One of the best kept secrets of our culture is that many men are deeply spiritual and care deeply about their spiritual life. It is a secret, however, because it is hidden—sometimes even from themselves.
For many men their work is often a pursuit of the spiritual, an expression of the spiritual. Their devotion to their family is the same. For many it is their devotion to their country, a willingness to give all for their country or their family or their ‘tribe’ as in a gang situation. Or for their lover. Or for their art.
Many artists are men who are warriors in their own right, trusting the universe to provide economically and trusting the muses to feed them their art life, their images for their art. And there are political warriors as well, committed to see justice happen, eco and racial and gender and more. And there are engineers, doctors, lawyers, taxi drivers, business people, teachers, nurses, writers, mechanics, carpenters, who give life their all. And that is spirituality, giving life one’s all. Biophilia. Love of life. Lovers of life. Lovers. That is spirituality.
Why do many men keep their spirituality hidden or secret? Maybe because:
–The men’s movement was ridiculed by much mainstream media and hasn’t done so well in reaching mainstream men.
–Because many men are profiting still from patriarchy or a dualistic way of looking at the world, one that pits feeling against thinking, body against mind, spirit against matter, women against men and heterosexuals against homosexuals.
–Because many men are introverts and even shy about expressing their deepest feelings of joy, sensitivity and pain and men as a rule are rewarded for their more extrovert side.
–Because many men carry wounds inside they would rather forget or put aside rather than admit are there.
–Because many men, burdened with such wounds, resort to alcohol or power trips, pseudo camaraderie or addiction to work, sex, or superficial talk rather than face their wounded self.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, pp. xif.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: “The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn’t any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it’s right.” – Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash.
Queries for Contemplation
What reasons have you come across for men holding their spirituality in secret?
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