You surely know those occassions when you’d like to just punch someone, right? Your balls are getting firey but you don’t dare because you don’t want to loose your job.
Ever gotten angry when someone skipped the queue you’re waiting in? This as*hole is violating social laws. You feel disrespected and wish him social shame.
This is The Conventional Man inside you.
Now we’re talking about the rule-operated self.
Conventions stand at the very beginning of society. Language. Trading value of money. Job requirements. All based on agreements and unspoken rules.
„It’s not like it used to be anymore.“ „Back in my days…“ „A real man is…“
Who hasn’t heard this stuff?
Welcome to the blue world. Where people rely on the predictability of others’ behaviour. Where manliness follows expectations and gets etiquetted with cemented characteristics.
Role-models arising there are called classic and traditional, often to be rejected by todays’ youngsters. But these traits have more importance than you think.
I hadn’t had an easy time writing this article since I’m subconsciously defeating this layer myself. Exactly that’s why I truly tried to figure out the underlying roots of it and its importance in today’s masculinity.
Let’s go on.
Why did conventional structures rise?
Let us remind quickly on the former, impulsive stage. We rely on our own power. We are our gods.
But somewhen in human history the broader mindset begins to change and mortality gains attention. Since one’s own power doesn’t last eternal and even pyramids of god-like pharaos begin to crumble, the illusion of the egocentric self-might fades.
This was the time when abrahamic religions spreaded.
There’s only one god. He’s the absolute power fix point of the universe. The individual is nothing.
This shaped masculine perceptions massively.
Masculinity defined itself for thousands of years by the concept of power. But now this power is to be found above and outside the mortals’s heads. When your own willpower loses its significance, you have to orient on the will of the mono-god.
What you want to do is no longer of relevance. Forget about your impulses and desires. It only counts what the Lord wants.
Do only the right things if you want to get salvation.
You see my friend, this is a massive mental shift, where men recognize the danger and destructive potential that lies in the masculine power. They acknowledge the necessity of putting this energy into a senseful purpose again.
The descendance line, like in the animistic stage. The collective WE again.
But this time to a greater extent.
For that your offsprings one day will carry on your religions’ values and traditions, they need security and stability. People begin to purposefully work together to create stable systems.
Societies based on external values established.
Judaism. Islam. Christian kingdoms. Buddhistic and Hinduistic societies.
They’re the clamp that holds individuals together, unifies them. They come with a bunch of guidelines of what to do and what not, for the sake of establishing a society of reliable citizens.
They are what man now orients on.
Without the law given by god individuals would fall back into the egocentric stage and society would decay.
Individual aggressive power now becomes a threat and gets banned. The man is on a quest of seeking peace by following higher values above his selfish desires.
Okay, how does this feel like?
Imagine your role is to serve society.
Whatever you do, it becomes relevant how you serve. You want to serve the max out of your given role making your family proud.
You’re always looking for opportunities to fulfill your duty. For roles to fit in. How can you prove your masculinity by serving your nation, your god, your king?
You must subordinate to the rules of your group and work in alignment with them. They get even more important than your family history. Take the Marines. They don’t give a f*ck if your father is a born Duke of Whatever. To get acknowledged as a grown-ass soldier you must subordinate yourself or get punished.
„In the army you become a real man.“
Reward and punishment are basic principles of conventional thinking. The red aggressivity must be guided into the right path. If you work faithfully you may be rewarded with a promotion, whereas violating the law only sends you to prison.
Of course you want to be an approved member of society.
To be profoundly embedded you must loyally follow social conventions. Do you know where the word „gentleman“ stems from? „Gentle“ says it all, it’s about a man who shows that he’s not the impulsive, ass-grabbing animal of earlier times anymore.
Classic (gentle)manly behavior in western society may include:
• Greet each other
• Be honest
• Treat the ladies well
• Live morally
• Work devotedly
• Be honorful (Or commit Seppuku like the Samurai)
Act like its expected of you. Your commitment to your given role lets you earn respect from your contemporaries.
What is your given role?
