“Being Spiritual is not Macho” “If you’re a Spiritual Guy, you must be a wimp”, “If you’re Spiritual you can’t be a real man”
Gentleman (and ladies too), I have news for you. Masculinity and Spirituality are not mutually exclusive. The ego-driven, altered perception of “Machismo” is.
In ancient times men were called to war to defend the tribe or conquer another. Willingly or not, in order to go into battle the men were told to be fearless, suppress all emotions except anger, and put aside any concern of brutality forced upon the enemy. The reward after the battle, was one’s life, riches, and sex. The men of war would come home and the experience of the sexual arena for both men and women was one of harshness, dominance, quickness, and the body order of musk. This became the norm in the sexual act, and its tendencies still pervade today in the forms of machismo, chauvinism, and lack of intimacy in relationships.
For some men, the bedroom was the only time they could express any feelings, vulnerability, intimacy, and love. So often the result was that after sex was over with, the men would return to the “warrior” state with feelings, emotions, and having an open heart were again suppressed. So often it was necessary for survival. In modern western society, it is no longer necessary for survival, but we males, haven’t fully adapted.
It is a scientific fact that the more testosterone one has in his or her system the more aggressive, assertive we become and sexual desire is heightened. (This is true for women too). The level of testosterone is directly proportional for the desire of competition, physical strength, and dominance. Ego can play a large part here too, but this biological system of hormones does not preclude experiencing a sense of the Divine. Closing off that intuitive and open sense is a learned trait. If we look at our boys we will see that natural tenancy for physicalness and assertiveness, but young boys also have that need to be loved and nurtured. There is a balance.
This balance is upset to a great extent by what is expected in society, religion, and the example is passed down through generations especially through the family unit. Fathers, of course, by example, and mothers too by what is expected of a man and the male role.
Being spiritually focused does not preclude enjoying sports, exercise, competition, consuming alcohol and sexuality. In our society, there is a tenancy for make these things our “God” and the rights of Manhood. Yours truly has joyously experienced all of these, and yes, I am a bit of a “gym rat”. But there is more, so much more. Allowing ourselves to find that balance of the young boy again; allowing our-males-selves to have an open heart, express feelings, and being consciously aware of other’s feelings and having compassion, will enhance all our other physical pleasures and activities. Yes, gentleman, the experience of sexuality will be a far better and meaningful experience when allowing ourselves to be consciously present and with an open heart. And indeed, you will be a better lover.
We must understand that the persona of “Machismo”, being a “Man’s Man”, is a learned ego-based identity. There is nothing wrong with it, but there is nothing right with either. It’s an experience, but an experience that will block a greater expression of self and it will also block a deeper and more meaningful experience of life. To be Spiritually Focused does not preclude one’s masculinity but actually enhances the natural expression of it. A “real man” owns his masculinity but is not bound by it.
Ladies, so much of what we discussed here you already know. Please allow the men in your life to step out of the traditional masculine “Macho” role and hold for them to step into their fuller more balanced expression.
When we men embrace our masculinity, and invite in our Spiritual nature, you will experience Life and an inner peace unlike anything you have experienced before. “Just do It”
.Jim is a regular contributor to the Ashland Daily Tidings Inner Peace Column, conducts workshops, is a frequent Guest Speaker for various churches and organizations, and has a current book “A Spiritual Masters Guide to Life”. He makes his home in Southern Oregon
Jim can be reached at Jim@jimhatton.com