Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Outlaw vs The Rebel

We tend to think of the rebel and the outlaw as synonymous characters. Not so.

The rebel dares to defy the established order of things. He asks forbidden questions, expresses dissent, and challenges authority. He breaks taboos. He provokes conflict.

The rebel exists from an adversarial personality that positions him against others. The rebel does not exist outside of the prevailing social structure, but against it. For this reason, the rebel is forever captive to the system. Furthermore, the rebel is always highly visible because he needs the attention and antagonizing.

But the outlaw is a different breed altogether. The outlaw is an individual. The outlaw is a heretic. He bases judgment only on personal experience. His actions are directed from within. He seeks freedom, dignity, and autonomy. His quest is one of self-discovery and radical introspection. The outlaw re-owns his shadow and has the flexibility to embrace multiple points of view.

With courage, creativity, and charisma the outlaw moves beyond the system. The outlaw cares about others too much to accept the limitations imposed by normality. He does not judge. He does not move with or against an observation, but beyond it. The outlaw knows that a pretense of self-righteousness is a prelude to conflict. The outlaw is motivated not by antagonism, but by compassion.

The rebel thinks of himself as a warrior – motivated by competition, conquest, and control. The rebel believes that there is a battle between the sexes. He knows the opposite sex only as a stereotype.

The outlaw lays down the burden of being combatant, and he approaches women with fresh innocence and an awareness of his own vulnerabilities. He lets go of the shared conspiracy that convinces men and women that we are at battle. He reclaims women as friends; and as teachers.

He disengages from his ego and finds his true self. He begins to imagine his native, savage carnality. He deliberately chooses what he wants. If there is a single question guiding the autonomous journey of the outlaw, it is just that: What do I really desire?


Inspired by Sam Keen.


Blogger Phoenix River said...

Very very beautiful, thanks.

March 05, 2009  

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