The Mythos of Mike Tyson
I find Mike Tyson endlessly intriguing. As a man, as a human, as a soul.
A life that has been lived goes by many definitions. I have been pondering the redemptive qualities of people and their visible evolutions. Mr. Tyson has gone through many incarnations within the public eye and likely as a result of his fame and childhood experiences that molded him. He is a self-identified extremist and his ego has been so out of control over the years, no wonder he became a literal cartoon character.
I had unlocked this source of inspiration from him a few years ago, when he started popping up on the podcasts I would listen to and learn more about the efficacy of plant medicine. Probably around the time when he started licking toads (as in 5-MeO-DMT.) His history has led him to big life lessons in forgiveness and growth. His methodology for using his ego as a tool is so interesting and to see him in the ring with Roy Jones Jr. This November, I cannot wait.
Let’s review our fighter stats. In one corner we have Iron Mike Tyson, 5"10, 220 lbs, and heavyweight champion status. In the other we have me, 5"5 and a very important 3/4s, 130 lbs with years of Tae Bo and other boxing workouts under my belt. Plus, I’ve watched enough highly choreographed boxing films and Tony Danza in Who’s The Boss to appear to be tough as nails. Based on those stats, our healthy diets, and ignoring the 22 years between us, (we’re both Cancers,) I see us as comparable in the ring. Or we would likely end up talking about our feelings.
To be born Michael Gerard Tyson in Brooklyn in 1966 to a societal deficit he had no control over. To be in a boy’s home and meet Muhammad Ali, deciding without fail that he would be a boxer too, it’s that wild knowing and determination that adds to his mythology. He was born a warrior. His winding path along the way has been full of experiences of a volatile nature.
It’s a weird fascination I have with looking directly into the eyes of the beast. What got a man to that point? Does he have something to fight for or is it for his protection? When the purpose is found, the volatility can shift its direction into something more positive. This is the mastery of the ego Tyson alludes to. He also embodies this childlike innocence which is an intriguing juxtaposition to the warrior energy. This seems to be his thread through life that allows you to see his humanity. It does not excuse his previous actions, but in some odd way, he’s become America’s Sweetheart.
Boxing holds familial significance for me. There is some folklore that my 2x great-grandfather was kicked out of/fled Scotland after a bar fight gone awry, which he ‘won’ I will explain loosely. That fighting gene trickled down to the generations that followed through England, a few international wars then eventually to Canada. Mouthy folk who could back up their bravado is part of my heritage.
This familial connection has always bonded me to the sport. There is such an art and a precision to it, that even with blood flying everywhere, there is a beauty to it. An almost excessively masculine driven activity, the feminine growth has been so powerful to see as we further comprehend the energetic dualities we all embody. Raging Bull, one of my favorite films is representative of that, based on Martin Scorsese’s use of cinematography and the musical score.
To now, be at the age of Tyson was when he bit Evander Holyfield’s ear and to have grown up with that as my perception of him in tandem with my interest in the sport, it is a really exciting event to look forward to. Now with this holistic approach to health, he has an opportunity to create a brand new chapter in the sport at 54. His heart is so present and he works to manipulate his ego to bend at his will. It’s the same prowess with a different spin. Perhaps he is a freak of nature, or perhaps he is earning his legendary status once more, defending that title.
“Impossible is nothing to someone who tries.” — Mike Tyson stated this on the Joe Rogan Podcast (episode #1532.) This is a variation on the original quote from Alexander The Great.
Mike Tyson was made into the heavyweight champion, but he was also designed to fit into a variety of other negative archetypes as a masculine cultural figure. His path to self-liberation has been in that acceptance as an actor of amplification for us all in our variations of life.
The question we always fail to ask as a society is Why? We enable others for entertainment and we contribute to the egoic nature developed within the world. I say that as an empathetic person, so realistically, we cannot prevent people’s pains but we also can contribute to them, even if not on purpose.
It is in the idolization that we fail to see people in their truths, perpetuating this illusionary vision of someone, and expect others to fit into whatever mold we have created for them, and of course, we do this to ourselves.
There is the art of simply being, but who do you want to be? Do you want to be reviled and feared by others to protect yourself from the elusive emotional monsters or do you want to be someone of honesty and integrity with a well-groomed mind and an open heart? It is the “Mike Tyson Effect” as I will call it, to define the purpose of your life. Does it come from extremism or the lesson of selflessness learned?
The more we integrate the odds within ourselves, we can become these otherworldly fighters. Maybe not all with our fists, but you get the point. No amount of punches doled out to a face will squelch the thirst for blood. Our relationship with anger needs to be re-examined as we determine if we are fighting from ego or for the greater good.
“The best fighter is never angry.” -Lao Tzu
Perhaps it is a life lived for Mike Tyson as an example for us all to dive deeper (with or without sharks) within ourselves. Tap into our humanity and create opportunities to positively influence others along their path. It is his openness and humility that we can source lessons for our own growth.