September 21st, 2013
Excerpt from recent session with a male client…
“Funny how you never hear the word ‘misandry’ anymore. It’s the opposite of misogyny. I consider myself pretty educated, but I’d never heard of it before. To me, that just shows how lopsided the psychology [of men and women’s issues] has become. You see it [misogyny] in movies, social media, everywhere, and I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, but there’s a whole other side of the coin, and that couldn’t be going on unless there was somebody else hitting the ball back…you know, like a tennis match, right? That’s kind of crazy. I look at Facebook, social media and things like that and I have yet to see in all this New Age hyperbole flying around everywhere, any man taking a picture and posting it online and being referred to as a ‘god’. Not every woman who rolls out of bed with bedhead and does a 'selfie' in the mirror is a goddess, but there’s no guy out there who can stand up there on that platform with her.”
Over the past five months I’ve been going through a huge metamorphosis about women and relationships. It feels like every wound, every insecurity and every mistake or wrong thought, word or deed that related to the opposite gender was coming up in a grinding and relentless way. Grit and grace, as they say, but you don’t get the grace till the grit is through. When I published the blog “The Shame Virus” in mid-April, that should have been a tipoff. However, that wouldn’t have prepared my personality for what has transpired later on, from just before my birthday in late June until a few days ago. In the past four or five weeks, I have had a considerable number of clients, friends reflect that they too were under these same pressures. And ever since September 11th-12th, an upwelling of anger, rage and frustration seems to have erupted through many women.
The main themes of these times are about power, autonomy, the feminine, the masculine, the physical, the spiritual, trust and withholding, fear and love. For my own journey, many of my former relationships began showing up like the ghosts of Christmas past…only the were represented in the present by other real people in the environment. The memories were there too…raw and uncomfortable. Being strongly attracted to women, and putting them on pedestals for their beauty and perfection. Not being ‘good enough’ for this or that woman. Being rejected and betrayed by women, or in some cases, attacked (by women, and sometimes men) for what was perceived as part of me being ‘inappropriate’ (guess which part?). Not always sure whether I could entrust my partner with my secrets, which I thought were probably too weird or shameful to disclose…like being attracted to other women whilst in the relationship, and not accepting that I just love women in general, and that I am naturally and instinctively more attuned to the feminine. I wasn't even sure if I could trust women…sensing that at any moment I would become old news.
In my late teens and beyond, girls and women came to me with their problems, confiding in me, telling me truths that they were afraid to share with their partners. I felt honoured to be there to support and comfort, and whatever I offered in the way of friendly advice was always appreciated. However, some of the stories I heard didn’t do much to soften my opinions about how my own gender (for the most part) treated the feminine pretty badly.
As a child, I just didn’t like competitive sports or the bullying and bravado that my male classmates were into. I loved to be in nature and spent most of my free time in solitude within its bosom, and so my love for the feminine grew very strong from my earliest memory. When I was older, I was a perfect gentleman, and opened the doors and paid for the dates. I respected and desired the feminine. I trusted in it implicitly. The only male energy I could really be around were the oddballs and outcasts – mostly comrades who were into music, drugs, Tibetan Buddhism, spiritualism and science fiction books. They were also questioning reality and looking for answers of either a spiritual or existential variety. The women I was attracted to were also artists or a bit outside ‘normal’ society. To live on the borderlands was preferable to normal society. After all, Nixon was in office, and the Vietnam War raged on.
Over the next two and half decades, I searched for myself, my career path, and the ideal partner for the ideal marriage, or if not that, at least a superb live-in partner. Part of my idealism around women was that I felt strongly that once I found ‘the One’, then we would change the world together. Now here, on the other side of so many more changes and the dropping away of outworn patterns of belief, I see that who I was looking for was there inside of me. Ever since the kundalini awakening in 1994, we’re still getting acquainted! That profound and momentous spiritual emergence was partially precipitated by a powerful female, and when I looked backwards at my life path, I saw how pivotal the presence of women and the Divine Feminine was in my journey! After that turning point, I re-membered my Tantric and Goddess connections from other lifetimes and embraced some of the New Age philosophies rampant at the time about the men should now serving to bring the Divine Feminine back into the world. The message was that it was this movement that would change the course of humanity and the Planet after the turn of the Millennium in 2000.
So, here we are, fully thirteen years later, and what a bumpy ride it’s been since the beginning of this century. I don’t need to provide a list of all that has transpired since then, but I do encourage you to look at yourself, and look around at this world, and ask yourself some very important questions…
Are happy with yourself?
Are you happy about men/women?
Are you happy about your own gender?
Are you happy in your relationship(s) / partnership(s)?
Are you fulfilled creatively?
Are you fulfilled sexually?
Do you see that the world has become fundamentally a better place since the advent of New Age/Neo-Tantric and New Thought philosophies?
Are you friendly with all of your emotions, or do you label some emotions as ‘bad’ or ‘dangerous’?
Is your spiritual path working for you?
Are you worried about the future?
Do you feel helpless or powerless to change any of the above?
This is just a short list, and you could probably add to it. The point of this is to develop a profound and honest practice of self-disclosure. We are all susceptible to the self-delusory tendency to see ourselves and the world as we want them to be, not as it really is. I guarantee that in the beginning, you will not like what you find.
Men everywhere are under pressure, and yet our focus seems to be continuously drawn to the sanctity and safety of women. The recent conviction and sentencing to death of four men in India for the brutal rape and killing of a young woman there is held up as ‘doing something’ about men’s disregard for respecting women and guaranteeing their safety. There is only retribution, and no time spent trying to understand how and where these tragedies are birthed from.
