Monday, October 12, 2009

The Integral Warrior: Final Men's Group

The introductory weekends are over. Two of them held in August and September have produced six men who are willing to step into the complete process of learning how to more fully embody The New Masculine over a 7 month period.

So what is this "New Masculine" that this process helps emerge? Both the bully and the new-age sensitive guy are archetypes that need to be transcended and morphed into a new arena of cooperation, or collective individualism. We need a fresh new way of looking at the issues that face us. The many ways we've been acting are not working.

More and more people are talking about the need for this next wave of thinking to arise as the only way we're going to solve the massive problems that are all converging on us at once, created by old paradigm thinking. These paradigms have left us with the problems of a crumbling world economy, peak oil, culture and the coming water wars, climate change, over population, and famine, just to name a few.

Just think how impossible it seems to change our crumbling financial and health/insurance systems. It pains me to think of the money we're throwing at the financial system to keep it afloat, in spite of it being unsustainable in it's present form. It won't be until the systems more or less collapse that we'll get any kind of meaningful change: when enough people wake up to "it just isn't working." The hope is that we don't totally collapse into the most basic of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Just as the old paradigms must die before new forms can emerge, so must men "die" to the old before they can emerge to the new.

By doing work around archetypes, shadow, initiation and ritual, men can dive deep into their own psyches, figure out for themselves what is no longer working for them, and how to emerge into a new way of being, what David Deida calls "3rd-stage masculine," that opens their hearts into a subtle, authentic way of living and loving that gifts the world with their presence.

Six men have agreed to take responsibility for their own evolution, fearlessly facing their inner demons, so that they may grow, mature, and step into the masculine role that the world so desperately needs at this time on the planet: that of the Integral Warrior, the Spiritual Warrior, the Shamanic Priest, this New masculine with integrated consciousness and awareness, loving themselves, their loved ones, and the entire connected planet.

I'll be doing a make-up session before we begin in late November for other men who would like to participate in this cutting-edge work around the New Masculine. I have room for four more men and I invite you or your loved ones to join us.

To find out more about The Integral Warrior: Embodying the New Masculine, click here.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Shadow of the Spiritual Warrior

I've been wrestling with the shadow of the Spiritual Warrior. I've been wrestling with myself, as well, trying to define just what is the highest response to this unholy alliance between right-wing political ideologies and right-wing Christian movement in the United States today that confuses soldier and warrior, prophet and soldier. What's the highest conscious response from a moral, ethical, and spiritual place of being available to me?

Twenty-five years ago, when Pat Robertson and other radio hosts and televangelists began talking about a new political religion to create a global, Christian empire, Dr. James Luther Adams, a former ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School, who fled Germany in 1936, warned of the coming rise of American fascism and religion's role in that rise.

As one example among many, the Christian men's movement, The Promise Keepers, and it's founder, Dr. Tony Evans, a Dallas minister, talks about creating a Christian state. He teaches that America should be governed by biblical concepts and that "dominion" has been given over the "elect" to rule the Earth and America in particular. Dominionism has also found a home with George Bush, Tom Delay, Pat Robertson, and Zell Miller, and more recently Sarah Palin. Pat Robertson has stated, "our aim is to gain dominion over society."

Within the dominion context, Christ is portrayed as a warrior and is very appealing given the loss of manufacturing jobs, lack of affordable health care, the lack of educational opportunities and poor job security. The ideology is appealing because it offers hope and sanctifies their rage. One only has to look at the birthers showing up at town hall meetings, shouting everyone down and sometimes carrying guns, all with the intention to shut the other side up and intimidate.

Other manifestations of this pathological warped warrior ideology are America as Empire, anti-scientism, the popularity of the apocalyptic Left Behind novels (60 million copies and counting), the attacks on gays and lesbians reminiscent of early Nazi Germany, and the promulgation of the patriarchy in all elements of culture, religion, business, and politics.

In his book, The Hidden Spirituality of Men, Matthew Fox writes:
"Examining the the situation in Nazi Germany, Adams was very critical of liberals who talked of dialogue and inclusiveness and lacked the backbone to confront what was really going on. "The power and allure of evil and the cold reality of how the world worked was being ignored by such platitudes." He also criticized prominent research universities and the media in Nazi Germany; he considered these institutions too self-absorbed and compromised by their coziness with government and corporations, so that they were completely unwilling to raise the moral questions of justice and inequality."
It is this mentality that seems to be showing up in our own media, our own legislators, and, disappointingly, perhaps even in our president, who seems to think he can still pull everyone together in a well-meaning wave of bipartisanship. Unfortunately, the right-wing Christian Political movement has no intention of engaging in any kind of meaningful discussion.

Chris Hedges, Adams' student and a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist writes:
"All debates with the Christian right are useless. We cannot reach this movement. It does not want dialogue. It cares nothing for rational thought. It is not mollified because John Kerry prays or Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday School."
The biggest danger, he believes, is our complacency.

Also disappointing, from my perspective, is the the complacency I see within the Integral community. I fear we have not yet evolved far enough into a second-tier perspective that says, "while we recognize the essential contribution and value of each level of consciousness to the overall spiral of development, we also recognize that we must stand up and speak out against pathologies and shadow that threatens others."

Instead of a false war waged on a shadow projection of "secularism", what if we, as a nation and a world, made war on poverty, global warming, racism, and on forces that would co opt the true meaning of the spiritual warrior substituting hate for justice and love? There are plenty of injustices for real warriors to wage.

What are we waiting for?

