'Re-connecting with Your Brothers'
What’s so great about investigating personal development with other men?
You will discover what it is to be challenged and supported in a way that creates a deeper sense of personal power and engages the respect of other men. Sitting in circle with other men, and witnessing and supporting each other in evolutionary exercises, you will find that you are not alone in your experiences, and that your discoveries open you to a whole new sense of who you are. In this environment you will get personal attention to delve into the uniqueness that is you, and to uncover any obstacles around connecting fully with yourself and others, that have until now constrained your natural authenticity and presence.
Much of the real essence of what we are as men has been civilised out of us. This is not to say that being a ‘real man’ is about chaos and aggression. (Although that is what our culture tries to tell us the opposite of being ‘civilized’ is.)
“I’ve often heard the argument that men are violent because, having evolved as hunters, it is natural for them to be so. But (hunting) aggression was expressed as self-sacrifice and protection, not machismo.” (Klein, 1993)
The true opposite of being ‘civilized’ is being ‘authentic’, is finding the essential masculine beneath the shutdown ways we have been trained to adopt.
“Millions of women complain about their husband’s lack of feeling. His woodenness. Men themselves often feel numb and confused about what they want.” (Biddulph, 1995)
“We are taught not to act on ‘feelings’, but to act only on social convention and fact. The seed lies dormant within us, waiting to grow.” (Klein, 1993)
Many young men experienced physically and/or emotionally absent fathers. Many boys only observed older men who never deeply explored their passion or creativity. As children we soak up the ways of being that our primary role-models show us, and imprint these on our nervous systems. That’s how children learn to be adults – through conscious and unconscious observation and neurological mimicry.
“Think about the connection with your father. … Your masculinity, unconsciously and whether you like it or not, is based on his.” (Biddulph, 1995)
Living in a culture where the fullness of authentic male experience is absent, and is instead limited to a small number of possible permitted templates, we assume (in our bodies) that this kind of behaviour is normal, and replicate it. And this goes on and on for generation after generation. Often when men first attempt to find themselves, they come up against on overarching view that being a man is somehow ‘wrong’ or ‘oppressive’ simply by definition.
“In an attempt to respect the women’s movement, some men feel compelled to silence themselves and hide any ‘unacceptable’ maleness.” (Fox, 2008)
“There has been a men’s movement of sorts for over twenty years. Unfortunately, it was often based on apologising for being a man. … It’s not possible to build a new identity on an inferiority complex.” (Biddulph, 1995)
Sharing conscious courageous personal development with other men automatically begins to put us back in touch with forgotten, suppressed, and underdeveloped aspects of our masculine essence: courage, honesty, trust, openness, vitality… It is an amazing journey to begin to reclaim a fullness that most of us never had a chance to properly evolve in the first place.
“Ultimately men are not ‘problems to be solved’ but deep, impenetrable mysteries.” (Fox, 2008)
One way forward is through a courageous experiential investigation, where we gradually find ourselves, our evolution often assisted by the shared observations and raw experiences of men we are holding space with.
“You don’t need to have all the answers if you live the questions.” (Keen, 1992)
Over time we become more and more able to access, and healthily & bravely express, our passionate authentic selves in all aspects of life. The support of other men in creating a new vision of masculinity is essential.
“In any given moment, a man's growth is optimised if he leans just beyond his edge, his capacity, his fear. He should not be too lazy, happily stagnating in the zone of security and comfort. Nor should he push far beyond his edge, stressing himself unnecessarily, unable to metabolize his experience. He should lean just slightly beyond the edge of fear and discomfort. Constantly. In everything he does.” (David Deida)
Steve Biddulph “Manhood” (Finch, 1995)
Matthew Fox “The Hidden Spirituality of Men” (New World Library, 2008)
Sam Keen “Fire in the Belly” (Bantam, 1992)
Kenny Klein “The Flowering Rod: Men, Sex & Spirituality” (Delphi Press, 1993)