image0061When did you become a man? How did you know? Have you ever had a declaring moment where you came through something hard and declared, “I’m a man now!?”

I didn’t have this moment until I was 29 years old after a vision fast experience.

When you look around the world and take an honest assessment of your fellow man, what is your opinion? Do you think that most men are amazing leaders? Husbands? Dads? Do you believe men are being honest with themselves?

What if each man out there had a mentor? What if all men were connected to their purpose, their heart and their own inner authority? What if men went through an intense rite of passage somewhere in their late teens or early 20’s that tested every cell in them, where perhaps they faced death and found their life’s calling and became the man they are meant to be?

What is possible when men get really honest with themselves?

For the last ten years, I have been working to empower men to step up and into their greatness. Why? Because my own journey toward manhood was so confusing and caused so much harm to others.

The challenge men face today

Many men today are completely cut off from themselves, their heart and their compassion toward others. Many men have never received any true guidance about how to be a man, nor did they receive a formal initiation into what I call “conscious manhood.”

This problem affects all men, no matter their race, religious point of view, or socio-economic status.

Sociologist Michael Kimmel suggest that many men between 16-26 are trapped in what he calls “guyland.” It is a holding ground where young men can remain boys and never really grow up and when they need to, they can act like grown men.

My view is this: As a result of men not receiving formal initiation or training in manhood, these men stay stuck in guyland, where most of what they do is work a job with that is not fulfilling, become bystanders to their own life, and safely avoid the discomfort and truth of their own life. Here’s a great article about Men growing up to be Boys that really nails the problem.

When you look around, you can find many examples of grown men who act like boys or make incredibly self-centered decisions and abuse their power on a regular basis. Or other men, who are just asleep to the possibilities in their life. It’s like they are waiting for someone with more authority to tell them what to do.

Men are very confused and have an endless barrage of confusing messages about what it means to be a man and how to go about being one.  Read more about masculinity in mainstream cinema here.

Later in life, many of these men will experience heart disease, (the number 1 leading cause of death in men for the last many years in the United States), addictions, obesity, depression, divorce, and other chronic mental, emotional, and physical health problems.

As a result of no initiation and no guidance, men in this culture unconsciously seek out initiatory experiences that come from deep within their psyche. They “act out” by actively engaging in high-risk behaviors to meet this end, or they remain numb to their life. Look at gangs, sports culture, college fraternities, and cults.

I study men and work with men for a living. I watch countless men suffer unnecessarily.  It can be very difficult for men to “get real” and honest about where they are and where they want to be. With no formal initiation process when a man is young, and no mentorship, there is little guidance about where to go and what to do.

So, what would be possible if men were deeply connected to themselves and their own inner knowing? What if men had conscious male role models outside of movie stars, politicians and rock stars?

What kind of world might we live in?

The Solution for the today’s man

If men actually followed their heart (their own inner wisdom) and were taught how to be more conscious, there would be less violence, greed, corruption and bloodshed among one another. How do men get in touch with their deeper nature and truth?

But how does a man get more in touch with himself and his own wisdom?

Three main ways:

  1. Initiation into manhood
  2. Mentorship
  3. A Men’s Circle

Initiation

Enter Joseph Campbell, a mythologist who did a renowned series of interviews with Bill Moyers on The Power of Myth. Campbell outlines what he calls “The hero’s journey.” George Lucas drew from this model when he made the Star Wars epic. The Lion King and the Matrix series were also modeled from the hero’s journey. I run my wilderness trips and trainings based upon this classic model.

The hero’s journey has three basic stages:  severance, initiation, and the return. Campbell asserts that in order to successfully move on to the next developmental stage in our life, we have to go through a rite of passage. Campbell also purports that the all hero’s journeys have one thing in common—the ordeal.

The ordeal is something challenging we must face and on the other side is the reward that we must bring back to our community.  For thousands of years, tribal and indigenous cultures initiate young boys into manhood through formal rites and rituals.

