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What are some of the qualities that we would hope to see in the authentic expression of an Awakened Man and a genuine evolutionary male culture?
Some qualities that come to mind are vision, clarity, unshakable strength, creative independence and a passionate commitment to higher purpose. When these masculine aspects are integrated with the relational embrace of sensitivity, empathy and care for others, we could say that the man integrates his feminine side resulting in a more full and mature manhood.
I think that the deepest obstacle that keeps most men from living to their fullest potential is pride. Masculine pride most obviously expresses itself as arrogance and superiority, but it can also manifest as a habitual posture of passivity or being “the quiet one”. Of course woman can be proud too, but it is generally a bigger challenge for men to trust in a source of knowing that is deeper than the knowing that comes from the mind. For intellectually brilliant men it is usually even more difficult, because the identification with what they think they know is at the core of their identity, and when this is challenged they tend to toward anger.
The intuitive “knowing” and clarity of awakened intelligence does not come from accumulated knowledge. It arises spontaneously from our True Being to the degree that we trust in the insecurity of “not-knowing”, and are unattached to knowing anything or being somebody in particular. We might still “know a lot” in any given area, which may be useful, but we are not identified with it as meaning something about who we essentially are. Letting go consistently of the “need to know” in this way is a big challenge and is the test of how spiritually strong a man really is. Hence the most important virtue for an Awakening Man to cultivate is humility.
Humility is the source of true strength, a strength that is anchored in Being beyond the personality. Nobility, dignity, vulnerability and a natural authority are all qualities that positively express the authentic essence of a liberated masculine strength.
But this kind of deep humility is not usually something that comes naturally to most men, even when they have experienced who they are beyond the mind to a significant degree. Their spiritual realizations so often just become another object of knowledge that they think they “know” but do not truly live. Spirit is always alive and it is always now. The mind can never know, hold or contain it, and so, once we see the futility of trying to “get it”, we are called to surrender our pride and truly give.
The cultivation of humility continually opens the door to greater innocence, vulnerability, depth, wisdom and interconnection, and the container of a committed brotherhood of men can be very helpful in breaking through the crystallized barriers of mind and separation. Indeed, the depth of humility in a man is truly revealed and tested in his relationships.
Let us look more closely at the dynamic of pride. When a man is entrenched in his pride and he is challenged to be open to what he does not know or to look at the negative effects of his actions for example, he usually reacts either with some form of aggressive resistance or abdication of responsibility, or if he capitulates to momentarily seeing the truth, he collapses into some form of weakness at having the falsity of his pride revealed. In either case the separate ego remains in control and intact. So the fundamental shift that is demanded for an Awakening Man is a shift from pride/weakness to humility/strength.
Humility means that the man is willing to be vulnerable; to be open to what he does not see or know. He is willing, if necessary, to trust another man or woman, whose pure intention has been demonstrated, more than he trusts his own mind. This can be terrifying at times, but he must stay conscious and face down the fear. The fear is only the past asserting itself in the present, the protective mechanism of the ego that smells its own impending death.
The conditioned man usually instinctively interprets being vulnerable and willing to expose his ego as being weak. After all, a real man should know who he is and where he is going and should not be dependent on anyone else! But this false independence only serves to protect the ego from the dissolution into mind-transcending trust that is the movement of letting go and leads to lasting liberation and true independence.
So an evolutionary men’s culture is one that continually nourishes the flowering of humility, trust and transparency and confronts and dissolves the seeds of pride and separation. When men come together in this ground of mutual commitment to truth then we discover what true spiritual brotherhood is. It is a rare and beautiful emergence, a uniquely joyous fragrance of love and camaraderie that dissolves all existential contraction and opens us to limitless possibilities. Regular immersion in this matrix of spiritual brotherhood has the potential to recast our whole life in a new context. The collective awakened consciousness informs and, in a mysterious way, infuses our individual life. We find ourselves liberated to serve Spirit and fulfill our higher purpose on earth.
As the man transforms in this way it opens up new potentials for the transformation of his relationship to woman and his sexuality.
An Awakening Man only wants to support the spiritual liberation of woman. He recognizes that woman needs to be encouraged to play a far bigger role in human culture than she has historically. This means he recognizes that woman and man need to work together as equals in the creation of the next evolutionary leap in human culture. The oppressive structures of patriarchy have to be broken directly in his relationships with women, that means male superiority, the urge to dominate and keeping women in fixed, subservient roles.
Sex is the blind force of Spirit in existence, the biological driver of the Life process. Being blind, sex is experienced by man as lust, which perpetuates sexual craving and the objectification of women. Man’s evolutionary task is to make that blind force conscious and to transmute the raw energy of sex into a selfless expression of love.
As modern society promotes and unnaturally stimulates the sexual desire of man, the task demands a committed practice of awareness and containment. This is not done through suppression but through facing into the sexual impulse without victimization or personalization. If the intention is pure enough then over time the movement of the sex impulse is seen in the body, mind and emotions more and more impersonally. Addiction to sexual excitation dissolves as a man becomes more and more established in the vigilant stillness of his Being. He is then steadily freed from the impatience and selfishness of sex and, if he is in a sexual relationship, discovers the sheer beauty of passionately loving woman without wanting for himself.
When the natural intelligence of the body alone makes love and there is no separate ego as imagination or memory involved, then a divine, evolutionary love as an exquisite delight for both is possible. As man frees himself through loving without lust, the woman is also gradually freed from her emotionality, the pain of past sexual hurts and the corrupting influence that male sexuality has engendered in her.
If you are a man and are interested in having an experience of this evolutionary men's movement you can read about the Awakening Man Retreat.