Hi guys. And ladies as I hope.
To dissolve some of today’s trendy gender-bashing I decided to provide a general overview about masculinity. Most perceptions you find today are one-dimensional and ridiculously stereotypical at worst. This blog series will cover the historical development of masculinity during the ages. We will see how those patterns are still active in man’s subconsciousness today and influence the masculine mindset till this day. Yes, this is scientifically based on integralism as far as possible and makes heavy use of spiral dynamics.
Spiral dynamics claims that humanity underwent several development waves. In each wave (or stage) certain worldviews and paradigms dominated the consciousness of most individuals. For example the hunter-gatherer tribes were characterized by identification with the bloodline and men were hunters and providers. The next paradigm change of humanity put the individual’s power and violent strength on top. Vikings raped and burned villages and men defined themselves by their egocentric impulsivity. You know that ferocious energy when you’re angry and want to punch someone in their face? This is the „mythological“ stage resonating in you.
In later centuries leading values changed again and people committed to higher purposes like religiousness or serving their king. Manliness incorporated virtues like chivalry and trustworthiness as it’s pictured by the ideal of the honorable knight.
Nowadays we’re mainly living in the modern era, where performance and individualism counts as most valuable. Modern man defines himself as an achiever in a world of competition.
I see you understand. It’s the evolution of masculine mindsets.
But there are as well newer stages on the rise. Peacefulness, veganism and fair trading gets slowly more important than pure capitalism. What on earth does manliness mean in a world that is in need for more empathy and equality? Last but not least we take a glimpse at the integral stage, where one learns to integrate all those parts inside himself. Learn how the future man makes use of different masculine archetypes and how they’re played out like a set of wild cards.
Grandioso Ralph, but tell me, what the heck’s this stuff for?
• You learn about the core of masculinity and understand what drives a man at the subconscious level
• It will teach you how to explore and develop each layer of archetypal manliness
• Use different masculine mindsets in every situation life throws at you. The next series will be about that.
The fist blog series will contain 7 further parts where I get in depth:
• The archaic man
• The intuitive man
• The violent man
• The conventional man
• The achiever man
• The peaceful man
• Manly integralism
For now I provide you a quick summary of each stage to fuel your hunger. 😉
Let’s get it started sweety.
The archaic man
Let’s have a look at the archaic stage. It’s characterized by identification with the body and pure survival in rough wilderness. Biologically we can find tons of differences between men and women. The male body has more muscle mass. Lots of body hair to distribute smell. The male brain is wired differently than a woman’s as well. Designed to hunt and survive. Even nowadays men are statistically proven to be more aggressive and risk-taking.
The „caveman“ lives instinct-led. The individual identifies himself with an undivided I. He’s the center of the world, in fact he is the world.
Sexuality can be pictured very primitive in this stage. To insert seed into female wombs is the only purpose of masculine existence. Sexuality is permanently present in a man’s head and instant attraction to a fertile look stems from this era of evolution, we can’t help. 😉
This is the animal within all of us. It shouldn’t be negated nor be used to reduce masculinity on biology. This is just one aspect of manliness but the one that stands at the very beginning.
Being a man in the archaic stage is:
• Defined by the purpose of reproduction
• Characterised by a biological distinction from women
• Seeing itself as the centre of the universe
The intuitive man
Now imagine a hunter-gatherer society in primal woods. The man puts the survival of his family, his bloodline into the centre of his worldview and masculine pride founts of his role as a provider.
Man actively takes influence on the spirits in his environment by praying, perform rituals and reading nature’s signs. He establishes as the guardian of traditions and rites and orients on the rules of elders. You may like gathering around bonfires exchanging stories. This stems from here.
The intuitive man likes to connect with archaic totem energy e.g. by wearing leather clothes or shark teeth. Do you like tattooing your skin with ancient symbols or piercing your ears? You’re probably seeking connection with the undivided consciousness of your mind and body.
Here the man’s sense for building and inventing stuff gets developed. He builds solid houses, fences and weapons. Crafting something with one’s own hands is a deep-rooted manly desire descending from the animistic aeon.
The division of labour creates men groups and women groups. Brotherhoods are designed for men to connect with their masculinity but to join them one had to undergo initiation rites. Today you find a bunch of rites practiced in the military, in prisons, in youngster groups or criminal gangs.
So we can say manliness in the animistic stage :
• Is defined by the role of the provider
• Identifies with the ancestral bloodline
• Likes to build and craft
• Joins manhood by undergoing initiation rites
The violent man
With the rise of empires violent clashes happened more frequently. It’s the time of Alex’ the Great or Genghis Khan, called mythological stage. Becoming as powerful as possible was decided by cold, merciless steel. The archetype of the furious hero fighting against mighty opponents is found in uncountable action movies. Do you know Conan the Barbarian?
This man is impulsive. He does what he wants and follows his will and spontaneous desires. Imagine a remorseless pirate. He’s right because he’s the strongest. This is how this world works.
Sexuality becomes less about procreation and more about cementing power structures. „Everything is about sex except Sex. Sex is about power.“ – to cite a popular author. The „red“ man identifies with his potency, ready to penetrate everything and everyone.