The entire intiation process leads a man toward deeper and deeper self-knowledge, the key to fulfillment and realizing one’s potential in life.

Let’s look at the popular film The Matrix. In the Matrix, the main character Neo (Keanu Reeves) was just a computer geek who worked for a lame firm and hated his job. Without “the call” toward something else, he would have been like many men—shut down, unhappy, bitter about life and stuck on the hamster wheel at a job he hates, growing increasingly bitter and resentful toward others and life in general.

Watch this brilliant 3 minute clip about the Matrix and the Hero’s Journey here with Christopher Vogler: (11 more detailed stages of the hero’s journey are revealed in this incredible synopsis)

Ironically men love the movie the Matrix. Men also love other guy flicks with the hero’s journey theme such as Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and Braveheart. Granted, these films tend to romanticize the hero’s journey to a adolescent degree where the hero saves the day. In a true hero’s journey, there’s not always a happy Hollywood ending.

And if we look to indigenous and traditional cultures, a formal initiation into manhood (the hero’s journey) is the one common thread in all of them. Within this, a boy must, and does, come face to face with himself, his mortality and his life’s calling.

In being initiated, the boy will receive some kind of training or transmission from the elders of the community about how to be a man in their village or tribe. Not only is the elders’ role pivotal, the separation from the mother is poignant and a necessary moment in a boy’s life. It’s not just left to father’s, teachers or coaches in the community, where in this culture these men often fall short.

The boy leaves the safety of the protective womb, his mother and village, and must be tested by the wilderness and the men in the community. As long as humans have existed, boys have been cast into a ritual in order to become a man. It was not uncommon for some boys to die and never come back. Without these trials and rituals, men are less likely to access the unique gifts inside them.

Do men in our culture have this opportunity? How does this all fit into our modern situation? Is it really necessary to face death and go through such ordeals? If it is true that initiation is a necessary step along a man’s journey, what happens if he does not receive an initiation?

It’s no wonder why so many men push themselves with extreme sports, workaholism, and high risk behavior. This was true for me, before I went through a long arduous initiation process. I was constantly seeking, searching, and questioning everything. By occupying their life with “filler” (stuff that doesn’t matter at the end of the day) me can safely avoid knowing who they are.

What about you? Are you hungry for a trial? How well do you know yourself? Do you feel the call to go through something incredibly demanding that will test every cell inside you? Are you longing to be initiated? To be pushed? Challenged to go through an ordeal that would give you direction, meaning, and understanding?

What could be possible if we start initiating men consciously through more formal rites and rituals? What kind of man would lead the way in corporations? How would men treat each other and women differently?

Mentorship

Read about mentorship here

Men’s Circles

Read more about men’s groups here and listen to the New Man Podcast for a fun conversation with Tripp Lanier and me about what a men’s group is and how it might serve you. Click here to listen.

My mission then, is to serve it up to men everywhere, particularly men in their 20′s and 30′s as they are most ready and willing for mentorship and a rite of passage.

It’s time to train each other to be conscious leaders, compassionate neighbors, and work through the lack of knowing oneself.

It’s time to put men through some conscious ordeal and invite the best out of men, instead of instilling the worst.  Behind the ego of the confused or narcissistic “guyland man” lies a scared little boy, waiting for mentorship and guidance.

So, What should you do?

As yourself how you live.

What kind of role model are you to a younger man? Where are you still challenged in your life? What would be possible if I put myself through an ordeal of some kind? What would it be like to have a mentor like Morpheous in the Matrix, showing you a map and guiding you into making your own discoveries and when you veered too far out of your own integrity, you had a community of fierce older men that would sharply reign you back in toward your highest self?

What challenge and test are you ready for? What commitments can you make right now to become the conscious man that the world needs you to be right now?

This blog post is essentially my life’s mission, to bring consciousness to manhood and show men how to live fuller, more authentic lives wherein they die knowing they have given their greatest gift.

