An interview with Robert
No writer was more influential to me immediately
following my initiation into MKP in February of
1995 (Sunrise Ranch/San Diego) than Robert Moore.
His book (with co-author Doug Gillette) King,
Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the
Archetypes of the Mature Masculine, published by
Harper San Francisco, has been the primer for my
subsequent studies of mens work. Moore also
introduced me to the mastery of the great
grandfather of psychology - C.G. Jung.
In his newest book, Facing The Dragon
Confronting Personal and Spiritual Grandiosity,
published by Chiron Publications, Moore digs deeper
through personal shadow and reveals more of the
power that affects us from the archetypal
I had seven pages of notes prepared before I sat
down with this professor of psychoanalysis at The
Chicago Theological Seminary and training analyst
at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. His
soft-spoken approach belies the intensity of the
subject matter. After years of research in many
psychological disciplines, Moore considers himself
Having been supportive of MKP for years, he was
finally initiated into the organization in Chicago
after deciding to deal with some grief
around his parents. He refers to the time leading
up to his initiation as a difficult
Moore has known about MKP and had numerous New
Warrior friends, including Don Jones, MKP Elder and
Leader. (See June issue of www.amanoverboard.net
I have deep admiration and affection for
Don, Moore acknowledged. Hes an
important figure in this work.
Moore said he wants to see more Jungian
influence in MKP.
Weve been too dependent on theories
that are influenced by Gestalt Psychology, he
continued. Its not as spiritually deep
as Carl Jungs psychology. It doesnt
reduce everything to ego.
Moore began his career as a Freudian analyst. He
is both lyrical and scientific in his approach to
discovering the meaning of archetypal energies
A lot of people are fascinated with
archetypal patterns, and speak of archetypes
but as you get deeply into Jungs tradition or
Edward Edinger, author of Ego & Archetype:
Individuation and the Religious Function of the
Psyche [published by Random House] or my
Neo-Jungian tradition, you get into the sense of
the incredible majesty and the enormity it affords
us. The image of archetypes is the only way you can
understand why human beings are having such a
terrible time staying sane and are acting out
personally, socially, and globally.
Archetypal energy is not simply a
theoretical pattern, he added,
its an energy force.
Moore said the enormous size of the archetypal
dragon is often underestimated.
We have to get a sense of how huge this
spiritual energy, or God energy, is, he
stated. Its a very big being.
The scholar said people tend to keep these
transpersonal energies in shadow.
Shadow is anything that the ego is not
any important psychological
pattern, or energy, or tendency that the ego
consciousness has not matured in its capacity to
discern and deal with.
Some think of shadow as negative
energy, he explained. There is a great
deal of heroic energy and mature royal energy in
there, including mature warrior, lover and magician
energy. Shadow contains a lot of gold.
The gold stays in the shadow if it
is not accessed and stewarded in a mature way, he
The dragon is not the shadow, Moore
instructed. It lives in the shadow when we,
without knowing it, force it into the shadows. Any
time a person wakes up in the morning and feels
alone, they are forcing this incredible majestic
being into the shadows; one is never without the
close proximity of this other - this
great other with a capital O - its always
awake, always aware of us even if we aren't aware
of it. If we force it into shadow, as Jung and
Edinger point out, it begins to be adversarial
toward our ego consciousness. A lot of the negative
thoughts and feelings we have, I believe, are
coming from the archetype itself, or the dragon,
which has been disrespected.
Moore said he has tried to carry the awareness
of the dragon forward into a more delineated
The dragon energy, or archetypal gold, comes
into any given personality through the four
different mythic portals of King, Warrior,
Magician, and Lover - usually in an imbalanced way,
The first task is to ask yourself where am
I experiencing dragon energy, he said,
or if I am experiencing dragon energy, and if
not, why not? Who am I displacing it with? Who am I
idealizing it with? This is a defense
The author said a defense mechanism
means the ego is displacing this archetypal primal
energy and projecting it onto someone else to avoid
facing it directly. The image of the dragon is a
universal symbol throughout history, he said.
Recently the New York Times Science Section
summarized a study that placed dragons as the
pre-eminent symbol in the world. This fact is proof
of Jungs theory of the collective
unconscious, Moore noted.
It is the human species intuiting
grandiose energies within, he said.
They are huge and they can be dangerous
and yet they can be wonderful sources of
creativity and prosperity.
Robert Moore then addressed me, personally,
calling me by name.
Your creativity is fueled by this dragon
energy, he explained. Your ego, Reid
Baers I doesnt have any
energy of its own. The energy Reid Baer has comes
from transpersonal sources.
Its important for all of us to stay in
touch with dragon energy, he noted.
Im trying to lift up the task of
every one of us human beings, he said,
to image the optimal connection with the
dragon. I say optimal not perfect.