Nightclub doormen radiate pure authority and violence-readyness and the sight of a pistol-carrying policeman lets boys hearts beat faster. Ever won a bloody street fight? It makes your guts feel exploding like smouldering dynamite. Today’s men need to establish a healthy relationship to this stage in their subconscious psyche to gain self-confidence, a feeling of control over life and being assertive. Let’s dig out this fountain of masculine power but use it wisely.
In the mythological sense masculinity means:
• Being powerful and superior
• Conquering and ruling
• An egocentric worldview
• Dominating sexuality
The conventional man
Do you know how humanity dealt with uncontrollable violence? The basic human need for safety transformed raw power into reliable structures. Institutions. Abrahamic religions established the belief in a higher, god-given order. The roman or greek military replaced the horde with an hierarchical structure abolishing the warrior’s individualities. Instead they now followed conventions.
The conventional man serves. His leader, his king, his god. The manly concept of honor stems from exactly knowing one’s place in the bigger order. If the samurai betrayed their leader or code somehow, they committed seppuku without hesitation. Can you act as well that rigorously?
The man identifies with his nation. With his religion. Infidels must be combated because their views threaten the obvious perceptions of right and wrong.
The man follows crystal-clear principles and a moral code. In this era chivalry was born. Men are aware of their savageness and strive to control their impulses. Power is still something valuable but now it isn’t achieved by personal strength but legitimated from outside by rules even kings have to submit to.
Sex is also often dedicated to a higher purpose, solely to reproduce in the name of the nation. The monogamic marriage as you might know should restrict excessive sexual activity and a loss of discipline. Conventional masculinity is in fact the cornerstone of today’s civilisation.
Conventional masculinity can be characterised with:
• Serving a higher moral
• Orientation on a traditional order
• Controlling impulses and discipline
The achiever man
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Are you an achiever? Welcome to the 21st century. Throw belief out of the window and replace it with cold facts. Logic and probability provides control over the matter and knowledge is power as you might know.
As an achiever man you put your individual goals first with a strong sense of self-importance. Do you want to build up your business? Do you want to explore scientific fields? May it be profession or hobby, you want to become excellent in it. In a world of a giant competition only the cleverest and most hardworking will reach the top.
The modern economy grows upon the idea that more and bigger is better. One’s personal finances work as a measurement tool. Your individual state depends on your income or achievements and in a permanent social competition one’s image showed outside becomes his identity. Man identifies with his visible performance.
Men are forced to work with elbows to have a chance on the sexual market, because money is now the prime catalyst for sex. So shovel in cash, build your empire and hook up chicks with your custom designed HMMWV.
The modern achiever is:
• Expanding and growing
• Focused on individual goals
The peaceful man
Let’s figure out how humanity answers to the dark sides of capitalism. The feminism critics on patriarchal structures leads men to exploring their feminine sides. This isn’t necessarily bad; developing more empathy towards other beings and implementing fair trading standards surely is a healthy thing for our world. But the so-called softie who arose out of the ’69 hippies isn’t really a desirable picture of manliness, is he? In today’s society where soft skills are more important than rough power, the role of men changes again. The pluralism paradigm of our time requires us to become leaders in a harmonic way. Finding creative solutions, mediating between parties and inspiring the crowd become our major tasks for the future.
In a man’s vision, a healthy living environment and peaceful togetherness become main goals. We reach this by submitting to higher guidelines and ethics, but this time they’re called political correctness and stigmatising ostracised products. The „green“ man fights for a better world in a non-violent way and sees himself as a crusader in the global picture. He likes to take responsibility for other living beings, so providing children with a masculine care is shaping as well the manly role of fatherhood.
Let’s describe the peaceful man with:
• Identification with global society
• Orientation on ethic guidelines
• Taking responsibility
• The „fight“ for a good cause
• Conscious fatherhood
Hold on my friend, there’s more. After fully establishing the „green“ values of postmodernity, man recognises the value of each of the former stages. In a distant way he sees now how they all are still actively resonating inside him and can consciously work together to form a holistic masculinity. The archetypal energy patterns of each stage can be played out like wild cards. Fully integrated, he can situationally choose his role and react adequately to every-day life’s requirements.
You can train your body archaicly to reconnect with primal masculine energy. Or find peace in nature and sharpen your intuition. Although obeying to his culture’s laws a man can make use of his fierce aggressiveness anytime to decide quickly and get sh*t done. The modern world rewards his performing side but as an integral man he looks further than pure enrichment. He wants to contribute a benefit to humanity by finding his own specialised niche.
A narrowed focus on the individual mission and an open, creative mind now work hand in hand and a man’s animus and anima work interchangingly together. The fusion of contrasts and contradictions without sticking to them makes him extremely efficient in everything he does.
Now you know what journey’s expecting you. At least weekly you’ll find a new article here, covering in detail the origins and characteristics of each stage’s masculinity. After this series another one will demand your attention. It will be oriented on practical methods for today’s men to dig out each stage in the personal subconsciousness and make use of them for your daily dares.
You can dive even deeper into all the content of the 15 articles in my soon to be coming book about integral masculinity.