(note: My deep thanks to Matthew Fox who contributed so much to this post through his book "The Hidden Spirituality of Men" and helped me formulate my thinking)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A channeled message from Sri Goji

(Gary's note: lately I've been channeling a semi-enlightened teacher who calls himself "Sri Goji." Goji is apparently from a small eastern country somewhere between India and Pakistan, although he refuses to be specific. He says he is always berry, berry happy to be anywhere. Sometimes he completely takes me over and makes me do stand-up in front of audiences...totally embarrassing me. Recently, he channeled this message for the people of America, while holding the Sacred Book, The Innaghadadavitta. It is said that Sri is my altered-ego)

My friends in America: I am in much distress over the ever-widening chasm developing between your citizenry. Your bad vibes are entering the cosmic stream, infecting the unconscious consciousness of the entire universe, and you're starting to piss some other beings off. You must realize that what you are going through is a test, and so far you're not doing too good, so they are getting testy. You are setting a bad example. Stop it!!

So many in your country are acting idiotic, being diabolic, nationalistic, moronic, dogmatic, absolutistic, evangelistic, fanatic, horrific, illogic, homophobic, imperialistic, jingoistic, nationalistic, problematic, sadistic, ethnocentric, and going ballistic with traumatic results!

Can't you see that's way too much "IC(k)?"

You don't cut it out, someone's going to go apocalyptic on you!

Here's what you need to do, it's berry, berry simple: You have to change your "IC(k)" to "I SEE."

You need to be more optimistic, organic, authentic, realistic, synergistic, dynamic, tantric, enthusiastic, ecstatic, world and universe-centric, galactic, strategic, and mentally orgasmic.

Do you "see" the lack of "IC(k)" in these words? They are "I SEE" oriented!

You know who you are. knock it off. It used to be the men who were doing this stuff, and it now palins....oops....get the "L" out....pains me to see this behavior from women, too. Get smart and live. Stay stupid and die off. It's your choice.

I'm going to have a corona.

Your friend and teacher,


(Gary's note, con't: Sri will be performing at the Priest-ess Convergence happening in Kansas City in September)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

New Archetypes for the New Masculine

It's a bountiful universe in here. I've been thinking about traditional Jungian archetypes and how - and if - they fit in with the concept of the New Masculine, and suddenly, Matthew Fox's book, The Hidden Spirituality of Men, shows up.

In it, Fox explores ten archetypes, or metaphors, that he believes speak to a revival of the healthy masculine, "indeed, the Sacred Masculine."
"The authors of the classic work Green man point out that for Jung, 'an archetype will appear in new form to redress imbalances in society at a particular time when it is needed. According to this theory, therefore, the Green Man is rising up into our present awareness in order to counterbalance a lack in our attitude to Nature.' "
Each of the ten archetypes in Fox's book is arising for the same reasons - to redress imbalances in our culture and in our very souls. For the latter flows from the former.

It's not that the former archetypes - especially the King and the Warrior - are no longer applicable, but that they, too, are evolving as we evolve.

In my workshop, The integral Warrior: Embodying the New Masculine, we're going to be "killing off" the patriarchal properties of these former archetypes so the new archetypes can arise and take their place in a more evolved consciousness. For instance, the Green Man has a fierceness and a determination that parallels the Warrior, and suddenly the Warrior becomes the Spiritual Warrior that stands alongside the Green Man. Without saying so, it appears to me that the King archetype, a model of patriarchy, however soft and benevolent, is replaced by the Blue Man, or Father Sky, who models compassion and creativity, "cunning as snakes and wise as doves."

"The green man demands that men stand up. That men become men. Men have been stuck in a daze brought on by modern philosophy, consumerism, and a pseudo-masculine media-promoted identity. The green man calls us to stand for the love of the Earth and the health of future generations. Stand for the trees and the animals that are being destroyed and with them the sustainability of our own species. Stand for community and compassion rather than individual power and domination. Stand for the children and generations to come."

Joseph Gelfer, in his book "Numen, Oldmen: Contemporary Masculine Spiritualities and the Problem of Patriarchy," (reviewed here) is absolutely correct in his assessment of patriarchal stances in the evangelical, mythopoetical, and even the Integral approach to men's spirituality.
Fox's book helps the neo-men's movement (my term) take a fresh look at archetypes without the hard and soft patriarchies of the earlier movement.

For me, this is a major component of the New Masculine.
This is where I want to go, and I'm going to take as many men with me as I can!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

But If We Started Dating It Would Ruin Our Friendship Where I Ask You To Do Things And You Do Them

Gary's note: I found this at The Onion. It's hilarious and sad....

By Kimberly Pruitt
The Onion, June 9, 2009 | Issue 45•24

I really like you. I do. You're so nice, and sweet, and you listen to all my problems and respond with the appropriate compliments. But, well, I don't really see a relationship in our future. It would be terrible if we let sex destroy this great friendship we have where I get everything I want and you get nothing you want. Don't you think?

I knew you would understand. You always do.

We're so perfect as friends, you know? I can tell you anything, and you know you can always come to me anytime you need to hear me bitch about work or how ugly I feel. You wouldn't want to ruin a friendship like that just so you could be my boyfriend, and have me look at you with desire and longing in my eyes, if only once—would you? Of course not. Well, if we started dating, it would only complicate this wonderful setup I've got going here.

It's just…you're like my best friend, and I would hate for something you desperately want to change that. I mean, sure, we could go on some dates, maybe mess around a little and finally validate the six years you've spent languishing in this platonic nightmare, but then what? How could we ever go back to the way we were, where I take advantage of your clear attraction to me so I can have someone at my beck and call? That part of our friendship means so much to me.

No. We are just destined to be really, really good friends who only hang out when I don't have a boyfriend, but still need male attention to boost my fragile and all-consuming ego.

Anything can happen once you bring romance in. Think about how awful my last relationship was at the end, remember? The guy I'd call you crying about at 3 a.m. because he wouldn't answer my texts? The guy I met at the birthday party you threw me? I had insanely passionate sex with him for four months and now we don't even talk anymore. God, I would die if something like that happened to us.