Please do leave your comments below. Is this post true for you? What is it that you need to be the kind of man the world needs? When you look around, do you see grown men who basically act like boys? How committed are you to giving your greatest gift before you die?

 

Comments

comments

36 Comments

  1. Joshua April 5, 2009 at 4:25 am - Reply

    Enjoyable post! I appreciate your committment to pushing men to wake up to a more evolved way of being.

    I find your post extra interesting and can relate because I have had the urge to do something (perhaps it could be considered a right of passage) that would force me to develop survival, creativity, and ingenuity skill. I’ve many times pondered the idea of dropping myself in to a major unfamiliar metropolis many miles away from the airport without any debit or credit cards, cash, vehicle or cell phone. (I’d just have the clothes on my back and whatever extra food and neccessary clothes I could fit in one back pack.) The mission would be to find my way to the airport where a ticket to fly home would be waiting after I had been dropped in completely unfamiliar territory. Perhaps it is my desire to know I could handle losing my job or any money in the bank or deal with unfamiliar circumstances that require me to adapt on the spot. Perhaps I want to be put in a position where my limits are pushed without family to fall back on since I no longer feel it is healthy to rely on the family I have. Over time, this desire to complete this mission has waned….I ask myself, “Is it because I have evolved past it? Because I am considering ideas equally as risky in creating my own business and leaving my well paying job to do so which would also likely require me to take a less than coveted part time job? Could it be the fear of social inadeqaucy knowing know percieved guarantee of financial stability?” I’d have to say yes, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t drop myself in a metropolis does it? I mean afterall, it could be training for the leaving of the job. :O)

  2. Joshua April 5, 2009 at 4:29 am - Reply

    @Joshua

    One more thing….I see the journey in to the metropolis including 2 of the 3 basic stages in the hero’s journey. That would be severance and return. I did do a men’s weekend once and I believe my initiation was completed there. It was a Justing Sterling Men’s Weekend. Not sure if the same effect can be had without all three stages being together but progress is progress !

  3. Del Studio 1535 April 7, 2009 at 4:36 am - Reply

    I have to agree with this post.

  4. Tristin May 15, 2009 at 3:01 am - Reply

    Great stuff, as usual. You have hit upon something that is profound and shocking, yet logical and intuitive. I will do what I can to spread the word about this site to everyone I know. Unfortunately, the people that need these things the most are rarely the same that are most willing to seek them out. Thanks for the wisdom!

  5. Derek May 25, 2009 at 7:20 am - Reply

    Thanks for the encouraging article. When talking about a rites of passage for each developmental level in relation to our overly complex world, isn’t there at least 3 to 4 passages that would need to be made beyond the teenager to ‘adult’ transition–e.g. archetypes from child, to warrior , to prince, to kings-in-waiting? Most of our leaders (even while in there 50s or 60s) are at the emotional and moral development of teenage warriors or at best, young adult princes. To become a well grounded, in touch leader guided by experience, wisdom, and compassion another one to two very profound transitions, no less than what Neo goes through, to begin to actually reach such a level of development.

    • jayson May 25, 2009 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      Derek,

      You are welcome. You bring up a good point. Yes, there can be many stages within the realm of adolescence. However to oversimplify (as I often do) using the archetypes you mention doesn’t work for everyone. Moreover, those archetypes don’t resonate with today’s younger generation. Bascially what I’m suggesting is that in order to be a great leader one has to know oneself deeply–the whole purpose of my blog and mission. Thanks again!

  6. Brad July 4, 2009 at 2:27 am - Reply

    Brilliant. Should re-post often or place it permanently on your site.