Men are committing suicide in greater numbers than ever before every day, whether they be poor farmers in India or Africa, or U.S. and U.K. veterans from the ‘War on Terror’ being waged globally…not just in Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, other men who run the banks and corporations, or lead from positions of political power, do nothing to stem the rise of environmental and financial terrorism against both men and women. My partner is a Tantric therapist, and reports that many of her male clients mirror the feelings that my client expressed at the beginning of this essay. These men suffer from erectile dysfunction, low self-esteem, worry that they cannot please their wives, partners or lovers, drink too much, eat too much, smoke too much, and are chronic workaholics. And yet, when they want simple acknowledgment, pleasure and a reflection of compassion from women, they are given the impression that there still has not been enough atonement for all the crimes that their gender has perpetrated against women over the centuries. The guilt is killing men, and women’s shame around their sexual and emotional power is distorting their natural balance.
We portray our genders as either victim or victimizer. We completely mis-remember that we are both without gender when we are not ‘here’ in this human experience. I am not saying that being gendered is unspiritual. That is of the domain of religions and power-mad gurus that tell you that sex and the human condition aren’t quite clean and perfect enough. Our power to project our insecurities and judgments on each other should be a signal to us to examine what we are doing to harm each other, rather than to help each other…to deeply question what it is that causes this to happen over and over again…for thousands of years. How did it ever come to this?
I cannot answer that question in a single essay. I only intend to bring awareness to how important it is to welcome the Sacred Masculine into the equation of Life. There is an agenda to disempower and suppress the power of the fully-healed and emancipated man. Men are expected to be as rich as Donald Trump, as good looking as George Clooney or Thor, be as smart and as witty as Jon Stewart, be a lovable clown like Steve Carell, and also be the perfect Tantric lover who has unlimited stamina while remaining emotionally present and gentle. Expectations are running a bit high, and are a bit lacking in reciprocity. Somehow, we all are looking to get something from each other, and have a damned difficult time in allowing ourselves to receive from each other. Unconditional Love is not something we ‘do’…it is the allowing of receiving to happen, as much as the giving to be welcomed. There is no opposite to Love without Conditions…or else it isn’t Love at all.
Yes, the masculine is under pressure in many other ways. Sperm counts are falling like rocks out of the sky while prostate cancer, heart disease, and sexual dysfunction are on the rise. Most men are addicted to sports events as an acceptable outlet for male aggression, while fuelling it with unhealthy foods and alcohol. Numbed out by 200 channels of television, endless false image brainwashing through media, trainloads of testosterone – destroying chemicals in the food, food packaging and water, and the male hormone disruption brought about by the growing and increasingly intense EMF radiation threat, they either willingly or unwittingly have come to believe that they don’t have any right or ability to stand up for themselves, or to challenge the corrupt power structures masquerading as legitimate authority that seeks to confound and disempower both genders. We are told repeatedly, even by our New Age ‘masters’, “accept things as they are…no use getting your knickers in a twist. Be calm, meditate, don’t give in to anger…that leads to the Dark Side!” This is the covert suppression of the sacred masculine. We must become the ‘safe’ sex.
Unless women are willing to sincerely look deeply into their own dark feminine recesses, they will continue projecting their sense of powerlessness onto the masculine, and stay ignorant of their own inner masculine strength. Unless men fully accept their own dark unhealed masculine, they cannot share space or power with their inner feminine, or with external women. We are here to realize our inherent equality, beyond the labels of male and female. To cooperate with each other is the only sane way forward out of the corruption that is so evident all around us. The Divine Feminine without the Divine Masculine will not be effectual in responding to and acting on the behalf of planetary and human survival. Speaking truth is one thing. Living it is the only thing that makes a real difference.
It may be time to stop the search for Divine Union as some idealistic ‘spiritual’ state of affairs, and even drop the projective labels of ‘god-goddess’ or ‘Shiva-Shakti’. Perhaps we have all been manipulated by false dreams and many misunderstood myths, with predictable programmed results ensuring that men and women remain estranged from each other. An example of how similar we may actually be on many levels, is recounted in a recent book that overturns many assumptions about human female sexuality. Entitled “What Do Women Want”, it in many ways upends and contradicts our cherished pets about how different the two genders are in the sexual arena. When it was released, feminists trashed it immediately, just because the person who compiled the case studies was a man. No wonder the poison of mistrust clouds our perceptions, and dulls our ears from really hearing each other’s pain and desires.
We can begin to change that. We all want to be loved and accepted. It will require courage, tact and a willingness to communicate. It will demand that all of us discover the truth of our ancient enmity, and what caused it in the first place. It will require action, not just reflection and ritual. It will require that men and women to first seek to make peace with their inner masculine and feminine, while choosing to listen to each other with compassion. In this will the true Sacred Marriage come into being.
War is over…if you want it. (John Lennon)
Acknowledgments and resources:
Thanks to my client for granting permission to use the above quote from his session.
To read an excerpt and brief review of the book from the Guardian UK website on “What Do Women Want?” by Daniel Bergner, just click here.
Also recommend “Sex at Dawn” (I’ve not received my copy yet, so you’re on your own as to whether it appeals to you.)
My deepest gratitude to my partner Lynn Paterson for her reflections and input for this essay, and for her patience and steadfast love.
And my sincerest gratitude to all of my teachers…the female friends, lovers and partners I’ve known in the past and the present…and those I’ve yet to meet (again).