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It's not that the former archetypes - especially the King and the Warrior - are no longer applicable, but that they, too, are evolving as we evolve.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


Chuck said...

I want to go on that journey with you, my brother!

Gary Stamper said...

Chuck, you ARE the Green Man. You model it, I write about it. I'm on the journey with YOU.

Venus Rising said...

masculine forward together as men..I posted the link on my facebook profile

Susan Butler said...

Green man thinking reminds me of the difference between two existing conceptions of masculinity --the Macho, coming I think from Spanish origins and the Mensch, a Jewish idea. A Macho man asserts himself by dominating those weaker than himself, especially women and children. He forcibly demands submission and service from others. Whereas A Mensch, meaning "good man," asserts his masculinity by taking responsibility for those weaker than himself --parents, women, children, the entire community he is part of. He serves because he can, thereby proving his power and strength as a man. Which one is most respectable as a strong man?

Gary Stamper said...

Susan, good points all. What you're pointing at is the developmental stages of archetypes and the men who carry them. Using the spiral Dynamics developmental model, it's easy to place the archetypes at stages of development by their qualities and what they stand for. This is what Matthew Fox is also pointing at