Jungs vision was that a human being
who is inexorably connected to this enormous thing
must find a way to access the creative
energy of the dragon without getting too close to
Personal fulfillment depends on
maintaining a connection in such a way that one
becomes as complete and full as possible without
becoming psychotic, Moore declared.
That is an artistic challenge - the challenge
of creating a human sculpture. It is an ongoing and
artistic task right at the heart of who we
Moore said he was indebted to Robert Bly and
other poets for their contributions to the
dialogue, adding that the deepest roots of
poetry are shamanic. Any poet with depth is
open to the world of positive and negative spirits,
he added. It is very dangerous to be a poet
or on a spiritual path. When you get into an
attempt to optimize your potentials in a really
full way, youre exposing yourself to these
great dragon energies.
The writer cautioned artists to be conscious of
the ethical side, because the energies
are so seductive.
Youve got to make sure you have the
right intentionality, or as the Buddhists say
the right mind, he noted.
Artists have to have an ethical commitment to
a morally mature stewardship. If you do not, the
great thing will swallow you. Too often artists
think they are It.
Moore said he admired the spiritual maturity of
Rumi, who is representative of a certain level of
spiritual development. A person like Rumi
gets so far into being a realized human being that
the boundaries between human and divine are
diminished. He begins to glisten and shine with an
Mature poets have a deep fierceness and
rightness with the dragon, he continued.
The innate tension, or conflict, in the creative
process is the key to unveiling the energy of the
The task is not and never was about
eliminating the tension, Moore revealed.
The task is creating an inner mature human
being like the Holy Grail, the chalice of the Roman
Catholic Church. Think about that as an inner
tension field that is created by the person who is
developing within themselves spiritually and
psychologically. Its kind of a container, an
inner temple, that develops. Outer temples are only
Moore said an artist balanced within the
elements can enhance the tension and allow
more dragon energy to be received, channeled into
acts of creativity, leadership, compassion, and
In Moores book, The Archetype of
Initiation: Sacred Space, Ritual Process, and
Personal Transformation, published by Xlibris
Corporation, he addresses the importance of
spiritual rituals in developmental growth.
Theres a rule, either you do
spiritual practices, or the unconscious will force
you to act them out in pseudo-ritual ways,
the author stated. I really believe that a
lot of the addictions and compulsive behaviors are
Moore is scheduled to speak in May at a holistic
medical seminar in Albuquerque, New Mexico to a
gathering of MDs.
What weve got to understand is
human beings are made up as a
multi-dimensional unit, he said.
Everything is organized as complex-systems.
We are incredibly sophisticated natural systems.
All of the functioning we do from neuro-biological,
bio-chemical, bio-psychological, psycho-social, and
even our spiritual experiences have a bodily
incarnation its all incarnate here
embodied in these physical vessels.
The goal, as Moore sees it, is to work toward an
optimum organization of the complex systems
that comprise our human existential
If you understand that we are comprised of
interlocking systems, than any disorder of any
system within us, including personal family
relations, will prevent us from going to the
Great Other, or to God, or the Buddha
Nature. Wherever theres no process of
creative organization going on, for whatever reason
including inherited physical flaws, it makes the
fine tuning more difficult.
Moore encourages people in the creative process
to have an integrated partnership with science,
psychology and spirituality. Human beings need to
utilize as many resources as possible in their
According to Moore, the book The Developing
Mind: Toward a Neurobiology of Interpersonal
Experience, by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and published
by Guilford Press in New York, is a tour de
force in demonstrating how all kinds of
resources have to be brought to bear on the optimum
development of the brains function.
Moore said he believes that human beings
who commit themselves to achieving an optimal
vision of themselves can move toward the goal of
no matter how traumatized
they were as a youth, or how comprised by physical
Too many people sell themselves short and
dont let themselves envision what they are
capable of achieving, he added.
It seems like its either too little or too
much of the dragon.
One of the best remedies for too much spiritual
grandiosity is for people to have meaningful
relationships with each other, Moore said.
Organizations such as MKP, and other
forward looking communities representing various
spiritual tribes, have a contribution to
make, he said. We can help each other
as people of good will and like values.
Author Paul Tillig spoke of an authentic
spiritual community, Moore continued.