Plus, ick, can you even imagine getting naked in front of each other? I've known you so long, you're more like a brother that I've drunkenly made out with twice and never mentioned again. It'd be way too weird. And if we did, then whenever you'd come shopping with me, or go to one of my performances or charity events, or take me for ice cream when I've had a bad day at work, you'd be looking at me like, "I've seen her breasts." God, I can't think of anything more awkward that that.

Oh, before I forget, my mom says hi.

Anyway, you would totally hate me as your girlfriend. I'd be all needy and dramatic and slowly growing to love you. If I was your girlfriend, I would never be able to tell you all about the other asshole guys I date and pretend I don't see how much it crushes you. Let's never lose that. That's what makes us us.

Don't worry. You're so funny and smart and amazing, any girl but me would be lucky to date you. You'll find someone, I know it. And when you do, I'll be right by your side to suddenly become all flirty and affectionate with you in front of her, until she grows jealous and won't believe it when you say we're just friends. But when she dumps you, that's just what we'll be.

Best friends. Friends forever.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Calling In The Beloved: A Message To Men

I knew I was on to something with my new workshop, Calling in the Beloved, but so far, the responses are far exceeding my expectations!

So what's the problem? So far, everyone signing up a woman!

If I were single this would not be a problem! But I'm not, and as much as I'd like to model the Divine Masculine for these wonderful women, you men are missing out on a fantastic opportunity!

If you're a single man, and you'd like to be in relationship with an amazing conscious woman, what better place to start than at a workshop about how to do just that?

Now, I'm not promising you'll meet the woman of your dreams, any more than I'm promising the women who've already signed up that they'll meet the man of their dreams, but if you're looking for a place to start, this is it!

The worst that could happen is that you'll meet other conscious singles who are looking for the same thing you're looking for, who you can dialogue with and create mutually beneficial support systems!

So, come on guys! Step up on to a committed path to finding the person you always knew you wanted in your life. That's how I found my beloved, and I'd love to help you find yours!


For more information see

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Numen, Old Men: Contemporary Masculine Spiritualities and the Problem of Patriarchy, by Joseph Gelfer .

I've just finished reading Numen, Old Men: Contemporary Masculine Spiritualities and the Problem of Patriarchy, by Joseph Gelfer.

The back cover states that all of the earlier men's movements, mythopoetic, evangelical, and to a lesser extent, the Catholic men's movement are little more than a thinly veiled patriarchal spirituality, promoting a heteropatriarchal spirituality by appealing to to neo-jungian archetypes of a combative and oppressive nature.

it then examines Wilber's Integral Spirituality which "aims to honor both the masculine and the feminine, but which privileges the former to the extent where it becomes another masculine spirituality, with all its inherent patriarchal problems."

He then offers gay spirituality as a form of masculine spirituality which "to a larger degree resists patriarchal tendencies, suggesting a queering of spirituality could be useful for all men, gay and straight."

I've reviewed it on and thought some of you might be interested in my review and reading the book.

My review:

This is a valuable, ambitious book, but Joseph Gelfer makes huge leaps of assumptions around a lot of it. For example, Gelfer reaches a conclusion that because [Integral Spirituality] author Ken Wilber talks about seeing perspectives from the 50,000 foot level, he must be guilty of the "up and out" directionality transcendence attributed to the masculine qualities Gelfer then rejects. Gelfer goes on to say that the 50,000 foot view equates with the "thrust of jet engines, again technology (masculine) dominating nature (feminine)," dampening the good parts of his message by often trekking into fantastic conclusions.

Gelfner also applies a very limited use of archetypes, choosing to put emphasis on only one interpretation of those archetypes through the evangelical, mythopoetical, and integral use of them, only finally touching on a solution at the end. Granted, that's the way they are represented in most men's work, but not all (disclosure: I facilitate men's groups using archetypes and shadow). He also only illustrates one example of feminine archetypes: Talk about favoring the masculine!

It's too bad, because Gelfer has a lot to say that's important that gets lost in the exaggeration, loose connection, and stretched assumptions. I'm admittedly a big Wilber fan, although I don't agree with everything he says. His assessment of Wilber as the masculine gunslinger is dead on, but his conclusions, again, are off. Wilber's tirade about his critics seem more about shadow than masculine dominating Hierarchy. Using Integral Theory and Spiral Dynamics, it's easy to imagine Gelfer directly in the middle of Relativistic Pluralism. Worth reading? Yes, but only to gain some insights on other perspectives and to sharpen critical thinking.

For a deeper discussion on the book, including author Joseph Gelfer, visit

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Importance of Polarity, or "the Attraction of Opposites"

I have a friend who doesn't get the importance of sexual polarity in relationship. He loves that they are in a balanced relationship, each holding equal parts of the masculine and feminine. I guess it works for them, but for me it would like pushing two north poles of magnets together, repelling each other. They are great friends, but not intimate. It's definitely safe, but certainly not passionate. They are great roommates.

I am happy for them, but it's not what I want in relationship. it feels flat to me.

The masculine and feminine are like two magnets, and the principle of polarity also applies to intimate relationships: if you put their north and south poles together, they attract each other.

I wonder if they had passion when they met? Was it polarity that attracted them in the beginning? In our relationship, we're very aware of when one or the other is in a particular essence, and if we're both strongly in our masculine, we're going to butt heads if we're both directional. If we're both in our feminine, we can be great friends, but as she feels me drop the polarity, it's apparent we're not going to experience an intimate evening.

It doesn't mean we're not going to have a great time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What is the New Masculine?

