Books by Douglas Gillette

NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 20, 1993

This last volume of four (The Magician Within, p. 208, etc.) from Jungian psychoanalyst Moore and mythologist Gillette completes a vision of the mature man as a noble, emotionally generous, artistically expressive soul. Here, stating that all men are ``wired for loving, and for mystical experience,'' the authors consider why this is such a difficult ``energy'' for most men to master. They agree with men's movement luminary Robert Bly on the importance of a father to a boy's psychological development and on the connection between impaired adult instincts and early loss or deprivation: ``What determines the mode of a man's loving [monogamy, promiscuity, etc.] involves the ways in which he was wounded and affirmed as a boy.'' Men can struggle to avoid shadow behaviors and learn to use techniques to access the ``Lover within''—techniques including some form of play every day (to honor ``the Child within''); expressive activities (especially dance); and the development of capacities for spiritual experience. In this view of the authentic lover's ideal, a romantic involvement is central, not to find the lost elements or repressed parts of a man's life—though failure to do so sours a relationship—but to share what Harville Hendrix calls a ``passionate friendship'' (a friendship with, the authors add, a spiritual dimension). Shorter and less burdened by elaborate distinctions than the previous books—and offering a more streamlined roundup of background examples and fewer of those murky philosophical passages that erect barriers where there should be bridges. But even so, it's a dense and weighty read. (Fifty b&w photos, eight pages color photos—not seen) Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 19, 1993

Like the two previous volumes from these collaborators (The King Within and The Warrior Within, both 1992), this one urges men to take control of their lives and to enjoy the knowledge within, in this case by emphasizing mastery of the culture's power, imagination, and technology—a stimulating prospect undermined by graceless writing. Following an explanatory tour of the masculine soul, gender identity, and the male psyche (familiar from earlier works), Moore and Gillette consider traditional images of masculine magicians and the elements most common to their stories—mysterious origins, imperiled infancies, distant wanderings, etc. It's an informed set of observations, and, in tracking the shaman idea through myth and history, the authors support their argument with diverting examples and a well-honed point of view (for example, preferring the terms ``ordinary'' and ``extraordinary'' to the classic ``profane'' and ``sacred''). The role of elders, the importance of ritual, and the significance of initiations are also examined, as are the behaviors of men who fail to measure up—those innocent of the pain they cause, or those detached from their best impulses. By contrast, those who harness the magician's energy—who have access to inner truths and can affirm others' efforts to do the same—are able to ``face the cosmos,'' to live ``as mature men, consciously and intentionally, and with deep self-reflection.'' Would that the authors' presentation were as strong as their conviction. Like its predecessors, the book is full of cumbersome schemata (seven states of initiation, five stages to accessing the magician) and difficult definitions (the difference between ``liminal'' and ``liminoid'') that clog the prose and obscure the message about men's potential—a vital message that needs a simpler idiom to reach its audience. (Fifty b&w photos—not seen) Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 18, 1992

Urging men to ``Be Glorious!'' in harnessing the potential of the ``Warrior within,'' this follows fast on the heels of the authors' The King Within (p. 165) and further establishes their place in men's-movement literature. As in their previous book (from which several short chapters are reprinted here for new readers), Moore and Gillette draw on a wide variety of sources—Captain Kirk to Carlos Castaneda—to explore the central issue of men's aggressive impulses: ``The problem today is how to turn what was once a species-enhancing instinct into a beneficial rather than an endangering dynamic.'' Along the way, they offer many interesting observations—e.g., why one-on-one combat seems a more noble expression than large-scale or nuclear war—and, more than in the first volume, they use concrete examples to illustrate their points. (For example, Moore and Gillette suggest that every man has had some access to the ecstasy of the Warrior in packing for a critical business trip, making an important speech, proposing marriage or divorce.) They again look at the imperfect expressions of these impulses (in sadists and masochists), and they emphasize why the true Warrior must possess some larger vision than his own (or his company's) well-being. Many may find these explanations for classes of behavior somewhat limited, though, even if they subscribe to the values and behaviors promoted by the authors. Initiates will welcome this follow-up work despite the often sluggish prose, and even newcomers will be able to follow the score. (Fifty b&w photos and eight pages of color photos—not seen.) Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 16, 1992

Calling itself ``an operator's manual to the psyche'' of men (and a guide to their ``hard-wiring'' for women), this is also a firm if rather theoretical response to critics who charge that men's movement gatherings and exhortations are silly, reactive, and shallow. Moore (Psychology and Religion/Chicago Theological Seminary) and Gillette (a pastoral counselor) write about ``the king within''—a psychological potential that each man apparently carries—with authority and total conviction, discussing the four Jungian archetypes (``King,'' ``Warrior,'' ``Magician,'' ``Lover''), recalling their many representations in ancient and modern cultures, and examining associated patterns of energy that empower men. Readers expecting descriptions of sweat lodges and exotic rites of passage won't find them here. The authors focus on myth and ritual as psychological skills in the quest for the king within, a mature man who strives to achieve creativity and make a positive difference in the world. Although Moore and Gillette acknowledge a variety of failed specimens, from weaklings like— they say—King Arthur and Jimmy Carter to ``Shadow Kings'' like Caligula and wayward CEOs, they concentrate on identifying positive qualities (caring, courage), on learning how to tap into them, and on empowering others to do the same. To the authors, the urge for power is no shame as long as it's channeled justly. Regrettably, Moore and Gillette rarely refer to contemporary situations and rely on alienating jargon: ``Since the fully manifested King experiences a passionate union with the Anima...Queen, a man can experience the deep Self approaching the Jungian exemplum, but his Self is likely to be asymmetrically masculine.'' For a more accessible, reality-oriented view of similar territory, try Samuel Osherson's Wrestling with Love, reviewed below. (But those attuned to the authors' approach should note that a follow-up title, The Warrior Within, is due out in August.) (Eight pages of color photos; 50 b&w photos—not seen.) Read full book review >