The Whole Man

Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare The truth thou hast, that all may share; Be bold, proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare.
-Voltaire

The Alienated Man is a step in a process towards wholeness. There have always been Alienated Men, boys who, on the cusp of adulthood look around and see no prospects for themselves and fall into despair. The Ancient Greeks called this katabasis, and held it to be a threshold in a Man’s personal evolution. When you are at your lowest, and most empty, they believed you are fully open to the power and wisdom of the gods. Such young men were given a special place of their own apart from regular society, and invited to study the Mystery teachings of the ancient religions; many would go on to become holy men or leaders.

What is different about here and now is that entire generations seem to be falling into a state of Alienation, and suffering through this state deep into their adulthood. We have no culture of honouring – or even recognizing this pain for what it is. There is no space for these young men to be apart and work through their pain, and very few groups devoted to helping these young men find wholeness again. Many religious groups that try to help become predatory when dealing with such men; they have become more interested in exploiting an able body for the cause than helping them fill up the empty feelings.

A clear idea of what makes a good Man – what comes with the package when we embrace an ideal of Manhood, can help us choose to move forward and leave our pain behind. I want to paint a picture here of what a man who has moved past his pain and become an integrated whole, an “Whole Man”, would look like. First, by describing what choosing Manhood gives us, and then what that looks like from the outside.

Often those are seem to be two very different pictures. The inner one, is tenuous: it involves making a lot of choices, and constantly choosing to uphold certain virtues. The outer one is a familiar image: he is very much a Hero figure from folklore and poetry. He can seem inhuman, and unattainable if you don’t see that inner struggle.

First and foremost, you gain a sense of stability. Understanding what it is to be a Good Man gives you something to aim for whenever things become confused. No mater what happens, choosing to be in integrity, knowing when to speak and when to hold silence, being aimed at action over retreat, and choosing to choose for yourself from a place of reason rather than letting other people push you into a decision will always make the right choice somewhat clearer, and help you set aside many tempting, but ultimately self-destructive options. It is much harder to be overwhelmed when you have that sort of tool at your disposal.

The Whole Man is clear about his path, and moves along it, no matter what is thrown in front of him.

You also get along with people more effectively. Working from a place of integrity and trust not only helps you build a good reputation in time, but it shines through immediately in what you do. People can sense integrity in your bearing and language. In personal relationships your Integrity and your Trust will help you build stronger bonds. The practice of honouring your fathers will let you learn to build better bonds with your family. Integrity requires constant hard work, and chasing it also means leaning on friends who you can ask for help by calling you on your bullshit and holding you to a higher standard.

The Whole Man is honest, forthright, and trustworthy: people admire him, even when he is rough around the edges. He doesn’t need to be handsome or glamourous. Manhood creates charisma even where there was none before.

In romantic relationships, the same Trust will help you make others feel loved and let yourself be open to experiencing love. com Your ability to honour your inner Wild Man will make you the sort of lover that keeps you both satisfied.

The Whole Man is compellingly and irresistibly masculine. He has tender loving moments but he doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve. He is a mystery his woman feels a desperate need to unravel, she is kept always engaged trying to peel back his many layers. In bed he knows when to be gentle and when to be rough.

You learn not only how to feel again, and feel deeply, but you learn how to express them in a way that earns you respect, rather than losing it. In turn you will learn to be fully present in the moment, and get the most out of life. Honouring your Wild Man teaches you how to take the sometimes dangerous and frightening parts of yourself and turn them into sources of incredible energy.

The Whole Man is always inside himself. He is vitally alive, and when an opportunity for fun presents itself, he throws himself into it with the same explosive, reckless energy as he does when he fights to protect his loved ones, or has sex with his woman.

Finally, you learn the real power of Choosing, and with it, how you impact the World. This gives you a sense of meaning and power that is both simple and obvious, but completely overlooked in our culture. The power of Choice life-changing once you embrace it. In turn, making powerful choices demands that you respect and hone your thinking mind and your intuition so you can make the best possible choices with what you have. It also means learning how not to become paralyzed when you have too many options, or not enough information.

The Whole Man understands that he has a place in the world, and honours it every day by the way he makes his choices. His mind is powerful because he respects it and uses it well. He trusts both his intuition and his rational thoughts together like a team of guides.

The road to Integration is not an easy one, it requires a lot of self examination to get on, and a lot of hard choices every day to travel along. In time the benefits become far greater than the effort of following the road.

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