently reading Mishima’s Spring Snow, so expect a more abstract and irrational review than this one next month.