  7. Super Sensible July 4, 2009 at 4:54 am - Reply

    I can fully appreciate your desire to help create men with more heart. However, initiation is problematic unless the type of manhood boys are being initiated into is genuinely positive, rather than a re-hash of the old. The irony of initiation is that while we are told it bestows identity upon a young man, the danger is that it actually erases that identity by imposing an “appropriate” model of masculinity upon him. You might want to check out “Numen, Old Men: Contemporary Masculine Spiritualities and the Problem of Patriarchy”: http://tinyurl.com/desl9s

    • jayson July 4, 2009 at 10:08 pm - Reply

      Super Sensible,

      I don’t believe I was suggesting a “re-hash” of the old. I am suggesting men need to go through something hard and come out the other side different, more whole, more in touch with who they are. It is all about who and how is facilitating the initiation and what the desired outcome is.

      Thanks for your link!
      J

  8. [...] Is Possible?How To Move Beyond Limiting BeliefsIs She "The One?"Fraternity Hazing: An Open ApologyAn Assessment Of Men Today: Have You Been Initiated Into Manhood?The Big Paradox in Personal DevelopmentPersonal Freedom Tip: Feel Your [...]

  9. HELGE October 16, 2009 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    This is so important! I have worked on myself in 6 years now! Going up and down all day long!
    I said 5 years ago that 2009 would be the best year in my life.
    And this is the year that I have truely reached my goal of understanding my self in relationship to women!

    I now know why i succid and why I don’t , and I have a good feeling that i will be able to get hold of my last problems before this year has went by!

    Women should not be that big issue for a man, but when whe can’t handle it, that is all we can think of.

    When I am 100 % comfortable with woman, I can start focusing on bigger and more worldly issues, and start enjoying life true all it’s joys sand sorrows!

    I think I am about to find my path , and pages like this helps alot lot!!
    THANKS!!!!!

  10. Jason M. Morales November 18, 2009 at 7:29 am - Reply

    All you need as a rite of passage is Marine Corps bootcamp. That was my rite of passage back in 97. Some of you should consider it if your not against serving in the military. Good luck with your endeavors.

    • jayson November 19, 2009 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      Jason. thanks for your service. As my veteran friend Dan told me, “I think the military has the best and worst of manhood.”

  11. WilliamsStewart November 19, 2009 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    If we are consciously seeking this sort of radical transformation it can neither be as powerful nor meaningful as if we had truly earned it through actually living. In my opinion, it is not a young man’s duty to go looking for rites of passage. It is; however, the young man’s duty to develop a consciousness towards others, confidence in himself, and to stand up for what he believes in. When he consistently lives his life this way he will be naturally tested in a much greater way than if he blindly goes in search of adventure.

    • jayson November 19, 2009 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      William,

      Well said. However, a young man needs some kind of mentor, guidepost, elder, or feedback loop other than his own experiences. This is the situation we are in today and look around–it ain’t working.

  12. Jason March 20, 2010 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Totally agree with you, it's what you take away from it all that spells out what kind of man you are going to be. Keep these great articles coming!

  13. [...] First, to understand why I believe men need a rite of passage or an initiation, read this post. [...]

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  15. JMan129 October 20, 2010 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    I really like what this article has to say. It really strikes home with me and what I feel I need to do. I'm a college student who lives a semi-structured life and does what comes naturally too me. I do feel that I use a filler that I need one whether it be playing with the pets or t.v. I also read the article on rights of passage, while I feel like I've probably had 1 or 2 things where I was successful and could say ” hey, look I did this”, I still don't feel like it did what I need it to do. I haven't done one yet, but I recommend that every college guy find one and put every fiber of himself into it, whether it takes you just a day or a month.

