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.