There is the actual existence of authentic
spiritual community made up of people from
different tribes, and many dont even know
theyre a part of it. Jungs
collective unconscious comes to us in our DNA, the
author said, but the potential has to be invoked to
develop this kind of connected spiritual
We have to have enough wise elders and
communities that develop and nurture us,
Moore said. Communities exist for the purpose
of initiation, invoking the best in the human
psyche and spirit. The ManKind Project is truly
radical. Its the only mens organization
in the world that is attempting to be inclusive,
truly inclusive with all spiritual tribes, and
class lines; inclusive across sexual preference
lines, inclusive across political lines, so as to
have an initiatory brotherhood which is seeking to
facilitate the evoking of human potentials in a
loving vessel. Were trying to give a kind of
a catalyst to help us human beings get beyond
Does MKP have any group shadows?
u have an organization, its always as
dangerous in terms of an organization as it is with
individuals, he declared, maybe even
Organizations can always become self absorbed
and cliquish, as well as narcissistic in a
Im committed to try and help that
not happen in MKP, he stated. Men are
in deep need of vessels to help them and this
organization can help, but I dont idealize
MKP. I see shadow and shortcomings and flaws. But
Im too old to be a perfectionist and to let
the perfect be the enemy of the good, so I see the
glass half full. I want to invite men of good will
and varying constituencies and tribes to join MKP
and try to help us with this avante guarde
Moore referred to what he called the fancy
words of species identification
which means we have a genocidal tendency.
Theres even evidence that it is part
of our coding in evolutionary development
our tendency to objectify and dehumanize other
members of our species, he instructed.
Thereby we are able to destroy them. We
generate hate. Hate is one of the most malignant
and demonic aspects of our species. The challenge
is to get past the demonization of the
out group. Its one of the biggest
impediments to our evolution as a
Moore said he is hoping MKP can generate more
mature spiritual leaders that do not identify too
closely with the tribe and are able to transcend
tribal narcissism. The mature King and Queen
dont leave anyone out.
I spend a great deal of time thinking
about radical evil and its reality and have taken a
committed stance against it, he said.
Any time people identify with this dragon
energy they become Monster Boys and
Monster Girls. There are a lot of real
enemies to our human species and all our relations.
Most people dont realize how malignant these
forces are. Theyre grandiose energies. The
most dangerous forms are from the people who
dont realize they are grandiose.
In Moores eyes, all of us carry the shadow
of personal and spiritual grandiosity.
You can see the hate mongering going on in
the East with the increasing war between
civilizations, he observed. We must be
determined not to become a part of it. We
dont have to hate as we stand resolutely
against radical evil. Jesus said love your enemies.
Buddha said we will not go to Nirvana until all the
demons are released. We have to have compassion for
those possessed by evil.
As men, we must do everything we can not to be
seduced by the temptation to hate, he said
Hating anyone is a narcissistic
phenomenon, he declared, and its
always splitting in our personality.
Moore assures us that we can be mighty warriors
against evil and do it out of love and firmness. A
kind of tough love.
One should never allow oneself to go into
hate, he warned. Its not always
easy. Thats why we have to have transpersonal
help because no one can do this by
themselves. And yet, we dont all have
to believe the same way.
Theres a tendency among some folks
to get into a new age form of theosophy and reduce
everything to one integrated mythic system,
Moore said. Thats not the way the
mystic mind works.
In his upcoming new book, The Last Rite:
Fundamentalism, Secularism, and the Future of
Spirituality, with writing partner, Doug Gillette,
Moore said hes trying to lift up the
importance of multiplicity and diversion in
Its grandiose to think all truth can
be gotten into one spiritual symbolism with only
one way, he said. The idea is for
everyone to steward their tradition forward with
all their symbolic riches. Everyone brings their
offering with authenticity and depth.
With Vatican II, the Roman Catholic Church
dismantled practices that were historically
important to the faith.
Even though they were trying to bring some
real reforms, I am one who feels there was too much
secularization from Vatican II, he said.
I can appreciate those who want to return to
pre-Vatican II days.
Moore said he does not sanction fundamentalism
of any kind. He equates it with grandiosity when
any church or tribe claims to know more than anyone
The key to success is to value the entire
spiritual tribe, he concluded, to bring
that offering to the species without beating other
human beings to death with it
to bring it as
beauty and see it as something that transforms our
Moore ended with a blessing for the ManKind
Project and all men of good will around the
planet living authentic and accountable
Look for a reprinting of Dr. Robert Moores
quartet series (originally released in the 1990s)
of The King Within, The Warrior Within, The
Magician Within, and The Lover Within.
Contact Dr. Moore at his website www.robertmoore-phd.com
© 2006, Reid Baer
* * *
The fame you earn has a different taste from the
fame that is forced upon you. - Gloria
Reid Baer, an
award-winning playwright for A Lyons
Tale is also a newspaper journalist, a poet
with more than 100 poems in magazines world wide,
and a novelist with his first book released this
month entitled Kill
The Story. Baer has been
a member of The ManKind Project since 1995 and
currently edits The New Warrior Journal for
The ManKind Project www.mkp.org
He resides in Reidsville, N.C. with his wife
Patricia. He can be reached at E-Mail.
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