On one side of Odysseus’ ship yawned the vertiginous whirlpool, Charybdis. On the other writhed the six horrible heads of the monster Scylla. His task was to sail between them without losing his ship and crew.
Mythology is rife with images of danger on two sides. What does this symbolize? One lesson we can take from this symbol is to take the middle way between extremes. Often in life we are presented with choices where in order to emerge with our inner self intact, we must avoid both extremes.
This is the basic approach of this course. Two dangers that beset us from either side in the journey of making sense of the world are dismissiveness and naivete.
On the one hand, there is a temptation to become so critical that we dismiss all new ideas. On the other hand, we might be so accepting of what we’re told that we can be led into folly and disaster.
The approach we take in this Journey to Manhood is to view all ideas both critically and openly. To see all generalizations as tools, and to ask, when is it useful to make this generalization? How can I use this particular map of the world to get myself and others where we need to go?