  16. Manny Otto December 6, 2010 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    I appreciate this piece, Jayson. Thank you. There is a point, specifically related to Joseph Campbell's influence, that I think needs to be hit even more directly. You've touched on it when you write: “Campbell asserts that in order to successfully move on to the next developmental stage in our life, we have to go through a rite of passage.” The piece that seems to be more subtext in your post (though you might well have addressed it more explicitly in other posts) is the nature of the developmental stage being transitioned from …and the nature of the stage being transitioned toward. Campbell addressed this by pointing out that the human animal is born 'too early'; much like a marsupial infant that must crawl to the pouch near the mother's breast where it will stay until it has developed enough to leave the mother's body to fend for itself in the wild. Human infants and children have a much longer period of time in which they are physically vulnerable (14-18+ years). In order for this situation to work out the best for everyone involved, children maintain a psychological attitude of dependance and submission to authority. This serves everyone quite well until it is time for the child to become a contributing adult member of the society. The primary goal of a puberty rite of passage is to transform that pre-mature psychological perspective to one that ASSUMES RESPONSIBILITY for one's own behavior and for the well being of the entire society. Campbell also noted that these rites of passage are different for men than for women. Where women are considered to be a functionary of life (and thus are initiated by life itself with their first menstruation), men are considered to be a functionary of the social order (and thus are initiated by the older, wiser men of the society who come and take the boys from the women and other children and don't let them return until they have passed their tests). When that process of proactive male iniation has been lost, the intended guardians of the society become its predators.

    This is why I applaud the type of work you are doing much more so than many other types of coaching and support work. It is addressing a root cause of many of the serious problems we face as a society. With the lack of older and wiser men to guide this process, men like us since the 80's (compassionately led by Bly, Meade, Moore, Gilette, et al, with a strong dose of influence from Joseph Campbell) have had to conduct their own retroactive rites of passage. These are the men that future history will thank in part for saving our species from self-descruction.

    …now, a concluding tangent regarding how men's rites of passage and mentoring work is being packaged and promoted by some otherwise really gifted teachers. I understand the need to contextualize the importance of this work in “benefits” that are relevant to the men that most need to do this work. I get it – men of different types require different motivations for them to see the value in this. And I also know that the circumstances for recruiting men into this work are different than they used to be. Traditionally, the older men came and took the boys away whether they wanted to go or not. Now, these 20/30-year-old men have to be tricked into it by promising that women will be more attracted to them, they'll be *happier* with themselves, and so on if they do the work. The 40/50-year-old men don't have to be tricked anymore. Many of them come to this work because their immature behavior has been the cause of much pain and trauma for them and their families and friends …it's a choice of last resort to rescue broken lives – kind of like going into a 12-step program.

    I'd like to see another voice start to sneak their way into these Tweets, Facebook posts, and other web appeals: “If you do this work you'll be able to regard yourself with pride and you'll actually be aligned with patterns that will redeem not condemn our species and life on this planet.”

    I'd love for men to be able to get in touch with their gentler sides and meet and talk to the rockin' hot woman of their dreams, but WTF?! Let's tighten up the message a bit.

    This work isn't about playing around in “self actualization” land at the top of Maslow's heirarchy of needs. This is fundametal to the structural integrity of our global society.

    Men's work facilitators, give your audience some credit and don't dumb down to the “Everyman” …men are smart, intellectually savvy creatures with a generally strong predisposition to reason and accountability. Let's speak to them like adults and maybe they begin to act like adults.

    Thanks for reading/hosting that tangent. This blogspot feels very accomodating to these sentiments.

    Be well,

    Manny Otto
    mythosforcreatives.com

    • Jayson January 10, 2011 at 2:03 pm - Reply

      Manny,

      Somehow, your post slipped by my radar. I love it and your solid description of ROP and how it can benefit all of us.

      Thanks also for the call to not dumb down the language for the everyguy. YES. thank you. I have come full circle with this one as I tried for over a year to meet men where they are in language they can get by dumbing it down. Even calling myself a coach instead of a therapist b/c so many men are adverse to therapy.

      Love it bro. THANK YOU

  17. Brunosdogs January 10, 2011 at 8:24 am - Reply

    Hi Jason,

    My name is Bruno Goffin.
    Goffin means: the peace of god.
    I quite like my family name. I have been carying it now for almost 68 years.