It seems to me a critical aspect of the work to be done on the planet at this time is to heal the wounds of the masculine and feminine. A lot of the work my partner Anyaa does revolves around helping women who have become overly "masculinized" to reclaim their more powerful, integrated feminine, which includes the masculine. My work revolves around helping men who have become overly "feminized" to reclaim the healthy aspects and fullness of the New Masculine without shame and on purpose with a clear sense of their sacred mission.

In an earlier post, I asked, "who are the models for the New Masculine?" in this post I want to address the definition of this "New Masculinity."

Okay, we may not necessarily know who they are, but what does this "New Masculine" look like? What are the qualities that define the New Masculine and how is it different from the old masculine?

The masculine, directional and focused, is defined and guided by the search for freedom, cutting through all obstacles in his path. But not everyone uses masculine energy to search for that freedom in the same way.

David Deida says that how a man seeks freedom depends on his particular needs, and those needs typically change in three stages.

I won't go into those stages as I've addressed that in another post. Suffice it to say the old masculine (1st stage) finds his freedom through acquisition, or more: More money, more power, more sex, etc. he finds his freedom through external sources. This is ultimately unsustainable.

The New Masculine finds his freedom from within, and is not concerned with external causation. He may have things, but doesn't find his self worth, his freedom, from them. He finds his freedom in the present moment, from surrender into that moment, and letting go of self definition. The New Masculine no longer searches for freedom, he embodies freedom itself, always transcending, always including that which arises spontaneously in every moment.

Beautiful. What the hell does that mean?

It means no longer being dependent on someone else's opinion of him, although he can relax into a deep listening state when someone offers counsel. It means being able to hold space for family, friends, a partner, the world. it means being in service to the world without negating his own needs in a codependent way. It means saying "no" sometimes in a loving and compassionate way. It means living at his edge, always pushing himself to be on purpose, giving his unique gifts to the world, whatever they might be. It means challenging other men, and himself, to give up the things that limit surrender into gifting.

It means having his mission aligned with his life, filling his core, and it means having a deep spiritual awareness, not dogmatic drivel. The new masculine penetrates the world as he penetrates his woman, not merely for pleasure or personal gain, but to magnify an open heart, love, and depth, again, his gift to the world.

It also means being able to move freely, at will, between masculine and feminine qualities that serve the perfect moment that continuously arises in the fullness of love and non-separation.

Once men and women have fully integrated their masculine and feminine sides, they are able to move back and forth between the two at will, when either is needed in a given situation. This ability allows the feminine to open fully and the masculine to become the essence of freedom....both in the same person regardless of gender. Therein lies the possibility of Sacred Union and higher purpose for the good of all beings, and is the ultimate expression of BE-ing.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Where are the models for the New Masculine?

In my workshop, Integral Warriors, I'm often asked by men who want to shift their perspectives on their own masculinity who the models are for the New Masculine. It's a great question.

In What is Enlightenment? magazine (issue 41, October 2008), Ken Wilber and Andrew Cohen address the question of What It means to be a Man, Redefining the Masculine Principle at the leading Edge of Cultural Evolution (pg 36). In that discussion, Andrew Cohen says, that in researching the article, it was "very hard to get men, even those who seem to be very sophisticated in their cognitive capacity, to express some example of what they thought an evolved man would look like."

I agree with him that, because of post-modernisms feminizing the masculine, there is a cultural block and fear around stepping up and embracing the greater potentials of the masculine.

One of those problems, from my perspective, is that 3rd stage masculine looks like 1st stage masculine from the vantage point of 2nd stage masculine. Ken points out that postmodernism prevents us from using wisdom judgement (discernment) and discrimination around our inherent capacities, in this case our masculine essence. As 2nd stage men, we have worked so hard to suppress our masculinity, that we can't see the positive aspects of our Masculinity.

Some argue that both the masculine and the feminine should drop away into a state of oneness, the non-dual, or enlightenment, but before that can happen, we have to do the work that heals our wounded masculine and feminine selves, or we can't get to that enlightened place. Of course, there are rare individuals who can embody the non-dual without having to re-integrate their inner essences, but most of us have to work at it. The danger of not doing the work for the majority of us is that we skip the developmental stages required to fully integrate and we wind up in spiritual by-pass: all light, no darkness.

And it should be obvious to all of us that the light cannot exist without the darkness.

So, let's come back to the original question, "where are the models for the New Masculine?" The very same question could be asked of the feminine, who, at 2nd stage, has integrated their own inner masculine.

In an evolutionary sense, this is all new territory, and we, the men and women who are doing this work, as teachers and students, happening at the leading edge of consciousness, are the ones who will determine what this evolutionary shift looks like. As we step into this work, willingly and consciously, we become the models for the new masculine.

Last note: I don't claim to have all the answers for this. Like so many, and both a teacher and a student as we begin to step into this.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

SeattleIntegral Meetup: The Feminine Speaks

While visiting Seattle, last night I had the honor of attending the June SeattleIntegral/Ken Wiber Monthly Meetup. Because of my work with my men's workshop, The Integral Warrior, and my work with Anyaa's and my workshop, Discovering Your Sacred Purpose as a Couple, it felt perfect that the meetup featured a "fishbowl" process that featured the women talking about the feminine while the men listened in silence.

For those of you who aren't familiar with a "fishbowl," it's generally a teaching technique around a scholarly discussion of an essential question in which student opinions are shared, proven, refuted, and refined through dialogue with other students. Last night's fishbowl seemed to be designed to give insights as to how women communicate and process and to provoke deep listening by the audience of men. The subject was "the feminine."

It began with an attempt to define terms around the feminine and gender, and soon moved elsewhere when agreement around the definitions failed. What I thought was interesting , and surprising, was that the discussion, with a couple of exceptions, centered mostly around an upper-left quadrant view and approach. By that I mean, most of the women did not talk about the interiority of feelings (Chris, Auriana and Heather were notable exceptions) generally associated with relational feminine qualities. Rather, the discussion seemed to be primarily focused on exteriority, what the feminine looked like from the outside, how it shows up, it's actions, what you can see.

