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The Sacred Masculine

Back in November I posted this quote from Christopher von Rueden. This View of Life: If Trump Wins the Presidency the Evolution of Men's Political Psychology Will be to Blame.

"We are more likely to hear “Be a man!” than “Be a woman!” in our daily conversations, in literature and in film, or in the news media. This is because manhood tends to be treated as more precarious than womanhood. It is typical of human societies that men are not granted the status of manhood simply by being male. Rather, manhood is achieved or lost, depending on display of competitive ability, skill, generosity, or other traits that signal value to others."

Since then I keep thinking about the sacred masculine as a contrast to misogynist thugs promoting hate on social media and right wing rallies. If gang rape, beating your wife, spewing epithets, humiliating others, comes to represent masculinity then we, as a species, are truly lost.

So I look for examples of masculinity which values rather than exploits life.

I think of David Suzuki who has never given up on the environment. His program The Nature of Things has helped to take an issue that was mainly in the realm of scientists and get us to care about it. That tenacity is a sign of sacred masculinity.

I think of Jack Layton who brought politics back to the essential struggle: "love is better than hate, hope is better than fear" at a time when cynicism seemed the only option.

I think of the 14th Dalai Lama who travelled around the world talking to people about power, community and survival, using simple words that everyone could understand. He was criticized for saying things that we supposedly all learned in kindergarten, as though corruption had made us sophisticated.

There are times when we do give up on basic principles of civil society and where we plummet to nihilism.  War is that which demands men fall into robotic campaigns. Rather than make Germany great, the Nazi's destroyed it and Europe by turning humanity into boots. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is another example of sacred masculinity as he, without weapons, stood up to the Nazi's and was tortured and executed.

Locally I think of Jeff Molloy, an artist, who said things like "Not on my watch" in response to news of bullies targetting visible minorities (particularly an incident of passengers on a bus attacking a woman for wearing a headscarf).  His manner was always on guard for justice. His work portrayed the brutality of the church towards indigenous people. He stood on his watch at all times. He died, too young,  after a long battle with cancer.

Men who speak truth to power, who live within nature rather than exploit it, who refuse to become mechanical parts of an almighty system, who maintain their humanity, integrity and sensitivity in support of the sacred feminine.

Remember the Monty Python song "Every sperm is sacred" that offended Roman Catholics? I think that song was a critique of misogyny embedded in man-made religions which turned  the teachings of  young prophets into movements of hate.  It goes on today. Rewriting anything that is life-affirming into a doctrine which promotes and elevates  a ruling hierarchy, giving it a stolen divinity.

It has been going on since the human brain developed into an instrument capable of strategic planning. This is the challenge. That although we are capable of manipulating masses, we can only survive if we care for all life on this planet. This is the work of the sacred masculine and sacred feminine.


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