    All my adult life I was a boy in the body of an adult.
    In the year 2006 I discovered the ManKindProject and during an NWTA in Magaliesburg (Gauteng, South Africa) I was initiated as a new warrior.
    It litterally changed my life.
    I started on a fascinating journey that will never end. It has brought me a life of being instead of having, a life of accepting and connecting.
    Living in Spain, I miss my connection with my MKP brothers. For that reason I am wrestling with the idea of starting a circle of men on the Spanish Costa Blanca.
    An Englsi MKP brother redirected me to your blog.
    It is a gold mine.
    Thanks.
    With Love

    Bruno

    • Jayson January 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      Thanks Bruno. I love your name too. Glad you joined us here!

  18. Brunosdogs January 10, 2011 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Hi Jason,

    My name is Bruno Goffin.
    Goffin means: the peace of god.
    I quite like my family name. I have been carying it now for almost 68 years.

    All my adult life I was a boy in the body of an adult.
    In the year 2006 I discovered the ManKindProject and during an NWTA in Magaliesburg (Gauteng, South Africa) I was initiated as a new warrior.
    It litterally changed my life.
    I started on a fascinating journey that will never end. It has brought me a life of being instead of having, a life of accepting and connecting.
    Living in Spain, I miss my connection with my MKP brothers. For that reason I am wrestling with the idea of starting a circle of men on the Spanish Costa Blanca.
    An Englsi MKP brother redirected me to your blog.
    It is a gold mine.
    Thanks.
    With Love

    Bruno

  19. Jayson January 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    Thanks Bruno. I love your name too. Glad you joined us here!

  20. Jayson January 10, 2011 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    Manny,

    Somehow, your post slipped by my radar. I love it and your solid description of ROP and how it can benefit all of us.

    Thanks also for the call to not dumb down the language for the everyguy. YES. thank you. I have come full circle with this one as I tried for over a year to meet men where they are in language they can get by dumbing it down. Even calling myself a coach instead of a therapist b/c so many men are adverse to therapy.

    Love it bro. THANK YOU

  21. Shannonsulton September 24, 2011 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    Great article! Verryyyy good!

  22. William Werner April 15, 2012 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    I completely agree. My growth only came when I was consciously aware of childish ways. Contradicting to what the author said, the most difficult part of this “evolving into man” is sticking to your goals when you first set out on your journey. With all of the pressures of society to conform to this boyish-man makes growing from it difficult. Especially when all of friends are still stuck on being a boy.

    I’m only 20 years old but I want to be a man that even older “men” look up to. But, how do you stay on the quest? How can you avoid being pulled back into being a boy?

    • Jayson April 20, 2012 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      Will, the only way to avoid being pulled back into a boy is to get yourself a badass support team. LOTs of help, a solid community of people that have your back. you can’t and won’t do this alone.

  23. James May 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    This is exactly what I have been looking for, Jason. Thank you so much for posting this and living out this mission. I’m 25 and have done the steps you outlined in reverse. First I found my Men’s Circle, then I sought out my Mentors. Now I am realizing that I missed a critical step, the Right of Passage. I didn’t have that, I’m a man now moment and I don’t feel like I’m there yet despite my learning and conscious path to fulfilled living and authentic masculinity. I feel like there is a part of me that hangs on to boyhood and uses it as an excuse to shirk responsibility and be generally childish. It’s time. I will be doing my ceremony next month. Thank you again for the guidance!

  24. Some guy August 24, 2012 at 5:25 am - Reply

    So, if we act too much like men, we’re wrong for not embracing the inner child or some such thing. If we don’t act enough like men, we’re just big kids in adult bodies.

    I’m not loving the idea of having someone else tell me what a man is and how to be one. I don’t like it from manipulative people (often women) or from well-intentioned ones.