Can be anything. Continuing the traditional job of your father. Joining the army for protecting the nation. Wherever your people need your strength.
„Uncle Sam needs you.“
The role of the conventional man is always legitimated from a higher place. Do you remember all those movies, where the hero at first refuses to take charge and stays in the background? Only the desperate begging of others who need him makes him change his mind. After being victorious he gives the throne away selflessly to a wiser man.
“As long as others need me in this position, I’ll do it. “
There’s no ego.
Even as individual you’re part of a big „We“-Identity based on nationality, ethnicity or religion. Whereas the animistic „We“ was grown out of inner bonds of descendance, the conventional „We“ gets formed by outer circumstances.
This is what lets you feel connected with your landsmen.
Tell me about masculinity patterns formed then
The focus on stability and strategic long-term thinking is an conventional basic pattern. Are you seeking a stable job and buying insurances for all cases possible? That’s completely normal since you want to prevent a regress to the egocentric stage.
Blue men therefore develop a faible for strategic plans like job career and childrens’ education. Unlike the former cycle-based time concept the linear cause and effect thinking predominates. Man uses his logic to foresee future events and circumstances to predict outcomes. You see, keeping control still is a masculine thing.
Since stability is highly valued he develops preserving and protecting character traits. Look at American weapon hoarders, enabling them defending their home country at no time.
You can call this as well patriotism.
Do you have some recently to-be-father friends? Most develop protecting traits, desperately trying to keep every danger away from their kids. With bitterness you remember the funny, risk-taking days. The bachelor has grown up. No parties anymore, instead driving his kids to school become his daily chores.
Well, what did you expect?
A man naturally gets conservative once he has a family. Conservative -> latin „conservare“, to preserve, to keep things. There’s no willingness in taking risks anymore since his sexual fire got extinguished by the mother of his children.
Fear of loss takes over.
That’s why he’s seeking security. A safe neighbourhood. Peace and calmness. Everything that disturbs the order gets an aggressive reaction.
You surely know such men.
Lots of them probably seem to be pretty disciplined as well.
To devotedly follow a higher purpose, you have to sacrifice a lot. Your time. Your sexuality. Partly your individuality. Monks of every worlds’ culture sacrifice everything to serve their spirituality. How committed are you to your purpose?
Think of the Samurai, storming into battle even when everything seems lost.
The ability to bring sacrifices belongs to the cornerstones of successful people.
You know that.
This requires heck of a lot of discipline. The Spartans’ discipline enabled them to maintain a solid phalanx even in the face of certain death. The archaic impulses of running away from danger and seeking pleasure can only be tamed by strong commitments’ unleashed willpower.
Commitment? What about sex?
Okay I know this topic interests you the most but don’t be disappointed.
Imagine a folk full of straying, horny men spreading their genes uncontrollably. Soon you couldn’t call this a society anymore. Indeed several theories exist how sexual freedom leads to decay of societies in the long-term.
Whether you choose a monogamic or polygamic model, you must be committed to your partner(s). The conventional concept of binding partners for a lifetime keeps the masculine power inside the family.
So what are you looking for in a potential wife?
Most modern readers probably value sex pretty highly in a long-term relationship. But this is not of importance for the conventional man since his concern is, that his wife aligns with his values. He checks if she’s loyal, trustworthy and to a certain amount submissive.
Different religion? No-go. High partner count? No-go.
This is why older generations just shake their heads about todays’ sexual freedom culture.
A family must be stable. Kids need parents they can orient on, who show them the way. They need someone who takes responsibility, and this is expected of you. So your kids and your wife rely on you providing them with a strict rule set and, if necessary, a consequent hand. Rebellious behaviour must be punished immediately.
Last but not least your personal honor is linked with the prosperity of your family so a divorce is out of question. You better make sure your wife stays faithful to you and she doesn’t abuse your credit card.
Now give me some conventional man roles.
You can find plenty of’em.
Most men in history we can classify as workers.
