Further Exercises for Developing the Healthy Masculine

Yesterday we were sharing some exercises to develop the Green Man in us.  Following are some more: 

Matthew Fox explores the archetype of the Green Man – the spiritual warrior associated with plants, who defends Mother Earth. Originally posted on May 27, 2019 via the Matthew Fox YouTube Channel.

What about your diet—are you eating too much meat, too much beef (cow farting produces methane that is terrible for the environment)?

What are you doing in the workplace to live less by unclean fuels and more by clean and renewable ones?  

Your political participation.  Do you demand of your representatives local, state and national, that they go green?  What about the media—do you write letters to editors, call in to radio programs, express your moral outrage at those in denial about climate change?  

How many trees have you planted lately?  Why not organize others, especially the young, to plant trees,  trees, and more trees.  And stand up to defend the forests and rainforests.

3: Learning Lessons from Icarus and Daedalus:

Father and child having fun at the annual Notting Hill Carnival, celebrating Black-British culture and history through dance, food and music. Photo by Glodi Miessi on Unsplash.

Did your father and/or mother help put wings on you as a youth?  How?  How not?  Have you forgiven him/her?  Have you praised him/her?

What instructions assisted this putting on of wings?

How did it go?  Did you fly?  Did you find your mystical/prophetic self at an early age?  Alone or with a mentor?

How have you learned to ground yourself so that your reaching for the sky does not result in crashing?

What stories of others have you observed or heard about that include themes of soaring or crashing, communicating or miscommunicating?

How have communications been between you and your father?  

How will you relate to your son’s desire to fly? 

What music and languages of the young are you learning and encouraging?

Rage emerging from the shadows. Photo by Bora Sözüer on Unsplash.

How are you teaching the young and how are they teaching you?

4: Examining the Hunter-Gatherer Instincts in Us Today

How do you deal with your anger and aggression?  What works?  What does not work?

The next time your reptilian brain kicks in, try another approach than just kicking back—trying breathing deeply for example and reciting a mantra like: “he is my brother, he is my brother, he is my brother” or “love my enemy, love my enemy, love my enemy.”

List areas where your hunting-gathering instincts are alive and well and in use.   

How is shame a part of your life?  Where does this shame originate?  How are you dealing with it?  Are you de-shaming yourself?  What is most holding you back?  What is most effect in this detox effort?

Piece entitled, “Childlike and Playful” by Richard Reich-Kuykendall who is an artist, author, and graduate of Matthew Fox’s University of Creation Spirituality.

“Nothing great happens without anger” (Thomas Aquinas).  So how are you using your anger for good causes?  How are you directing your anger into healthy relating, healthy work and healthy protest?

Do you keep your anger down and hidden…until it boils up and over in inappropriate ways?  What groups can you join to help you deal honestly with your anger?

How does creativity play a role in steering your anger into directions that are positive and not harmful to others?  Have you dealt with your passive aggressivity? How? 

Are you alert to injustice?  And working with those working for justice?  How so?  Which issues in particular move you to action?

To be continued

Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men, pp. 299-301.

See Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times, chapter 24, pp. 122-131 on anger and the trustworthy person.

Banner Image: Jesus as Green Man : Image part of larger wall mural at
Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula Church, Havana, built in 1664

What do you feel we should be hunting for today?  And gathering for today?  How best to put our hunting-gathering instincts to good use?

The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine

To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature,  to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God

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