moments before the wind.

February 7, 2006

the beautiful old man theory

Filed under: authenticity — alimarcus @ 5:54 pm

The essence of my Beautiful Old Man theory centers on the fact that “beautiful” does not refer to aesthetic or morally pleasing character. It is a word adapted from an older phrase, which I’m about to explain, and the meaning is more abstract. For instance, I don’t support the work/actions of all Beautiful Old Men (BOM), I am simply commenting on their status in our society.

In the 19th century, a pioneering (and female!) photographer named Julia Margaret Cameron emulsified the images of lots of wild-haired men. Formidable, respected men- beautiful old men. Quick links: J.F.W. Herschel, an astronomer, and John Everett Millais, a painter.

Cameron took two main kinds of photographs: gorgeously romantic, fairylike portraits of children, and what an old professor of mine called Beautiful Old Men. I always thought that was a term that Cameron herself used, but Prof. Sapir may have made it up (I bet he himself would qualify, if he had his say.) In the context of Cameron’s work, it is surely an aesthetic description, and more importantly, the overlap of their aesthetic representation with their contributions to society. There was something about the way the men were photographed that communicates this.

I’ll list a few modern-day BOMs before I go any further. Yasser Arafat, Johnny Cash, Johnny Carson, Saul Bellow, William Rehnquist, Ronald Regan, Marlon Brando, Strom Thurmond, Pope John Paul II.

Notice anything? They’re all dead! So this is where my theory arises. I believe that we are living in an era of transition and instability on all accounts- politically, culturally, environmentally. The red flag that brought this to my attention was that all these BOMs are dying. All of these pillars that our current global identity rests on are crumbling. Ariel Sharon is one. Hell, Rosa Parks is one. And, perhaps, Phil Spector is one as well. Only time will tell.

People often tell me that it’s a constant process, old people dying. To a certain extent of course this is true, but periods of boom and bust come and go, and I believe this works in the same way.


  1. very nice

    Comment by amanda — January 15, 2007 @ 2:03 pm

  2. There is a new generation of Beautiful Old Men. Those I know are known in smaller circles, where they assert their influence in personal contact with their colleagues and students. This is more from the Eastern tradition, where the students learn much for which we don’t yet describe in modern, popular language. They learn from the presence of the master, observing how he handles daily life including the moral and ethical and spiritual aspects of his life and those around him

    We also need to learn what these B O M know of the living being upon whose surface we spend our days. So much asphalt has created people who are asleep to Reality around them, like animals I’ve observed raised entirely on concrete. They lack their native intelligence, are dependent consumers, believing they are only isolated, physical beings. How can they call forth B O M to teach them about Reality?

    Firsthand experience, gently guided by the compelling example of one who knows, is the most practical way to learn what we conspicuously lack now. Tom Brown, the author, famous tracker, and teacher at his tracking schools, is a good example of ancient wisdom made new.

    I am 65 this winter, and have gathered from 10 years under an eastern Master, some years at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, about 7 years full time assisting my mate to bring in her entirely new work utilizing information heretofore unknown contained in the “junk” D N A.
    Several books have been quietly published, and about a thousand serious students have been taught and initiated through several levels of this new knowledge. These mostly professional persons, including physicians, scientists, even two high officials in the pentagon and the CIA,plus many therapists and a few professors, will spread the seeds of this wisdom by their application to their various disciplines and in their personal lives.

    In this way, this B O M delivers his Soul’s work, if you will, mainly assisting the inspired female to teach students who will quietly use this to enrich and contribute to humanity’s coming decades.

    This partnering synergistically with the woman instead of competing with her enables the delivery of more WHOLE, COMPLETE, BALANCED new gifts to humanity. This requires a certain humility and less ego, so that many of the “new” B O M, if they are of the type I describe, will be less famous and more effective!
    We will be partnering with the ancient sacred feminine principle in our creativity, bringing less conflict and war, more productive human relationships, and finally a real practical daily Peace to humans who are willing to adopt what they see in us.

    It works. MY wife calls me the “pied piper” because I can “let out” my personal energy and walk through a grocery store or other public place, and children there will make U-turns from their mothers’ sides and begin to follow me until their mothers call them back. This is the subtle energy of the benevolent father which the B O M can use in his firsthand teaching.

    It is recognized by many adults in a similar way, so I find myself suddenly listening to the life story of a perfect stranger, because they sense I hold an “answer” they’ve been seeking.
    They’ll often conclude with ” I’ve never told that to anyone before.” So we can infer that many B O M now have the capacity to elicit TRUST merely by their contact with others who seek what they have to offer. It’s the old “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I am only really seen for who and what I am by those who seek of their own free will.

    Perhaps this helps explain why you are not yet seeing so many B O M today. One must seek, ask, look in order to find. If you are clear on what is a Beautiful Old Man TO YOU, he will appear in your life, OR YOU WILL BECOME HIM.
    Who cares if he becomes famous, so long as his gift is delivered to all those who seek it.

    Comment by Richard — October 16, 2008 @ 10:20 pm

  3. My friend on Facebook shared this link with me and I’m not dissapointed that I came to your blog.

    Comment by Samuel L. — April 21, 2009 @ 11:47 pm

  4. サマンサ 新作 財布

    Comment by ロレックス ゴールド — October 15, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

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