According to some in attendance, and in stark contrast to last night's fishbowl, when the men were in the center a couple of months ago, the conversation focused around relationship.

What's going on here?

I suspect that it's a prime example of David Deida's Second Stage where men have mostly integrated their feminine and the women have mostly integrated their masculine, and so they talk about what they are seeing at that level of development, and what's important to them at second stage.

I'm not suggesting that all of the women last night were at second stage feminine, but that a majority may have been, and the Dominate Mode of Discourse, second stage issues, was all that was possible in that situation (See my original blog on the subject for a more detailed explanation). The concept of Dominate Mode of Discourse states that the conversation will go to the level of consciousness of the majority of participants unless there's a skilled facilitator to keep moving it forward to the next evolutionary level.

Now, let me make it very clear that I am not putting second stage down!
As Clare Graves said, "everyone has the right to be who they are," and I couldn't agree more. Second stage is an evolutionary shift in thinking of major proportion and I honor every one's perspective. I'm not even saying I have the last word on this. From my perspective, Chris, Auriana and Heather did that.

What a great group, and what a great group of people having really important evolutionary conversation, and it does seem to point out the necessity of men and women (the masculine and the feminine) to reintegrate their respective masculine and feminine higher selves, stepping to the 3rd stage concepts of pure love (the feminine) and pure freedom (the masculine) in Sacred Marriage: the union of our feminine and masculine selves.

(side note: isn't interesting that the photo of the Space Needle seems to be a dotted lower-case "i"...a symbol of integral?)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Integral Warrior: Vancouver, BC


* Are you missing strong and supportive men in your life?
* Would you like to tap into your inner power and fullness as a man?
* Would you like to learn how to have greater productivity in all areas of your life?
* Would you like to learn how to stand in your masculine fierceness instead of being a nice guy or a bastard?
* Would you like to learn how to be Independent instead of codependent or dependent?
* Have you successfully integrated your feminine side but still feel there's more?

There is!

It's time to transcend the archetypes of the bully and the over-feminized sensitive new age guy.

We are the wounded warriors. Centuries of patriarchy have numbed our souls, our spirit, our feelings, and we are beginning to awaken the need to love and work in ways that heal our lives and the lives of those we love, and those we want to love and be worthy of.

Join a group of committed men for the workshop series "The Integral Warrior: The Path of the Shamanic Priest," as we learn how to embody The new Masculine, the Divine masculine, Eros, integrate and call in all perspectives into BE-ing with fierce awareness, stretching the boundaries of what is possible, bravely holding space for the feminine, nature, body, spirit, integrity, authenticity, wisdom and heart. Using new Integral and Developmental Systems Theory, breathwork, and traditional archetypes, initiations, and ritual, you'll learn how to align your true purpose and the full embodiment of presence for the highest good of all beings.

Starting in August 2009 in Vancouver, BC, three 4-day sessions, spread over 4 months.
For more information, click on the image above.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Integral Shamanism, States and Stages of Consciousness

I've been involved in an email discussion about how indigenous spiritual leaders organize (or don't organize) sacred gatherings. No one showed up at a recent gathering, which okay for the elders. A few highlights as background:
  • If it is a sacred gathering it is not publicized. If someone is to be there they will find it. Gatherings are made hard to find on purpose.
  • Fliers are usually a no-no. It is like, if someone calls themselves a medicine man/woman or shaman--run as fast as you can. Only the people can give you that honor.
  • It does not matter if there are 2000 people in attendance or one. When an Elder speaks it goes out to the whole Universe. Elders are not attached to how many they speak to, only that they can speak.
  • They understand that the words "we are all related" are real. That the trees, wind, rocks, and water will carry their words forward. You were fortunate to be one of the ones to experience them first hand.
  • If there are hundreds of seats they are all filled, even if you can not see the people.
  • Elder gatherings never start on time. It is normal for an Elder to be several hours late. They will start when the energy is right.
I'm reminded of the story about a religious man who, caught on the roof of his house as the flood waters rose all around him, beseeched God to rescue him. As two boats and a helicopter came by and asked if he needed help, he told each that he was fine, God would save him. Finally, as he clung to the chimney with water just below his mouth and still rising, he cried out, "God, why hast thou foresaken me?" Suddenly, a booming voice rang out from the heavens: "Whaddya want, I sent you 2 boats and a helicopter!"

While I honor traditional methods and beliefs, I also see that Spirit moves through us, and that we are the manifestation of Spirit, and what we do in the name of Spirit and in integrity is Spirit in Action. I also see that we are evolving creatures, and as we evolve, so does our deepening understanding of God and the Universe, as we can only see where our current structure of consciousness enables us to see, not beyond, and our perspectives are limited by those structures.

In other words, that all states of consciousness, right up to awareness of the non-dual, are available to anyone at any level of consciousness, has been demonstrated throughout the ages. Shamans and Medicine Men have always had ready access to those altered states of consciousness (ever-present, never-changing, the formless), but they can only be interpreted from an individual's stage, or structure of consciousness (always changing, evolutionary). What it means to be enlightened in the Integral age is very different from what it meant a thousand years ago, as newer stages of consciousness had not emerged and simply weren't available.

Unless we become aware of ourselves as evolving spiritual creatures, we'll keep doing what we've been doing, and getting the results we've been getting. Yes, I agree that the talks go out through the oneness of everything, into the collective unconscious, but I'd prefer that it also goes into as much of the collective consciousness, as well.

Post-modernism must integrate the wisdom and altered state skills of the Shaman and the Medicine Man, and indigenous teachers must integrate post modern stage consciousness. Anything less is only partial enlightenment.

