As modern men find themselves trapped between the debasing attack on masculinity by rabid radical feminists and an aging ideal of what being a man even means, one book argues the rebirth of ‘Man Psychology’ can revolutionize our world and see us find identity free of the bully, the boy and the uber-feminist.
The mainstream response to this is that men need to be more emotional and detach themselves further from ‘toxic masculinity.’
Yet this approach doesn’t seem to change anything, as one can see that as man has become more emotional, with his spiritual and social role more nebulous, suicide rates have gone up, not down.
Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette approach this problem by awakening the ancient archetypes of masculine presence in their book King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine
Yet prior to this reawakening, Moore and Gillette tackle the fundamental question of why modern man is losing his way.
It cannot simply be put down to the destruction of the family unit in the Western world they state:
“…it is our belief and experience that we can’t just point in any simple way to the disintegration of modern family systems, important as this is, to explain the crisis in masculinity.
“We have to look at two other factors that underlie this very disintegration.”
The two factors Moore and Gillette refer to are the loss of ritual and patriarchy.
1. The Loss of Ritual
A fascinating argument made in King, Warrior, Magician, Lover is that boys have turned into men throughout the ages via ritualistic ceremony.
These markers specified when a boy had to shift his psychology from a boy to a man.
However, these processes have increasingly been abandoned, and in time this has lead to men getting stuck in a world of ‘Boy Psychology’, unable to fully grow into men and embody their masculine purpose.
Moore and Gillette write: “Boy psychology is everywhere around us, and its marks are easy to see. Among them are abusive and violent acting-out behaviours… passivity and weakness… the inability to act effectively and creatively.”
Politics is childish and oversimplified at present.
Social justice demands the world be split into good/bad with no nuance.
We have clichés permeating young men’s minds that patriarchy is all evil, or even that feminism is all evil.
Neither is true.
Moore and Gillette argue that the patriarchy has, as the feminists claim, been damaging to both women and men, yet they go a step further by challenging the notion that this must mean masculine power is bad:
“Patriarchy… is an attack on masculinity in its fullness as well as femininity… Patriarchy is based on fear – the boy’s fear… Boys fear women. They also fear real men.”
In short, they state that patriarchy is the embodiment of Boy Psychology.
Moore and Gillette have been inspired by the feminist critique in that patriarchy harms men, but disagree with their answer of more femininity.
While Moore and Gillette take influence from the feminist critique that patriarchy is damaging, they differ from the feminist narrative by arguing that man must not relinquish his masculinity, but his Boy Psychology.
“What is missing is not what many depth psychologists assume is missing; this is, adequate connection with the inner feminine.
“In many cases, these men seeking help had been, and were continuing to be, overwhelmed by the feminine.
“What they were missing was a connection to the deep and instinctual masculine energies; the potentials of mature masculinity.”
So in essence, in the current crisis of suicide, mental health and addiction, we do not need more ‘Boy Psychology’, just as men do not need to align with the feminine: Man needs Man Psychology expressed through his raw masculine centre.
While Moore and Gillette acknowledge that patriarchy and feminist critique has led to a mud slinging match and mutual hatred of the other, they do tap into a new burgeoning potential, that of modern man freeing himself from his pain and discovering his limitless potential.
“We need to learn to celebrate authentic masculine power and potency, not only for the sake of our personal well-being as men and for our relationships with others, but also because the crisis in mature masculinity feeds into the global crisis of survival we face as a species.
“Because there is no ritual process capable of boosting Boy Psychology to Man Psychology, we each must go on our own to the deep sources of masculine energy potentials that lie within us all.”
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