    I don’t think much of the idea of formal rituals or rites or tests of manhood. Some guys are going to trip up and are you going to tell them they’re not men? Perhaps if a guy lets someone tell him he’s not a man, he’s not. Who knows?

    I think the main boundary between childhood and adulthood is learning to live with responsibility and uncertainty… that is learning confidence. Your idea of a mentor I imagine would help with that.

    • Peter December 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm - Reply

      “I don’t think much of the idea of formal rituals or rites or tests of manhood. Some guys are going to trip up and are you going to tell them they’re not men? Perhaps if a guy lets someone tell him he’s not a man, he’s not. Who knows?”

      This may be one question that’s better left unanswered. The uncertainty that results could be a test of learning to live without answers – knowing that one has confidence even when it is not okay, because you’ve earned it.

  25. ashley August 12, 2013 at 8:41 am - Reply

    tribes and cultures over thousands of years have sent thier boys on rites of passages – to change into men. Without this defining moment, very few boys develop into men. They remain boys in mens bodies. The ManKindProject run an initial weekend training that is based around rites of passage and looking at becoming a man. This weekend can be done by a man of any age. Men who attend this weekend are then offered further trainings and mens circles which allow men to go deeper. to truly know themselves. To teach men to stand in thier power, To allow themselves to be vunerable – yet not be weak. To be dependable. MKP do not enable men to fail thier rites of passage. Every man has the strength within to complete his rites of passage. If you are interested in this topic pls visit mkp.org.uk and take your personal understanding and development to another level. You will feel the difference – people around you will see the difference!

    • Jayson August 12, 2013 at 11:02 am - Reply

      Ashley, While I really appreciate what MKP is up to, 2-3 days of a “initiation” ain’t going to cut it in this day and age. it’s a helpful start. also, i’ve met plenty of MKP grads that are still boys internally.

  26. Joe Maclay January 14, 2014 at 6:26 am - Reply

    Thank you for shining a light into probably the most rotten, cancerous area of humanity.

    I can relate fully to this idea/reality…i have watched my father’s generation (born in the 40′s) ‘acting’ like men but have always seen insecure boys under the surface. How could they not be this way after WW1 & 2 that decimated the male population of all involved? How could children even be children when uncle Billy didn’t come home and those that did were traumatised and physically wrecked. Children had to be invisible. The fallout of this is a generation of man-children as you say (although i reckon the emphasis on the negativity of shadow that grows exponentiallly through the generations plays a part too). I definately feel the weight of responsibility to work through this karmic baggage and to not pass the buck but FUCK ME its a struggle without support and probably the sequence you talk of. Finding this blog has been a massive lighthouse of hope for me and hopefully the resource to build a keel on my boat and have some steering capacity!

    For all my conscious lifetime, (i don’t have access to many memories before the age of 8 when i was sent to a boarding school) I have had or created various initiations involving development of intuition, survival, loss of self etc. but i have never had a mentor or support group or really any men who were strong/soft, developed individuals to lead or guide me. As a result, many of these times, i felt alone with my fear and doubt, humbled certainly but always temporarily, returning over and over again to childishness and escape only to go AWOL again in a more extreme fashion (living in an isolated cave for a week, an abandoned goat-house in the Morroccan mountains etc.). All of these times tended to coincide with the impending birth of another of my children and every time the lack of guidance made for a more extreme self-retribution.

    In the last few years this process has gone into overdrive to the point where i am treading water in treacle, grasping a breath every now and again…i really recognise what you said, Jayson about surrendering in parenthood and other areas but also recognise the instinct in me to ‘battle on’ is so entrenched and strong and support is non-existent.

    I live in rural Sweden (an hour south west of Stockholm), do you know of anyone working with men around the Järna area?

