The stranger nodded again. "Call me Shane," he said. Then to me: "Bob it is. You were watching me for quite a spell coming up the road."
It was not a question. It was a simple statement. "Yes..." I stammered. "Yes, I was."
"Right," he said. "I like that. A man who watches what's going on around him will make his mark on the world."
Sometimes it's so apparent that not only has this knowledge been transmitted to others, but that it was 'out there' well before the 1987 Voice event. There are some sentences in novels or books, some words, that only could have been written or spoken in the last 100 years, so reflective and attuned they are to the major changes within the human being. The true artists of the 20th and 21st centuries grasp modern man without ever having studied in 'professional human design training' courses. Jack Schaefer, whose Western "Shane" was published in 1949, is one of them. "Shane" is an American masterpiece as eloquent and beautiful as "The Old Man and the Sea" or anything by Willa Cather. Why this book isn't taught in schools is beyond me.
Shane is a one-named wonder, a gunslinger who rides up on his horse out of nowhere on a lone road in a valley in Wyoming. The story's action takes place in this valley, and if this is your environment (to find out your environment, go to www.bhantugh.com), you will learn a lot about the essence of valleys. We see Shane from the beginning, riding up in the open plain, through a child's eyes, 13-year-old Bob, who lives with his mother and father, a farmer. But before Shane is able to pass through and head out into the sunset, he gets drawn into Bob's family and becomes a farmer himself. As much as Shane is changed by this experience, the family -- and the valley with its cast of characters -- are changed more so by Shane. Shane embodies the pure individual in our upcoming Age of the Individual, in this case the stranger riding into the tribe or community to change it all.
The language of the main characters is so clear and pure, too. Like many Western heroes, Shane doesn't do explanations or justifications. Neither does Bob's dad nor his mother. A decision is taken, end of story and without verbal fuss. There is a nobility in their communication with each other, a lack of agendas or power plays being pushed or needing to know anything from the other at all costs. There are lessons here on how communication can cultivate respect for the individual, as in the scene where Bob discovers that Shane has a gun after all. The boy runs, in shock, to his father with this information. His dad isn't surprised. But Bob persists. "Why does he keep it hidden in the barn?" Bob also asks his dad why he just doesn't ask Shane about this. "Father looked straight at me, very serious. That's one question I'll never ask him. There are some things you don't ask a man. Not if you respect him."
Shane is an antidote to humanity's crazy end-years of pushing its strategic thinking to such extremes that mental and intellectual might is seen as the sum all of a person, that 'information is power.' Not for Shane. "What a man knows isn't important. It's what he is that counts." And what man is is ultimately a mystery once stripped of labels and history, when one is left with just its being. "You could see now that for the first time this man who had been living with us...was complete, was himself in the final effect of his being."