The Minority Report sequel, starring Barack Obama

I'd prefer to stay away from blogging about politics, focusing instead on the masculine and shamanism from an integral perspective, but sometimes stuff is too important to ignore. Like this.

William Harryman, over at Integral Options cafe, has put together a blog subject I've been thinking about writing (without as much detail) regarding president Obama's plan to implement "preventative detention." Can you say "thought crime?"

I voted for Obama in the hope we would be John F. Kennedy. My worst fear, that he might really be Bill Clinton, is being surpassed, thinking there are multiple indications he might well be George W. Bush.

Read here

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Calling in the Four Directions and Masculine Energies

As I prepare to leave the mountains next week to facilitate my first men's workshop, The Priest Process: Integral Warriors, in Vancouver, BC, I have been working on a new version of the Shamanic practice of calling in the Four Directions.

With an intentional masculine approach, my version moves as the masculine moves, on purpose and singularly focused. One part of my approach to Integral Shamanism, I offer it here four your consideration.


We call in the Spirit-Keepers of the East, place of the Rising Sun, the archetype of the WARRIOR and the Element of FIRE….the place of the Dawn, New Beginnings, vision and inspiration of newness and fresh starts. the eye of the eagle, able to see the Big Picture, the place of creativity, co-creation, and conscious leadership. We call in the energies of the east, new beginnings, and questions needing answers….What are we at the beginning of? What have we just begun to figure out? What visions and plans are we creating? We call in burning through our fears and blockages to stand in our truth and our light as Spiritual Warriors. Welcome Spirit-Keepers of the East.


We call in the Spirit-Keepers of the South, the archetype of the KING and the Element of WATER. We call in the energy of plans getting established and projects coming to life, the realization of visions and plans of the East. We call in the energy of organizing and making things happen, diligence and small steps…the middle, the working time, the every-day on-going flow of effort, of purpose, of our mission. We call in Mouse energy, scurrying around, tending to small tasks….we call in the ability to stand and feel all the aspects of our lives that are in full swing, living in the South. Welcome Spirit-Keepers of the South


We call in the Spirit-Keepers of the West and the setting sun, the archetype of the LOVER and conscious relationship, the element of AIR…The place of harvest and abundance, of sharing and community….accomplishment and enjoyment, time for sharing the bounty of our efforts and connecting with others. We call in personal introspection: What have we learned from whatever we just finished? What might we do differently next time? It’s the place to celebrate and take stock of our lives. The West has Otter energy, whimsical and relaxed, playing through the forest and the water. And like the Otter, the West heads into the hibernation of the North. Welcome Spirit-Keepers of the West.


We call in the Spirit-Keepers of the North, the night-time sky, the archetype of the PRIEST, the element of EARTH….The place of sleeping and dreaming, solitude and spiritual introspection…..connecting with Spirit, of communing with unseen worlds, deep inner reflection, meditation, and receiving guidance. It is the place of the night, winter, and the wisdom of the Elder. Of celebration and taking stock of the Spirit that moves through all things. The North is Bear energy, fully embracing the night and the visions that are gestating in hibernation ...and in the dawn before the dawn, we begin to feel the stirrings of the next phase. Welcome Spirit-Keepers of the North.


We call in the Center and the three final energies: Father Sky, Mother Earth, and our own Essence. Father Sky is consistent, reliable and predictable. We call in the masculine energies that are stable and strong, the place of order and discipline. We call in Mother Earth, beautiful, spontaneous, ever-changing….always in motion, never the same from one moment to the next, the good feminine energies of Mother Earth, adaptable, flexible, inspirational and creative. Finally, we call in our own Essence, feeling into our cores, feeling the part of the universe that is only and totally filled with us, connecting to the energies of our own uniqueness, our special medicine, our song, our gifts. When we are filled with our own personal energetic energies, we walk on, taking within us the four directions, Father Sky, Mother Earth, and the fulfillment of all that we are. Welcome Spirit-Keepers of the Center.

Thanks to Tanis Day, PhD, for the original format from which these were created, and to the work of David Deida, whose work changed my life and how I relate to both the Masculine and the Feminine.

Image source:

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The State of the American Male

Editor's Note: Jim's last two books "World Made by Hand" and "The Long Emergency" are now available at deep discounts via Amazon. The following article was originally published on July 2nd, 2007. It was one of his most popular/controversial pieces throughout the blogosphere and one of my personal favorites. If find it as illuminating as I did, allow me to recommend the book "King, Warrior, Magician, Lover" which has really helped me better understand and map out the current state of American men. -Matt

As someone who spends a fair amount of time in airports, I marvel at the way my fellow citizens present themselves in public. I see middle-aged women who appear to have left home in their pajamas. But it's the costume and demeanor of American young men especially that raises interesting questions about who we have become.

The fashion and body language of male youth in 2007 comes from three sources: prison, the nursery, and the pimpmobile. It's an old story now that many conventions of gangster fashion come out of the jail experience, where they take away your belt and shoelaces so you won't hang yourself. Apparently, at some point in US history, they stopped giving the belts and shoelaces back on release, and it became stylish to wear your trousers falling down below the top of your underpants (or butt crack as the case may be). Jail being a kind of accreditation device these days, the message may be: I passed the entrance exam.

Less obvious is the contribution of the nursery. Pants that are ambiguously neither long or short, worn with XX-large T shirts, tend to make grown men look like babies. Babies have short legs and large torsos compared to grown men. They also make big awkward gestures and touch their sex organs a lot. Add a sideways hat and unlaced sneakers and you have the complete kindergarten rig. Why a 20-year-old male would want to look five years old is another interesting question, but it may have a lot to do with the developmental failures of boys raised in households without fathers. They simply don't know how to be men. They only know how to behave like five year old boys. They even give themselves nursery school nicknames. But they are men, and what could be more menacing than the paradox of a child bent on homicide.

