[Editor’s note: Visit Gary’s new website Collapsing Into Consciousness]
Ah, it’s good to have a sense of humor. In fact, a sense of humor is an essential part of what I’ve been calling “the New Masculine.”
As an example, almost as soon as my article, Creating the New Story: The Masculine and the Feminine, got published on various internet sites earlier this year, the cruelest cosmic joke of all time – for humanity, that is – came into my awareness.
What is the nature of this cosmic joke? Rather than going into it in full detail here, I’ll provide you a link to Daniel Drumright’s essay, The Irreconcilable Acceptance of Near-Term Extinction. Once you’ve read it, you can come back to this article with a deeper understanding of where I’m coming from. Of course, if you’re reading this at one of the usual places my writing appears on the internet, I’ll assume you’ve already read Daniel’s article.
In brief, the cosmic joke is that just as humanity begins to wake up, it suddenly appears as if it may be too late. From my book, Awakening the New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior:
No longer faced with mere territorial struggles, the consequences humankind faces today are global, and we are faced with the very real possibility of our own demise as a species. To be sure, these are issues of patriarchal power and the light and dark forces on the planet facing off against one another. It is the oldest story on the planet. It’s time for the patriarchy to be disassembled and for its sons to grow up.
There is already a great deal of debate around the veracity of Daniel’s essay. That’s part of the nature of our species: to remain safely in denial until it’s too late and we can no longer deny what’s in front of us. We’ve lost the ability to pay attention to the survival skill of fear. Some will arrive at that place sooner than others and I consider myself to be in the second wave of acceptance. As someone who has basically accepted the premise of the coming 6th Great Extinction – I still pray I’m wrong – I can’t fault later arrivals except to say that trying to stop that which appears to have already passed the tipping point feels a lot like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, I honor and respect your Warrior spirit of not quitting. There may not be any inappropriate responses. After all, when have we ever faced what we’re now facing?
However, assuming you share the conclusions I’ve come to, the rest of this article will look at what might be some other appropriate responses to what has already begun, the path we set upon when we walked out of the forests as hunter-gatherers and began the horticulture age, agrarian culture, and finally sealing our fate by ramping up with the industrial revolution. We can no longer argue whether our predicament was inevitable or not, for here we are.
Because of my work with the masculine, I’m going to specifically look at the role of the new masculine at this Great Turning. How does/can this New Masculine respond to this new information that changes everything and yet changes nothing? To do this, we first need to look at what is it that determines whether a man – or a woman who carries strong masculine energy – embodies this new way of being?
The long explanation – about 170 pages worth – is contained within my book, but we won’t go there in this article. Instead, let’s look at the primary characteristics which delineate the new masculine from the old masculine, and let’s start with the old masculine.
The old masculine is the patriarchal energy of domination and greed that has pretty much been with us from our humble beginnings but were, again, ramped up as we evolved from our hunter-gatherer status to settling into city-states, or what is called “civilization.” Long story short, the masculine was emphasized, including the introduction of only masculine “Gods,” and the feminine was relegated to inferior status, and in spite of advances in the last 100 years or so, that reality still exists. This is the consciousness that has brought us to where were find ourselves today: The conqueror, the ego-centric belief that we were put here to dominate nature, as opposed to the “partnering with nature” of the indigenous heart, and the idea that somehow the same runaway technology of what brought us here is what will now save us. How’s that working for you?
The old masculine denies everything feminine: the caring heart, community, love of relationship, including our relationship to the planet. There’s a reason the names we’ve had for the planet are feminine: Mother Earth, Gaia, Terra, Hermione,, Avani, Kun, Onatah, and many more. The sky gods have mostly been masculine and the earth has mostly been the domain of the Goddess.
One of the defining characteristics of the New Masculine is the ability to integrate both sides of the essences we all carry: The feminine and the masculine. During the transition time of both – still in full swing since the 1960’s – postmodern men have denied their masculine while integrating their softer feminine qualities, and women have been busy integrating their masculine, while largely denying their feminine. This is an extremely simplified version, but the big picture is accurate.
What brings the feminized masculine into the realm of the New Masculine, is the reintegration of healthy masculine qualities like being on purpose, drive, directional, discipline, stability, focus, confidence, and more, only without having to dominate or rule the feminine. In fact, the other part of being in tune and vibrant with qualities of the New Masculine, is also having fully integrated the healthy qualities of the feminine: Reception, surrender, emotion, radiance, flow, nurturing, sharing, gentleness, empathy, patience…It is, in fact, the total integration of both the masculine and the feminine that determines this new way of being in the world. Obviously, there’s more, but that can’t be dealt with within the context of this article.
Two caveats: One, I intentionally left out the trait of authenticity. Generally described as a masculine trait, it is a distinction I don’t agree with, as I believe both the feminine and the masculine are equally capable of displaying this quality. Two, you’ve probably realized that when I speak of the masculine and the feminine, that I’m not necessarily talking about men and women, but rather, the qualities contained within each. Masculine and feminine qualities are not about gender.
Now that we’ve set our definitions, let’s look at some ways this New Masculine can serve at what this article calls “the end of time.”
Another quality of the masculine is to protect the feminine, and in the case of a man, to protect both the feminine contained within himself and within women. A natural extension of that is that the masculine also protects those who are powerless and cannot protect themselves.
Protecting others – and ourselves – may require some very hard choices in whatever time we may have left: choices that involve considering what constitutes the least amount of suffering for others and yourself. These likely scenarios will require that we maintain the ultimate compassion for ourselves and those we serve: Our communities, our partners, our loved ones, and even our animals.
It’s easy to talk about how the masculine protects others, but requires a little more nuance when we talk about protecting the feminine within. It means not hardening our hearts regardless of what’s going on around us. It means keeping a balance between the head (thinking) and the heart (feeling). It means remaining compassionate and empathetic even with those you have conflict with. It means healing the mind/body/spirit split that has brought us to where we are today, and it means healing that chasm within us in time to help heal it within others.
If we – the masculine within each of as individuals and as a collective – can do that one thing before the chaos sets in, before we choose whatever exit strategy we will ultimately be forced to take, then the end of the human era on this beautiful planet, from a universe-centric perspective, will also have served some higher purpose.
The Guest House
“This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival; a joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Be grateful for whatever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” – Rumi