Healing the Wounds of Broken Masculinity with Elixirs of Sacred Manliness
Parsifal holding the Holy Grail
This is an overview with updates from the battleground of the war between genders and a call for peace.
Anger towards diseased forms of the masculine and distrust in the patriarchal state institutions poisoned the public space in my native country, Romania, this summer. Endless debates in media and at the corner store on the ability of the Romanian police to serve and protect the citizens were ignited by the story of Alexandra, the girl which the police failed to locate and save despite her five emergency calls while detained by her rapist and murderer. Meanwhile, back in New York, another sex trafficking drama was unfolding: Jeffrey Epstein’s minor girls paradise island castle and the billionaire’s suicide in a state prison. While reflecting on some common themes of these two tragic events remote in space but coinciding in time, yet another sex crime makes the headlines, this time in France. The French authorities just incarcerated six young men for “aggravated sex trafficking” of under-aged girls on an island in Paris.
Trying to find the common denominator of this increasingly polluting sex offender themed planetary equation, I find the answer right at the tip of my fingers. It comes to me while performing a casual word search on google to look up a new word to integrate in my ever growing English vocabulary. A simple innocent word search - or so I thought - opens the door to a trojan virus of porn offers: am I interested in the Asian girls from my area? My word is a keyword of a digital sex industry marketing tool. Knowing that online porn cameras are just a click away, with an abundance of body shapes ready to flood my screen for a few dollars - just as merchandise displayed on shelves - I suddenly realize that the mental pollution and insanity comes in many different flavors and is so offensively thrown right in everyone’s face because it desperately tries to show us that we allowed the destructive perversions of the shadow forms of the masculine to become simple commodities.
We, as society, communities and individuals, allowed a young girl’s body to become just another product of trade. Although we do not do it openly, we allow it subconsciously. Count here not only webcams for the poor or islands and palaces for the perverted rich: consider any promotional material alluding to a woman’s body as a commodity - from movies to fashion and advertising. These are movies we choose to watch, clothing we chose to wear and products we choose to buy. Moreover, living entangled narratives of women objectification is considered a healthy sign of masculinity in some circles. Wealth, power and enjoying the attention of women can bring a guy the benefit of peers gratification. We weaved a toxic cultural story of what it is to be masculine, and we forgot to appreciate what it is to be manly. This cultural story is not only toxic for women, but even more toxic for men themselves, especially the young ones, who are embracing a self destructive model that does not nurture their true yearnings of growth and intimacy. They are hiding their insecurities and diverting their need for sharing love onto control and domination, which comes in the same picture with worshiping wealth, power and influence. Therefore, no matter how much they have or how many women they dominate, they will always up the dose because this lifestyle is not nurturing their core. We created a predator-victim society on all levels. For most part, the outbursts of sexual violence and the toyfication of women are symptoms of repressed castrated collective masculine. Gender “equality” (rather than complementary of genders), masculinization the woman, living in fear towards patriarchal entities such as boss, corporation, institutions and consuming the daily dose of bitterness of interaction with the other gender - be it in the media or in their own kitchen - created a fragile masculine psyche. Escaping in a non-gender narrative, or a LGBT, or a lone overweight wolf do not solve the issues of victim-predator samsara. Eventually, we, men and women, need to sit down at the table and end the war.
When we zoom out the picture of broken masculinity at society scale, we translate the failure of the patriarchal symbol embodied by state institutions as a loss of balance, justice and centering force within society. The sacred archetype of the king has been diseased: he is not fully present, protective, fails to keep order and he stopped acting with integrity. He cannot fulfill his mission of staying calm and collected when the world around him becomes chaotic. He reacts, rather than acts. He embraces chaos, so he can appear as rightfully fighting wars to re-establish order. Because he has been corrupted from within. The citizens give the state the power to administer public justice, to protect and keep order. Even using violence, if needed. Therefore, the state has the monopoly on guns and violence. But the state’s employees can get corrupted and misuse the power we entrusted the state with. Take the case in Romania: a kidnapped girl calls the police five times, provides the operator with the details of her location, reports that she has been raped and is being held hostage for hours by her aggressor. Due to many glitches in the system, the police doesn’t manage to locate the girl until nineteen hours later. Finally they arrest the criminal, but they are not sure where the girl is. They are searching. The parents are given hopes: maybe she was placed in a minors trafficking network. A week or so later, the results of the DNA test of some human remains found in the criminal’s yard come back: Nope. She was killed and incinerated that night. And, surprise, turns out that the local policemen and politicians were also clients of the under-aged girls prostitution network set up by the criminal. So, how many times did the authoritative power of the state institution fail here? After this case the Romanian police is flooded with phone calls of fake kidnapping cases made by enraged mocking citizens. Many Romanians believe that the institutional glitches they experience are the worst. But the facts of the suicide of the New York billionaire during his detention in a state prison will disenchant these believers, showing again we are at the point of transition to a planetary bankruptcy of the father figure in social structure forms as echo of an overdue inner masculinity crisis.