Tattoos used to be pretty much the sole fashion statement of merchant seamen or people who have served in the armed forces (or people who live in jungles). Now they are common among career girls. The tattooed guys I see down at the gym are ordinary young men who work in cubicles. Tattoos on sailors used to celebrate places they had been or people they had loved. The tattoos I see now are meant to convey fierce and barbaric statements of superhuman power: look at me, I'm a Power Ranger! It's understandable that someone who spends most of his waking hours in a cubicle wearing a telephone headset in order to swindle old people out of their savings might fantasize about rising above all that. But the tragic thing, of course, is that getting tattooed is not quite the same as accomplishing something with your life. In the end, you're just another loser with a grandiose and ridiculous tattoo.

The pimp connection is too obvious to belabor -- meant to mock normal executive attire while signifying an existence of total leisure and the enjoyment of unearned riches. The trouble is that the worship of unearned riches -- based on the belief that it truly is possible to get something for nothing -- has now become normal at all levels in American life. Everybody from the lowest whoremonger on Hollywood Boulevard to the Wall Street hedge fund managers believes in unearned riches plucked from "suckers." The catch is that men who live by this code almost always come to a bad end. They get their throats cut with razors, or go to prison, or manage to lose all their unearned riches (and the investments of many strangers, too).

The portrait of the young American male in 2007, therefore, is of an impotent, infantalized being lost in grandiose fantasies of power and importance. It's a picture of men without real confidence, and no idea how to achieve it, who wish to project a transcendently ferocious image complete with odds-and-ends of manner taken from comic books and movies based on comic books, in order to be taken seriously.

The rest of the world must tremble to contemplate the picture we present. The Nazi soldiers of 1944 were glamour boys compared to the riff-raff that American young men have become. As for those who actually do make it into the army, you wonder how they appear to the locals overseas -- they're probably taken seriously as exactly what the present themselves to be: manifestly evil beings who really need to be blown up. Back home, I look around at the thugs and sluggos at my gym, and I'm ashamed to be a citizen of the same country they live in.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Banking on the Brink

Nature's way of hinting that something truly creepy may be up is when both Paul Volcker and George Soros both declare on the same day that the economic landscape is looking
darker than the Great Depression.

Read Paul Volckers Op-Ed piece below from the NY Times on Sunday, wherein he supports nationalization of banks like Citigroup and BofA, both of whom will almost certainly fail within the next 30, 60 days, tops. I agree, and do it now, not later.

There's one piece that's missing in this conversation, though. If the American public is going to wind up owning these institutions, will we continue to allow them to continue what used to be usurious lending practices? Late on a payment and see your interest rate go from 9% to 27%? Give me a F***** break. Stop this, now. Limit banks and credit card interest rates to 12 - 15% tops. NO ONE is talking about this, and until they are, it's business as usual, with everyone, Obama included, still taking care of the fat cat elites. Don't get me wrong...I'm not about people being rich, unless it's at the expense of everyone else...or the world.


Paul Krugman in the NY Times:

Comrade Greenspan wants us to seize the economy’s commanding heights.

O.K., not exactly. What Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman — and a staunch defender of free markets — actually said was, “It may be necessary to temporarily nationalize some banks in order to facilitate a swift and orderly restructuring.” I agree.

The case for nationalization rests on three observations.

First, some major banks are dangerously close to the edge — in fact, they would have failed already if investors didn’t expect the government to rescue them if necessary.

Second, banks must be rescued. The collapse of Lehman Brothers almost destroyed the world financial system, and we can’t risk letting much bigger institutions like Citigroup or Bank of America implode.

Third, while banks must be rescued, the U.S. government can’t afford, fiscally or politically, to bestow huge gifts on bank shareholders.

Let’s be concrete here. There’s a reasonable chance — not a certainty — that Citi and BofA, together, will lose hundreds of billions over the next few years. And their capital, the excess of their assets over their liabilities, isn’t remotely large enough to cover those potential losses.

Arguably, the only reason they haven’t already failed is that the government is acting as a backstop, implicitly guaranteeing their obligations. But they’re zombie banks, unable to supply the credit the economy needs.

To end their zombiehood the banks need more capital. But they can’t raise more capital from private investors. So the government has to supply the necessary funds.

But here’s the thing: the funds needed to bring these banks fully back to life would greatly exceed what they’re currently worth. Citi and BofA have a combined market value of less than $30 billion, and even that value is mainly if not entirely based on the hope that stockholders will get a piece of a government handout. And if it’s basically putting up all the money, the government should get ownership in return.

Still, isn’t nationalization un-American? No, it’s as American as apple pie.

Lately the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has been seizing banks it deems insolvent at the rate of about two a week. When the F.D.I.C. seizes a bank, it takes over the bank’s bad assets, pays off some of its debt, and resells the cleaned-up institution to private investors. And that’s exactly what advocates of temporary nationalization want to see happen, not just to the small banks the F.D.I.C. has been seizing, but to major banks that are similarly insolvent.

The real question is why the Obama administration keeps coming up with proposals that sound like possible alternatives to nationalization, but turn out to involve huge handouts to bank stockholders.

For example, the administration initially floated the idea of offering banks guarantees against losses on troubled assets. This would have been a great deal for bank stockholders, not so much for the rest of us: heads they win, tails taxpayers lose.

Now the administration is talking about a “public-private partnership” to buy troubled assets from the banks, with the government lending money to private investors for that purpose. This would offer investors a one-way bet: if the assets rise in price, investors win; if they fall substantially, investors walk away and leave the government holding the bag. Again, heads they win, tails we lose.

Why not just go ahead and nationalize? Remember, the longer we live with zombie banks, the harder it will be to end the economic crisis.

