The Spiritual Side of Men: A Young Man’s Testimony

We are meditating on the sacred masculine.  Following is a testimony from a male undergraduate in an English university when he came across the work of Thomas Berry, author of Dream of the Earth and The Great Work.

Clip of the documentary “The Great Story,” portraying the life and work of the famous eco-theologian Thomas Berry. Produced by Nancy Stetson and Penny Morell for Bullfrog Films.

The deep ecology of Tom Berry was difficult to comprehend at first because it took me out of my ‘scientific’ comfort zone.  It required me to connect with my spiritual side and this was not something I have ever had to do before.  In all honesty, I greeted Berry’s perspectives with initial skepticism for it was not until I began to ponder his ideas in my mind more deeply that I began to connect with the spiritual side I did not know existed within me.  This in turn led me to questioning whether or not I truly appreciated the spirituality and the beauty of our planet….

I began to remember those precious occasions when I have marveled at, or simply been in awe of the wonder nature of our planet—times when I have just sat silently and gazed in amazement at the beauty of a snow covered Bath landscape, or the beauty of a star-filled night sky.  At the time I did not realize the importance or significance in feeling these emotions, now I understood that these are valuable moments we risk losing forever.

Mountain contemplation. Photo by muhammad alif on Unsplash

This confession from a young man who is a science and business major is most revealing—and also quite scary.  How many other young men have never connected with a “spiritual side I did not know existed within me”?  How deeply have our schools and our religions truly failed us? 

Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, pp. xf. 

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE

Banner Image: “Tiny Giants” Photo by Dualiti Photos on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

Does this testimony ring any bells for you of men you know or have known?  Or yourself?  How universal do you think it is that men never connect to a “spiritual side they did not know existed within them”?

Recommended Reading

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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9 thoughts on “The Spiritual Side of Men: A Young Man’s Testimony”

  1. Avatar

    Thomas Berry talked about humanity suffering from a nature deficit disorder. He spoke that this disorder not only effects deeply, humanities relationship with the all and the everything of creation, but that this disorder also deeply effects the true nature of our beingness, that of being interdependent, inter-reliant and interconnected to this Great web of life. He also stated that if humanity does not heal this nature deficit disorder by returning to right relationship with all of creation, including ourselves, that we in fact will destroy the destiny of the existence of all life on this beautiful and wondrous planet.

    In today’s DM, Mathew spoke of men learning through ritual and ceremony. I touched on the importance of this in yesterday’s comments, and how brothers and sisters can nurture this pathway of connecting to the spiritual side that exists, not only within ourselves, but also that spiritual side that also exists within all of creation.

    Many years ago, I worked with a women’s group, called Ravens Call, in which we collaborated together to recreate Rites of Passages in nature, to guide both males and females throughout all the different stages of life, from youth to old age, in order to embrace and celebrate the different seasons and cycles of life, death, change and transformation.

    I do believe that the recreation of Rites of Passage rituals and ceremonies, with nature can become a co-creative expression of healthy spirituality that can assist both men and women in healing this nature deficit disorder that Thomas Berry has prophetically voiced.

    Some voices will not be silenced, no matter how deeply hidden within, for this voice demands a listening audience, so that the true nature of our collective existence can begin, whom is calling all to right relationship once again.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, thank you for your comment. I was intrigued by Raven’s Call and the recreation of Rites of Passage rituals and ceremonies. At one church I was at we renamed our Confirmation class for teens, “Rites of Passage.” And in this, to give the young people a sense of what Matthew calls, “Deep Ecumenism”–I took them to worship at a Buddhist Temple, a Sikh temple, a Muslim Mosque, a Jewish synagogue, and a Greek Orthodox Church as part of their “Rites of Passage.”

  2. Avatar

    I wonder if Joseph of Nazareth gets honourable mention as an example of the Sacred Masculine. Matthew’s Gospel points out that he was a man/shaman who listened to his dreams which made all the difference in his troubled decision to honour and protect a young woman whose pregnancy made her vulnerable in her own home and culture. ‘This Child Matters’ was the message he received.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Gwen, thank you for the reminder. Of course, Joseph is a great example of the Sacred Masculine, and you are right, he was a man who listened to his dreams, as we see in the early chapters in Matthew’s gospel. And he honored and prot3ected both Jesus and his wife, Mary through the dangerous path they had to travel through the early years of Jesus’ life…

  3. Avatar

    I was so struck by Thomas Berry’s comment that we are “a Communion of Subjects, not a Collection of Objects”. That says it all…

  4. Avatar

    I have just watched a beautiful rainbow ? appear across the sky in Squim, Washington. It made me think of the band XTC’s song, The Green Man. Sacred masculinity rooted in the ? earth. I hope you can access the song and enjoy it too.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Geoff, though I live in Northern California, my daughter and her family live in Port Angeles. I’m going there tomorrow so I’ll be passing by your way tomorrow. Too bad I missed the rainbow…

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