April 1, 2017, John Æonid — Draft
A few years ago, women in my current Spiritual community had told me that men in this time were particularly in need of heal and had put me on to the task of looking into healing men. This community is a chakra balancing program that is primarily an off-shoot of the teachings of Rosalyn L. Bruyere, which I started to further explore my own sense that certain types of emotions arise in certain areas of the body. My intent wasn't to become a healer, but that seems to be happening as a curious side effect of the exploration. It's just as well; this World needs much healing.
What I was hearing from these Spiritual women was that men and masculinity are having a tough time in this period of cultural shift. I kind of understood what they meant, but it wasn't a pursuit that I would have taken on by myself. Whatever they saw in me, they were putting the question to me personally as a problem worth exploring.
In the 1970's, I was in my teens. I had already been raised in the 1960's to be on the side of Civil Rights and honor the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King. And, being open to Feminism was a natural, obvious, and automatic choice. Oh, I was very much a hippie wanna be.
In my current study of chakra balancing, I've been told that I'm an empath—though I am only just coming to know how true that is. I'm starting to look back at how I would pass people on the street and desparately crave to know what it was like to be them. No, not the pretty people, not the wealthy people—the ones look as if they're having a tough time or come from the most unfamiliar background. Somehow, the orientation torwards the Civil Rights movement must play into that. This applies to Feminism as well. I listen closely when the issues are discussed, and an innate craving arises to know what the experience of women is.
Those were my formative years. The brain goes through a rapid wiring period that starts when we're born and continues into the late 20's tapering off until it slows to the normal adult rate. I know that innate craving to know what others experience goes back to my childhood, and I've come to think that my capacity to empathize may resulted in some deep wiring for empathy. So, it seems that I may be a bit of an oddity (massive understatement); it seems that I am an empath specifically wired to cross racial and gender boundaries.
The downside is that, just as I don't relate well to racists, I don't relate well to men and masculinity either. And, it's not that I'm effeminate, but I well know that I'm taken as a more gentle man. And, I feel oddly comfortable as one man in a group of women. Somethimes they apologize for saying things that make most men uncomfortable, and I let them know how perfectly comfortable I am.
How odd is it that I should live decades with an orientation towards Feminism, and I then find myeself in a situation in which women are asking me to look into the healing of men. Well, it was a worthy challenge, but not one for which I'd prepared. This was going to take some research.
However, I should mention that I had my own sense of the problem. I'd been striving to feel what women feel for so long, that I couldn't help but notice that it was rare to hear of women empathizing with the male situation. The first I heard anything like that was when coming across an interview with Susan Faludi discussing her book, Stiffed.
But as of a few years ago, I've been going deep on this—going well beyond my comfort zone. Remember, I'm an HSP who feels what others feel, and venturing into the vitriol is just not comfortable. It's probably six months or maybe a year ago that I started backing off on the bitterness that some are epressing. But, I think I've gone far enough to understand the problem, exploring it broadly enough to not leave anybody out.
Along with a bit of healing for myself, I've since been focusing on what kind of healing is needed. Of course, general Spirituality should cover most of what people need, but this is supposed to be tailored toward men and the current social condition.
There are some thoughts about healing methods, but most of what I've been doing is focusing on the concept of masculinity. This means developing a concept of masculine virtues that fit the new culture—without reinforcing the shadows of the old masculinity. The first thing I came up with I won't be discussing here; or at least, not today. There are some tricky aspects to it. It's being explored in that chakra balancing program, with some positive feedback, but it needs much more work.
What I do want to discuss is a question that I want to put out to the World—so that the injured culture can begin exploring what it wants of masculinity in a more positive fashion. The idea came to me on March 24, 2017, but I was too busy to start writing about it then. And, I'm glad I was delayed. There's a lot to conider and discuss. But today, I'm only going to pose the question. I was put to the task of examing uncomfortable things. Hopefully, this won't bring up any vitriol, but this is not for me to decide. Any idea about what the culture needs must be accepted and embraced by the culture at a conscious level.
The question is ultimately "what is the essences of The Nurturing Man?" The Nurturing Man is not any kind of a new concept, but every culture colors in the picture a little differently. How do we want to color this picture in now?
I know there will always be men that are more masculine and more macho than I am, and I know that there will aways be women who find themselves attracted to that. This is not me trying to soften the concept of masculininty; this is me trying to highlight a virtuous masculine aspect that I know is in every man. And, this isn't some empathic download that I get. I've heard both feminists and non-feminist address the current issues from this perspective. And, if you want a concrete example, there's that television commercial of the hockey player, during a break in a brutal game, takes call from his daughter and sings her "itsy bitsy spider" (Values.com).
So, that's it for now. Spend some time with the question. Use every power you have in your imagination to fantasize about being nurtured by a man—regardless of your gender. Yes, men can be nurtured by men too, and we need it now.
Imagine all the forms this might take. If you are actually blessed enough to have a man nuturing you, be observant. Look at how it works or doesn't work for you. Adjust the question as needed. And, keep the question moving forward. There are injuries and scars on both sides of the gender wars.
Don't let the divisiveness—which is a servant of the past—widen the gap any further than it has already become. We are not even up to the point of fitting this back into the new Yin and Yang. So, there is work beyond this that needs doing. We need to look at the nuturing of men now. We need to do it actively, and we need to do it constructively.
What is the essence of The Nurturing Man?
Peace, Blessings, Insight, and Clarity
P.S. I forgot to mention that the word "Nurturing" was given emphasis for me by my Philosophy 101 Professor in the mid 1990's. On one of my visits to his office for a Philosophical chat, he endulged my curiosity by sharing with me a draft of a paper he was working on, and Nuturing was central to his conclusions. So, the word, "Nurturing", has been rattling around in my head for a couple of decades now, and I don't know if I would have ever had this idea on my own. If I ever manage to find that he had his paper published, I'll have to reference it here. — April 3, 2017