THE MAGICIAN WITHIN by Robert Moore

THE MAGICIAN WITHIN

Accessing the Trickster in the Male Psyche
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 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)

Pub Date: April 19th, 1993
ISBN: 0-688-09594-1
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1993




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