Sweating and contributing your masculine power to a greater thing makes you proud. You’re glad that you don’t have to carry the burden of decisions and responsibility as leaders have. Instead you enjoy an every-day routine in honorful work.
Following the same principle but more hardcore is the soldier. He carries the burden of pain and death for sake of a secure nation. Heck until a short time ago you barely could be called a man if you have not been in military duty. Have you served?
The experience of getting screamed on and robbing through cold dirt definitely welds together a unit of young men.
Or take police officers. While some are carreer-driven for sure, most of them just want to serve their people by providing security.
Look at how women and boys stare at the proudly worn uniform, radiating pure law-authority as a cornerstone of society.
Yes, law and order is what glues a functioning living-together from the outside.
Those are executors. Now who makes the rules?
Politicians. God knows, a lot work for their own pockets since ages, but there are always some honest and greater good-oriented ones to be found as well.
Do you want to improve society and contribute to order and stability?
joining the parliament is the next logical step.
Belonging to the states’ heads refers to the model of the leader.
In the name of the higher good he leads the people beneath him. He may lead men to combat or sheep to god, showing them the way to go.
Don’t claim the throne boldly. A true conventional leader earns his stripes from higher authority. The medieval king gets crowned by the pope. The lieutenant gets ranked-up by the captain. Councilors get elected.
You see my friend, other shortcuts to power but honest work shall be erased now. Theoretically. But at least this stage was the first bringing democratic ideas to life by the ancient Greeks.
Small-scale spoken, as a father you’re similar to a leader. You lead your children, providing a role-figure your kids can follow and know everything about what’s right and wrong.
You may as well become a teacher, forging some useful men for the next generation.
At least lower grade pupils will regard you as kind of a role-model, so let your behaviour reflect the highest morals imaginable.
I don’t want the faithful to be unmentioned. Think of monks, priests and the catholic clerks. They’re sacrificing their entire existence to represent the spiritual values of their society.
By seeking higher wisdom and knowing about holy scriptures they’re meant to be the guiding lights of the nation.
Okay, but why should I care?
The belief in a higher purpose gives a man direction and the necessary drive, undoubtably. Hardly any man develops stronger discipline than a Zen-monk or a Navy Seal.
To execute your goal strategies you need a strong orientation that clearly mustn’t be disturbed by your distracting impulses. The conventional layer forces you to preserve existing structures.
Think of budget plans, chores or work routines.
It helps you devotedly sticking to them.
Without it you wouldn’t have a stable feeling of security and reliability, a very necessity for further expanding.
They’re basically the first floor of your man-house.
Just make sure you don’t exaggerate it, like with every layer. Totalitarism or extreme ethnocentrism are pathologies of this black and white thinking. Fascism arised as well of the „we are the good – the others are evil“ mindset.
When you catch yourself damnating everything opposing your current worldview you may have to overthink it a little bit.
Too stiff structures can cause script pathologies and chain your authonomic sense of self.
„I don’t change anything. I’ve done this all my life.“
What happens when your used circumstances change?
War. Economic crisis.
Sticking too tight to routines and habits can cost your life my dear.
Too extreme selflessness is as well a sickness arising of the blue layer as too much feelings of guilt. As men we still have strong archaic urges after all, let’s not curse them as feminists or hardcore fundamentalists like to do.
It’s important that we recognize traits that may be somehow missingor over-developed in our psychogram. At least you shall know a bit more about your own conventional self and the male contemporaries around you 😉
Let’s quickly summarize masculinity of the blue stage:
• Man is servant of higher purpose
• Part of an externally defined „We“
• Fulfills his duty and role
• Oriented on cemented rules and norms
• Focus on Stability and security
• Strategic and long-term thinking
• Disciplined and ready to sacrifice
• A living picture of his sacred values
• Being a guiding light for others
Well, yes. Some advice on how to develop the single layers as there exists a broad spectrum of tools. But this will be material for the next blog series. Keep patient. 😉
Next time we will cover the characteristics of a man who wants to make more out of his life.
Following given roles is not enough. Let me introduce you to The Achiever Man.