How would nationalization take place? All the administration has to do is take its own planned “stress test” for major banks seriously, and not hide the results when a bank fails the test, making a takeover necessary. Yes, the whole thing would have a Claude Rains feel to it, as a government that has been propping up banks for months declares itself shocked, shocked at the miserable state of their balance sheets. But that’s O.K.

And once again, long-term government ownership isn’t the goal: like the small banks seized by the F.D.I.C. every week, major banks would be returned to private control as soon as possible. The finance blog Calculated Risk suggests that instead of calling the process nationalization, we should call it “preprivatization.”

The Obama administration, says Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, believes “that a privately held banking system is the correct way to go.” So do we all. But what we have now isn’t private enterprise, it’s lemon socialism: banks get the upside but taxpayers bear the risks. And it’s perpetuating zombie banks, blocking economic recovery.

What we want is a system in which banks own the downs as well as the ups. And the road to that system runs through nationalization.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Great Awakening

The Great Awakening: Boomers, Your Crisis Has Arrived, or, Denial is not a river

I've just read a very disturbing article by James Quinn about where we might be headed as a nation. The link is below and I'll also post in it on my wall. Agree or not, you really should read this, as we do seem to be unraveling. Strauss and Howe present where we might be headed.

"The Fourth Turning" by William Strauss and Neil Howe

"There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations, much is given. Of other generations, much is expected. This Generation has a rendezvous with destiny."

Franklin Roosevelt – 1936

Strauss & Howe wrote the following words in 1997:

"America feels like it’s unraveling. Though we live in an era of relative peace and comfort, we have settled into a mood of pessimism about the long-term future, fearful that our superpower nation is somehow rotting from within. The America of today feels worse, in its fundamentals, than the one many of us remember from youth, a society presided over by those of supposedly lesser consciousness. We yearn for civic character but satisfy ourselves with symbolic gestures and celebrity circuses. We perceive no greatness in our leaders, a new meanness in ourselves. Each new election brings a new jolt, its aftermath a new disappointment."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Inaugural Experience

I'm sitting in a friend's house in DC the morning after the inaugural, and while everyone else is still sleeping, and we later begin the 8 hour trip back to North Carolina, I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts about my experience (well, it started out that way....).

Our 7am Metro trip into the National Mall from the DC suburbs of Silver Springs was the first clue of what was to come during the rest of the day. Even though we were close to the end of the Metro line, the train was already full as the five of us, Anyaa and three friends, squeezed on. We watched as hundreds of others at the stops along the way had to wait for the next trains.

As we left our arrival station in downtown DC, not far from the Mall (we thought), we were struck by the incredible size of the crowd: hundreds of thousands of people all trekking to the mall from every direction. It took us about an hour and a half to walk the two miles to our final place on Mall. The air was electric with excitement. These were people that were totally jazzed about all of the implications of this Inauguration.

We finally arrived at the Mall, and again, the crowds! We spent an hour getting our party into one of the huge banks of port-a-potties, knowing we wouldn't be able to move once we were on the mall. Everyone was careful not to drink water and eat light that morning in anticipation.

We had to stand the entire time. There simply was not enough room to sit and you could not have possibly fallen over. We were close to the Washington monument, and the Greek--inspired phallic obelisk monument as the symbol of our country's father, was not lost on us. It was a vast sea of humanity and diversity as far as the eye could see, all celebrating what they hoped was the dawn of a new era while doing what we came to call the "Obama Shuffle," as we moved our feet only slightly as we were carried by the crowd to a place where we could just see one of the Jumbo-tron viewing screens placed around the Mall.

During the parade of dignitaries, all of the living ex-presidents were introduced. When George W. Bush was introduced, the crowd broke into singing "Nah-nah-nah-nah, Hey, hey, hey....goodbye..." It felt like the whole crowd was singing! They'd obviously had enough of the last eight years.

Every time Barack and Michelle came on the giant screens, the crowd exploded. As he finally gave his acceptance speech, many of us teared up, some openly crying, moved by the hope of change and what it meant. I thought it was an excellent speech, but not a great speech. Of course, I was waiting for the one-liner that would take the speech into the history books...a line like "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself" or JFK's "Ask not" speech. It did not come. I loved his balance of government and personal responsibility and the remaking of America.

What did come, being in the crowd, was unity and the sense of all being One, with united purposes and goals, an incredibly healthy Green/post-modernism that could move us forward into a brighter future, a better world, where America can become a beacon of light and higher power for the rest of the world as opposed to demanding respect by the threat and use of miltary power, but still recognizing that there are real threats and we must remain strong. We hugged and congratulated perfect strangers. We laughed and cried. We prayed that this was an indication of the change we've been waiting for, and that we are, indeed, that change, knowing we'd have to be for it to manifest in the world.

After the Inauguration was over, everyone began trying to get out at the same time, in sharp contrast to a spaced out arrival procession. What a zoo! Again, the Obama Shuflle, everyone moving just a few inches, taking hours to finally get on the metro and head back to Silver Springs. This was badly organized, with no help from the infrastructure of Police and Fire personnel, some of whom acting annoyed about being asked for directions.

We finally got home, just in time to get ready to go out that night to the Inaugural Peace Ball, sponsored by Code Pink. I won't go into details, as you can click on the links to find out more, but we had an awesome time! Particularly memorable were appearances and performances by Alice Walker, Eve Ensler, Joan Baez, Dick Gregory, Amy Goodman, a smokin' fusion band called "Fertile Ground," and Michael Franti and Spearhead. We had a great time swimming in a healthy green pool.

All in all, Anyaa and I had an amazing experience, one we wanted to be part of, in the hope that this really is part of a larger historical shift, and that millions and millions of others are shifting with it. Now it's time to go to work.