Did fathers who disconnected from their sons really love their sons?: the story of Theseus
When King Aegeus of Athens was about to become a father, he said he did not want to see his son until Theseus was stronger than all others.34 Why? King Aegeus feared that a pampered prince could not protea his people. So Aegeus deprived himself of seeing Theseus until Theseus could lift а massive boulder that no one else could lift and then risk his life by slaying the Minotaur that threatened to destroy the people of his kingdom.
What was the importance of Theseus’s having to risk his life – as in slaying dragons? It demonstrated the purpose of power – the subservience of the life of the king to the life of those served by the king. A good father was expeaed to prepare his son to be disposable.
A good Stage 1 dad was to prepare his son not to feel loved until his son could protea and save. He demonstrated this by not showing his son his own love until he had adequately trained the son to replace him as a savior
Is it possible that all my words are just rationalizations for King Aegeus being a truly uncaring dad? Well, after Theseus had slain the Minotaur, he forgot to put up a white flag as a signal that he was still alive. Aegeus thought that his son had perished. His grief was so deep that he killed himself.33
"When you cornin’ home, Dud?”
To experience the male tragedy in its present form, listen to Harry Chapin’s song "Cat’s in the Cradle." The son asks, "When you cornin’ home, Dad?” The dad responds, “I don’t know when." Yet the lather’s yearning for his son is so deep that the moment the dad was no longer preoccupied with providing for his son, he reached out for his son’s companionship. Unfortu nately, the pressure on the dad is relieved only when the son has a job of his own. So the son responds, “My new job’s a hassle and the kids have the flu."
Historically, the obligations of dads deprive dads of love while the obligations of moms provide moms with love. Deprived of genuine love.
dads are deprived of genuine power. Ironically, the son had ached for connection with his dad so intensely that he vowed, "Some day I’m gonna be like him…"
Dead Poets Society
Not understanding the Stage 1 fathers obligation to prepare his son to replace him (to "kill** him) creates a deep father-son wound. If we review a video of the film Dead Poets Society, we can see how the son hated his Stage I dad and loved his Stage II teacher (Robin Williams) because he did not understand three things: first, how his dad’s sacrifices had created the freedom for him to explore Stage II values; second, how the discipline his dad instilled was pan of what the son would need to have the strength and security from which to pursue a Stage II life; third, that his dad’s discipline was not only his dad’s way of loving him but also his dad’s way of preparing him to find a woman’s love in the best way his dad knew how.
The father, of course, did not understand that he was discouraging his son from pursuing the very freedom he had created for his son. But the son can never be at peace with his father – and therefore himself – until he understands that his dad’s best intent was to teach his son how to give and receive love.
The male tragedy, then, is that showing our love by providing takes us away from showing our love by connecting. Thus, loving our sons has taken us away from loving our sons.