Men and the Missing Nobility Inside

The first letter I received when my book on The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine came out fifteen years ago, was from a woman who told me that she was a feminist and in her home library she had over 200 books on the divine feminine and not one on the sacred masculine.  And she had two teen-age boys. 

Boys need to learn about the sacred masculine. Image by N-region from Pixabay

And that until she read my book she had not known how much men have suffered under patriarchy.  And that she did not regret for one second the last 25 years of her life that she had spent in recovering the divine feminine in her life but that I was right—the next stage of feminism must be helping in the clean-up of the toxic masculine.

A second and very moving response I received about my book came at a conference on Earth and Spirit held in a large hotel in Santa Fe.  After I spoke and took questions about my men’s book, a very tall and smartly dressed Native American man approached me. 

He had long white hair, was dressed very elegantly in black, came up to me and said this.  “I have been working as a prison chaplain for over 12 years.  It is very difficult to get men in prison to look at themselves—they are always projecting onto others.  Yours is the first book I have ever used that got them to look and find the nobility inside.”

“At a prison powwow, Indigenous inmates get in touch with their culture, find healing.” Report by King 5 Seattle

How moved I was at that moment—and still am—by this testimony and the language this Native American elder shared with me:  The nobility inside.

Is that what is wounding men and boys and rendering them violent to themselves and others?  Is that what is missing?  Men (and women too) are out of touch with the nobility we carry inside us?  

To be continued

Matthew Fox, Confessions: The Making of a Post-denominational Priest, pp. 417-420.  

See also: Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine.

Banner image: “A Council of Elders by Ludwig Deutsch.” Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain.

Queries for Contemplation

How did you learn, man or woman, about the nobility inside?  How do you keep that knowledge alive?

Recommended Reading

Confessions: The Making of a Post-Denominational Priest (Revised/Updated Edition)

Matthew Fox’s stirring autobiography, Confessions, reveals his personal, intellectual, and spiritual journey from altar boy, to Dominican priest, to his eventual break with the Vatican. Five new chapters in this revised and updated edition bring added perspective in light of the author’s continued journey, and his reflections on the current changes taking place in church, society and the environment.
“The unfolding story of this irrepressible spiritual revolutionary enlivens the mind and emboldens the heart — must reading for anyone interested in courage, creativity, and the future of religion.”
—Joanna Macy, author of World as Lover, World as Self

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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6 thoughts on “Men and the Missing Nobility Inside”

  1. Avatar

    It is Nature Herself
    That reminds me
    Of my own nobility
    That I belong
    Just as I am
    To a Mystery
    Much larger
    than myself
    Accepted, loved
    Held as sacred.

    Weathered by
    Sufferings and sorrows
    Wounds slowly heal
    Through embraces of
    Compassion and the
    Touches of beauty
    Offered blessings of
    Gracious nurturance
    Consolation, comfort
    Invoking emergence.

    Wrapped in Her mantle
    Of fragrant scents
    Melodious sounds
    Radiant colors
    Converging with
    The creation of the
    All and the everything
    I see truth reflected
    The nobility of all life
    Including myself.

  2. Avatar

    My spiritual journey has been an ongoing lifelong process becoming more aware and realizing the LOVING DIVINE, the Spark of God, PRESENT within and among my sisters and brothers, our beautiful Sacred Mother Earth and all Her living creatures and abundance, and with-in our Sacred multidimensional-multiverse COSMOS, our LOVING Evolving Diverse Wholeness~ONENESS….

  3. Avatar

    I found this meditation so deeply moving too Matthew. Experiencing through you and the Indian prison chaplain, how suffering, alienation, loss, hate, greed, willful or ignorant conditioned abuse, bias, prejudice, repression or the cost of giving into temptation injures each one of us and how the nobility of seeing oneself as equally valued and loved, worthy of possessing this unending source of love and endowing oneself in this nobility,
    will create within us the power to awaken,
    to choose to love ourselves and one another to create our destiny. This is the truth and the soulful healing everyone and everything on this Earth belongs to and longs to experience.
    If we only knew.
    Come to me my Beloved and I will show you the way.
    I lift up my soul to praise and honor the Creator and Nature and everyone who has helped me and others along the way
    to become aware of the nobility and power of this Love through their living faith and the giving of themselves.

    Lovely poem Jeanette and lovely expression of your spiritual journey Damien.

  4. Avatar

    It’s been my experience that girls and women, and many young boys, too, have had their nobility, their respect, hidden from them, denied to them by our cowardly culture which hides from dealing with unpleasant realities. Children and women aren’t granted the dignity of being listened to and taken seriously, of being protected from bullies and predators. They’re expected to deal with their problems on their own and trust authorities such as doctors and priests, but rarely given strong, explicit permission, encouragement, warnings and effective strategies to claim their own boundaries and protect themselves from bullies, narcissists, gropers and groomers who trick victims with kindness while gradually infringing on mental and physical boundaries. They’re not given a script for how to be strong, how to be heroes/heroines, champions with AGENCY/explicit power and rights, who bravely stand up to help and protect the weak and vulnerable (and especially themselves).
    All children need to learn about UNIVERSAL, EQUAL nobility. Then they can start learning how to see and stand up to those who try to undermine and steal that dignity and nobility from others.

    1. Avatar

      Thank you for that cogent explanation. We spend too much time making or being victims rather than teaching our children how to be neither.

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