Appropriately, we are discussing the Sacred Masculine and the lack of it in this season of January 6, a Feast Day of the Epiphany which is the last day of the Christmas Season but which converted one year ago this day to a manifestation of toxic masculinity and the reptilian brain unchained and storming the nation’s capital.
In yesterday’s DM, we asked why it is that many men do not manifest their spirituality more publicly. One reason, clear on January 6, 2021, was that many men (and some women) are filled with rage and anger and resentment that gets readily fanned by political demagogues.
We continue to probe that question here–Why are men so often out of touch with their spirituality? Maybe because:
–Language for talking about our deepest experiences, those of profound joy and of the deep darkness of the “dark night of the soul,” are lost in a culture whose religions are out of touch with their mystical traditions.
–Modern culture held mysticism “up for ridicule” (Theodore Roszak) during the modern era in academia and culture at large.
–Clergy themselves have not been trained to elicit and support mysticism and the spiritual practices that develop it.
–The taming of the reptilian brain, one of the accomplishments of spiritual practice, does not happen in a culture that rewards reptilian brain accomplishments and identifies them with masculinity.
–All spirituality is ‘hidden’ insofar as it explores mystery and the “unnameable” aspect of Divinity.
–Spirituality is right brain work which is so often ignored in Western education including religious education.
–One of the highways to the heart is Silence. And silence is the language of secrets.
–Other highways to the heart include both joy and grief and they too remain hidden especially since men are supposed “not to cry” or to feel deeply.
–When culture and religions are practically mystically illiterate, we lose our mystical memory and connection to our mystical ancestors.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, pp. xiif.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: Man meditating. Photo by SBT4NOW on Flickr.
Queries for Contemplation
Which of these causes of the repression of men’s spirituality speaks the loudest to you when you look at American culture today? What can we do to alleviate it?
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