Great questions here. Regarding the question of why heroes are blind, I think it has something to do with the concept of the sacred. The sacred is like a veil that prevents us from looking at certain taboo things, and power is one thing that can be considered sacred. If you examine it too closely it can corrupt you, so we agree to pursue status in a veiled way.

Even philosophers must agree to this veil. They pursue ‘truth’ when on some level it’s obvious that pursuit of truth is a status game. If you admit that you are just saying clever things for sex or money you are booted from the club. You have to love truth and any success that comes is secondary.

This veil serves the important social function of allowing men to compete in a way that is more likely to be socially benign. If we suspect someone is looking behind the veil we can’t really trust them because we will always suspect that they don’t really love the truth (or the common good, or football or whatever game they are playing).

A hero must respect the sacred or they become a threat to social cohesion. In fact, you could argue that giving men socially acceptable models of ambition is a primary function of hero narratives. Without the sacred, the competition becomes too brutal and civilization breaks down.

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I read your recent post on status and I agree, though I'm approaching it from a different angle. "Status" is a terrible objective. But there is a deeper reason than it being unmanly or unheroic. "Status" stems from an worldview that assumes that there is no transcendence.

"Status" is like "reproduction strategy." They are as applicable to apes and lobsters as to man. They assume that our desires are merely animal. This is a metaphysical question, and if we are open to the transcendent, then we can be open that we can desire truth, goodness, and beauty for themselves. This seems to be the case if we look at works and lives that can't be explained by status-seeking.

The demonization of power and the desire for it, seems to have the same roots as postmodernism. It is a misdirected reaction to the horrors of the world wars and the holocaust. Prior to this, it was unproblematic for men to desire honor, valor, and glory.

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I have been thinking a lot about Leo Tolstoy lately. He was also big on transcendence, but interestingly it kind of made him an asshole. He became infatuated with Schopenhauer and eventually left his family and died alone.

In his novels, the sky is used to represent the transcendent. But consider that from the beginning of time the sky has always been a male god. It is a manifestation of the masculine, and striving for transcendence comes together with one or more of ambition, dissatisfaction, foolishness, disregard for relationships, over-analytical thinking, willingness to commit violence and other side effects.

I don’t deny the transcendent, but I believe it is a manifestation of masculinity to seek the beyond. For me this is something to embrace, despite knowing that it causes tension and makes me a fool. I seek transcendence *because* I am an ape, not despite it.

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