All imbalances of the king archetype represented by the state bring forth extra harshness of the warrior archetype represented by media. Enjoying autonomy and freedom of speech within state’s institutions, media almost never provides the opportunity for healing, but a spectacular deepening of the wound. When the French TV airs commentaries like “these days, prostitution is more profitable than drugs”, the result will be more trade of prostitution, because it is so profitable. When the French newspapers give the misery a face like: “women between 15-22 years, who gave up school or young women without financial resources, which are asked to bear a special distinctive tattoo of the prostitution network they belong to” - they sound like a recruitment agency. There will be an immense loss of the sense of self worthiness occurring in the subconscious mind of any young woman. While we do need to shine the light on what’s happening, we also need to be aware of the power of the words and images we use and the inflection point where we slide from revealing truth to manipulation. Imbalanced warrior types show up as too analytical and too judgmental, while failing to bring forth the opportunity for healing. A healthy warrior uproots and the unessentials with his sword-mind, but when imbalanced, lacking compassion or looking for self gratification, cuts in flesh and soul. This is part of why the number of single men has been increasing over the years: because they prefer being right over the hassle of a relationship, which involves weeding, composting and healing. Greek mythology warns about the fate of Procustus, who’s stereotypical bed placed on the sacred way from Athens to Eleusis did not fit many seekers, but who was eventually killed by Theseus, the hero founder of Athens.
Historically, fall is the season when justice was distributed in many cultures. The harvest time brings retribution. Many public executions in the past were scheduled in the fall. During this time, we need to practice compassion and softness inside so we can navigate the harshness of letting go of adulterated things. The war between genders is one of them. We need to stop pointing fingers at each other and start the dialogue of to build a new cultural dynamics between genders. A culture of complementarity and mutual respect. As the seeds of dry plants are falling on the ground this fall season, to assure a new life in the spring, we also, emulating nature, have to trust that a new vision and a new culture for masculine and feminine and even manliness and womaness are possible. Starting at the grass roots level. We need to quit the polluting collective conscious and unconscious space created by media, realizing it is counter-productive. A new culture of the masculine starts acknowledging the good men and the manly values that both men and women need to nurture: being present, protective, compassionate, balanced, just, grounded, orderly and acting with integrity. This is not a extensive listing, as sacred manliness carries the divine gifts of much more!
I know a man who always carries seeds in his pocket and every time he steps out on the streets of New York he feeds the birds.
I know a healer who told a woman with cancer “Go back and live your life!”.
I know a sailor who takes people on his boat and tells them stories of danger and courage.
I know a psychiatrist who does not prescribe psychotropic addictive drugs, but weans people off drugs. He is teaching mindfulness at Sol Center.
I know a neurosurgeon who saved a friend’s life and told her “Life is good!”.
I know a friend who saved many from heart attacks. He is an interventional cardiologist.
I know a men who saved a forest from being sacrificed to industrialization because he discovered it was the habitat of a rare species. He made himself heard. He lives in my town.
I know a musician who picks up broken stories and makes them whole with his songs.
I know a wise man who gives advice to people when they ask for it.
I know a man who created a men’s mindfulness circle at Sol Center. Men gathering in this circle are striving to identify immature and shadow forms of the masculine, that women also carry within these days - the bully, the seducer, the manipulator, the tyrant - and they are not feeding those and find their inner king, warrior, magician and lover.
I know a men who is emulating the lives of heroes. Through the great love I have for this brother of mine I integrated a sacred fragment of Orpheus, Pythagoras, Hercules, Achilles, Odysseus, Jason and Argonauts, Perseus and Theseus in my own consciousness.
It takes labors to become Hercules
I know a good teacher, who ignites passion for knowledge.
I know from Plato’s dialogues about what Socrates calls “godly values”: wisdom, courage, temperance and justice. I do my best to honor those.
I cherish Rumi and Hafez, through their poems.
I know a young acupuncturist who also learned rain forest medicine honoring his journey from warrior to shaman.
I know the work of dr Wayne Dyre who started his career in the town I live now.
I have a friend who created a sacred space at his home to honor the sacred feminine.
I myself have a heroes altar at my home, but it is only a pale reflection of the inner space I am holding for the sacred manliness to shine its light and heal the wounds inflicted by toxic masculinity.
I also know there are much more sacred manliness acts that I don’t know about. If you do, please share, so we can heal these wounds together. Acknowledge them. Talk about them. Talk to those men in spirit, if they are not around any more in this dimension. Seek connection and you will find yourself emulating them. Most important, acknowledge the sacred manliness within yourself, even if you are a woman and especially if you have not been spared by toxic masculinity. No one has. Do not engage in trade of any product that feeds toxic masculinity, especially clothes, artifacts, music and, as they will integrate toxic masculinity fragments in your subconscious. Cultivate virtues like wisdom, mindfulness, compassion, self-responsibility, temperance, justice, grounding, integrity. And if you are lucky enough to have in your life men who nurture these virtues, be grateful! They are all here to inspire us sharing the beautiful sacred energy that men were born to embody and live in spirit.
Pat Nelson: the Man, the Sea and magical stories of courage and self-reliance
A jeweler feeding wild birds that look for seeds inside his Manhattan office
Dr Ron Cohen, MD, helped many wean off psychiatric drugs and incorporate diet and self awareness practices
Environmental activist David Jakim saved a 140 acres habitat from deforestation including 350 species of plants and animals
Mindfulness instructor Keith Fiveson - men healing circle
Shaman acupuncturist Julian Grow performing a Hape cleanse
Popeye the Sailor
"Conflict cannot survive without your participation" - dr. Wayne Dyre