    Any in-depth reading/resources that will help to intellectually make sense of my situation so that i can go easier on myself without heaping shit upon shit and find a way back to a self i don’t think i have ever really known. I have 3 boys ; 10, 9 & 6 as well as a 4 year old girl and since the birth of my daughter i’ve been hit by a huge wave of awareness that just laid me bare to myself without a group of elders to support or teach. The 9 year old’s mother (my wife’s sister) died 3 years ago and we have recently adopted him. As you would expect from a child whose father has never acknowledged him and whose mother was completely occupied with her disease, he really pushes and tests (will they leave me too? he probably sub-consciously wonders) and really needs an evolved, strong, gentle-man as his guide and support.

    Due to the confluence of other issues in our relationship, my wife and i are now ( 1 week ) living seperately after struggling on for 2/3 years………

    I really believe in ‘everything for a divine reason’ i.e if you dont learn the milder lessons, they get more intense until you either die or change. BUT feel very shut-down from all the pain, grief and psychological self-punishment, i know there is a clean way through this but must be blind to it….

    Dude…which way FORWARD?

  27. Joe Maclay January 14, 2014 at 6:36 am - Reply

    Thank you for shining a light into probably the most delicate, light-threatening area of humanity.

    I can relate fully to this idea/reality…i have watched my father’s generation (born in the 40′s) ‘acting’ like men but have always seen insecure boys under the surface. How could they not be this way after WW1 & 2 that decimated the male population of all involved? How could children even be children when uncle Billy didn’t come home and those that did were traumatised and physically wrecked. Children had to be invisible. The fallout of this is a generation of man-children as you say (although i reckon the emphasis on the negativity of shadow that grows exponentiallly through the generations plays a part too). I definately feel the weight of responsibility to work through this karmic baggage and to not pass the buck but FUCK ME its a struggle without support and probably the sequence you talk of. Finding this blog has been a massive lighthouse of hope for me and hopefully the resource to build a keel on my boat and have some steering capacity!

    For all my conscious lifetime, (i don’t have access to many memories before the age of 8 when i was sent to a boarding school) I have had or created various initiations involving development of intuition, survival, loss of self etc. but i have never had a mentor or support group or really any men who were strong/soft, developed individuals to lead or guide me. As a result, many of these times, i felt alone with my fear and doubt, humbled certainly but always temporarily, returning over and over again to childishness and escape only to go AWOL again in a more extreme fashion (living in an isolated cave for a week, an abandoned goat-house in the Morroccan mountains etc.). All of these times tended to coincide with the impending birth of another of my children and every time the lack of guidance made for a more extreme self-retribution.

    In the last few years this process has gone into overdrive to the point where i am treading water in treacle, grasping a breath every now and again…i really recognise what you said, Jayson about surrendering in parenthood and other areas but also recognise the instinct in me to ‘battle on’ is so entrenched and strong and support is non-existent.

    I live in rural Sweden (an hour south west of Stockholm), do you know of anyone working with men around the Järna area?

    Any in-depth reading/resources that will help to intellectually make sense of my situation so that i can go easier on myself without heaping shit upon shit and find a way back to a self i don’t think i have ever really known. I have 3 boys ; 10, 9 & 6 as well as a 4 year old girl and since the birth of my daughter i’ve been hit by a huge wave of awareness that just laid me bare to myself without a group of elders to support or teach. The 9 year old’s mother (my wife’s sister) died 3 years ago and we have recently adopted him. As you would expect from a child whose father has never acknowledged him and whose mother was completely occupied with her disease, he really pushes and tests (will they leave me too? he probably sub-consciously wonders) and really needs an evolved, strong, gentle-man as his guide and support.

    Due to the confluence of other issues in our relationship, my wife and i are now ( 1 week ) living seperately after struggling on for 2/3 years………

    I really believe in ‘everything for a divine reason’ i.e if you dont learn the milder lessons, they get more intense until you either die or change. BUT feel very shut-down from all the pain, grief and psychological self-punishment, i know there is a clean way through this but must be blind to it….

    Dude…which way FORWARD?

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