Running from the Past – As You Were

As You Were – looking for connections between the work of Brené Brown and Daniel Quinn as I revisit them in book clubs. See the introductory post for what this is all about. In this post, I look at:

  • Daniel Quinn Book Club — no reading this week
  • Brené Brown Book Club — Rising Strong, starting session 5 reading: Ten – You Got to Dance with Them That Brung You through End

(Commissions earned on Amazon links.)

Rising Strong

Ten – You Got to Dance with Them That Brung You

“We have to be whole to be wholehearted. To embrace and love who we are, we have to reclaim and reconnect with the parts of ourselves we’ve orphaned over the years. We have to call back home all of those parts of ourselves that we have abandoned.” Compared the Great Forgetting and the Great Remembering.

“‘… the lifelong project of becoming more nearly the whole person we were meant to be — what the gods intended…” Quinn regularly uses the metaphor of living in the hands of the gods.

“I don’t think there’s any question that while also serving to keep existing power structures in place, the rules punish both men and women. And it’s not just men who discourage integration and enforce the rules; it’s the women, too.” Compare Quinn talking about how Taker culture is a prison in which even the wardens can’t get out.

“Romanticizing our history to relieve pain is seductive. But it’s also dangerous.” Compare Quinn’s explanations of Taker culture’s stories about its own origin, stories which put civilization on a pedestal while acknowledging that it rests on burdensome toil as well as brother killing brother.

“‘But memories, like witnesses, do not always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We need to cross-examine them, recognizing and accepting the inconsistencies and gaps in those that make us proud and happy as well as those that cause us pain.'” Compare Quinn in multiple places explicitly saying that all our explanations and stories about our culture need to be questioned and revised to make sense of how things have come to be this way.

“Our histories are never all good or all bad, and running from the past is the surest way to be defined by it. That’s when it owns us. The key is bringing light to the darkness — developing awareness and understanding.” Quinn’s work is all about just this.

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