Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Time When a Man Was Still a Man

Your whole idea about yourself is borrowed - borrowed from those who have no idea who they are themselves. 

As I was flipping channels the other night I came across a couple of scenes out of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". Clint Eastwood at his best - the time of the Wild West was the time when a man was still a man, or was it?

Male energy is different from female energy even though from an individual perspective, yin and yang energies can be all over the place. You can have "feminine" men just as "masculine" females. And yes, there probably always will be a few Clint Eastwood's around. For every individual it is hard to tell what exactly is nature and what is nurturing, but that's what a spiritual path is all about. You find out who exactly you are after all the false expectations have been washed away after years of traveling the Path.
No doubt, each gender and each individual has to cope with big expectations from parents, friends and society. Michael S. Kimmel in "The Gender of Desire" quotes the four phases of society's imprint of what it means to be a boy and a man from Robert Brannon and Deborah David:
1. "No Sissy Stuff!" One may never do anything that even remotely suggests femininity. Masculinity is the relentless repudiation of the feminine. 
2. "Be a Big Wheel." Masculinity is measured by power, success, wealth, and status. As the current saying goes, "He who has the most toys when he dies wins." 
3. "Be a Sturdy Oak." Masculinity depends on remaining calm and reliable able in a crisis, holding emotions in check. In fact, proving you're a man depends on never showing your emotions at all. Boys don't cry. 
4. "Give `Em Hell." Exude an aura of manly daring and aggression. Go for it. Take risks.

We all have to cope with the problem that we are running around with artificial personas. But the going gets easier with every decade and century that passes. We are opening up to our differences, we accept homo-sexuality, we recognize the validities of having different cultures; we allow competing schooling philosophies and we have limitless career paths at our disposal to express whatever energy we wish. We have spiritual communities that allow everyone to express their respective idiosyncratic style.

The idea that along a spiritual path male and female energies have to converge for everyone into a wholesome balance may be as unrealistic as the expectation that every guy has to be another Clint Eastwood. We all can be our unique type that becomes totally free of all superimposed expectations. Clear your mind of everything and just be as God created you. When you are true to yourself everyone will be amazed and no one will be disappointed. That is the Way!

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